Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #48

I’m back from our Epic November Road Trip, and along with plenty of awesome memories and ideas for new recipes, I picked up a cold along the way. I’m sniffling and coughing (and whining), and in between cups of tea and naps, I’ve had a big pot of Witch Brew bubbling that I’m going to turn into Mulligatawny Stew, Old School Italian Meat Sauce, and 10-Minute Pizza Soup.

Give me all the bone broth!

The recipes I’ve chosen for this week are loaded with flavors and spices—and are super low-impact to cook while providing plenty of comfort. I hope you’re warm and cozy as we head into the wheeeee! of the holiday season. Happy cooking to you!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Moroccan-Meatballs-thumb-e1336665872986Moroccan Meatballs

Cookup Tips: These taste just as good (or maybe better!) on days 2 and 3, and they freeze well, too. Make a batch (or a double batch) on the weekend and enjoy them all week long. They’re nice for breakfast with eggs on top—and reheat well in the microwave if you want to take them to work for lunch.

Recommended Sides: Mashed Cauliflower is pretty nice underneath, as is Cauliflower Rice. Simple Lemon Spinach is a lovely go-along.

Persian-Spiced Winter Vegetable Soup | meljoulwan.comPersian-Spiced Winter Vegetable Soup

Cookup Tips: You’ll need to add protein to this to make it a complete meal: roasted chicken or lamb are both good options; you could also cut up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and call it done! (My favorite is to brown ground lamb or beef with salt, pepper, and garlic, then sprinkle it on top of the soup.) This soup is soup-er (sorry!) easy to make—just let it simmer while you go about your business.

Machacado and Eggs | meljoulwan.comMachacado and Eggs

Cookup Tips: The downside of Breakfast for Dinner is also part of its appeal: you can’t really make eggs in advance, but this dish is ready in a flash! This is super delicious and comforting as all get-out.

Recommended Sides: This tastes really great with Classic Diner-Style Home Fries, Crispy (green) Plantains, and Pan-Fried (yellow) Plantains. You can boil the potatoes and plantains in advance, so when you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is fry ’em up.

Beef Stew Provencal | meljoulwan.comBeef Stew Provençal

Cookup Tips: This is another great one to make on the weekend and eat all week. I love to have stew for breakfast: it’s warm, comforting, and very filling—guaranteed to help you power through your morning. And this is one of my all-time favorite recipes; I’ve been making it since my college days. I made a batch of this for my family on the day before Thanksgiving and it was a massive hit.

Recommended Sides: A fresh tossed salad is the best with this—and maybe the Ranch Dressing listed below. The flavors of the herbs are very complimentary.

Chinese Five-Spice Pork Ribs | meljoulwan.comChinese Five-Spice Pork Ribs

Cookup Tips: I love a recipe that’s basically, “Plug in the slow cooker.” These ribs are not much more complicated than that, and if you make a lot, you’ll have luscious meat to use in other dishes all week. Like this! Or this.

Recommended Sides: I think the only real option is Cauliflower Rice and a salad (butter lettuce, cucumbers, red bell peppers, pumpkin seeds) with Zingy Ginger Dressing.

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)

Paleo Ranch Dressing | meljoulwan.comRanch Dressing

Cookup Tips: Make this during your Cookup and add flair to your meals all week. It’s great salads, sure, but you can also drizzle it on hot vegetables or a roasted chicken breast, plop it on a bunless burger, and use it as a dipper for roasted sweet potato wedges.

Treat (Not at all Whole30 compliant)

Dark Chocolate Pecan Bark with Sea SaltDark Chocolate Pecan Bark with Sea Salt

Holiday Treat Alert! This is neither Paleo nor Whole30, but it has zero crappy ingredients, it’s delicious, and it’s fast/easy to make if you need a treat for last-minute guests or a hostess gift. The nice people at the Santa Barbara Chocolate Company sent me some of their bulk chocolate pellets so I could try them (delicious!) and play around with them in the kitchen (fun!)

I decided to keep it simple because when the chocolate is that good, it doesn’t need much help. I melted a 9-ounce package of the chocolate in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between zaps; it took about 90 seconds. I added a few handfuls of pecan halves to the bowl then stirred with a rubber spatula to coat the nuts. I put a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, spread the chocolate-nut lava in a single layer, and let it cool for about 1 minute, then I sprinkled it with coarse sea salt and put it in our mud room. You might want to use the fridge if you don’t live somewhere chilly like I do.

When it was cool (and solidified), I broke it into chunks and our dinner guests fell on it like a pack of hyenas. It was a pretty huge success, and I recommend the chocolate from Santa Barbara: it melted like a dream, it has a whollop of deep chocolate flavor, and it’s organic with no junkie ingredients.

For a non-food holiday treat, enjoy this Literary Advent Calendar from Book Riot. It’s a new Christmas-inspired story, poem, or other literary delight every day in December. 

A Recommendation for You (Whole30 compliant)

Paleo Cincinnati Chili | meljoulwan.comCincinnati Chili

Cookup Tips: Prepare for future food emergencies! Make a batch or two of Cincinnati Chili, divide it into BPA-free containers, and sock it away in the freezer for the day when Healthy You—who wants to eat something deliciously paleo—comes in conflict with Holiday You, who wants to eat All The Cookies.

Want to get a notification of my “5 Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week” sent to your email every Thursday?
Sign up here!

Need more detailed Meal Planning help? All of the Well Fed recipes are available on Real Plans! Real Plans also makes an excellent gift!

Paleo (Whole30) Gifts From The Kitchen

My favorite part of the holidays is making festive food and joyously eating it with the people I love. And that hasn't changed since I...

Read More
Tuesday 10: Tips For A Holly Jolly Christmas

My road to the holidays was paved with good intentions, but I took a detour when I was run over by the flu. I meant...

Read More


  • rodman says:

    i tried your persian-spiced winter vegetable soup. it was fantastic. i had no idea paleo could be so yummy. thanks. i will be back often. i hope you don’t mind if i share with my FB audience.

  • JF says:

    New to Paleo and your website, blog, etc. Neither myself nor my husband like anything coconut related. What’s best to use as a substitute for coconut oil/milk?

    • If you’re not completely avoiding dairy, you can use yogurt. If dairy is 100% out, there’s not really another great option. You *could* try almond milk, but it won’t be as thick as coconut milk and you need to make homemade if you’re being very strict paleo because the commercial brands can include a lot of junk. Recipe for homemade here; do not use any added sweetener, just almonds and water:

      You might want to try a curry or other recipes made with coconut milk just once; they really don’t taste like coconut, IMO. Good luck!

      • JF says:

        Yogurt would be okay, can take it in small doses! We drink unsweetened almond milk and could try using that as well and may give the coconut milk a try. Not that strict on the paleo, just looking for new, healthy options. Thanks so much for your response