These meatballs were inspired by the pastel palette and tropical rhythms of Cuba. Tender and lush with sweet raisins, briny black olives, and savory blanched...Read More
Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #54
We tested a new shopping and cooking routine this week, and it worked like gangbusters! Not only are we eating some of our favorites with plenty of spices, but I did a big cookup this week so meal-time has been much smoother and faster.
I’ve even made friends with my electric stove!
Here’s our new deal: On Friday, I make a meal plan for the following week, then on Saturday, we go to the farmer’s market to shop for ingredients.
It’s such a chore! I mean, the farmer’s market is on the boardwalk (a.k.a., naplavka) along the Vltava River, about two blocks from our house. The view is hideous: Looking north, we can see Prague Castle; looking south we see Vyšehrad. And the people? They ruin our morning by being ridiculously nice and helpful, and by selling delicious, nutritious food at really low prices. It’s practically unbearable. (We’re waiting for our boxes of stuff from the U.S. to arrive,—boxes that include Dave’s good camera. As soon as we’re back in action with the camera, we’ll do a blog post all about the farmer’s market so you can see how truly awful it is.)
On Sunday, I order whatever we couldn’t find at the farmer’s market from a (super affordable) grocery delivery service (where I can take my time and translate things I don’t understand), then Monday, I do a big cookup. Tuesday, Dave goes to the Real Meat Society to buy us handmade, no-junk, grass-fed sausages.
This week, I also explored two (TWO!) Arabic markets that are stocked with spices, Middle Eastern treats, grape leaves, tahini, and all the other goodies I grew up eating. It made me feel so peaceful to find apricot paste.
I hope you have a week filled with delicious food that makes you feel all kinds of content. These are the recipes I made for us this week. Happy cooking!
Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)
Cookup Tips: Meat “dough” can be made 1 day in advance then cooked—or you can cook the meatballs during your Cookup and re-heat just before eating. They’ll stay fresh and tasty for 5-6 days after cooking. They also freeze like champs!
Recommended Sides: Cauliflower Rice is always a good choice—or sauté snow peas in ghee and sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt. A salad of butter lettuce, radishes, and cucumbers with Zingy Ginger Dressing would be tasty, too.
Cookup Tips: You can cook the chicken in advance, then give it a quick heat-up just before eating. Cut up the raw veggies and store in air-tight plastic containers, and blend a batch of the tahini dressing.
Cookup Tips: You can cook the meat, chop the raw veggies, and make the chips in advance—or skip the chips and make a taco salad instead. (Or try Crispy (green) Plantains or Pan-Fried (yellow) Plantains. You can boil the plantains in advance, so when you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is fry ’em up. Dice the avocado just before eating for the best flavor.
Recommended Sides: Keep it simple! Cut up raw veggies—cucumbers, carrots, pepper strips—to eat alongside your nachos. If you’re open to a smidge more work, Cauliflower Rice is nice.
Cookup Tips: Burgers cook so fast, I recommend you cook these just before eating—but you could save time by shaping the patties during your Cookup. The link above takes you to my roundup of delicious burger toppers ’cause there’s nothing better than a “sporty supper.” We made ours from the “Hawaiian” recipe in Well Fed Weeknights—with thin slices of Prague ham, grilled pineapple, sliced scallions, sesame seeds, and coconut aminos.
Recommended Sides: Keep it simple with raw veggies or a tossed salad, or take the classic route with fries: Crispy Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries or Herb Parsnip Fries—don’t forget the Kickass Ketchup! You can prep all the potatoes in advance, then throw them in the oven while you cook the burgers.
Cookup Tips: This can be made over the course of a lazy weekend day, then turned into kickass meals all week long. It requires almost no hands-on work, and it’s crazy good.
Recommended Sides: I know I’ve been pushing plantains a lot lately, but pork+plantains is such a delicious equation. And it’s choose your own adventure: you can go for Crispy (green) or Sautéed (yellow). For Crispy, you can boil the plantains in advance, then crisp-up just before eating. The carnitas are also awesome with the Cucumber-Pineapple Salsa listed below and Cauliflower Rice with your favorite salsa.
Condiment (Whole30 compliant)
Cookup Tips: I got a new kitchen gadget this week that’s a food processor, blender, meat grinder, and mixer all in one! I immediately made a batch of Zingy Ginger Dressing. You can make this during your Cookup in under 10 minutes, and it stays fresh in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. The recipe lists lots of creative ideas for how to put this dressing to good use. (It’s my favorite recipe from Well Fed 2).