Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #57

Today’s lesson in Czech class focused on ordering food and drinks in restaurants—a topic in which I am passionately interested. For homework tonight, we have to write a restaurant scene with dialogue between a customer (host) and server (číšník or servirka).

You guys, I’m so excited about making up my pretend Czech restaurant menu!

There will definitely be a soup course and some beer snacks and dessert. I mean, it’s my pretend meal, so it may as well include a creamy soup and crispy schnitzel and a decadent dessert that’s all magically paleo (because it’s all imaginary).

In other exciting news, I bought tickets today to see The Cult at The Roxy here in Prague. The last time I saw The Cult was with my brother in 1985. I think it was in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and I was seventeen years old. The Cult were supporting their Love album (She Sells SanctuaryRain | Revolution) and opened for Billy Idol. I know exactly what I was wearing: black oversized t-shirt, leopard-print capri tights, black mini skirt, black high-top Converse, and about a billion black jelly bracelets. I could very possibly wear the exact same outfit on July 2.

What?! (Cože?!) It’s always the ’80s in my imagination (where Czech food is paleo, and I speak the language effortlessly).

Here are paleo/Whole30 recipes you can cook next week that are truly tasty and easy-to-make—no imaginative flights of fancy required. But you are welcome to rock out to The Cult in your Converse while you cook.

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Yuca Fries & Cuban Meatballs

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! For the yucca, boil it during your Cookup, then bake at the same time as the meatballs for an easy sheet pan dinner.

Recommended Sides: A side of leafy greens is a good idea, and if you might want to blend a batch of Lizard Sauce for dipping! (Special thanks to the fabulous Steph Guadreau for the photo of the Yuca Fries.)

Chicken Paillard with Onion-Pepita Relish

Cookup Tips: This is so fast, you don’t need to do anything in advance. How awesome is that?!

Recommended Sides: This recipe from Well Fed Weeknights includes veggies and protein in one, but if you want to add another veg on the side, parsnip fries would be pretty awesome.

Piña Colada Chicken

Cookup Tips: This recipe takes only about 35 minutes to prepare, so I recommend you make it “to order,” but you can get a jumpstart during your Cookup by making the Jerk Seasoning and cutting up the chicken and veggies. When it’s time to eat, all that’s left to do is stir-fry and simmer.

Recommended Sides: Fill the bottom of a bowl with Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice or Zucchini Noodles to soak up the luscious sauce.

Oven-Fried Salmon Cakes

Cookup Tips: These hold up great in the fridge and reheat (and freeze) beautifully, so they’re perfect for Cookup action. Mix homemade mayo with grainy mustard for a quick, delicious sauce.

Recommended Sides: Veggies that can be made in the oven are nice because you’ve already got the oven going, so how about Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice, Sweet Potato Fries, or Mustard-Garlic Brussels Sprouts?

Egg Foo Yong

Cookup Tips: This recipe is pretty much made from leftovers, so if you cook chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp during your Cookup, you can toss it into an Egg Foo Yong patty with whatever leftover veggies you have on hand.

Recommended Sides: You can stick with the Asian theme and cook up a batch of Cauliflower Rice, or do a diner-style mash-up and make some Home Fries or Sweet Potato Fries instead. You can do prep on all the veggies for sides during a Cookup, then finish them at dinner time.

Something Soothing (Whole30 compliant)

Czech Garlic Soup

Cookup Tips: Yes, it’s true: I’m the weirdo that likes to sip hot soup even when it’s hot outside. What can I say? It’s comforting, and it’s a good way to get a daily dose of bone broth. Let this soup simmer on the back of the stove during your Cookup, then enjoy a mug every day. Try it for breakfast!

Something Creamy (Whole30 compliant)

Ranch Dressing

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



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  • Tana Fairley says:

    Hi I am fairly new to the paleo ways…..I have tried unsuccessfully (except for two times) to do the mayo in my blender. I don’t really know what I have done wrong except maybe its the blender being to high powered because the mixture looks like mayo and then wham it turns back into a liquid. I tried to put salvage it by putting it in the fridge to cool but it just doesn’t stay mixed and turns into gloop!! (that’s a word..:)) So what do you suggest?? Help??? Please??? Tana Fairley

    • If you have a Vitamix or another similiar super-powered blender, yes! it’s too much for mayo 🙂 You have a few options: you can use a food processor (if you have one), or a stick blender (my preferred method; works every time), or you can whisk by hand, but this is VERY time-consuming and makes a very soft mayo. If you’re using a regular blender, not a Vitamix or something similar, try reducing the amount of oil you add after the initial 1/4 cup… use 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup. You mentioned that it starts out looking like mayo, then liquifies again… it may be that you just need to incorporate less oil. BUT, if you have a Vitamix or something similar, that’s probably the issue.

      • Linda says:

        I had a hard time to work first making mayonnaise. I took Mel’s advice And splashed up for the cheapest immersion blender I could find at Amazon. Less than $15. Then, I use the pint-size mason jars to make all my mayo. I’m mostly surprised by a) how good the mayo tastes and b) by the fact that I can blow through 1.5 liter bottles of light olive oil as a single person. Shadow, my Black Lab , is incorrigible about begging for mayo.

        • Tana Fairley says:

          I did the immersion blender version and YES!!! it worked. So easy I couldn’t believe it. Thanks everyone for your advice…

      • Tana Fairley says:

        Thank you so much for getting back to me…the stick you put all the ingredients in even the 1 cup oil and then blend it all at once or do you still have to drizzle?

        • Holly says:

          Hey Tana, I make the mayo with a stick blender all the time. I just dump everything into the blender cup at once and mix with the stick blender. This probably isn’t the “proper” method, but it turns out fine for me and it’s SO much faster and easier than using a regular blender. Easier cleanup too!

          Good luck! 🙂

        • Karen says:

          I use a immersion blender, the key for me has been to make it a high sided bowl, rather than the measuring cup that comes with the blender. (I have the Cuisinart). I have not mastered the art of the stream of oil. To answer your question, you do need to stream in the cup of oil. I tried using a food processor once & it was a huge mess!

        • Sophia says:

          Making mayo in a vitamix is very doable, just takes a little practice. First, I find it makes a big difference to take eggs out of the fridge an hour beforehand or place them in a bowl with warm water for about 10 mins so they are at room temp when you blend. Second, yes, you should drizzle the olive oil in very slowly after blending the other ingredients (keep the blender running at high speed). Lastly, I recommend following the online vitamix recipe for best results. Good luck!