Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #76

I know everyone across the Atlantic is gearing up for Thanksgiving—and I have some helpful posts coming for you tomorrow to help you prepare—but we’re celebrating a little early over here in Prague. On Saturday, it’s St. Martin’s Day!

It’s a celebration of Saint Martin of Tours. He was born in Hungary, but became a Roman soldier—and was later baptized and became a monk. Eventually he was ordained the Bishop of Tours, France, and his shrine became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

According to legend, he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying from the cold. He is, therefore, the patron saint of beggars (see: sharing his cloak); wool weavers and tailors (see: the cloak, again); soldiers; vintners and innkeepers (because his feast day falls just after the late grape harvest); and geese.

It’s these last two with which we’re mostly concerned: wine and geese.

The revelry part of Saturday’s holiday is all about Svatomartinské víno, a young wine from the recent harvest, and roast goose. Another St. Martin legend claims that when he wanted to evade becoming a bishop, he hid in a goose pen and he was betrayed by the honking of the geese. I guess his goose was cooked.

Sorry. That was so terrible.

Anyway, I’ll probably skip the wine but will gladly go for the goose.

Here are a bunch of comforting, easy-to-make, nourishing meals to help you get through the week with the help of a pastron saint. A lot of the heavy lifting of making these recipes is done in the oven and the slow cooker so you can relax and enjoy this quiet time before the holiday season swirls through your life confetti and snowflakes.

A loving recommendation for you: There’s a sales pitch below to encourage you to cook a batch (or a double batch) of Chocolate Chili and put in the freezer for future meal emergencies. I can pretty much guarantee that sometime between now and, say, Christmas, you’re going to need something fast, tasty, and paleo. Give yourself the loving gift of Chocolate Chili!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Paleo Osso Bucco | meljoulwan.comSlow Cooker “Osso Bucco” Stew

Cookup Tips: This tastes awesome on days 2 and 3, and it freezes well, too. It’s comforting, easy to make, and requires very little commitment from you. Throw it in the slow cooker during a Cookup or just plop the ingredients into the slow cooker before bed; by morning, it’s stew!

Recommended Sides: Mashed Cauliflower is pretty nice underneath—and a salad with Zingy Ginger Dressing or Creamy Italian would be delicious alongside.

Paleo Caesar Salad | meljoulwan.comCaesar Salad

Cookup Tips: You’ll need to add protein to this to make it a complete meal: roasted chicken or poached shrimp are both good options. (Use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or canned salmon to make it über-easy.) You can make the dressing, cut the lettuce, and prepare your protein in advance, then assemble before eating. When I make this on weeknights, I just skip the croutons, but if you want to make them, I recommend you prep the dough in advance, then bake them just before eating.

Recommended Sides: None required… yay!

Plantain Nachos | meljoulwan.comPlantain Nachos

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.

Scotch Eggs | meljoulwan.comScotch Eggs

Cookup Tips: You can boil the eggs during your Cookup and mix the meat with its seasonings, then roll and bake them just before eating for maximum crunch. Or prepare them completely in advance and reheat before eating. Either way, they taste great.

Recommended Sides: You can be responsible (Mustard-Garlic Brussels Sprouts), playful (Sweet Potato Fries), starchy (Classic Diner-Style Home Fries), or crispy (Simple Red Cabbage Salad). You might also make a quick dipping sauce of homemade mayo mixed with mustard. The Brussels sprouts taste best when roasted just before eating and the cabbage salad tastes best when it’s fresh. But you can prep both the sweet potatoes and white potatoes in advance, then do the final cooking when you’re ready to eat them. Mayo can be made during a Cookup and used all week.

Italian Sausage and Eggplant Strata | meljoulwan.comItalian Sausage and Eggplant Strata

Cookup Tips: This tastes better when you don’t eat it right away, so make it during a leisurely cookup, cover it tightly with foil, and slide it into the fridge for 3-4 days. When you’re ready to eat it, reheat in a 300F oven, covered, until hot—or cut it cold into pieces and reheat in a non-stick skillet on the stovetop. (It’s also great diced and mixed into an egg scramble.)

Recommended Sides: This is really nice with Simple Lemon Spinach or Zucchini Noodles with olive oil and garlic.

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)

Lizard Sauce | meljoulwan.comLizard Sauce

Cookup Tips: Make this during your Cookup and add zing to your meals for weeks! It’s great on Plantain Nachos, sweet potatoes, a bunless burger, grilled/roasted chicken, and even as a dipping sauce for Scotch Eggs.

Treat Bonus Veggie Recipe (Whole30 Compliant)

Roasted Carrot-Caraway Soup

Cookup Tips: This is usually the space where I recommend a little paleo treat, but this week, I encourage you to make Roasted Carrot-Caraway Soup instead—and eat about 1/2 cup each day. The holidays are coming! Now is an awesome time to get lots of veggies into your body. Make the soup with bone broth to give yourself a super-healthy gut—Kettle & Fire Bone Broth is my favorite.

A Loving Recommendation for You (Whole30 compliant)

Chocolate Chili | meljoulwan.comChocolate Chili

Cookup Tips: What’s a more thoughtful gift to yourself than spicy, mellow, rich, comforting, just-pull-it-out-of-the-freezer-and-heat-it Chocolate Chili?! Make a batch or two, divide it into BPA-free containers, and sock it away for future dinner emergencies.



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  • Lynn Curlett says:

    I FORGOT about the Chocolate Chili and it is one of my five top favorite things from all three of your cookbooks! Everything is here and ready for the weekend. I’m so happy to wake up to this post. Have a good weekend Mel and endless thanks for these weekly posts.