Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #83

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m a woman who loves a theme, but the through-line of this week’s recipes is not much of a theme at all. It’s basically, “things that just taste really good.”

There’s no shame in being delicious.

In addition to being very satisfying and full of flavor, these recipes are a practical mix of easy and fast (Fried Chicken Meatballs and Reykjavik Salmon Salad from Well Fed Weeknights), slow and easy (Chocolate Chili and Classic Paleo Beef Stew), and a little bit of a project, but totally worth it. Hello, Kibbeh Sinayee!)

Please, do yourself a favor and make a batch of the Go-To Vinaigrette! It adds life to standard salad greens, and it’s a happy-punch-in-the-face of flavor for cooked veggies, chicken breasts, and all manner of leftovers.

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Fried Chicken Meatballs with Collard Greens

This recipe is from my new-ish Well Fed Weeknights, and I actually did a bunch of research to find the Colonel’s secret recipe from Kentucky Fried Chicken to figure out the seasonings in the coating. I think it worked! Cooking time? 30-35 minutes.

Cookup Tips: Season the ground chicken and form the meatballs. Prep the fried chicken coating. Wash and cut the collard greens. Store everything separately in airtight containers in the fridge, then follow the directions for cooking the meatballs and greens.

Chocolate Chili | meljoulwan.comChocolate Chili

Cookup Tips: February 26 is National Chili Day so please celebrate accordingly! 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.

Recommended Sides: I like it on top of spaghetti squash, then topped with avocado and even a drizzle of Southwest Cumin-Lime Dressing.

Reykjavik Salmon Salad |meljoulwan.comReykjavik Salmon Salad

Cookup Tips: Cook the eggs and make the mayo in advance. If you really want to go for it, you could also slice the cucumbers and store them in a plastic bag or covered container in the fridge.

Recommended Sides: This is complete as it is, but some cooled, boiled potatoes would be a nice addition.

Kibbeh Sinayee

Cookup Tips: This recipe improves with age, so I recommend you cook the kibbeh during your Cookup, then when you’re ready to eat it later in the week, cover the pan with foil and reheat in a 300F oven until it’s hot. (Handy trick: To see if casseroles and meat dishes like this one are hot in the middle, stick a knife in the center then feel it with your finger tip. If the knife is hot, so is your food.)

Recommended Sides: This is awesome with Cauliflower Rice, Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, Turkish Chopped Salad, Lebanese Onion & Parsley Salad, or a simple salad as shown in the photo with Tahini Dressing.

Classic Paleo Beef Stew | meljoulwan.comClassic Paleo Beef Stew

Cookup Tips: This tastes even better after a few days in the fridge, so you can make it up to 5 days in advance. It also freezes great, so think about a double batch.

Recommended Sides: The stew has everything you need, but if you want to add more veggies, you could throw some raw baby spinach in the bottom of the bowl, or make a crisp green salad with creamy Ranch Dressing.

Condiment (Whole30 Compliant)

Go-To Vinaigrette

Cookup Tips: This dressing adds zing to just about anything! Salads, yes, but also steam-sautéed veggies, bunless burgers, oven-roasted potatoes, and your favorite broiled fish. It tastes fresh for about a week, so you can make it in advance and drizzle it with abandon on your meals all week!



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  • Carrie S. says:

    I absolutely LOVE your Chocolate Chili recipe, and in fact, made it last week since the temps in Southern California finally dipped below 65 degrees!

  • Elena says:

    Mel, can you please create breakfast salad recipes ? We are tired of fritatas, but I am not a creative cook ( sigh !) . Thanks.

    • I will definitely keep that in mind! For now, here are some ideas to get you started…

      Smoked Salmon: This is like a cocktail party platter for the morning: smoked salmon, a few hard-boiled egg wedges, cucumber and tomato slices—all drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar—with a and a handful of grapes or berries.

      Put an Egg On It
      Start with a bed of spring mix, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and your favorite vinegar, then add a few poached eggs, roasted red bell peppers, slivers of Italian salami, and fresh cracked pepper.

      Steak & Eggs, Revisited: Make a chopped salad of spring mix, diced leftover steak, slivered red cabbage, a few raisins, and pecans. Dress with olive oil and cider vinegar, and top with a medium-fried egg.

      BLT Salad: Dice iceberg lettuce and toss with diced avocado, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and scallions. Dress it with my “Good Seasons” Italian Dressing and a small dollop of homemade mayo.

      Hot rice, cool toppings: Place hot cauliflower rice in a shallow bowl and top with diced avocado, scallions, and leftover chicken. Sprinkle with coconut aminos, a little melted ghee, and sesame seeds, then top with fried or poached eggs—or slices of hard-boiled eggs. Sstir it all together before eating for a mix of textures and temperatures.

      Buongiorno: Slice prosciutto, tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves and arrange them in a shallow bowl. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then season with salt and pepper. Add medium-fried or poached eggs on top, then poke the eggs so the yolks run into the ingredients below.

      Berry Nice Morning
      Start with a blend of romaine lettuce and spring mix, then top with blueberries, sliced strawberries, crumbled bacon, leftover steak/pork chop/chicken (p. ##), and sliced almonds. Dress with Champagne Vinaigrette (p. ##) or Smoky Peach Vinaigrette (p. ##)

      Autumn Harvest
      Top a bed of butter lettuce or spring mix with diced cooked sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and ground turkey (p. ##). Top with Smoky Peach Vinaigrette (p. ##) or Go-To Vinaigrette (p. ##).

  • annemie says:

    my husband and I want to start with the whole30, but breakfast seems to be the hardest… we almost never have breakfast, so what’s the easiest recipe to change this habit?