Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #90

This week, we’re traveling back in time to recipes from Well Fed and Well Fed 2. I started my most recent cookbook Well Fed Weeknights back in 2015 and spent the next two years, testing, tasting, re-testing, and re-tasting those recipes—and dishes like Paleo Banh Mi Bowl and Italian Hoagie Salad, from that book, are in regular rotation in my kitchen.

But the recipes in this post are some of my long-time favorites from my first two cookbooks. I can remember the very first time I cooked each of them, fingers crossed, hoping the recipe would come out the way I imagined it. The Belly Dance Beet Salad started out as a contribution to a neighbor’s potluck. The Eggplant Strata is the result of a deeply felt craving for lasagna, and the Scotch Eggs were inspired by reading Elizabeth George novels.

When I’m creating a new recipe, it usually takes at least two or three attempts to get it just right, but the research is not so bad: eating a bunch of delicious food and figuring out how to make it even better?! OK!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

bellydancebeetsalad_wellfedBelly Dance Beet Salad from Well Fed 2

Cookup Tips: This needs protein for a complete meal; I really like it with grilled chicken thighs. This salad tastes better as it sits, so you can make it during a Cookup and eat it within 3-4 days.

Recommended Sides: When you add protein, this recipe includes the triumvirate of protein–veggies–fat, so you don’t need anything else. But you could do double-salad and make a batch of Tabbouleh, too. Make the Tahini Dressing below and drizzle it on the chicken for awesomeness. You might also make a batch of grain-free pita… just sayin’…

fiesta_pork_chopFiesta Pork Chops from Well Fed 2

Cookup Tips: This one really tastes best when you make it fresh, but it’s a fast recipe!

Recommended Sides: I like these chops with green beans (steamed and tossed with ghee), Mashed Cauliflower, or boiled potatoes with ghee. You could also do a simple sauté of wide strips of onion with green and red bell peppers and a pinch of chili powder.

Italian Sausage and Eggplant Strata | meljoulwan.comItalian Sausage and Eggplant Strata from Well Fed

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.

Oven-Fried Salmon Cakes | meljoulwan.comOven-Fried Salmon Cakes from Well Fed 2

Cookup Tips: These hold up great in the fridge and reheat (and freeze) beautifully, so they’re perfect for Cookup action. Serve them with the leftover mayo from the Vietnamese Chicken Salad, or with the Spicy Coconut Mayo below.

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?

Scotch Eggs from Well Fed

Cookup Tips: I know I recommend these often, but they’re so handy, I think you should make them every week! 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. (And if you have Well Fed, don’t forget about all the “You Know How You Could Do That? flavor variations!)

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.

Condiment (Whole30 compliant)

Tahini Dressing

Cookup Tips: Make this during your Weekly Cookup and have it on hand to drizzle on delicious things to make them even more delicious. Try the Middle Eastern variation of Salmon Cakes and top with tahini dressing—or make Chicken Shawarma (ready in about half an hour).



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  • Abby Corbet says:

    A friend has queried, what country would be fun to explore in stories & food?…. Japan leaps to mind, I just read a novel by Keigo Higashino, the food seems essential to the culture. And, well, Japan is an amazing place. But if that is too easy, how about the Ukraine? Lots of ferments, sausages, salads and the like. Don’t know much about the literary life in the Ukraine, so there’s a good challenge. I look forward to learning more!

  • Jim Brennan says:

    Love this group of recipes, Italian Sausage Eggplant Strata always in regular rotation in my household, and the Oven Fried Salmon cakes have gained some fans as I’ve been eating them for lunch at work – several interested passers-by. I’ve recently been shopping on for more thumbs up as I seem to be running out…

  • Kelly says:

    These are some of my faves from your books. The salmon cakes are so so good. And so easy! I like to double the recipe and I’ll reheat a couple and throw them in a salad for lunch. And I have made your eggplant strata maybe 4 times? It’s delicious! It’s been a while since I made the scotch eggs, I should make them again. Thanks for all your inspiration 🙂

    • I’m so glad you like them! There was a time when I was making that strata almost every week and eating it for breakfast… hmmmm… maybe I should go back to that! Happy cooking to you.