Five Paleo Dinners to Cook Next Week #93

A smart, funny friend of mine (Hi, Z!) recently reminded me that the character Sergeant Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon—played by the amazing Danny Glover—says in all four movies:

I’m too old for this sh*t!

Since I turned 50 on May 1, that got me thinking about how much fun it would be to start acting like the cranky old lady I’ve always truly wanted to be. So here is a (partial) list of the sh*t for which I am (happily) too old:

— worrying about the number on the scale
— following along with any level of Kardashian nonsense
— finishing books that are not delighting, entertaining, moving, or informing me
— spending time with people who don’t share my values
— having any kind of business meeting during a meal, especially with strangers
— procrastinating on important self-care tasks (I’ve received two different messages about the need for my first colonoscopy. Yikes!)
— believing that self-care is indulgent or that meditation is tedious
— deprivation dieting, mean self-talk, comparing myself to others, carrying anger

I’m sure I could go on, but these are some good ones, no? And I encourage you, no matter what your age, to make your own list of sh*t you’re just not going to abide any more. Why wait until you’re 50?!

And now: food. I’m am also too old to just wing it where daily meals are concerned. These recipes are a boredom-busting mix of hot, cold, smooth, crunchy, spicy, and savory. Happy cooking!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

kale-salad-1Lemon-Maple Kale Salad

Cookup Tips: This needs protein for a complete meal; I really like it with pork chops or loin, or oven-roasted chicken thighs. You can wash and cut the kale, and make the dressing in advance, then massage the kale and toss with dressing just before eating.

Recommended Sides: When you add protein, this recipe includes the triumvirate of protein-veggies-fat, so you don’t need anything else!

Paleo Mexican Meatza | meljoulwan.comMexican Meatza

Cookup Tips: Just in time for Cinco de Mayo! The Meatza can be baked for the first time in advance, then just before eating, add the toppings and do the second bake.

Recommended Sides: This tastes really great with Crispy (green) Plantains, or a salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing. Plantains can be boiled and smashed during a Cookup, then crisped in a pan just before your meal. The Cumin-Lime Dressing tastes fresh for about a week, so you can make that in advance, too!

West African Chicken Stew from Well Fed 2

Cookup Tips: This tastes great straight off the stove and after a few days in the fridge, so you can make it up to 5 days in advance. It also freezes pretty well, so think about a double batch. It tastes really great on a bed of Cauliflower Rice; you can turn the head of cauli into rice in advance, then store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.

Recommended Sides: Cauliflower Rice! And maybe a sprinkle of crushed Savory Granola (recipe below).

 Chicken Nanking from Well Fed 2

Cookup Tips: Start the marinade process during your Cookup and cook the chicken the next day. You can also prep the veggies and sauce in advance and store covered in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.

Recommended Sides: You will definitely want to serve this on a bed of Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice. You can grate the raw cauliflower into rice during your Cookup, then cook it just before eating.

Yucatan Green Chile Sauté from Well Fed Weeknights

About the Recipe: This recipe was inspired by the crazy-good food we ate on a trip to Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It comes together really quickly, so it’s great for a dinner when you’re yearning for something comforting and fast, and the leftovers taste great topped with fried eggs or mixed into a scramble.

Cookup Tips: Rice the cauliflower, prepare the spice blend, and make the sauce in advance; store everything in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, begin with the “Cook the meat” step.

Nibble (Whole30 compliant)

nye_snackSavory Paleo Granola

Cookup Tips: This can bake in the background while you’re prepping the rest of your Cookup, and you can keep it whole, as pictured, or crush it in a food processor to make “Magic Dust.” I like to sprinkle a little of this on salads to add crunch—or on top of soups like this Sweet Potato or Golden Cauliflower.

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