Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #103

As you’re reading this, my husband David and I—with two additional helping hands, thanks to my awesome niece who’s visiting for the summer—are shooting the food photos for our meal planning project that will be released in October. We’ve been at this cookbook thing since late 2010, and we finally have our food styling and photography process nailed down. Prepping for this project and looking ahead to what’s next kind of led me to take a look back, too.

We shot the original Well Fed on weekends because I still had a full-time dayjob. Dave would buy the groceries on Friday, then all day Saturday and Sunday, I’d cook and he’d set up the shots… in our driveway in Austin because we couldn’t get the flood of natural light that we wanted inside the house. (Austin is HOT so the house was positioned to avoid too much light coming in. Great for keeping cool; terrible for making photos.)

We borrowed plates, bowls, spoons, cutlery, and textiles from neighbors, co-workers, and friends when we’d exhausted our own stash. We had a rickety card table that we’d drag around to different positions in the driveway, backyard, front yard, and—toward the end of the day, when dusk was falling—in our neighbor’s yard across the street. We got this photo of Waldorf Tuna Salad by placing the apple slices on a small IKEA stool that I held up in the air to catch the last light of the day. And in the background of this Ras el Hanout photo, you can see one of the big terra cotta pots in our backyard that came along with our house.

Now we’re shooting in our living room in Prague!

We have a (new) rickety card table and a small collection of mismatched plates that we scavenged at a flea market, IKEA, Tesco, and the “It’s free!” zone by our recycling bins. Our tiny Euro-style fridge is barely holding all of the containers of food we prepped for the photos, and tonight—and throughout the weekend—we’ll eat the “model” food we shoot today and tomorrow.

This week’s collection of recipes represents the evolution of my blog and all three cookbooks: Well Fed, Well Fed 2, and Well Fed Weeknights. Thanks for coming along with us on this cookbook adventure—have fun in the kitchen!

Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)

Deconstructed Gyro Salad | meljoulwan.comDeconstructed Gyro Salad

Cookup Tips: Make the dressing, cook the lamb, and chop the vegetables in advance, then when it’s time to eat, just reheat the lamb, assemble your salad, and dig in.

Recommended Sides: This recipe includes protein, veggies, and fat, so you don’t need to add a thing.

nullBasil Coconut Curry

Cookup Tips: Curries taste great fresh and on day two, and this comes together quickly, so you can make it during your cookup or throw it together on a weeknight at dinner time.

Recommended Sides: You’ll probably want a batch of Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice, and it’s also delicious with a side of the cucumber salad I included in the Tod Mun Chicken Cakes recipe.

Chicken Pesto Meatballs | meljoulwan.comPesto Chicken Meatballs

Cookup Tips: This also tastes even better after some time in the fridge, so you can make the whole shebang during a Cookup and eat it later in the week. It’s also great for freezing!

Recommended Sides: You can serve these on top of Zucchini Noodles—prep the zucchini in advance: julienne it, sweat it, rinse it, pat it dry, and place in fridge until you’re ready to eat— or Spaghetti Squash roasted during your Cookup.

Banh Mi Bowl

Cookup Tips: Make the mayo and cut all the raw veggies and herbs; store everything in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, stir-fry the pork and build your bowl.

Recommended Sides: None needed! This is a one-bowl wonder. (Although the addition of cauliflower rice is not a bad idea.)

Paleo Pizza Noodles

About the Recipe: These zucchini noodles are topped with a quick, homemade Italian sausage, plus pepperoni, jalapeños, and olives—and they’ll make you feel like you can conquer the world.

Cookup Tips: Spiralize and sweat the zucchini noodles. Precook the ground meat with the spices and pepperoni. Make the sauce. Store everything separately in airtight containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and stir-fry the whole shebang.

Condiments (Whole30 compliant)

BestStir-FrySauceEverBest-Ever Stir-Fry Sauce

Cookup Tips: You can make this during your Cookup in under 10 minutes, and it stays fresh in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. That means you can make a simple stir-fry in less time than it takes to order take-out.


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