Welcome to this week’s Paleo Meal Planning!
When I was growing up, we had special nights for dinner. Tuesday was Tacos, Thursday was Spaghetti, Saturday was usually pizza, etc… You see how healthy all that is?
Anyways, I don’t know if my mom realized she did it, or if it was just a comfortable habit, but it was great knowing what we were having for dinner some nights, and looking back on childhood, dinner times are nostalgic.
There are some common family favorites that you can still enjoy in new ways with your Paleo lifestyle. I’ve chosen a few common family dinner foods and introduced them in fresh ways that are healthy and anti-inflammatory. This week is gonna be like “Mom’s Kitchen – But Healthy”.
You pick your favorites from this week and add them into your weekly meal plan for a predictable and easy meal. Two of them can be made in the CrockPot, so in keeping with the “Quick & Easy” theme from the past couple of weeks, this week should be pretty easy and inexpensive too. After all, most family favorites are made with ground meat, yeah? You might consider trying grass-fed ground meats this week since we’ll be using so many of them. Sure it’s more expensive than grain-fed ground meat, but we aren’t going to be spending a lot of money on other meat options this week so the more expensive cost will off-set your grocery bill. If you can’t afford it, don’t feel bad! Remember, our #1 goal is removing inflammatory foods from our diets. Grains, sugar, and for some people – dairy, are the important things to remove.
Enough of my blabbing, let’s get to it!
I did NOT include breakfast or lunch in the shopping list, so should you choose to make one of these recipes, please don’t forget to add them to the list.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I LOVE oatmeal and it is probably the one thing that I miss most post-Paleo. I have found some fantastic replacements, and this week I cannot WAIT to try Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Paleo “Oatmeal”. Pumpkin anything is my best friend.
So, our family has been a little unimpressed with the pancake options since switching to Paleo. But earlier this week, my favorites, Matt & Stacy from The Paleo Parents posted a just-like-buttermilk-pancakes recipe that blew me completely out of the water. I was skeptical going into the recipe, but holy WOW. They were fluffy, just like IHOP! And tasted AH-MAZING! Want to know the absolute BEST part? The Workaholic completely agreed, and I was instructed to never, EVER make another pancake recipe, EVER. Make absolutely sure you include these in your breakfast routine this week. You would be wise to make a triple batch, throw 2 in a plastic baggie, and freeze them for easy eating after a quick visit to the microwave in the morning. Your kids won’t complain about breakfast, I promise you.
I also mention below a couple of things, like Mini Egg Pizzas that do double dinner and breakfast duty.
I’m buying this cookbook today for Lunch ideas. Since I didn’t include lunch in our shopping list, use the back of the sheet to add in any lunch items you want. I so often use leftovers as my lunch, but I am excited to try something new in this cookbook. It’s only $0.99 so give it a try and we’ll swap our favorite lunch stories!
Right off the bat, you’re going to be like, “WOAH!” when you see the line up for dinner this week. I promise you, these are much healthier options than what you’re used to. So be excited, and use this menu to get your kids and picky spouse on board with the lifestyle.
This Paleo Pizza recipe is actually called “Meatza” because it has a meat crust. I haven’t tried any of the Paleo pizza crusts or cauliflower crusts for our Primal Pizza because we love this one SO much. You can make it without cheese, or indulge in a little primal cheesiness. We have had ours both with and without cheese. I LOVE it with Feta. The most fun part is that you can totally play with the toppings. Serve it with a delicious, veggie-packed salad. It’s GREAT for breakfast the next morning too!
Alternatively, you could make the Mini Egg Pizzas from Eat Like a Dinosaur and serve with a side of roasted broccoli. They are completely cheese-free but your kids will NEVER know. These go like hotcakes in my house, and are a fantastic thing to make ahead for breakfast. The ingredients are very similar, so whichever recipe you choose to make, the shopping list should cover it. Just make sure you have enough eggs if you go with this recipe instead.
A staple in homes across America, it CAN be replaced with spaghetti squash, and not a child in my family won’t eat it. The Workaholic? That’s a different story. But he will eat the heck out of these meatballs from Make it Paleo. You can find the recipe on the Food Lovers’ Kitchen website as well.
Hamburger (Cheeseburger option) Meatloaf
Meatloaf was another staple in our house, and it still is. I make meatloaf muffins on a regular basis. This latest recipe from PaleoPot combines meatloaf with a cheese (or ham-)burger and I DYING to try it. Paleo Hamburger Meatloaf? I’m literally salivating right now. Pickles kinda do that to me. The fun thing about this recipe is that you can pick and choose your own toppings. I WILL be having some Raw Sharp Cheddar in mine this week, but only because a burger isn’t a burger without some cheese. How will you be fixing yours?
This might be our favorite night of the week. I make my own taco seasonings, cook 2lb of ground beef (or ground turkey if you want to shake things up a little bit), mix in the seasonings and 1/3 c of water and simmer for 5 minutes. Get a head of Romaine Lettuce, use the leaves for taco shells, chop up some tomatoes or use a jar of salsa for topping. Fresh Cilantro adds a really refreshing flavor to this too. Or heck, rip some leaves up and have a healthy taco salad.
‘Tis the season for Paleo Chili! This recipe is a little different because it calls for coffee rather than broth. I haven’t made it yet, but I am DROOLING thinking of meat cooked in coffee. I’m a little pressed for time some days so I will be throwing this in my crock pot.
We ate TONS of Lasagne growing up. This Paleo Lasagne is made with zucchini sliced thinly on a mandoline instead of “noodles”. It is completely dairy-free but very robust and deeeeeelicious. Your family will thank you. And you will thank me after I tell you that you can prep this the night before and pop it in the oven 30 minutes before you want to eat. You’re welcome.
Mac & Cheese & Lil’ Doggies
I haven’t made this recipe yet, but I’ve been looking for a Paleo Mac & Cheese recipe since we went Paleo. I still allow my kiddos to have Annie’s Organic Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese, but if I could get them to eat this, it would be worth the extra work. The recipe calls for spaghetti squash for the noodles, but I think I’m going to make mine with zucchini sliced into long “noodles” on my mandoline, then cut into 1″ chunks for a more “macaroni” vibe. If you’d rather make yours with spaghetti squash, make sure you remove 6 zucchini from the shopping list and replace them with 1 spaghetti squash.
What’s Mac & Cheese without some Chili Cheese (if you please) Dogs? These Primal Chili-Cheese Dogs are one of my new favorite foods. They don’t take that long to make and they are flipping DELICIOUS. I left out the Chipotle peppers because of my kiddies, but if you like some spice, add them in. You can do these without the cheese like we did, for a full-on dairy-free delicious meal.