10 Easy Yet Delicious Weeknight Paleo (+Dairy) Dinners

Luke and I have a pretty good routine going in terms of keeping our house going. I do the laundry, he takes the trash out, I do the cooking, he does the dishes. We like to eat at home usually, so I am cooking on average six meals a week. When we were first married, I definitely felt a bit overwhelmed going from only cooking once a week or so to cooking every night.

I quickly devised a strategy to help me get through the nightly cooking grind: keep it simple, don’t spend a lot of time on prep, but make it taste delicious. I created an excel spreadsheet with all my go-to meals and collapsed the ingredients for grocery shopping underneath. So when I need to meal plan for the week, I can just reference back to the list and copy/paste the ingredients I need to buy into an email.

Usually for Sunday Supper Series on this blog, I post fancier recipes I make on special occasions (like on Sunday, duh), but I thought it might be beneficial for some of you if I shared my list of easy, go-to, weeknight dinners.

Now keep in mind, we are Paleo (+ dairy), so these recipes lean that way. But even if you’re not Paleo, they’re super yummy. Oh and these are just main dishes. I typically will pair these with a vegetable of choice cooked in grassfed butter and topped with a lot of sea salt.

10 Easy Yet Delicious Weeknight Paleo (+Dairy) Dinners:

1. Pulled Pork Over a Sweet Potato: Cook a pork shoulder in the crock pot overnight and through the next day. “Pull it” apart and top with bbq sauce. Serve over a baked sweet potato.

Pulled Pork over sweet potato

2. “Spaghetti” and Meat Sauce: Spaghetti squash cut in half and baked for 45 mins at 375. Scrape with a fork to make noodles. Top with ground grassfed beef with your marinara sauce of choice.

3. Salmon with Bacon & Blue Cheese: Pretty self-explanatory, salmon topped with blue cheese and strips of bacon. I will cook the bacon in the microwave under a paper towel for a minute before adding it to the salmon so it crisps in time. Bake at 350 for 35-40 mins.

4. Roast Chicken: Place small potatoes in the bottom of a baking dish (that has a lid). Top with whole chicken legs seasoned with salt, pepper and rosemary (you can also marinate the chicken in buttermilk for four hours beforehand). Top with lemon slices. Bake for 35 mins with the lid on in a 375 degree oven. Take the lid off, turn the temp up to 425 and bake until the chicken skins are crispy and the lemon is blackened, about 15 more mins.

Easy roast chicken

5. Creamy Shrimp & Asparagus: chopped asparagus cooked in butter until soft. Add thawed frozen shrimp, cook until pink. Add two heaping spoonfuls of store bought pesto (look for a kind in olive oil, not canola oil). Add two tablespoons of heavy cream. Mix and serve over rice.

6. Lamb chops w/ Cherries: lamb chops seasoned with rosemary (fresh or dried). Baked at 350 for 45 mins. Top with frozen cherries cooked in a sauce pot with butter.

7. Skirt Steak Roll Ups: Skirt steak topped with pesto, goat feta cheese, roasted red peppers and red pepper flakes. Rolled up and baked at 350 for 45 mins.

8. Fireside Stew: Put a beef shoulder roast in the crock pot with rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder and some pre-cut butternut squash. Cook overnight and through the day on low. Serve over rice adding some of the juice on top.

beef and butternut squash stew

9. Pork Chops w/Apples: Pork chops seasoned with paprika, baked at 350 for 35-40 mins. Top with chopped apples cooked in butter with cinnamon.

10. Steak & Onions: Slice an onion and cook it on the stovetop in butter for a hour, stirring occasionally until caramelized. Baste steaks in grassfed butter and minced garlic. Grill or pan-fry your cut of steak (we do the pan-fry method with our cast iron pan). Let the meat rest for 5 mins and serve with onions.

Bonus! Any of these Paleo-approved crock pot recipes: on Nom Nom Paleo or Paleomg. 

Those are just some of my go-to weeknight meals. I currently have about 50 in my “database,” so I’ll post more later if you want. What are your easy weeknight meals of choice?

Easy Chipotle Raspberry BBQ Sauce

Many of you know that Luke and I follow the Paleo diet. This means we eat a lot of local, grassfed meats. And my favorite way to eat meat? Slathered in homemade BBQ sauce of course.

About a year ago I searched the web for a better-for-you BBQ sauce recipe that didn’t include a heaping pile of brown sugar or flour. I landing on this recipe for Chipotle Raspberry sauce on Budget Bytes Blog and haven’t looked back.

This sauce in total makes enough to BBQ two meals and is about 10 minutes prep time and 45 minutes cook time. I have been making it almost weekly and using it on baked chicken thighs, crock pot brisket, grilled ribs and more.

It has a spicy chipotle flavor with a slightly sweet raspberry after taste. It is nice and thick and really coats whatever you put it on. We pretty much always have some in our fridge.

Chipotle Raspberry BBQ Sauce Recipe:


  • Half yellow onion diced
  • Three cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Place butter, diced onion and minced garlic in a sauce pan to cook over medium-high heat until onion is translucent
  2. While onion is cooking, remove two chipotle peppers from the can and chop it. Reserve two tablespoons of sauce along with the chopped peppers.
  3. Add tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, chopped chipotles and sauce and one cup raspberry jam. Mix well.
  4. Simmer for 45 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  5. Let sit for 5-10 minutes off the heat so it thickens before using.




Chipotle raspberry bbq sauceThat’s it! So easy. Last night I opted to put my sauce on pulled pork I made in the crock pot and served over a baked sweet potato.

BBQ pulled pork over a sweet potato




Soooo yummy. In fact, I think I’ll go eat some left overs for lunch right now. :)

If you try this recipe, leave a comment and let me know what you think! Have a great weekend everyone.


Pumpkin Dream Cake

I have been craving a pumpkin dessert recipe and when I saw one for “Pumpkin Dream Cake”  on Pinterest, I decided that was it! Unfortunately, this recipe used ingredients we don’t eat like Cool Whip, pumpkin pudding mix and flour. So I decided to make my own healthier version using real cream, canned pumpkin and a coconut flour/pecan crust.

Paleo pumpkin cake

This cake is ridiculously yummy. Fluffy, soft, with a delicious taste of fall pumpkin flavor.

The Crust:
The original crust was made with flour and pecans to taste like a pecan sandie, so I was excited to find a very similar grain-free pecan crust recipe on Paleospirit.com.  I didn’t make any changes to this recipe and thought the crust came out great. Very sturdy, moist and a slight pecan flavor.

Ingredients for a 9×13 pan:

  • 1 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecan halves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 tablespoons chilled pastured butter or coconut oil (I used butter)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (I just used powdered sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Combine the coconut flour, 1/2 cup pecan halves, fat (either pastured butter or virgin coconut oil), coconut sugar and salt in food processor and pulse until combined and pecans are finely chopped
  • Add the eggs and pulse until a dough is formed. If your dough isn’t “wet” enough, try adding another egg
  • Spread the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of a greased 9×13 inch pan and top with some powdered sugar (optional)
  • Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until crust is set
  • Cool completely (I put mine in the fridge while I made the other ingredients)

grain free pecan crust

Cake Layers


  • 3.5 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 16 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • Two cans pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling. You want the unsweetened stuff)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or some cinnamon, nutmeg and clove
  • 1/2 – 1/5 cups powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you like it. I used minimal sugar and thought it was delicious)


  • Beat heavy whipping cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar (or however much you want for taste) until smooth and creamy
  • Place whipped cream in a separate bowl
  • Beat cream cheese and 1.5 cups whipped cream until smooth. Add some powdered sugar if it’s not sweet enough for your taste.
  • Spread cream cheese mixture on top of the crust. Make sure the crust is totally cool or the heat will melt the whipped cream.
  • Next, mix the two cans of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup whipped cream and spices until smooth. Spread over cream cheese layer. (here’s what the canned pumpkin we use looks like from Trader Joe’s)
  •  For the final layer, just top the cake with the rest of the whipped cream until smooth and top with a sprinkling of nutmeg for looks.

We really enjoyed this dessert and will be making it again soon. It went too quickly! (probably because Luke took an entire row to work for his lunch lol).

Check out the original recipe on sweettreatsmore.com. 

Happy fall!

Paleo Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Last week I was in the mood for shrimp fra diavolo. With lemon, parmesean angel-hair pasta. This was one of my favorite “pre-paleo” meals. Now that I’m grain free, I was looking for a way to recreate this dish sans pasta.

Luckily my favorite Paleo cook book “Paleo Comfort Food” had a recipe I adapted to meet my craving. It’s called a “shrimp skillet” in the book, but that’s not quite descriptive for me. How about “Shrimp & pepper & tomato & onion & feta-goodness skillet?” No? Ok, I can live with “Paleo Shrimp Fra Diavolo” :) Here we go.

Shrimp Skillet Ingredients:
– 2 lbs peeled, deveined shrimp
– 1 medium onion
– 1 red bell pepper
– 5 garlic cloves, minced
– olive oil
– 2 tlbs fresh chopped oregano
– 1 lemon
– Feta cheese
– 4 medium tomatoes
– Red pepper flakes

Lemon Parmesan Pasta:
– 1 spaghetti squash
– 1 lemon
– Container of Parmesan cheese
– Olive oil

First, put the shrimp in a medium bowl. Add the minced garlic, chopped oregano, zest of the lemon, juice of the lemon and two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix and let marinate for 15 minutes.

While you wait, slice the red pepper into long thin strips and set aside. Do the same to the onion. Cook the pepper and onion in some olive oil in a skillet until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. During the cook time, chop the tomatoes into large pieces and clean out the “wet” seedy part so just the tomato meat is left behind.

Once the onion is translucent, add the shrimp and the marinade to the pan and cook just until the shrimp is pink. Then add the tomatoes and cook just until the tomatoes are warm. Top with feta cheese and a bunch of red pepper flakes.

This dish can stand alone as it’s own meal, but if you want to tackle the lemon parm “pasta” I mentioned, here’s the recipe for that. It’s SUPER easy and tastes just like the tangy, cheesy pasta I remember from my grain-eating days.

Prick holes in a spaghetti squash and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for one hour. Remove the squash from the oven, cut it in half, remove the seeds and then scrape with a fork to make “pasta.” Add the juice of one lemon, 1 tablespoons of olive oil and a cup of Parmesan cheese. Mix and serve.

Here’s the final product:

Really yummy and really easy for a week-night meal. Enjoy!