Who’s ready for a fresh start to the year?
To inspire you to kick off 2014 with some deliciously healthy eats, over the course of January, I’m going to lay out four weeks’ worth of lip-smacking, nourishing grub. And don’t worry if you’re on the straight-and-narrow this month—I chose recipes of mine that should fit into any Paleo template, whether you’re on a short-term dietary reset like the Whole30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox, or you’ve settled into an everyday real-food approach.
Before we get started, I should point out that this isn’t meant to be a meal plan. In these posts, I won’t be telling you what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you certainly shouldn’t feel compelled to make every single thing listed (though you certainly can, if you feel like it!). Instead, I hope that some or all of these recipes will strike your fancy, and spark ideas about other dishes you can make this month and beyond. My goal is simple: to inspire you to cook and eat Paleo without sacrificing flavor or fun.
So with that out of the way, here are my picks for Week One:
This simple Asian-inspired appetizer is a crowd-pleaser that never disappoints—even when the “crowd” consists of just me and my boys.
As you go through January—heck, as you go through life—you’ll find that you need ghee, and plenty of it. Trust me on this.
You’ll need mayo, too. And making it with an immersion blender is even easier, so what are you waiting for?
And since we’re on the topic of flavor-boosters, why not make yourself a batch of homemade sriracha—the kind that isn’t loaded with unpronounceable preservatives? Sriracha is, after all, a delicious blessing flavored with the incandescent glow of a thousand dying suns.
Need to warm yourself from the inside-out? This wonderfully spicy Ethiopian chicken stew should do the trick.
On finger-numbing winter evenings, there is nothing better in this world than a bag of freshly-roasted chestnuts. I repeat: nothing.
Mango + Avocado Salsa on Pan-Seared Salmon
I know we all like to stress the importance of seasonal eating, but sometimes, a little taste of summer can make you forget about the chill—at least for the few minutes you spend savoring this dish.
World’s Best Braised Cabbage
It’s called the “World’s Best” for a reason.
Pressure Cooker Braised Kale and Carrots
Pressure cookers aren’t just good for making rice and beans! (Want to learn more about pressure cooker history? Check out this post—and yet another of my recipes—here.) Give this a go, and you’ll be hooked on how easy it is to whip up quick vegetable sides in no time flat.
Oven-Braised Mexican Beef
Last but not least, this hearty recipe is a year-round family favorite, featuring tender chunks of Mexican-spiced beef stew.
Bonus: If you need more inspiration to get in the kitchen, my friends at Whole9 have compiled a bunch of fun videos that’ll transform you into a kitchen ninja in no time. Check it out!
Happy New Year, and get cooking already!
(And here’s January Jumpstart: Week 2!)
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).