paleo lunch foods


Salmon with Blistered Tomatoes 

Hey! I have missed all of you so much. Though I’m not returning with a full start to finish recipe, I did some cooking, and I definitely waned to share with all of you – especially since I brought my camera out. I also wanted to let all of you know that I regularly update my instagram. My profile is bakingwithbooks


1.5 lb skin-on salmon cut into three portions 

Seasoning blend for salmon: kosher salt, black pepper, Herbs de Provence, smoked paprika, hot paprika 

One pint mixed (orange and red) cherry tomatoes, rinsed and stems removed 

Olive oil 

½ large shallot, sliced or roughly chopped 

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 

Fresh parsley, roughly chopped 

Kosher salt and pepper 

Strawberry balsamic dressing (found at Whole Foods)


In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, drizzle a fair amount of olive oil and add in the shallots and garlic and let them sweat and infuse into the oil. 

After about 1 minute, add in the tomatoes, season generously with salt and pepper and allow them to blister for about 3 minutes. 

Remove tomatoes to a bowl. 

Add a little more olive oil to the pan and place the salmon skin-side down into the pan, searing for about 2 minutes. 

Flip and continue cooking for about 4-5 minutes. 

Add back in the tomatoes and add in a small amount of strawberry balsamic. 

Remove from heat when salmon is finished (should be moist and still slightly pink). 

Serve while hot. 


How to Eat Paleo as a single person on about $5/day

This is super off topic for this blog, but…

I did this for about a year in college. Last night at the LGBTQ center we were talking about healthy eating and I mentioned it, and was challenged to bring in a shopping list/meal plan detailing what I had done.

What I consider Paleo: I lived on my own version of paleo, which I called “Functional Paleo.” I defined this as “no grain, no dairy, no legumes, no refined carbs, and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.” It is not organic, the meat is not free range, and I did not use coconut or other substitute flours for anything (except when cooking for my parents or special occasions). I bought very few things that had multiple ingredients, but didn’t concern myself too much with small amounts of soy or sugar (like in the tuna, stewed tomatoes, or condiments).

My other caveat is that I had (and continue to have) an Aldi near me. All prices cited are Aldi prices as they exist today (though prices can be similar at other value food stores like Marc’s and Save a Lot). You can actually do paleo significantly cheaper than this if you have to, but this level provided enough variety for me to not flip my kitchen table on a regular basis. This is what I did personally.

***Items listed are “Per Week” unless otherwise specified***


  • Eggs- 2 dozen, about $1 (Aldi eggs cost anywhere from 20c to $1.29/dozen, usually on the lower end of that with a limit of six dozen per costomer. I used 50c/dozen here as a good average)
  • Meat- 2lbs of either chicken breast, stew meat, or chorizo, about $8 (get the middle-range (Never Any! brand) chicken, its the same price as the low range if you factor in that the low range has 15% broth in it by weight, which will cook out anyway).
  • Tuna: 2 cans, packed in water, about $1.40


  • Sale veggie- 2 pkg, about $3 total
  • Cauliflower- 1 large, 1.79
  • Broccoli- 1 bag, 1.50
  • Stewed tomatoes- 2 cans, $1 total
  • 3lb Onions- $1.50 (every other week)
  • 3lb Sweet potatoes- $2
  • 10lb Russet potatoes- $3 (once per month)


  • Sale fruit- 2 or 3 pkg, about $4 total
  • Canister Prunes or Raisins- $3 
  • Frozen fruit of choice- $2


  • Whole raw almonds- 1pkg, $5


  • Dark Chocolate- 1 large bar, $1.50
  • Tea- 100 tea bags, $2 (once in a blue moon)
  • Instant Coffee- 120 cups worth, $3 (once in a blue moon)
  • Olive or sunflower seed oil- $3 (once per month or so)
  • Salt- one large canister iodized or box kosher, $2 (literally once per lifetime)
  • Condiments (I excepted these from paleo rules for my own sanity) mayo, ketchup, pickles, mustard, etc…- $1-$2 per item (once in a blue moon)
  • Dried spices- $1 each (get a good blend for about $2-$3 at Wal Mart or collect them separately and make lots of your own $1/spice) (once in a blue moon)
  • Vinegar of choice- $3 (once per month or longer, depending on how much you like vinegar)
  • Bouillon cubes- $2.50 (once in a blue moon)

Assuming you’re starting with an utterly bare cabinet and you buy all of the “once in a blue moon” and “once per month” items on your first trip (including condiments and spices), your initial investment will probably be about $50-60. After that first week, assuming you keep to the intervals outlined here, it should average a little less than $35

Meal Prep Tips:

  • Boil most of the eggs, leave a couple for if you like fried eggs occasionally or want to make banana-egg pancakes. You can easily take boiled eggs in a lunchbox or eat them with prunes or raisins for a quick breakfast.
  • The prunes/raisins and almonds were and still are my go-to easy breakfast.
  • Grate the cauliflower- steam it with salt, oil and spices as a side later or mix it with the crumbled chorizo for a 1-bowl meal
  • Cook the sweet potatoes and regular potatoes ahead of time. There are lots of ways to do this and they are all delicious. They are also easy to pack in a lunch box.
  • Hard veggies like carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and broccoli are AMAZING when tossed in olive oil, salt, and spices and roasted or broiled.
  • Cook and pull the chicken (easiest in a pressure cooker but you can also boil the crap out of it too). Makes it super versatile. You can make like 10 different things with it and they will all feel different. No more plain chicken boob for you!
  • Stew with the stew meat, any veggies (including onions and potatoes) and spices will give you many easy future meals and can be made with just about anything you’ve got (throw the stewed tomatoes in this too).
  • Tuna salad (with oil and vinegar and spices if you’re really feeling paleo or mayo, onions and pickles if you’re me) and leftover roasted veggies make a great lunch.

Spicy Chicken & Sweet Potato Bowl

protein packed and freaking delicious. 


2 lbs chicken breast, cut into chunks 

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 

Seasoning blend: granulated onion, granulated garlic, ground ginger, Hawaiian lava salt, Mexican oregano, cumin, sweet paprika, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and chili powder. 

Bowl ingredients of your choice. I used purple cabbage, sweet peppers, Roma tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, lime, and Whole30 compliant taco sauce or salsa of your choice. 

Safflower or coconut oil for cooking. 


Par-cook your potatoes for about 5 minutes in the microwave until they are fork tender. When ready, crisp in a pan with a small amount of oil. Use some of your seasoning blend to season the potatoes. 

Heat oil over medium heat. Once hot enough, cook chicken chunks and season liberally.  As a matter of preference, you can cook the chicken in the sauce or just add it at the end. 

Once potatoes and chicken are both done, assemble bowl however you’d like.


Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Boil 6 half peppers till tender. The microwave at your job will cook it the rest of the way

Make 1 ¼ cups of brown rice

Dethaw 3 cups Beef TVP crumbles

Prep 3 cups of chunky spaghetti sauce. I used my homemade sauce. See “recipe” 2 weeks ago. Can’t tag it in this damn app. Ugh sorry..

Mix ½ cup brown rice + ½ cup sauce + ½ cup crumbles. Pour into pepper half.

I didn’t top this with cheese. I kinda like… forgot to buy it. Lol

Cover. Freeze. Ready at 5am wake up. Microwave for 4-5 minutes.

Macros: 282cal, 41.3 C, 6.5 F, 13.8 P, 496.5mg Na, 717.3mg K

And that concludes my nightly broadcast. I’m gonna crash now! Lol night fitblr SexyButts!


BakingWithBooks Does Whole30 - Red Curry Shrimp with Cashew Broccoli Slaw & Homemade Almond Sauce 

I was craving something spicy with peanut sauce (and Whole30 says no peanuts) so almond sauce it was. 

Ingredients for Curry Shrimp 

Jumbo shrimp (the amount is up to you), peeled, deveined, tail off

Red curry paste mixed with a small amount of light olive oi 

Kosher salt and pepper for seasoning 

Ingredients for Almond Sauce 

¾ cup almond butter 

½ can coconut milk (unsweetened) 

2 tsp red curry paste

2-3 pitted Medjool dates 

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 

Pinch of kosher salt 

Water - to thin it out to your desired consistency 

Additional Ingredients

Broccoli slaw

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Cashews, chopped


Marinate shrimp for approximately 30 minutes. While shrimp is marinating, prepare your sauce. 

In a large bowl, combined all of the ingredients except the dates and water. Taste and adjust the flavor before adding everything to a blender, adding 1 date a time until you reach the desired sweetness. Use water to thin out the sauce to your desired consistency [though it should not be runny; it should be just thick enough to dress the slaw] 

Heat a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the shrimp until they start to gently curl. Do not overcook or else the shrimp will become chewy. They are done when they turn pink and the flesh is white. 

Toss your sauce with the broccoli slaw, add in chopped cashews for crunch. Top with your shrimp, another drizzle of almond sauce and serve. 

Can easily be made vegetarian or vegan by omitting the shrimp! 



Sweet Potato Spaghetti & Meatballs 

can be made vegan or vegetarian without the meatballs 

Ingredients for Meatballs 

1 lb ground turkey 

3 cloves grated garlic

¼ minced yellow onion

1 egg (completely optional) 

Seasoning blend - 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp granulated onion, 12 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground rosemary, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and a pinch red pepper flakes

Ingredients for Tomato Sauce 

14 oz crushed tomatoes 

¼ minced yellow onion

1 tbsp Italian seasoning 

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Few tbsp of olive oil

Parsley or cilantro for garnish 

Spiralized sweet potatoes


In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs together and form into large meatballs – should form 8 large balls or about 12 smaller ones 

Heat a few tbsp of olive oil in a large, deep skillet or cast iron pan. 

When the oil has come to temperature, place the meatballs into the pan and brown on all sides 

Add in the crushed tomatoes and onions and season. 

Submerged the meatballs in the sauce and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, covered with a lid 

Remove the lid, push the meatballs to one side of the pan and add in the spiralized sweet potato – warming it by tossing in the sauce 

Plate, garnish, and serve


Jumped on the salad in a jar bandwagon! I usually hate salads (they’re cold and hard to eat), but I was really craving fresh fruits and veggies while doing meal planning yesterday.

In the jar:
- Tessamae’s Lemonette Dressing
- Chicken, baked with salt, pepper, thyme, and lemon slices
- Cucumbers
- Strawberries
- Blueberries
- Spring mix

I would’ve added walnuts or almonds, but I’ve succumbed to the family tree but allergy.


BakingWithBooks Does Whole30 - “Tandoori” Roast Chicken with Coconut Curry Sauce and Cucumber Tomato Salad

This is a Whole30 compliant version of Tandoori chicken. It is by no means authentic because there is no yogurt, and I don’t have a tandoori oven, but trust me when I say that the flavor is incredible. 

Ingredients for the Chicken 

1 whole chicken - about 5-6 lbs 

2 tsp chili powder 

2 tsp paprika 

2 tsp turmeric 

Equal parts: ground ginger, garam masala, granulated onion and garlic

1-2 tbsp tomato paste 

Juice from a lime 

1 lime, quartered, 2 whole cloves garlic, and ½ onion for stuffing inside 

Extra virgin olive oil and more kosher salt and pepper 

Kitchen twine for tying the legs

Ingredients for the Coconut Curry Sauce 

½ of a 13.5 fl oz. can of coconut milk 

1 ½ tbsp red curry paste 

2 sprigs of mint, finely chopped 

Juice from ¼ lime and ¼ lemon

½ tsp kosher salt 

2 pitted dates 

Directions for Chicken 

Clean the chicken, removing any giblets and kidneys from the inside and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. 

In one bowl, mix the chili powder, paprika, turmeric together. Add just enough lime juice so that mixture becomes a paste. 

Make gashes (not deep) in the chicken skin and slather the paste all over the bird. Each part of the bird should be covered. If you need more paste, feel free to make more. 

Marinate in the fridge for about 2 hours. 

Make another paste (without lime juice) with the garam masala, ginger, granulated garlic and onion with the tomato paste. This is going to give the chicken incredible flavor along with the intense red color that Tandoori chicken is known for. 

Slather this paste all over the front of the chicken and return to marinate for another hour. 

Remove the chicken from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for about 30-40 minutes, and preheat your oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Season the inside of the chicken very generously with kosher salt and pepper. Stuff it with the lime, onion, and garlic, and tie the legs with kitchen twine. 

About 5-10 minutes before your bird is ready to go into the oven, heat extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat. You want it to sizzle when a dash of water is added. 

Once the oil is heated, add the bird, breast-side up into the skillet and let sear for about 4-5 minutes. 

Place into the oven to roast. Take it out when the breast meat reads 155 degrees Fahrenheit and the thigh meat reads about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Let the chicken rest before carving for about 20-25 minutes. Make the sauce while you’re doing this. 

Directions for Coconut Curry Sauce 

Combine all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. 

Strain through a fine sieve to remove any lumps. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your likeness. The sauce is meant to be rich, slightly spicy, and very faintly sweet. 

Garnish with cilantro. 

The cucumber and tomato salad is lightly dressed with sea salt, pepper, red vinegar, and light olive oil.

Carve your chicken and serve.