A Month of Whole 30 Dinner Ideas

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When it comes to embarking on any nutritional challenges, the big question becomes WHAT THE HELL AM I GONNA EAT? In my opinion, the challenge of this is all relative to how you are currently eating and how much you like to cook. With the Whole 30 I can see how it could seem daunting. Honestly though, I think it’s just a matter of organizing your recipes. This has been my number one strategy.


Dinner has to get on the table nightly anyway, right? Might as well cook up some deliciously Whole 30 compliant food! One of the first things I did when I decided to do the Whole 30 was to grab a calendar and pick out 30 recipes I have eaten in the past and loved or recipes that made me excited to cook in the future. It helped with the WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO EAT anxiety. :)

Now, I’m not trying to ignore breakfast and lunch — uh…we definitely eat them around here. :) But for me those are more routinized meals. For breakfast I’m making Easy Frittatas on the weekend (no cheese, obviously!) and serving with some fruit or spaghetti squash, or I do my standard hard boiled eggs with fruit or vegetables. Those work for me and are SIMPLE. I can’t whip up 3 fresh meals per day — I work full time, hit the gym multiple times a week, run this website and OMG NEED TO SLEEP!

For lunch I’m mostly sticking to salads with protein I cook up in batches (grilled chicken, browned ground beef) and homemade vinaigrettes (no honey during the Whole 30 though!) or I enjoy my dinner leftovers. So let’s get to the fun stuff. Let’s talk dinner! It’s 30 days, let’s make these meals good!

Day 1: Chocolate Chili over spinach with avocados and green onions. I add a little extra kick to this since Garrett enjoys his food MOLTEN LAVA HOT.
Day 2: Thai Green Curry over Cauliflower Rice Curries are so easy you almost don’t need a recipe. Simmer your favorite meat and veggies in a coconutty broth, pour over cauli rice and enjoy!
Day 3: Baked Salmon with Basil Walnut Pesto Yep, Garrett has agreed to eat some salmon for this month and we’ve got a freezer stocked full of it and a garden overflowing with basil. Match made in heaven.
Day 4: Apple and Bacon Rosemary Pork Burgers I love a good burger…just call me the Paleo Rachael Ray — I could have a burger every night and never make the same one.
Day 5: Herb Topped Tri Tip Steaks with Sauteed Radishes Meat + Radishes are such a winning combo. And even though I LOVE raw radishes, sauteeing them just does a little something. I definitely recommend.
Day 6: Ginger Chicken Two great tastes and all that :)
Day 7: Moroccan Chicken Despite never being able to spell it correctly the first time, I have never had a recipe with Moroccan flavors disappoint!
Day 8: Masala Chili with Kale + Kohlrabi Chilis are great to make batches of on the weekend. This one is uniquely flavored and uses two of my fave veggies: Kale and Kohlrabi.
Day 9: Deconstructed Gyro Salad Another make ahead weekend recipe and the greek flavors are refreshing!
Day 10: Grilled Lamb Chops with Chimichuri served with a side salad and some grilled veggies doused in oregano olive oil. I freaking LOVE little mini lamb chops but never make them for myself. Let’s remedy that, STAT.
Day 11: Mexican Meatza I’ve made this so many times and love it more and more every time I do. It pairs well with a tomato and cucumber salad. Crispy, spicy, refreshing, delicious.
Day 12: Mexican Hash Egg Bake Breakfast for dinner is always fun, but you gotta spice it up a bit!
Day 13: Baked Mustard Lime Chicken If I can’t have honey mustard chicken, then this recipe will have to do!
Day 14: How about a crockpot meal? I mean, it’s been 2 weeks, treat yourself to some laziness in the kitchen already!
Day 15: Mexican Chicken Lime Soup Make it up on the weekend, eat it all week!
Day 16: Apple Dijon Burgers topped with Caramelized Onions + A Fried Egg What did I tell you about burgers. Love. Just make sure your dijon does not have wine or sugar in it!
Day 17: Southwest Meat Loaf I’m sorry, I would anything for meat loaf. (But I won’t do that! OOOOOOOOH NO.)
Day 18: Bison Sweet Potato Chili – Dreamy! And not gamey! I swear.
Day 19: Turkey Satay Burgers — get your sweet and spicy fix in burger form.
Day 20: Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs with Creamy Pesto Everyday Paleo can do no wrong, right?
Day 21: Rogan Josh Indian food is amazingly flavorful. And this dish is no exception.
Day 22: Paleo Pad Thai Because after 22 days of clean eating you might have a hankering for fast food. (Ok probably not.) Regardless, this will taste better.
Day 23: Crockpot Asian Style Carnitas Listen I would eat trash can style carnitas. I love pork! But these are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than that!
Day 24: Caramelized Italian Pork Chops with Sweet Onion Jam This is an absolute favorite in our house. YUM!
Day 25: Crockpot Brazilian Chicken Curry Juli’s recipes are always fun and sassy! This looks like a great mix of flavors with easy preparation.
Day 26: SB+J Burger served with some BBQ 3000 sweet potato fries and some veggies. I’ve never made this, but I’m a fan of the Peanut Butter and Banana style Elvis Burgers. OMG. Can’t wait to try this.
Day 27: Roasted Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup This has amazing flavor and warmth. Plus it is rich and hearty and easy to make!
Day 28: Bo Kho – Brisket with Lemongrass I love me some brisket and never miss an opportunity to make some!
Day 29: Moroccan Zucchini Boats – Get rid of that overflowing zucchini from your garden! And I still can’t spell Moroccan right.
Day 30: Ok, there HAS to be some leftovers right? You’ve done a lot of cooking! Tonight you are having “mustgo.” As in EVERYTHING IN THE FRIDGE MUST GO.
Day 31: Mexican Food. Juuuuuust kidding. Just wanted to see how many of you actually got down this far. :)

****

Ok…here is where you come in, you all. Lots of us are doing this challenge together, so drop some recipes in the comments of your favorite Whole 30 compliant dinners. I’m talking Quick Dinners, Simple Dinners, BBQ Dinners, Fancy Dinners for Guests. You name it! Let’s help each other out!

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27 comments to A Month of Whole 30 Dinner Ideas

  • Lauren
    August 2, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I’ve seen that Chocolate Chili recipe alot. Chocolate? Yes. Chili? Yes. Together? It scares me.

    • Holly
      August 2, 2012 at 9:47 am

      It’s so good, I swear! It’s not a sweet chocolate, so the cocoa powder just gives it some depth. It’s unique for sure, but not strange I promise.

    • Jen
      August 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      I agree with Holly! I’ve made the Chocolate Chili before and it’s really tasty. Doesn’t taste a thing like a Hershey bar but its a different take on chili

  • Linda Sand
    August 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

    We cook pretty simple stuff. The best I can think to offer you right now is Meatloaf Burgers. One pound of ground beef, one egg, one can water chestnuts (finely diced), some minced dried onion, salt & pepper all mixed together and shaped into four patties then cooked just like hamburgers.

  • EMZ
    August 2, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I really like this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo. Make cauli-rice for soaking up the juices: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/4207543396/damn-fine-chicken

    I’m having a great time following your links to a bunch of new yummy blogs, so thx for that!

  • angela
    August 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Thank you so much for this Holly! I’ve done a couple Whole30s in the past, but lately have been doing a few Whole7s and Whole14′s. I’d join you but I’m on vacation later this month. Very excited to read how it goes for you. Thanks again, this list is AMAZING!

  • Chloe
    August 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

    That looks like a super delicious line up !!

    We make these very tasty salmon patties every week. Just canned wild salmon, eggs, dill, salt and pepper. No nut flours at all. Cook them in coconut oil (3 minutes per side), come out crispy and delicious! I think Everyday Paleo has a recipe that I sort of tweak each time I make them. Hope your first day went well !

  • Kelly
    August 2, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for the shout out! I hope that you like the Ginger chicken :)

  • Emily
    August 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Are you really cooking dinner ever night??? i’d be overwhelmed if i tried. my strategy is to plan 3-4 dinners/week and evaluate the supply of leftovers mid-week and add meals as necessary. Tonight is leftover night and i’m pretty happy about it. Dinners have been relatively easy this week, but i’m glad to have the whole evening to do whatever i want (clean, work on a project, or just plot down on the couch and watch Olympics!). Cheers and good luck on your Whole30!! I’m on day 39 of Whole100

    • Holly
      August 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      You know, I will definitely cook 30 different meals, but I do a lot of cooking/prepping on the weekends so mostly it is just some mini assembling on the weeknights. I LOVE leftovers so I never really mind just reheating something like you say. I mean…there are VERY ATTRACTIVE MEN IN BATHING SUITS RACING EACH OTHER on tv and stuff, right????

  • Tiffany Precissi
    August 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I totally pinned this.

    A favorite of ours lately has been a garlic/ginger/chili pepper infused pork dish with charred green beans served over cauliflower rice. Nom nom nom.

  • sizzle
    August 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Excuse me while I go pin ALL OF THESE.

  • mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry
    August 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Holly this list is awesome! I found you via Chowstalker’s facebook page and I’m so glad I did! Following you by email and liked you on facebook! I’m doing the Whole 30 this month too and that Mexican Meatza is definitely going on my list of things to try, along with some others! For me breakfast has to be easy but still delicious! I’m most excited about my Whole 30 friendly cereal recipe that I make in big batches and eat with almond milk! http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/2012/07/cinnamon-faux-st-crunch-cereal.html

  • julie
    August 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    wow, you are freaking organized. i love it. i’m doing the ol’ whole30 too this month. good luck!

  • Jamie
    August 3, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Dude. This is an awesome post. Saving for future reference!

  • noblepower
    August 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    First of all, thank you for that list – it’s fantastic, and I’m totally going to try every one of those that I’ve not tried before. You’ve listed a few of my favortie recipes.

    Secondly, yummy paleo food ideas. Ever since I tried Nom Nom Paleo’s sweet potato hash, I’ve been in love. serious love. Put a couple of sunny up eggs on it, and it’s perfection. I tend to save it for weekend brekkie – I could marry it.
    Also, out of Melissa J’s Well Fed, the “zoodles” recipe. That’s not what she calls it, but it’s the zucchini noodles. Great way to use some zukes, freakin’ delish, totally flexible. I just had it for dinner last night with cooked chicken breast shredded and tossed on the top.
    In fact, I have a few more zucchini loitering in my fridge – I may need a re-do tonight. OOH, or maybe make a paleo Cinncinati chili by making that Chocolate Chili and putting it on zoodles . . . OMG, I am SO doing that.

  • Whole 30 – The First 5 Days
    August 6, 2012 at 9:06 am

    [...] asked me the other day if I was really going to cook all 30 recipes in this post? In reality, I probably will not get to all 30. But for me, that list was more of a strategy to keep [...]

  • Jesabes
    August 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    With you doing all the planning for me, I just might be able to do something like this! The only hard part would be ignoring all the food we’d still keep in the house for the kids (like cheese).

  • Denise
    August 7, 2012 at 7:30 am

    This is amazing. I keep making unhealthy choices and never manage to quite do Whole30. I’ve done Whole15s before, and a Whole7, but I seem to get stuck at week 3, when it’s time to go out with friends or my boss brings in lattes. This list is fantastic.

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    August 9, 2012 at 8:13 am

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  • Weekly Stars | j. Frances Design :: Jillian Frances Withee
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  • Sarah
    August 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    love this!! Thanks for sharing everything!! :) I am doing my second Whole 30 challenge right now and found you via pinterest while looking for new recipes! Im about to start sharing abouy my journey on my blog as well. Look forward to reading more from you!! good luck!!

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