30 Minute Meatballs & Red Sauce (paleo, Whole30)

What?! Meatballs in marinara sauce in under 30 minutes? Blasphemy! Well, I’m here to tell you it can be done. It won’t be a leisurely 30 minutes puttering around the kitchen, but it can totally be done if you have a craving and not much time to satisfy it.


30 Minute Meatballs & Red Sauce (paleo, Whole30)

Quickie Tomato Sauce

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1/4 onion
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. granulated garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. + water
1 Tbsp. grass fed butter

In a medium pan over medium heat, add the tomato paste and stir to break it up some. While the pan comes up to temperature, slice the onions wafer thin and halve the cherry tomatoes, dropping each into the pan and stirring as ready. When the paste starts to sizzle (a little scorching here is ok), add the water and spices. Stir to combine, drop the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently and adding water when things get too dry (I ended up adding two batches of 1/4 cup each) about 20 minutes. Add the butter and stir to distribute.

This would be fantastic with wine, but since wine is a Whole30 no-no, I had to forego. If you are using wine, sub in 1/4 c. for half the water in the first addition.

Quickie Meatballs

1/2 lb. grass fed ground beef
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley and basil – the ratio is up to you
1-2 cloves garlic
1 egg (optional)
Salt & pepper

While your sauce is doing its thing and trying to burn (seriously. stir frequently or you will end up with a hot mess), address the meatballs. Break off about a third of the meat and get into a medium pan. Brown, breaking into small bits as you go. Add to a bowl with the rest of the beef, the herbs & garlic which you’ve chopped, salt and pepper. You might want to add an egg, too. I didn’t and my balls were fine; but could have been less dense with an egg. The browned meat helps alleviate some of the denseness as well. Don’t forget to salt & pepper. Form into 6 balls and sautee over medium heat until browned on all sides.

And there you have it – a long lunch/quick dinner meal that’s satisfying, meaty and hits (at least for me) the right ‘comfort’ spot. And obsession button. I got addicted to ‘red gravy’ this past winter and have never looked back. To be fair, my talented DH started this addiction years ago with his spaghetti, but since I don’t eat pasta any more, I’ve been eating meatballs & sauce like they’re going out of style.

Serves 1 for lunch with enough sauce left over for ‘pizza burgers’ the next day.

Caramelized Peach, Chicken & Tomato Salad with Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette (paleo, Whole30)

Yum. Yuuuuummmmmmmm. Y-U-M. This salad is frickin delicious. On a random Tuesday, I was craving grilled peaches but was too lazy to bust out the grill for a quick lunch, so tossed some peaches along with some cheater roasted chicken from Trader Joe’s and this dish was born. Peaches + heat is a match made in heaven. Why have I been eating them straight all these years?! (oh yeah, because peach juice running down your chin is one of summer’s great touchstones)


Caramelized Peach, Chicken & Tomato Salad with Sriracha Lime Vinaigrette (paleo, Whole30)

1 breast roasted chicken (or about a fourth of a package pre-roasted olive oil & black pepper sliced roasted chicken from Trader Joe’s)
1 peach
1 tsp. fat of choice (I’ve used both pork fat and coconut oil, and I must say the pork fat was a touch better here. big shocker)
1 c. (or about a third of a pint) grape or cherry tomatoes
A hand full dry toasted pecans
1 scallion
A few leaves fresh mint
A few leaves fresh basil
Juice of half a lime
1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
2 tsp. Whole30 sriracha (aka: food of the gods)
Big fat finishing salt

Cut your peaches and chicken into bite-sized pieces while you’re waiting for a medium pan over medium high to reach temperature. Add a teaspoon fat of choice to the pan and follow with the peaches. Sautee, stirring a minute or two and add the chicken. Continue cooking, stirring every minute or two to prevent too much burning until the peaches are caramelized and everything smells heavenly.

While your peaches + chicken are doing their thing, slice the scallions and herbs thin and add to a large bowl with the pecans. Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sriracha, grapeseed oil and lime juice.

When the chicken & peaches are done, add to the large bowl. Toss with the dressing and finish with a sprinkle of big fat salt.

Serves 1 for lunch – there may be growling.

Sweet, Spicy & Earthy Potato Lunch

Yet again, I have no idea what to title this recipe. It’s a sweet/spicy/earthy/savory pile of sausage goodness heaped on top of a baked sweet potato, and it’s delicious. I made this one day for lunch with a leftover baked sweet potato that came with whatever lunch I ordered Monday from the healthy delivery place, some sausage I didn’t use with last night’s dinner (more on that later), and some of my emergency freezer greens. Dead simple, wholly satisfying, and damn nutritious.

A note on sausage: Buy the best you can. If your town has a butcher, get it there. Your belly will thank you. I grew up eating sausage from the grocery store – I didn’t even know butchers still existed and that they were places I could actually visit – and since I discovered that they a: do exist, and b: are more than happy to help you, I’ve never looked back. Fresh sausage made from good ingredients is a million times better than the mass-produced crap stuffed with fillers you find with a brand on it. Except Neese’s (and to a lesser extent Bass) – if you’re from the south, you know what I’m talking about. That stuff is delicious. When we lived in Miami, my favorite sausage (that I didn’t make myself) was the hot Italian from Laurenzo’s. Now that we’ve made the move to Brooklyn, we have fallen in love with Fleisher’s. Fleisher’s makes better sausage than either my hubbs or I do, and from top quality ingredients – a win-win no-brainer. Don’t think your town has a butcher? Hit Google. I’m willing to bet it does, especially if your town has European immigrants (even “generic” immigrants that have been here for generations). Got Italians? You’ve definitely got a butcher. Eastern bloc peeps? Yup, butcher. Germans? Poles? Old people? Rednecks? Hunters? Anybody that likes traditional style foods? Butcher. Hipsters? Definitely a butcher. Even Whole Foods makes sausage, and it isn’t half bad. Not as good as sausage from a business that has been making it for forever (or a new up-and-comer that thinks outside the box), but still better than something made in a huge factory with a label.

Sweet, Spicy & Earthy Potato Lunch

Paleo, gluten-free & loaded with nutrients

Half of a baked sweet potato
1 tsp. coconut oil
1/2 c. frozen broccoli raab
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 stem rosemary, diced
1 sausage, slipped free from it’s casing
1/4 onion, thinly sliced
Big pinch chili powder
Big pinch curry powder
Sprinkle chipotle powder
Salt & pepper to taste

In a medium skillet over medium heat, put your sausage on to cook, breaking it up as you go. Add the onions and sautée until everything is nice and brown. Set aside.

Set your broiler to high and place the sweet potato half a few inches from the heating element (5-6 inches) to reheat.

If your pan is dry, add the coconut oil. If you still have some sausage fat, use that instead. Add the broccoli raab and sautée until well thawed and beginning to brown, adding the garlic about halfway through. Salt & pepper to taste.

By now, your potato should be warm and just starting to turn golden at the edges. Pull it from the oven and sprinkle with the chili powder, curry, and chipotle powder. Top with the broccoli raab and sausage.

Serves 1 for lunch