One Week Family Friendly Menu

family paleo meal plan
photo courtesy of photobucket

Sometimes we have guest for dinner that are not on AIP/Wahls and we want to please them or show them that we aren’t “so different”. Sometimes we have our own picky kids.  Sometimes we just want some comfort foods like “mom” used to make. Regardless of the situation you are most likely to deal with, I wanted to help you out with a kid and family friendly, crowd pleasing menu for some quick, easy, delicious and home cooked meals that you can make for your family and guests that will keep you on track without them even knowing that you are cooking “special” or “different”.  Here is a menu for an entire week of AIP/Wahl’s compliant meals. I have added some alterations for you vs them in how they are served, but this type of menu will keep you from cooking multiple meals for one dinner. We have enough dishes already, don’t we?

Monday: Salisbury Steak with Onions and Gravy, Mashed Cauliflower and Steamed Carrots. Add a handful of spinach or some sautéed greens for you!

Tuesday: Steak (or steak “fingers”) and Salad With Baked Sweet Potatoes.  Marinate inexpensive steaks overnight for tenderness and cook them on a grill or grill plate.  If you want, you can make steak fingers for the kids (or kids at heart) by dredging them in arrowroot and frying them in a compliant oil.  ( If you are limiting your arrowroot, you may want to leave this option for the kids while you have a steak so that you can have fried fish tomorrow!).  Top the steaks with some sautéed onions and mushrooms or

WednesdayFried Fish and Chips,  Replace the potatoes with Yuca or Parsnips  and season with herbs or plain sea salt.  Dredge the Fish in Arrowroot or Cassava and sea salt.  You can add some herbs if you wish and fry it in a compliant oil, and serve it with some salad.  This is a great time to make some homemade cole slaw.  I suggest either a dessert made of fresh fruit and whipped cream for the others and some whipped coconut cream for you!

Thursday: Baked Chicken with Butternut squash, roasted garlic and salad.  It doesn’t get any simpler than Chicken and Veggies.  Season with sea salt and fresh herbs and no one will notice that there isn’t any black pepper on the bird. Top the squash with some honey and cinnamon, and a big salad.. if you wish, you can serve some rolls for the bread eaters or just make some extra vegetables or roasted potatoes to fill up their starch craving bellies! (note: potatoes are not compliant to AIP or Wahls. This is a suggestion for your guests or other family members or as a reintroduction on AIP)  For extra picky kids, replace the extra veggies with some fruit salad or apple slices and cinnamon.

Friday: Taco night – leave the nightshades “on the side” and saute your meat separate from everyone else’s so they can have taco seasoning like they are used to having (yours can have garlic, onion and cilantro but leave some extra cilantro in case they are jealous!).  Make some nightshade free guacamole and some mango salsa that is made of mango, red onion, cilantro and lime juice.  Have your tacos in lettuce leaves or on top of a bed of romaine. Or have it in a “rice bowl” filled with Lime Cauliflower Rice folded in with the mango salsa! Other options is to take your meat, lettuce and 2 dips and top a plate of plantain chips to make some AIP nachos! party on a plate!

To help you get started, I’ve included the recipe I use for Salisbury Steak.  This is an adaptation of my grandmother’s recipe and includes a low-carb option or alternative to arrowroot based gravy.  If you are on Wahl’s Protocol, arrowroot is limited to once a week and I suggest you pick Wednesday’s Fish night as your arrowroot night as that is the one time where I feel the arrowroot is the best utilized.  The other meals are good without it and you won’t miss out by choosing the alternatives.



2 TO 4 TABLESPOONS OF ARROWROOT STARCH OR ¼ to 1/2 CUP STEAMED CAULIFLOWER (either of these options will be used to thicken the gravy. You can also puree onions)

WHITE OR YELLOW ONION. (any type of onion is useable here including leeks or green onions if that is what you have on hand)

1 PINT OR 2 CUPS OF BONE BROTH. Homemade is great or EPIC brand bone broth may also be used.

2 TABLESPOONS COOKING FAT.  You may use grass-fed beef tallow, coconut oil, ghee or SPECTRUM brand palm shortening.  You may use olive oil if the temperature is kept at medium or below, but this is not suggested.

NEEDED TOOLS: A WHISK if using the arrowroot. A HAND-STICK BLENDER for the cauliflower option, or you can puree it before adding using a FOOD PROCESSOR and then whisk it into the gravy.


In a skillet, melt your cooking fat to keep your beef from sticking.  While it is melting, form your beef into burger patties.  It is ok if they don’t all fit into your skillet but easier on you if they do.  If you would like to add additional seasoning to your burgers you may and should. Minced onion, salt and pepper are great additions as are fresh herbs like parsley.  These are all optional and are only if you would like to do this. Plain is fine.

Brown the patties on both sides and then remove them to a separate plate.  It is unnecessary to cook them all the way through at this point as they will cook more after the gravy is made and that will make them super juicy!

In the skillet, pour the bone broth and let it warm over medium low to low.  After it is warm, add either the arrowroot or the cauliflower.  IF USING ARROWROOT: add gradually using a whisk to blend thoroughly with the broth.  Once you see that it is thickening, stop adding as you don’t want it to get too thick.  IF USING THE CAULIFLOWER:  Add the cauliflower gradually, stirring with a handstick blender to create a puree mixed with the bone broth.  The cauliflower puree will thicken and mix with the broth to thicken it like a gravy but will not add much of a taste.  The added benefit is that it adds a ton of nutrition and helps your body to detox. And you get to sneak in a vegetable without thinking about it.

Next add salt and pepper to taste until your gravy is just how you like it.  After it is to taste, place the burger patties back into the gravy and slice onions into the skillet.  Cover and simmer until the onions are the consistency you like them to be and the patties will also be cooked through.  I suggest leaving it on medium low and if the gravy gets thicker than you like, simply add some water to thin it out.

This is a great comfort meal and both nutritious and economical.  It is fabulous served with mashed cauliflower, some sautéed cabbage, steamed carrots, green beans or any of your favorite comfort food vegetables.  A true family meal that you can feel good about serving your family as it will nourish them body and soul!

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MCJ Chili Recipe and Roundup

In the deep south I do what is called “dump cooking”.  I just dump things together. Since starting the blog, I’ve had to be more conscious about measurements and therefore had more consistency in my results.  This hasn’t been all bad.  Even when I look up a recipe, I don’t follow it exactly but rather “guestimate” measurements or make alterations based on my needs and what is in my kitchen.  I love chili because it is a “dump” recipe every time you make it, even if you follow the directions to a T.  And here in “America” we love our chili and many of us make it as soon as we feel or even think we should feel, the first cool breeze of fall.

I like to make enough to last a couple of meals and I also like to top compliant hot dogs with chili for a “chili-dog” night with a third meal made into a “chili-dip and chips night” using lots of toppings and plantain chips to dip into the spicy goodness.

For my strict AIP peeps, I haven’t forgotten about you. I have picked out 2 of the most popular AIP chili recipes for those that have not successfully reintroduced nightshades or for those who may be intolerant.  If you can tolerate peppers but not tomatoes, it would be possible to switch the tomato puree for nomato sauce but I have not experimented with replacing the chili powder with anything else.  For that reason, please see the other recipes if you are not ready to reintroduce chili powder.   If you are ready to reintroduce chili powder then any other ingredients can be omitted or replaced without effecting the outcome significantly.  You can find several AIP recipes, including more chili recipes on my Pinterest board here.

Before I move onto the MyCrazyJourney chili recipe, the first AIP recipe is the SMOKY AIP CHILI from Adventures in Partaking and .I love that she puts the carob powder in because I know that carob or cacao (cacao is not aip but a re-introduction) can lend a smoky taste to the dish.  She also uses radishes which can lend a spicy flavor to the stew as well.  The link to the recipe is here.

A second AIP chili recipe, the SWEET POTATO CHILI from A Clean Plate, uses sweet potato as the starch coupled with a nomato sauce and ginger, cinnamon and oregano for a savory bite to compliment the nomato sauce. The link is here.

I encourage you to use beef heart if it is available .  Chili’s, soups, and stews are a great opportunity to try beef heart as its flavor and texture are very similar to stew meat and slow cooking ensures that it is tender as it can be a bit dense.  Although, I find it tender no matter what and it doesn’t need to cook slow and long to reach a tender texture (one of the benefits of using grass fed beef heart).  But the meat is perfect for just such a dish. The remainder of the beef heart can be made into beef jerky for snacks later or separated and frozen for a later dinner.

Now that we have covered all our bases, let’s move onto the Wahl’s appropriate, Paleo version of Chili con Carne by MyCrazyJourney.  For your convenience, I have included some affiliate links where necessary to help you find products without added preservatives, allergens, or other “mystery ingredients”.

To make MCJ Paleo Chili you will need the following ingredients:

1 pint of bone broth

24 ounce of organic strained or pureed tomatoes. I use a brand called Bionaturae  (affiliate).  I specifically use this brand because it doesn’t contain citric acid, which is made from corn and yeast more often than not.  Of course, this can be subbed for an equivalent amount of nomato sauce.

1 lb of beef heart or stew meat if you cannot find a heart.  You could also use ground beef. Remember to try to always use grassfed beef that is not fed pesticides.  This significantly changes the nutritional profile and reduces your own toxic load as pesticides store in the fat and bones of the animal that eats them.  This rule should also apply to any bone broth used in your recipes.

2 cups of bell peppers  (Or zucchini for an AIP Version) (can be switched out for another vegetable if you need a no nightshade version)

2 cups of leeks or onions

3 cloves of garlic (more is great if you like garlic. It will only add more of a detoxifying element to this already nutritious meal)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

1/4 cup Chili Seasoning (an AIP reintroduction)

1 tablespoon of cocoa or carob. (trust me. it gives it a smokey, dark taste. think of this as similar to the ingredients of a mole’).  I use this or you could try this carob powder  if you have not reintroduced cocoa.

1-2 hot peppers. I used 2 cayenne chilis and it wasn’t hot at all. for more heat, use jalapenos. These may be omitted if you have not reintroduced them.  I suggest subbing for a bit of horseradish or radishes for a spicy effect. The horseradish will be spicier.  You could also add 1 to 3 teaspoons of Wasabi powder. Wasabi is part of the horseradish family and I have been able to find the powder which contains no added ingredients.  The paste will contain added ingredients, including allergens.

For topping and additions I suggest the following options:

Chopped Romaine Lettuce or other salad greens

Chopped Avocado

Chopped Tomato (AIP reintro)

Chopped Bell or Hot Peppers (AIP reintro)

Chopped green onion or other variety onion

Lime-Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

A wedge of Lime squeezed on top

Plantain chips– use them like you would have used corn chips in the past or do like me and dip into this chili like its a bowl of nacho dip.  If you are watching your carb intake, I would skip this addition. On the other side of the conversation, plantains are good for feeding the good bacteria in your gut so that is one reason that this would be a yummy and good idea.  If you are sensitive to cross contamination I suggest this brand here .   I’ve been glutened by plantain chips before and now only eat this brand.


Chop and dump all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low for the day or high for about 3 to 4 hours or until all the ingredients are cooked and the flavors “marry”.  If I am home, I will start it on high and when I see some bubbling I will turn it down to low to finish cooking. We usually start ours by noon or somewhere around there to be ready by dinner.  If starting it before work, I’d leave it on low all day and skip high temperatures.

This recipe is for 2 people and will leave leftovers.  It could also feed 4 with no leftovers. It is a good way to sneak what is referred to as “offal” into the family dinner. (Offal refers to using all the parts of the animal) and is suggested to have with salad greens to get enough variety of types of vegetables. Enjoy!

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