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Meal-Prep 5 Paleo Dinners With Just 8 Ingredients

Calling for delivery or going the restaurant route may sound like taking the easy way out on busy weeknights, but if you’re going Paleo, those may not even be viable options—pizza and pad Thai definitely aren’t on any caveman diets! Save yourself the hassle (and the money) of eating out, and enjoy healthier, cheaper, and still-tasty meals from Sunday to Thursday with this ridiculously easy plan. With just eight ingredients and a bit of prep on Sunday, you’ll have stress-free, Paleo-friendly dinners covered for the week.

STEP 1:

Head to the grocery store.

Jot down these eight ingredients to pick up on your Sunday grocery run. You may not be able to escape the lines, but with a list handy, you’ll at least zip through the aisles, knowing exactly what you need.

Shopping List
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 6 ounces fresh shrimp
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 cups baby spinach (you can always use a small fresh bunch but a bagged version saves you the step of washing and cutting thick stems)
  • 1 small head cauliflower
Storage Containers
  • 6 airtight containers (2 for cooked sweet potatoes, 1 for shrimp, 1 for chicken, 1 for spiralized zucchini, and 1 for cauliflower rice)
  • Plastic wrap for avocado
Kitchen Staples
  • Cooking fat (olive or coconut oil, ghee, etc.)
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon juice
  • Hot sauce/red pepper flakes

STEP 2:

Prep ingredients in 30 minutes.

Take an hour or so on Sunday to prepare your ingredients. It may not sound appealing to use up precious weekend time to plan ahead, but trust us—you’ll thank yourself later in the week when you’re home from an exhausting day and can’t imagine cooking a meal from scratch.

1. Cook the chicken.
Use this foolproof method for moist chicken. The meat will last up to four days in the fridge, so make it on Sunday, and we’ll show you how to use it up by Wednesday. Store in an airtight glass container.
2. Cook the shrimp.
Peel and devein the shrimp (or save yourself a step and purchase them already prepped). Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan and add the shrimp. Add salt and pepper. Sauté until the shrimp go from gray to pink. Cool completely and store in airtight containers. Cooked shrimp can keep for up to three days in the refrigerator; cook it right before you use it on Tuesday, and the leftovers will still be good to go on Thursday.
2. Roast the sweet potatoes.
Cube one potato and toss the pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Leave the other one whole. Place the whole tater, plus the cubes, onto a sheet pan, and roast for 30 minutes. The whole spud may need an extra 15-30 minutes. Store the roasted cubes and the baked sweet potato in separate airtight containers.
3. Prep the eggs.
Hard-boil four of the eggs and leave two of them raw. You can store the hard-boiled eggs for up to one week.
4. Dice and zoodle zucchini.
Dice one zucchini and spiralize the other (if you don’t have a spiralizer, just use a peeler to create noodle-like “strips”). You’ll use the diced veggies right away, but store the spirals in an airtight container.
5. Make cauliflower “rice.”
Break the cauliflower into florets and place them in a food processor. Pulverize until the florets resemble rice, then store in an airtight container.
6. Store avocado and baby spinach.
Bagged spinach is usually washed and ready to use, so no prep necessary there. Leave the avocado untouched until you’re ready to slice into it. Once it’s cut open, add some olive oil to the flesh, then wrap in plastic so it lasts longer.

STEP 3:

Enjoy ready-made Paleo dinners all week long.

Now that you’ve prepped your ingredients, time in the kitchen during the week just got drastically slashed. This means more time to watch The Bachelor. Check out what’s on the menu from Sunday to Thursday.

Sunday “Brinner”

  • 1/2 prepped cauliflower rice
  • Diced zucchini
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 eggs

We promise this is the most cooking you’ll do all week! Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet and add two beaten eggs. Cook for two to three minutes before letting them cool and dicing into small pieces. Set aside. In the same skillet, heat up a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil, and add the zucchini. Stir for about four minutes until tender. Then add the cauliflower rice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir for another three to four minutes before adding in two cups of baby spinach. Stir until the spinach has wilted. Store half the mixture in an airtight container for lunch tomorrow. Add eggs to the half remaining in the skillet. Feel free to jazz it up with any other favorite kitchen staples. Obviously, we are talking about hot sauce.

Meaty Monday

  • 4 ounces chicken
  • Roasted sweet potato cubes
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 cup spinach

How to eat: Warm up the chicken and toss it onto a bed of spinach, along with sweet potato cubes and diced avocado, for an entrée-size salad.

No-Taco Tuesday

  • Rest of the cauliflower rice
  • 3 ounces shrimp
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs

How to eat: Warm up the cauliflower rice in the microwave. Cook the shrimp according to the instructions in Step 2 (above) and add half to the “rice.” Store the other half of the shrimp in an airtight container after it’s completely cooled. Add sliced eggs on top for ever more protein.

Workout Wednesday

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 4 ounces chicken
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • Baked sweet potato

How to eat: Reheat the baked sweet potato in the microwave by wrapping it in a damp paper towel and nuking until it’s warmed through, two minutes or so. Dice the chicken and eggs, and stir into the mashed avocado along with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the heated sweet potato. Add a few (or 20) dashes of hot sauce.

Time-Saving Thursday

  • 3 ounces shrimp
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Spiralized zucchini

How to eat: Mash the avocado with a teaspoon of olive oil and a dash each of lemon juice, garlic powder, and sea salt. Stir with the zucchini noodles (you can either leave the zoodles raw or give them a quick stir over the stove to get them tender). Top with the leftover cooked shrimp from Tuesday.

Updated: February 28, 2017 — 5:30 pm

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