Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
9 Feb

5 Primal Meals in Just 35 Minutes

Five MealsPreparing a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week while living a busy life isn’t easy. Even when you know how to cook and what to eat (meat, fish, fowl, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds) it’s still a challenge to come up with a variety of tasty meals. The best approach is to plan ahead at the start of each week so you can make one shopping trip for many meals. But who actually has time to plan ahead?

This week, it’s done for you. Below are five recipes that can be hammered out in a total of 35 minutes of focused cooking. All the planning is done for you; just shop and set aside some time in the kitchen. You’ll be rewarded five days straight when you open the fridge and a meal is waiting for you.

Now, imagine a world where a weekly guide to breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks simply appears in your inbox. Every week you’ll know what to buy in one shopping trip and exactly how to turn all the ingredients into easy Primal meals. That world can be yours with the new Primal Blueprint Meal Plan. Subscribers will receive weekly meal plans, shopping lists and recipes to take the guesswork out of eating Primal. The recipes are easy to prepare and often provide leftovers to save you time in the kitchen.

Whether or not you decide the Meal Plan is right for you, give the recipes below a try. Set the timer and challenge yourself to cook all five meals within 35 minutes. You’ll be glad you did. Now, if only we could help with kitchen clean-up too….

Notes:

  • Each recipe serves two people. If you are serving more or fewer people adjust the shopping list and ingredient quantities accordingly.
  • Provided below are cooking instructions for preparing all five recipes at once, and cooking instructions for preparing each of the five recipes individually.

Shopping List by Item

Ingredients

Meat:
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (680 g)
4 salmon fillets (6 ounces and about 1 inch thick) skinned. To save time, ask the fish monger to do this for you. (170 g, 2.5 cm)

Produce:
4 bell peppers (red, yellow and/or orange)
1 head of broccoli
1 large cucumber or several small Persian cucumbers
3 limes
5 to 8 ounces of salad greens (enough for 4 individual salads) (142 to 227 g)
2 avocados

Frozen:
16 ounces frozen chopped spinach (455 g)

Refrigerated:
6 eggs

Nonperishable:
1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces/400 ml)
olive oil
salt
black pepper
powdered cumin
chili powder
dried dill
coconut aminos or tamari

Shopping List by Recipe

Steak with Creamed Spinach
8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g)
8 ounces frozen chopped spinach (227 g)
1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces/400 ml)
1 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)
1 lime
olive oil
salt

Steak Salad
8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g)
1 bell pepper
4 to 6 ounces of salad greens (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170 g)
powdered cumin
chili powder
1 lime
olive oil
salt
1 avocado

Steak Stir-Fry
8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g)
1 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)
1 head of broccoli
olive oil
salt
pepper
coconut aminos or tamari

Salmon Salad
2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about 1 inch thick), skinned (113 to 170 g and 2.5 cm)
1 large cucumber or several small Persian cucumbers, sliced into rounds
4 to 6 ounces of salad greens (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170 g)
1 lime
olive oil
salt
1 avocado

Salmon Frittata
2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about 1 inch thick), skinned (113 to 170 g and 2.5 cm)
1 bell pepper
8 ounces frozen chopped spinach (227 g)
6 eggs
salt
pepper
dried dill
olive oil

Main Tools to Have Ready

3 rimmed baking pans
1 or two cutting boards
Sharp knives for cutting veggies and raw beef
12-inch or larger skillet (30 cm)
10-inch oven-proof skillet (to make a frittata) (25 cm)
8-inch or larger pot (20 cm)

Cooking Instructions for 5 Meals in 35 Minutes

Preheat oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC).

Take the frozen spinach out of the freezer and the meat and salmon out of the refrigerator.

Thinly slice bell peppers and place in a rimmed baking pan.

Cut broccoli into small florets and place in a rimmed baking pan.

Toss both the peppers and broccoli liberally with olive oil.

Step 1

Put both pans in the oven.

Season the salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Place in a baking pan and put in the oven. Set a timer for 12 minutes; this is a reminder to take the salmon out. When you take the salmon out, leave the veggie in the oven.

Once the salmon is in the oven, slice the cucumber and set aside.

Juice the limes into a small bowl and set aside.

To make lime salad dressing, whisk together 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of lime juice, 1/2 cup (125 ml) of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) of salt. Set aside. (Don’t discard remaining lime juice.)

Step 2

Slice the beef very thinly into 1 to 2 inch long (25 to 50 cm) slices. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Check the salmon – is it done?

Set a 12-inch skillet (30 cm) and an 8-inch pot (20 cm) over medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to each. When the oil is hot, add 2/3 of the sliced meat to the 12-inch skillet and the rest to the 8-inch pot.

Cook the meat, stirring only once or twice, until it’s cooked through to medium-rare, about 3 minutes.

Step 3

Turn the heat off under the 12-inch skillet.

To the 8-inch pot with meat, add half the frozen spinach and the can of coconut milk. Bring to a boil for five minutes then turn off the heat under the pot.

Step 4

Take the broccoli and red peppers out of the oven. Turn the oven off and turn on the broiler.

Use a fork to flake two of the salmon fillets into small pieces.

Whisk the eggs together really well in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and dried dill.

Warm a few tablespoons of olive oil in a 10-inch skillet (25 cm) over high heat.

Add the remaining frozen spinach and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes (there should be very little or no liquid in the pan).

Add the flaked salmon. Stir well then pour in the eggs and stir once to evenly spread the egg around.

While the eggs begin to set, place a few red pepper slices on top. Put the skillet in the oven. Cook the frittata under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until the egg sets and is firm.

Step 5

Finishing Instructions:

Steak with Creamed Spinach: Roughly chop several slices of roasted red pepper. Add them to the pot of steak and coconut milk. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Steak Salad: Place beef slices and 1/2 of red peppers over mixed greens. Lightly season the salad with a few pinches of cumin and chili powder. Right before eating add 1/2 of a sliced avocado to each salad and lime dressing.

Steak Stir-Fry: Toss remaining steak slices with broccoli and red peppers. Season lightly with coconut aminos or tamari.

Salmon Salad: Set each of the two remaining fillets over several handfuls of salad greens. Garnish with cucumber slices. Right before eating add 1/2 of a sliced avocado to each salad and lime dressing.

Salmon Frittata: Slice to eat, hot or cold. Serve over a bed of salad greens if desired.

Five Meals

Individual Recipes

Beef with Creamed Spinach

Serves: 2

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach (227 g)
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces/400 ml)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

Instructions:

Slice the beef very thinly into 1 to 2 inch (25 to 50 cm) long slices.

Lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a wide skillet or pot heat a tablespoon of oil.

When the oil is hot add the beef. Cook the meat, stirring only once or twice, just to brown the outside, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the spinach. Cook until soft then add the bell pepper and coconut milk.

Bring to a boil for five minutes then turn off the heat under the pot.

Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Creamed Spinach

Steak Salad

Serves: 2

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) plus 1/2 cup olive oil (125 ml)
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 ounces of salad greens (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170 g)
  • Pinch of powdered cumin
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (45 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1 ml)
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Instructions:

Slice the beef very thinly into 1 to 2 inch (25 to 50 cm) long slices.

Lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a wide skillet heat a tablespoon of olive oil.

When the oil is hot add the beef. Cook the meat, stirring only once or twice, until it’s cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Set the meat aside in a large bowl.

Add the bell pepper to pan (with a little more oil if needed) and saute for just a few minutes. Toss the bell peppers with the meat, along with the salad greens. Season the salad lightly with cumin and chile powder.

To make lime salad dressing, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil with the lime juice and salt.

Dress the salad and add avocado.

Steak Salad

Steak Stir-Fry

Serves: 2

Time in the Kitchen: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • Several tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Coconut aminos or tamari

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC).

Place bell peppers and broccoli in a rimmed baking pans

Toss the vegetables liberally with olive oil and put the pans in the oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes.

Slice the beef very thinly into 1 to 2 inch (25 to 50 cm) long slices.

Lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a wide skillet heat about a tablespoon of olive oil.

When the oil is hot add the beef. Cook the meat, stirring only once or twice, until it’s cooked through to medium-rare, about 3 minutes. Put the meat in a large bowl.

Toss the meat with the bell peppers and broccoli. Season with coconut aminos or tamari.

Stir Fry

Salmon Salad

Serves: 2

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about 1 inch thick) (113 to 170 g and 2.5 cm)
  • black pepper, for seasoning salmon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning salmon (1 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (45 ml)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (125 ml)
  • 4 to 6 ounces of salad greens (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170 g)
  • 1 large cucumber or several small Persian cucumbers, sliced into rounds
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC).

Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place in a rimmed baking pan and bake for 12 minutes, or until cooked through to your liking.

While the salmon cooks, make the salad dressing by whisking together the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the lime juice and olive oil.

Toss the salad greens and cucumber slices with salad dressing. Set the salmon on top of the greens. Garnish with avocado.

Salmon Salad

Salmon Frittata

Serves: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about 1 inch thick), skinned (113 to 170 g and 2.5 cm)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 6 eggs, whisked
  • Dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces frozen chopped spinach (227 g)
  • 1/2 a bell pepper, thinly sliced

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC).

Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place in a rimmed baking pan with the red pepper and bake for 12 minutes.

When the salmon comes out, turn the oven off and turn the broiler on.

Use a fork to flake two of the salmon fillets into small pieces.

To the eggs add a pinch of salt, pepper and dried dill.

Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet (25 cm) over high heat.

Add the frozen spinach and saute for 3 to 5 minutes (there should be very little or no liquid in the pan).

Add the flaked salmon. Stir well then pour in the eggs and stir once to evenly spread the egg around.

While the eggs begin to set, place the red pepper slices on top. Put the skillet in the oven. Cook the frittata under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until the egg sets and is firm.

Salmon Frittata

Not Sure What to Eat? Get the Primal Blueprint Meal Plan for Shopping Lists and Recipes Delivered Directly to Your Inbox Each Week

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Thanks for the delicious recipes, can’t wait to try the Beef with Creamed Spinach

    Angelica Zabala Benson wrote on March 7th, 2013
  2. Love this, thanks for posting. But … what do I do with the food after cooking? Just put the creamed spinach in a tupperware dish?

    The instructions don’t seem quite complete.

    Thanks

    Lori wrote on March 11th, 2013
  3. I notice chicken isn’t a part of any of your primal meals. Is chicken a no-no?

    Tami wrote on March 13th, 2013
  4. This primal meal plan cost me right at $70.00 at Whole PayCheck, I mean Whole Foods. Not bad at all for an entire week of food. I love having the shopping list makes that trip twice as fast and the meals were fairly quick to prepare. Only thing I would change is I think I will cook my entire steak on the grill first and then slice it up.

    Natalie wrote on March 13th, 2013
  5. This looks great, but like some of the others, I’m curious about storage!

    Lauren wrote on March 15th, 2013
  6. I was stunned by how satisfying and well-digested my beef with creamed spinach was last night! I used three local, grass-fed flat irons I’d had in my freezer since last October (another ill-fated attempt at veganism!), two bags of spinach, omitted the peppers and added lots of fresh garlic. As soon as I sat down with it I kicked myself for not adding fresh ginger, which I will do tonight, to the leftovers. And mushrooms!

    I hate to cook, I hate to prep, and I hate to shop. So far I’ve tried two of your recipes and they have turned out to be two of the best meals I’ve ever cooked! Fast, simple, and truly delicious.

    Thanks for all of the info you share so freely and generously here.

    LauraW wrote on March 30th, 2013
  7. Love that this is a meal plan on how to cook it all at once! The other plans I’ve tried have me chopping onions 4 days a week instead of combining all my prep . I’m too disorganized to figure out how to cook all at once, this is brilliant! Just might have to try the meal plan. Also, since my quiche stores in the fridge just fine for a week, I’m sure the frittata will too .

    Lucinda wrote on May 5th, 2013
  8. How much will it cost altogether with handling fee from uk?

    Natalie wrote on May 5th, 2013
  9. MMmmm yummy! Def gonna give this a try! Even if it doesn’t last us 5 full days here it would stil help to have some leftovers. :)

    Monique wrote on May 5th, 2013
  10. This is great. I’m actually leaving to go shopping in a minute. Quick question… Are there more of these? I work late and i’m a single mom. It’s hard to find the time to cook a healthy mean and this is beyone perfect. This week is going to be crazy simple AND healthy because i’m cooking it all tonight :O I’ve been looking for a diet plan to go with my insanity workouts.

    Tabitha wrote on May 5th, 2013
  11. This is amazing! This would make for a great recipe book.

    Tracey wrote on May 17th, 2013
  12. About freezer or refrigerator storage: I was trying to find answers about the storage too. I decided to post my own guess on the subject. Looks to me like the soup, frittata and maybe the stir-fry would freeze well. But instead, I would probably keep it all in the fridge, keeping the fresh veggies unprepared until mealtimes. If you eat one meal every day the longest would only be 4 days.

    Lorette wrote on May 30th, 2013
  13. looks very good and pretty simple to do, thanks for that!
    But I’m wondering: heating olive oil? I think we all know this is a big no-no. It’s easily replaceable by coconut oil in most of the recipes except for the Steak Stir-Fry, on the vegetables for the oven. What can we use then?This

    Guill wrote on July 2nd, 2013
  14. So how do you reheat things? And the creamed things dont get soggy?

    Cathy Darby wrote on November 14th, 2013
  15. This is a brilliant post. Now I just have to find someone to watch my daughter for an hour on Sundays so I can cook it all!

    Natalie wrote on December 6th, 2013

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