Beef Milanesa with Peach Salsa and Spinach

mel in lineI’m Melissa Joulwan, but you can call me Mel. I have a killer recipe for you today. But first, I’ll tell you a little about myself. I’m the author of the paleo cookbooks Well Fed, Well Fed 2, and the soon-to-be-released Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less (pre-order now!). I also write a blog called (formerly The Clothes Make The Girl), where I write about my triumphs and failures in the kitchen, in the gym, and in life. I’m also a former rollergirl known as Melicious, but I’ve mostly stopped knocking people down for fun. Mostly.

After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and treating food as the enemy, I found Paleo in 2009, and I’ve been happily eating this way ever since. That year, I also had a thyroidectomy—which was less fun than you might imagine. In the aftermath of the surgery and recovery, I became really interested in how what I eat affects my hormones, body composition, mood, and motivation. These days, my workouts include yoga and meditation, as well as lifting heavy things and high-intensity intervals.

In my previous cookbooks I made a strong argument for batch cooking—a.k.a. a Weekly Cookup—so your fridge would be stocked with food all week. I still think that’s a great idea, but sometimes real life means we don’t have a few hours to spend doing prep in the kitchen. With Well Fed Weeknights, I gave myself a challenge: Go to the grocery store, buy the ingredients for a meal, then come home and cook it in under 45 minutes. I completed that exercise about 175 times, and the result is my new cookbook. When he reviewed an advance copy of my new book, Mark was kind enough to say, “Mel is one of my favorite authors/chefs in any food genre. She never ceases to impress with her creativity and passion, and Well Fed Weeknights is no exception. Be prepared to get your Paleo on every night of the week!”

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is super-fast and crazy-delicious. Milanesa is a popular dish in Latin American countries, but just about every cuisine has its own version of breaded meat cutlets fried to crisp perfection. In the United States, we’ve got chicken-fried steak, and there’s Austrian Wiener Schnitzel, Italian scaloppine, and Japanese tonkatsu. No matter what name you apply, it’s irresistible. This version uses a small amount of paleo-friendly starch and a pan sauté to create a crisp crust.

The bold, colorful peach salsa on top? That’s just bonus awesome.

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe; get in touch on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Servings: 2-4

Time in the Kitchen: 30-35 minutes



  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsweetened sliced peaches packed in juice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 medium red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Avocado Oil


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 thin-cut slices beef top round or sirloin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1-2 tablespoons PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Avocado Oil
  • 1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach


Make the salsa. Drain the peaches over a bowl to catch the juice and set the juice aside. Cut the peaches into 1/2-inch dice and slice the cherry tomatoes in half; place in a large mixing bowl. Finely mince the onion, garlic, mint leaves, and jalapeño; add them to the peaches. Add the lime juice, 1 tablespoon peach juice, and avocado oil. Toss gently with a rubber scraper to combine.

Make the beef. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg; set aside. In a second shallow bowl, mix together the tapioca starch, salt, and pepper with a fork. Place 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a large, nonstick skillet and heat it over medium-high heat, 2 minutes. While the oil heats, dip the beef slices in the egg, one at a time, then dredge each in the tapioca. Cook the beef on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, until well browned and sizzling.

To serve, divide the baby spinach leaves among individual plates, top with the hot beef milanesa, and spoon peach salsa over the top.


Use fresh peaches in summer, if you’re lucky enough to have them. You can also replace the beef with thin-cut pork or chicken cutlets. Make it Italian with marinara sauce instead of peaches, or top it with a fried egg for Argentinian flair.

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15 thoughts on “Beef Milanesa with Peach Salsa and Spinach”

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  1. Mel, this sounds awesome and not too complicated. Many times I “bread” chicken or turkey cutlets with seasoned coconut flour. Could I use that instead of tapioca starch or arrowroot? Oh, and definitely checking out your cookbook!

    1. This salsa sounds terrific but I’ll pass on the breading. Meat coated in a combo of egg and refined starch or flour then fried in fat–any kind of fat–will be gluten-free but otherwise breading is breading and not for those trying to lose weight. Sorry, Mel, but IMO this idea misses the boat on what Paleo is all about.

      1. Hi, Shary! I totally get your position, and the meat will taste good without the breading, if you decide to give it a try without. The amount of starch and fat is pretty low in the recipe, if you look at it on a per serving basis, and I don’t follow nor advocate a very low-carb approach, so for me, a little starch like this once in a while is OK. Hope you like it!

    2. I think you certainly could! The difference of tapioca / arrowroot is the very fine / thin texture, and it gives the meat something extra without feeling “breaded”.

    3. I’m not sure about coconut flour; I didn’t test the recipe with it. Tapioca will work, but I found it needed more fat to avoid getting gummy, and I was trying to keep the additional fat as low as possible.

  2. Sounds yummy. I have trouble finding canned peaches that are not in a sugary sauce. Fresh are kind of hit or miss in terms of flavor. You peaked my interest regarding the thyroidectomy comment. I am looking at possible surgery at some point and am not looking forward to it. But at some point I think I will have to take the plunge if I want to keep swallowing. I am afraid it may not be so pleasant. Ugh.

  3. Wow, this looks like a great combination of ingredients. I’m notoriously uninspired in the kitchen and end up with plain eggs, beans, and a sweet potato lined up on my plate. I recently did a post about the best healthy cookbooks to help me rectify this problem. Your’s sounds like a great addition to the list! This is a great example of how simple ingredients can come together into something unique and delicious.

  4. I normally hate recipe posts (because they always use a ton of ingredients that I don’t have and can’t afford) but I love this one. It’s simple enough that you could easily modify it to ingredients that you already have and sounds like it would be delicious w/ or w/o modifications. Great post!

  5. I like the Argentinian style fried egg on top. And then have the peach salsa as an optional side dish in case you’re limiting carbs,

  6. I bread my cutlets with a combo of buckwheat flour, herbs, and spices. This looks great.

  7. Love the idea for your new cookbook! I was just complaining to my husband that we often end up eating really late at night because we start from scratch each night. Not a fan of freezer meals, so I love that the challenge is get the ingredients at the store and make the meal! Thanks so much for sharing- that recipe looks killer!

  8. Mel Joulwan’s cookbooks are awesome! The second and third primal/paleo cookbooks I bought (after Primal Blueprint Cookbook, of course!) were Well Fed and Well Fed 2. I sometimes have to use Google to work out what is what – ingredients and weights and measures – (Jicama, for instance?) and find substitutes for meats like bison, as I’m based in Europe, but still absolutely love the inspirational recipes and the innovative layout of the books.

  9. Made this last night – wow! Very yummy 🙂 Is there a fruit that would be good to substitute for the peaches? I’m slightly allergic.