Cave Cooking.

Im a huge fan of the blog Cooking In Our Cave.  Not only is her voice a unique one but I find the entire concept of the Paleo diet really interesting.

I’m not 100% sold (as Im quite confident my occasional dippage into the Pop Tart box isnt on plan) yet I do incorporate many recipes from this way of eating in my daily ‘diet.’

I especially liked this post about fish (Ive been  known to have the ability to make cod taste like underwear.  How the Ren Man knew what underwear tasted like I shall never know.) & this post where Ms. CaveCooker shared with her readers a typical shopping list.

It was after reading the shopping list post that I stalked her until she caved (get it? punny? no? ok.) and agreed to do a guest post.

I am a new blogger/long time lurker.

I chose the name ‘Cooking in Our Cave’ to reflect my personal style of eating, which is based on principles from the Calorie Restriction/Optimal Nutrition, or CRON style of eating, and Paleo/Primal eating.

I have followed this eating style for 5 years, and have maintained a 20 lb weight loss for about the same period.

I started my blog to add a female voice to the Paleo eating blogging world, where women are in short supply, and also to show that people who practice CRON are not, contrary to popular belief, miserable starving creatures

I love to cook, and I love food, I want to show how I reconcile those loves with eating what I believe is the optimal diet for me.  I post about what I eat, how I cook, and the occasional rant on nutrition and/or other social issues around food that interest me.

Here is what I made for dinner last night:

CR/Paleo Chili

5g bacon grease
150g (1/3 lb) carrots, chopped in large dice
150g onion (1/3lb), chopped in large dice
150g celery (1/3lb), chopped in large dice
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 lb (454g) 90/10 ground beef (grass fed if you can get it)
2 28oz  (1500 g) cans Fire Roasted Muir Glen tomatoes, or any other brand you favour
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp green jalapeno chili flakes
1 tsp ground pasilla peppers
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large stewpot with high sides, over medium heat, saute carrots, celery, and onion in bacon grease until onion is translucent and carrots and celery are softened, 5-7 minutes.
2. Add garlic and saute for one more minute.
3. Lower the heat to low and add beef. Saute until brown, stirring to ensure all the meat is browned evenly.
4. Add in the two cans of tomato and the bay leaves. Turn up the heat to medium, give all the ingredients a good stir, and watch the pot until the mixture boils.
5. Lower the heat to medium/low and cook for two hours. For the first 3/4 of an hour, do not stir the pot. Let the tomato mixture burn on the bottom, it adds a delicious flavour to the chili. After the first 3/4 of a hour, stir occasionally, scrapping the bottom of the pan to incorporate those nice charred bits into the chili. When the mixture seems to be getting dry, add a cup of hot water and keep cooking.
6. After two hours, add the chili powder, cumin, chili flakes, jalapeno flakes, pasilla, and salt and pepper. Give the pot a good stir, and let cook for one more hour, until the mixture is a deep red brown.
7. Serve with any garnish you like. This recipe feeds the SO and I for a couple of days, lunch and dinner. I had it with a side of braised cabbage.

There you go, People.

Insight into her Paleo-head & a recipe to boot.

Now ask away.

Any preconceived Paleo diet notions you wanna inquire about?

Unclear what it is still and want more?

Ready to make the Paleo Chili & need more information ’bout the bacon grease (as do I)?

Please to hit us up in the comments.


Never miss a post. Enter your email to get my latest posts delivered to your inbox.


  1. says

    Just to clarify- the Paleo diet is one without garins, beans, potatoes, sugar or dairy? Right?

    When I’ve stumbled across this diet, there seems to be a highre focus on meat- which would surely be a rarer thing among hunter-gatherers? I mean, the blogs that I’ve read about this always starts with a cooked breakfast- eggs/bacon and so on- what about berries and so on?

    Or maybe I’m just stumbling on the wrong blogs!!

  2. says

    I love a woman who starts her recipe with 5g of bacon grease. That’s what I’m talking about.

    I love that we have access to all this information and experience. It means we can experiment and share and really find what works for us as the wonderfully individual beings that we are.

    Big ups to Cooking In Our Cave for taking the time and effort to find what works for her and even a bigger thank you for sharing.

  3. Bea says

    I like that its always both sides of the story here.

    Perfect balance to yesterdays post about no meat!

  4. says

    I have extensive knowledge of bacon grease, thank you. :)

    I’m not sure I could follow the Paleo Diet long-term, but I could definitely incorporate that chili into my current plan. I’ll check out her site for more yumminess this weekend! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the links for more info.

    (P.S. I didn’t receive this in an RSS feed. Just in case you want to check it out.)

  5. MizFit says


    I’m thisclose to hiring someone to take care of all that for me as I seem to NOT be able to figure it out.

    There are FUN THINGS COMING up in herre too….I need the feed.

    Please to nominate yourself below if you’re a WP-fixer fer hire.

  6. says

    haha, the restaurant we went to last night have homemade poptarts for sunday brunch… need to go back :)

    great post! i don’t know a huge amount about paleo, but what i’ve caught from sog has intrigued me, off to check out her site!!

    and all the make your own stuff is awesome. if only $$ grew on trees!!!

  7. says

    To me, this is just a repackage of Atkins. Works for some people, turns others into raving, constipated lunatics with bad breath and worse attitudes.

    And those would be organic pop-tarts, right Miz? Or would I be impressed to learn that you make your own? It’s just pie dough and jam (or nutella…mmm!) and some powdered sugar icing…

  8. says

    Another Paleo/primal blogger chick here! *waves enthusiastically* I’m the one Moonduster mentioned above and I am so adding Cooking in our Cave to my read list.

    Marianne, the diet concept FAR pre-dates Atkins and is actually not all that similar beyond both being low carb. I’ve never heard of anyone Paleo becomming a “raving, constipated lunatic with bad breath and worse attitude”.

    I see all the starving, snarling folks on those low fat diets, LOL.

    For what it’s worth I’ve lost 140+ lbs on low carb (40 of those on Paleo). I’ve been Paleo since August ’08 and plan to eat this way the rest of my life. I feel great, have loads of energy, etc. 😀

  9. says

    Kind of a ying to the yang of yesterday’s meatless post. PRECISELY!

    Miz, don’t forget that feedburner is now a Google product and the addressing may need to be tweaked a bit through your feedburner plug-in.

  10. MizFit says

    Miz, don’t forget that feedburner is now a Google product and the addressing may need to be tweaked a bit through your feedburner plug-in.

    LORDY. I just wanna write (*sulks off into distance*)

  11. Hillary says

    I love this!
    It is not how Id choose to eat all the time but what fun learning about a new method.
    I’ve never head of this before.

    Thanks Miz and Cave Cooking!

  12. says

    Well that’s definitely opposite of the Great American Meat Out…lol…

    I had never heard of this movement, though not at all surprised. I do find that we have to listen to our bodies and see what works. For me, after years of trial and error, I have found that meats and veggies work best with a little dairy like greek yogurt thrown in. I don’t think the “white” stuff works for many people, if any, but I do know some function better off of more fruits, veggies, and grains in their diet than I…can’t handle the gluten and sugars involved…and I’ve gotta figure out a way to get more of that into the bod without the negative effects…any ideas Miz?

  13. says

    Interesting recipe. I may try it, although BK is much more skilled in the cooking things department (although I’m the better baker), so by “I may try it”, I mean, “I may harass BK into making it for me”.

    I can’t do the primal thing: tried, but ended up craving lemon poppyseed muffins 4 days in (I don’t usually even LIKE lemon poppyseed muffins), and it went steadily downhill from there.

  14. says

    I will check out the new blog :) I did something similar with Atkins for the first 3 months and had success. I think this way of eating makes a lot of sense but it did make social events a little tricky 😉 Even the gov’t food pyramid has lowered the amount of grains we should get in a day……no more than 6 ounces so there is something to keeping the carbs low and making them complex………but on the other side…..protein is low too……..5 ounces for the day!

    It’s a tricky balance 😉 but I think everyone should find what works for them and gives them energy… long as it doesn’t pose any health risk.

  15. says

    I have never heard of this before, but when I saw you can’t eat any grains or potatoes, I immediately realized Paleo and I are not compatible.

  16. says

    I had the same reaction to the Paleo topic after yesterday’s post :-)

    Not a big fan of the Paleo lifestyle. Perhaps, like Mark, I’m an exception in my lifestyle also ?

  17. MizFit says

    I can’t do the primal thing: tried, but ended up craving lemon poppyseed muffins 4 days in (I don’t usually even LIKE lemon poppyseed muffins)

    That’s what happens to so many people, too.

    Food. Exercise. SO unique to the individual.

  18. says

    Balance is a good thing unless you tip over :-)

    Not a big fan of the Paleo lifestyle. Perhaps I’m an exception in my lifestyle like those that do well with Paleo.

  19. says

    I’ve seen it mentioned a few times in this thread, but its worth pointing out that Paleo does not always equal low carb.

    The paleo diet is about food selection – it doesn’t specify any particular maconutrient ratio. The foods it contains will mean that the diet tends to be lower in carbs than the Standard American Diet, but always anywhere close to the low levels Atkins suggests.

    The amout of carbs you get will depend on how much of the carb sources (vegetables, fruit, etc..) you eat.

  20. says

    This sounds like an interesting diet, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of it before. I’m not sure I would want to do without grains and dairy … especially grains.

  21. says

    Beckstein – how about quinoa? It’s wheat/gluten free.

    Mrsevilgenius? I truly believe in fat. I remember how pudgy people got when Entenmann’s came out with their low fat products and the gullible masses started jamming them in their ho-ho holes with abandon.

    I’m hungry now…

  22. MizFit says

    I’m with you Marianne.
    I was never fatter then when I was on a fat free ‘diet.’

  23. says

    LOVE Cooking in our Cave. Great great blog. I’m not a paleo person myself but I see it’s merits and the recipes certainly look tasty! To each his or her own- we all gotta listen to our bodies and figure out what kind of balance of nutrients is right for each of us.

    Also, it IS really nice to have the female voice for the paleo diet; it seems like the paleo blogosphere is really dominated by males. Having all perspectives is good!

  24. says

    Sorry, can’t concentrate on Paleo stuff… still cracking up about the remark about cooking fish until it tastes like underwear.

    I really need to figure out how to cook food that both tastes good and is good for you. Food that tastes like edible underwear would be a step up for me 😉

  25. says

    Hope I don’t make Cave Cooking weep if I sub tempeh for beef and olive oil for bacon grease in her tantalizing recipe. :)

    I read the Paleo Diet for Athletes book and while my running body seems to respond very well to foods the Paleo diet forbids (my precious legumes and whole grains), I very much agree and appreciate what it has to say about the value of healthy fats and protein in an endurance athlete’s diet.

  26. says

    Mmmmm, bacon grease. That appeals to my little Southern heart no end. (Yeah, I grew up in California, but my grandma was from the South. Nothing better for breakfast than eggs fried in bacon grease.)

    (Crap. Now I’m hungry! LOL!)

  27. Alyssa says

    Lol! Cod that tastes like underwear?!?!?!
    A few years ago my SIL asked her brother “Don’t you think these chips taste like the dog’s paws?” He said, very seriously, “I don’t know. I’ve never tasted the dog’s paws.”

    • MizFit says

      I know. Im THAT great of a cook,
      I can turn fab fish into underwear in a single pan.
      It’s my superpower!

  28. says

    I have to admit this is a new one on me. But, then I don’t presribe to a ‘diet’ per se. Does paleo mean I have to go out and club my own meat? LOL Just kidding.

  29. sassy stephanie says

    We are so along these lines, well, now that we are back on track. Eating like nature intended. REAL food. RAW food. Bye bye packaged ‘food-like substances’.

    Going to check her out. Thanks.

  30. says

    I’m still laughing over Miz’s super power! 😀 (I’ll have to send you my favorite cioppino recipe. It’s an easy-peasey way to prevent fish from tasting like undergarments.)

    This chili sounds really tasty to me, although I don’t usually put carrots and celery in chili. (Made a good batch of veggie chili with carrots, zuccini, and mushrooms once, though. Not sure why I did it only once, because it was good.)

    I probably eat closer to primal/paleo than other types of diets, because those foods in a primal/paleo diet keep my blood sugar levels within a good range. But I would not choose to do it 100%; I like the occasional peice of pizza or sandwich, not to mention dark chocolate and peanut butter.

  31. says

    ooooh, a bacon-grease-out!
    just joshin’…that would be a little gross. About to look up the paleo diet and investigate the cave more…

  32. says

    I think it’s very interesting to find someone who does both CRON and paleo! That is a lifestyle I wouldn’t be able to maintain but it seems to be working great for her! (And she’s soooo right about the dearth of female voices in the Paleo forums.)

  33. says

    i saw something on tv about paleo awhile back. had never heard of it before then, but it was interesting to learn about it.

    i haven’t checked out the Cave blog yet, but i saw someone else commented that you can’t have potatoes on paleo…and to that i must say ABSOLUTELY NOT FOR ME! aside from just plain loving potatoes, i live in idaho – must be loyal to my state :)

  34. says

    This is interesting – the only similar diet concept I’d heard of before this was from Mark’s Daily Apple. I don’t think it would work for me because I’m not into rules, but there’s obviously something to it!

  35. says

    hmmm…sounds a bit restrictive…not sure if I can give up my ‘taters! I do have a hard time following rules, so that may be a problem!

  36. says

    HA, I also cracked up when I saw this post following the one about the Meat-Out!

    Mmmm, bacon grease — too good to be true?? I’ve never heard of this diet but anything that includes bacon must be good. :-)

  37. says

    Hey…new blogger-never a lurker here:~)

    I maintain a pretty healthy lifestyle…eating healthy and exercising IS a lifestyle for me but can you “learn” me more on exactly what a “Paleo diet” is?

    Thanks so much!:~)

  38. says

    Huh – I learned something new today. I had never head of the Paleo diet and just did some reading from the links. Interesting. Not something I could live with long term but interesting. And you have to love any recipe that begins with bacon grease. Thanks for sharing!

  39. says

    Peanuts are actually beans?

    Beans and potatoes have little relative nutritional value?

    Oh man, my head is going to explode digesting this information. However, it is quite intriguing. Especially about the effect of grains on the human digestion system. With the increased awareness of Celiac disease, I hope this opens a lot of eyes about what we should or shouldn’t be eating.

    What about dried fruits and wine? Hmmmm…

  40. says

    5g bacon grease? After I stopped crying, I read the rest and found it interesting. Can you cook veggies in the cave?