Monday, April 29, 2013

Pepperoncini Pulled Pork

First, it just seems like we're suddenly eating a lot of pork, because I didn't post a recipe last week. I invented a spot-on-delicious mostly-paleo sesame chicken and fried rice recipe, but I am still working to perfect the sauce-to-chicken ratio, so you will just have to wait.  Trust me tho, you will be glad that you did.

The idea for this Pepperoncini Pulled Pork recipe came to me this weekend when I was flipping through my favorite cookbooks, searching for inspiration. I realized that although I love appetizers (to the point that I planned a Christmas party around my desire to eat them, and then served a completely different set of finger-foods on Christmas Eve), I otherwise never make any. The small volume and sometimes-long preparation required to make good appetizers doesn't really fit into my weekly hot-and-a-lot meal planning theme.

I was brainstorming ways to get the flavor of my favorite Christmas Eve appetizer without the effort, and tah-dah! this recipe was born.

Pepperoncini Pulled Pork

So good it almost didn't make it to the plate.
Yes, this is one serving. But it's only an 8 inch pan.


3 lbs pork loin roast
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 jar pepperoncini, including juice, stems removed from peppers
1 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons dried basel 
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper


Place all ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on high until the pork is easily pulled apart with a fork. About 5 hours.

Remove the pork, onions, and peppers, and place in a large bowl. Pour the juice into a medium-sized pot.  Bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally so no solids stick to the bottom, until the sauce reduces to about half the volume.

While the sauce is reducing, use two forks to shred the pork.  Pour the reduced sauce over the meat, onions, and peppers, and combine well. I like it to be a little liquid-y so that pork doesn't get dry when I reheat it. Serve.  

We ate ours with butter-wilted spinach, but this pork recipe would go well with mashed cauliflower, asparagus, steamed green beans, or any of your favorite veggies. Makes 8 servings. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What the World Eats?

Have you seen What the World Eats? You probably have, considering it received almost a million page views in 2 days. If not, check it out! It's an amazing display of one week of groceries for families around the world.  Scrolling through the images, I think the groceries in Australia probably closest represent what we eat in my cave (if you remove all the soda, fruit juice, and packaged breakfast cereals along the back wall).

I'd like to say we'd remove the potatoes on the front table, too. But, I can't.
French fries are my favorite food. It's a sickness.

So this week, after my normal circuit through Trader Joe's, I took my own What the World Eats photo.

What the World Eats: Silly Little CaveGirl Edition.
Full disclosure: this photo does not include the random bunless-burger and
sometimes-sweet-but-often-not potato fries that squeezes itself into our weekly diet.
Now that grilling-season is back, we plan to do better (fingers crossed).

If you're reading this blog you either know me, live a paleo/primal lifestyle, are curious about paleo, or accidently stumbled upon this site on your way to something else (probably not in that order). But no matter why you're here, I'm curious to know: what do you eat?

Next time you buy groceries, take a What the World Eats photo and send it to me.

SillyLittleCaveGirl (at) gmail (dot) com

Include a short description of your Cave and how you found this site, and I will share it with the global SillyLittleCaveGirl readers.

Sounds fun right?  I can't wait to see what you send!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Adobo Pulled Pork with Sweet Potato Mash

I'm going to warn you right now, this recipe has a little Woo-Pow!

Blame CaveBoy.

Back before he started hanging around my cave, I was a salt-pepper-garlic-paprika kind of girl (what can I say? I have Ukrainian roots).  He opened my world up to crushed red pepper, and curry, and wasabi. Then we moved to Texas - where they practically put jalapenos in the baby-formula - and my world was set on fire. CaveBoy and I have adopted Texas as our home state. It's where we got engaged. Half of our family lives there. And Texans have a generous, hard-working spirt that we appreciate.

When I get a little home sick, the smell of Adobo Pulled Pork simmering in the crock pot brings my taste buds right back to Texas. I guarantee* that after one taste, you'll wish you were a Texan, too.

Adobo Pulled Pork with Sweet Potato Mash

Ok. It looks a little like orange mush. But it tastes AMAZING!


5 lbs pork shoulder
16 oz fresh pineapple, diced
1 cup beef stock 
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 oz can tomato paste
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
salt and pepper

3 lbs sweet potatoes, about 5 large-sized
2 heads cauliflower
5 tablespoons salted, grassfed butter
healthy pinch of salt


For the Adobo Pulled Pork - place pork shoulder, pineapple, chipotle peppers with sauce, and beef stock into crock pot. Cover, set on high, and let cook until the pork is fork tender. About 5 hours.

Once fully cooked, remove the pork and place it in a large metal or glass bowl. Fish out the chipotles and discard. Reserve the rest of the liquid, including the pineapple chunks.

Add olive oil and diced onion to a large, heated skillet.  Cook until onion starts to turn translucent. Add the diced garlic and cook until it becomes aromatic. Add the reserved liquid from the crock pot. Bring to a boil. Whisk in the tomato paste and poultry seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir occasionally so  nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Cook down until the sauce thickens. You are making an adobo barbeque sauce, so you want it to be that consistency. Once thickened, remove from heat.

Shred the pork with two forks. Pour the thickened sauce over the pork and mix well. 

For the Sweet Potato Mash - Wash the sweet potatoes and arrange them on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 until tender to the touch. About 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to touch. 

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, rinse the cauliflower and cut it into chunks. Place the chunks in a large pot and cover with water. Add a healthy pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer until cauliflower is tender. About 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the drained cauliflower and butter and mash until smooth.  I like to use the flat beater in my kitchenaid stand mixer to mash well. But don't mash too long, or they get starchy - I learned that from Alton Brown.  

This whole recipe makes 15 lunch box servings - 5x8 oz pork servings for CaveBoy, and 10x4 oz pork servings for CB and I. The mash is divided equally between the 15 lunch boxes. 

*Note: I don't actually guarantee anything...

Update: Holy crap you guys, I just accidentally made the most delicious Adobo Pork Chili!

I only bought a 2 lb pork shoulder (because, ya know: cooking dinner for one, now.) and I forgot to get fresh pineapple. So I dumped a 15 oz can of crushed pineapple into the Crock-Pot instead. When I went to make the sauce, there was a lot more of it than normal, and it was thick. So I shredded the pork and added it to the sauce pot. I let it simmer for about 40 minutes to marry the flavors. And tah dah! Adobo Pork Chili. You're welcome.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Drover's Pie

Spring has finally sprung! The weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining, but it is still cool in the evening. Depending on how quickly we transition to full-on Summer, this might be one of the last hearty-comfort-food posts for a while.

Yesterday, I was watching Food Network for inspiration and saw a bubbly, delicious Shepherd's Pie made with lamb and white potatoes.  I decided to make my own version using ground beef and sweet potatoes, something just new and inventive enough to deserve a new name. And who wouldn't want to eat a dish named after an Australian cowboy?

Drover's Pie

You followed the link to see the drover didn't you?
Which made you want to try this recipe more,
Hugh Jackman or this delicious picture? Be honest.


3 lbs ground beef
2 yellow onions, diced
4 leeks, diced
1 head of celery, diced
6 medium sweet potatoes
1 cup white wine
2 cups beef stock
4 tablespoons salted butter
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon rosemarie
2 healthy pinches of salt
1 bay leaf
black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse sweet potatoes and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 until soft to the touch, about 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool enough to touch.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, in a large pot, brown the ground beef.  Stir in the diced veggies. Add the white wine and beef stock. Add the seasoning and bay leaf. Stir to incorporate. Bring to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for one hour. Remove cover and continue simmering for 15 minutes.

Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to the touch, remove the skins and place in a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes with the salted butter and black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Pour the simmered beef mixture into a large baking dish. Spoon the mashed sweet potato over the beef mixture and smooth into a uniform layer. Bake at 400 degrees until the potatoes start to brown. 35 to 40 minutes.  Remove from oven. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10, depending on how many Caveboys you are feeding. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Silly Little LunchClub

Guess what?

Silly Little CaveGirl has gone global and exceeded 1000 page views! And I promise only 30 or so of those are me, stalking my own blog for recipe reminders.

We have fans on 5 continents! Your move, Africa.

Guess what else?

My Silly Little LunchClub is expanding by one member, and I couldn't be happier.

Remember a few weeks ago when I started CaveFeeding my good friend CB?  (She coined that term. She has a way with words.) Well, our friend TDH wants to join the club, too.  I told him that the membership rules are strict and can never be broken.

Silly Little LunchClub Membership Rules

1) You have to be OK with eating the same thing 5 days in a row.
2) You can make suggestions but you cannot complain about the cooking.
3) You have to like eggs (we eat a lot of eggs).

He agreed! And now we are a LunchClub of 4. Well, soon we will be. TDH is going on a trip, but when he gets back we will be an awesome foursome. I love love love this because it means that my favorite people are going to be eating healthier and living healthier, and probably going to be around to hang-out with me a lot longer. How cool is that?