Appetizers have been quite a challenge for me since I’ve started the AIP diet. And that’s because my favorite appetizers before used to contain gluten or additives, which made them pretty tasty.
But that’s before I started researching the Romanian cuisine for alternatives that would be both AIP compliant as well as traditional Romanian. So I’ve discovered the Pork Jello, which actually has 3 strong points: It’s tasty, it looks great and…. SURPRISE: it contains enough collagen to help heal your gut faster!
So here’s the super easy Pork Jello appetizer, a 4 ingredient super tasty prep that can be made in no time!
Here are the ingredients you need:
4 pork legs
3 liters water
1-2 garlic clove
And here’s how you make it:
You wash the pork legs very well and put them in the cold water, using large pot.
You let them boil on low heat and you collect the foam that forms on top – from time to time. Remember not to use any cover for the pot, just let them boil uncovered.
You add in the salt.
They are done boiling when the meat detaches from the bone.
Once they’re done, you take the legs out from the liquid and then take the meat off the bones while they’re still hot/warm. You place the pieces of meat in a shape of your choice (it can be a plate, a bowl or any shape that ensures the meat will be well covered with liquid once you’ll pour it over).
You then take out the foam/grease off the liquid surface and test see if it solidifies (if it’s turned into a gelatin) – you can just pour a few drops on a small plate to check. If the drops solidify (like a gelatin) when they get cold, it means it’s done. If not, you can let it for a couple of more boils and then test again.
Once the liquid is ready (once it solidifies in cold temperature), you can set the pot aside from heat and let it rest a bit (until it clarifies).
You add in the minced garlic per taste in the liquid before you strain it (you can use a regular strainer).
You can then strain the liquid over the pieces of meat in the shapes you’ve put them into and you let them cool down a bit. You then place them in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Voila! An AIP-friendly appetizer with just 4 ingredients is ready to make a hit at your table!
Once it’s cooled, you can serve it directly from the shapes (plates, bowls, etc) or you can turn the shapes down and have your pork jello shaped in a more unique way! 🙂
Tonight I didn’t feel like eating meat. Maybe because I overreacted with meat-ing in the past couple of weeks. So when I was thinking of eating something fresh and tasty at the same time, I had this idea of making a sauteed veggie dish.
So using my kitchen knife I cut:
8 medium mushrooms
4 green onions
…and sprinkled garlic powder and salt over them. I then heated 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan.
I put all vegetables in the pan and sauteed them for 5-6 minutes on medium heat, or until the mushrooms soaked a bit. I added in a bit more Himalayan salt because I like my food a bit more salty than average taste.
I ate them as they are and really enjoyed the flavored taste super fast dinner!
I’m preparing some foods for tomorrow and wanted to try a new organic dessert. So I made AIP carrot cookies. They’re tasty, healthy and AIP compliant!
There ingredients I used are:
1 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup arrowroot flour
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda (gluten-free)
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
4 Tbsp honey (I used organic acacia but you can use any type of honey)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 Tbsp gelatin (for the gelatin egg)
1/2 cup filtered water
1 cup grated carrots
And here’s how I made the cookies:
I preheated the oven at 350 F or 180 C and lined a baking pan with parchment paper.
I mixed all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl (coconut and arrowroot flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and ginger) and set it aside.
I then mixed the liquid ingredients in another medium sized bowl (honey, vanilla, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar). I blended them using a hand mixer.
I then prepared the gelatin by putting the 1/2 cup water into a medium pot and slowly sprinkling over the 2 Tbsp gelatin, easy, to make sure it didn’t create any clumps. I let it bloom for about 5 minutes.
I then mixed the dry ingredient bowl into the liquid ingredient one and used a hand mixer to blend well. I added in the grated carrots in the mixture and blended again to make everything look like a dough.
After the 5 minutes of the gelatin passed, I put the pot on low heat and left it for another 2 minutes until all the gelatin dissolved.
I then poured all the gelatin liquid into the dough and blended using the hand mixer on high, until it became homogeneous.
I then used my hands to turn the dough into a big ball shape and placed it on a parchment paper to even it up. I then used another parchment to put on top and slowly roll out until the dough bowl turned into a circle-like flat form, about 1 inch thick.
I used a larger glass to cut the cookie shapes from the dough and used a spatula to put them in my baking pan.
I baked them for 40 minutes on the middle grill of the oven (if you place the pan on the lower grill of the oven they will burn out).
The result made me so happy, I wish I could eat them right not but I have to save them for tomorrow 🙂
Plantains some of the few AIP compliant foods that can be turned into real snacks! Yeah, you saw it well, I wrote snacks!Plantain chips are made per a traditional African recipe (and South American), that combines the crunchy texture with a mildly salted flavor. Yum!
The difficult part for me in making plantain chips is that I didn’t actually find any plantains :))) – because no supermarket sells them in Romania. So I had to deal with what I had, and that is “barely green” bananas 🙂
But the result turned out great whatsoever!
Here’s how I made my “plantain” chips:
I used 5 green bananas and 8 Tbsp duck fat for frying
Peeled the green bananas and cut them into very thin slices (they need to be thin so that they cook well and don’t remain soft in the middle)
I placed all the plantain sliced in a bowl with enough water to cover them, in which I also added in 1 tsp Himalayan salt. I let them rest for 30 minutes in water
Heated 6 Tbsp duck fat in a larger pan on high heat and once the fat was very hot I turned the heat to medium-low. You need to make sure there’s enough fat in the pan to cover the plantains, as they will need to be deep fried
I placed the first batch of plantain chips from the water bowl on a paper towel to have the water removed a bit before frying (water in hot grease is pretty dangerous to be next to). I then placed them in the heated duck fat (after I turned the heat to medium-low, otherwise the fat would have sprinkled everywhere). Make sure there’s enough space between the chips, or else they’ll stick to each other, which we don’t want
I deep fried them for about 3 minutes on each side and them placed them from the pan to a paper towel to have the grease removed. You can get them out when they look crispy enough and their color becomes golden. Once taken out, sprinkle more salt over them while they’re still hot
I repeated the same steps with the next batches of plantains, adding in more duck fat as needed
You can also use any other vegetable oil for deep frying them, however I preferred duck fat in order to have them 100% AIP compliant (as olive oil is not normally used for deep frying). But if I think about it, you can also try frying them in coconut oil as well (which is also appropriate for deep frying).
The plantain chips are an AIP friendly snack that you can store for up to 2 days and enjoy a healthy crunchy snack anytime you need one. Aaaaand if you do find plantains instead of green bananas ( 🙂 ) it’s going to be even better!
P.S. The avocado oil in this post’s image was just used for the green salad that I combined the plantains with!
Romanian cuisine is my favorite out of all the East-European cuisines. It is my national cuisine and because I appreciate it so much, I made a couple of tests in turning some of my favorite Romanian recipes into dishes that are AIP and Paleo Friendly.
In this article we’re going to talk about the Romanian traditional soup, which is called “ciorba” in Romanian. The “Ciorba” is a soup with diced pieces of meat and vegetables that we consume in Romania very often – almost on a daily basis. What we like the best about it is that it’s packed with lots of vitamins, it’s served as hot as one can resist and it’s made from all organic ingredients. In Romania we use the farmer’s market very much because it offers 100% natural produce and meat from small farms that don’t use any additives.
So here’s my AIP reinterpretation of the Romanian turkey “ciorba” 🙂
Here's are the ingredients I used:
1 lb diced turkey meat (I use chest)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 white onion – chopped
1 zucchini – diced
3 liters filtered water
2 carrots – chopped
1 cup mushrooms – diced
1/4 celery root – chopped
1 medium parsnip – chopped
1 handful parsley
1 Tbsp Himalayan salt
And here's how I prepared my delicious turkey "ciorba":
I used a larger pan and heated the olive oil on medium heat, then added in the onion, and stewed it for 1 min until it turned glossy. I then added in the diced turkey, mushrooms, chopped carrots, chopped, parsnip and chopped celery root and stewed together for another 8-10 minutes until they all combined. I stirred continuously to avoid anything sticking to the pan.
After they all cooked together for 10 min, I added in all the water and the salt and let everything cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes.
I then added in the diced zucchini and set the heat to medium-high and let the ciorba soup cook for another 10 minutes, or until the zucchini was tender (test with a fork).
I removed the pot from heat and added in the fresh parsley for extra flavor.
The “ciorba” soup is served as hot as you can handle and you can store it in the fridge and serve for another 2-3 days.
I was very satisfied with my AIP reinterpretation of the traditional Romanian ciorba and to be completely honest, this is one of the dishes I highly recommend for the main course. Why? Well, because it contains just about everything the body needs for a daily first course.
I hope you enjoy the ciorba as much as I do and that you’ll let me know if you have any questions! 🙂
I missed bread during my AIP diet! Guilty as charged! Just wanted to remember the taste of baked flour in my mouth after almost 2 months of being on a strict AIP diet (in elimination phase).
So I put together some ingredients that gave me these delicious AIP bread rolls I’m very proud of!
Of course they’re gluten-free, egg-free and dairy free and they served me as a great side-dish for my delicious traditional Romanian “bucket meat”.
Here’s what I put in them (measurement unit in grams for flour and ml for liquid):
180 g tapioca flour
40 g coconut flour – I used my favorite from Swanson:
2/3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground Himalaya salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp gelatin for making a gelatin egg
80 ml water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp olive oil, for brushing the rolls
1 Tbsp thyme, for sprinkling over the baked rolls
Here’s how I made my rolls:
I first preheated my oven at 200 C or 400 F.
I mixed all the dry ingredients in a bowl until well combined (tapioca and coconut flour, garlic powder, salt and baking soda).
I then started working on my gelatin egg: I put the water in a small saucepan and sprinkled the gelatin over evenly, making sure it does not create any clumps! I let it sit for 5 minutes and then put the pan on medium heat for one more minute. I then started to stir slowly until I made sure it is all dissolved.
Once dissolved, I put the gelatin egg and the apple cider vinegar in the bowl with the dry ingredients and mixed them using a wooden spoon until dough was formed.
I let the dough rest for 5 minutes and prepared for creating my rolls by dusting some tapioca flour on my hands to make sure the dough doesn’t stick.
I then divided the dough into eight separate pieces, trying to make them all as equal sized as possible. I then modeled the pieces as rolls and placed them on the baking tray lined with a parchment paper, making sure there’s enough space between them.
Before putting them in the oven, I brushed them with olive oil until completely covered and baked them for 12 minutes. I then took them out and brushed them again with olive oil to make sure they turn to a golden color. I put them back in the oven and baked them again for another 12 minutes. Then I took them out and brushed them again with olive oil for the third time and let them bake for another 2-3 minutes or until their crust turned to golden.
After the last round of baking I took them out of the oven and sprinkled thyme on all the rolls.
Being on an AIP diet may be a bit frustrating initially, especially as one of the first things you consider is the fact that you have to give up sugar.
Well, I have great news for you: the AIP and Paleo diets are very permissive with desserts. There are hundreds of desserts you can try, which are organic, healthy and contain anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Here’s the tapioca pudding recipe that I absolutely love and that you can make out of just 4 ingredients.
Here’s what I used:
1 cup hydrated tapioca pearls
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp honey
1 mango fruit
* The tapioca pearls should be left for hydrating in filtered water for at least 3 hours. Make sure you add enough water as they enlarge 3 times their size.
Here’s how I’ve done it:
In a small saucepan I added the tapioca pearls on medium heat and added half of the coconut milk.
I stirred continuously using a large tablespoon until the pudding became solid and then I added in the rest of the coconut milk and continued mixing, in total for about 6 minutes. Depending on how thick you like your pudding, you might want to keep it more on less on the heat.
I let it cool for 1 minute and then added in the honey and stirred again the whole thing until it became homogeneous.
I then placed the pudding in cups and let it cool at room temperature for another 20 minutes.
I peeled the mango fruit and prepared each half differently, as I wanted to top my two servings differently: I chopped and blended 1 half until I obtained a puree and I minced the other half in whole square-like pieces.
I then topped the first serving with the puree and the other serving with the whole mango pieces.
Voila! I obtained the mango tapioca pudding two ways: one with mango puree and the other with whole mango pieces!
Now I’m just enjoying my gluten-free/sugar-free/dairy-free AIP pudding while writing this blog post!
Avocado has been my source of inspiration lately. I like its texture, it’s color and especially I like that it’s full of antioxidants and vitamins! It’s quite funny because we don’t grow this fruit in Romania, but I’m so glad I discovered it better since I’ve started my AIP diet.
Avocado is both carbohydrates and healthy fats, which makes it the perfect choice for the AIP and Paleo diets and the whole process of healing your leaky gut. And to make things more interesting, it contains some of the most valuable vitamins, like:
Now enough with the praise, let’s do some AIP guacamole! 🙂
Here are the ingredients I used for one serving:
1 ripe avocado (the kind of use has a darker color when ripe)
1/2 medium size onion
1 tsp olive oil (the avocado is already oily so more oil makes it a bit icky). I used this olive oil since it’s 100% organic:
1 tsp lemon juice
sea salt per taste
Here’s how I prepared it:
I cut the avocado in two halves and took out its kernel. I then peeled it using a large spoon (if the fruit is ripe you just bring in the tip of the spoon between the pulp and the peel and you can easily take out the pulp by rotating the spoon)
I placed the fruit in a small mixing bowl and mashed it all using a fork. It needs to be completely mashed in order to be able to mix it with the rest of ingredients.
I then added in the chopped onion, the olive oil, the lemon juice and the sea salt and blended all ingredients together until I obtained a homogeneous mixture.
Yes, it’s that simple!
I like to eat the guacamole as it is OR as a side dish to Romanian traditional AIP “bucket meat”.
*If you prefer a bruschetta snack you can easily top any type of AIP or Paleo bread with it and you’ll have your super snack ready in no time.