Have you ever been stumped and had to ask for help? That would be me. I didn’t know what to do about my climbing blood sugars and in spite of my best efforts to bring them down, they aren’t cooperating. So, I saw a functional nutritionist the other day and after an extensive blood work up and an even more detailed questionnaire, (going back to the womb) with every area covered: social, emotional, spiritual, dental, motivational, hormonal, stressful, oh and yes, the physical; I had my appointment with her. She pinpointed that I wasn’t absorbing my nutrients too well, so she strongly suggested I needed bitter foods in my arsenal of health. And much less carbs. So before the low carb fog hit, I shopped for these bitter foods. The grocer knew exactly what I meant. “Save money and eat these,” as he handed me some endive, dandelion roots, and radicchio. Fully intending to eat these raw, I went home thinking, no problem. (My only source of bitter foods was dark chocolate, which of course I tended to binge on…I wonder why? I needed another source of bitter!)
But when I fixed my first salad (without a recipe) it was all I could do to finish it. I had to find a way to make these a regular part of my diet, especially since bitter helps modulate blood sugar and step up the digestion so that my body can use the minerals and nutrients in the foods I eat. This also might widen my family’s palate.
I found several recipes but I want to give credit to Taste of Home for a great warm Wilted Curly Endive Recipe. Endive, I’ve never liked it…but this is not your mother’s endive. There is no bitterness in it and you won’t want to just eat your serving, but another and another. I modified it because I didn’t have all the endive it called for, so here it is with my modifications.
Wilted Curly Endive Salad
- 8 strips of bacon
- 2 bunches curly endive (use only the more tender leaves, not the stalk)
- 3 quarts water
- 1.5 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar (the vinegar goes nicely with this and I don’t like vinegar that well, but if you’re like my husband who likes vinegar even less than I do, then go with only a tablespoon.)
- 1/3 C finely chopped onion (I like a bit more onion than the original recipe)
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- Cook bacon until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. (It helps to have a sous chef when you’re cranky and tired from low carb fog to help out here, but don’t let them eat the bacon). Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings. Cut or tear endive from center stalk; discard stalks.
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Add endive; cover and cook for 3 minutes or until wilted. Drain. Stir in the bacon, vinegar, onion, pepper, reserved drippings and remaining salt. Yield: 4 servings.
You may also want to try Dandelion and Parsnip Soup which is another way of getting the bitter into you without having to overdo it on the dark chocolate.