A Recipe for Recovery

A Recipe for Recovery: Mache, Apple, Raspberry, and Frisee (Curly Endive) Salad

Remembering that Good Food = Good Mood, here is a quick, delicious, and vitamin rich salad I call the Anti-Stress/Anti-Fatigue Salad. Great nutrition for those in recovery.

Anti-Stress Dressing For Recovery

2-1⁄2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 1⁄2 tbsp. brown rice vinegar

1 tbsp. lime juice

1⁄2tbsp. local organic honey

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

salt and freshly ground pepper

Anti-Fatigue Salad For Recovery

3 cups frisee

5 cups mache (sounds like “mosh”)

1 sweet-tart red apple (such as Gala or Braeburn), cored and sliced

1⁄4 cup fresh raspberries (or frozen if fresh not available) 

1 tbsp. (1 ounce) crumbled goat cheese 

2-3 tbsp. toasted chopped pecans

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. In a large salad bowl, combine frisee, mache, apple, raspberries, goat cheese, and pecans. Drizzle with about 3⁄4 of the dressing and toss gently.

This salad is rich in the B vitamin folic acid (B9). B9 is required for energy production, formation of red and white blood cells (immunity), and is considered brain food. As a brain food, folic acid assists in regulating mood (antidepressant) and sleep patterns, particularly in older persons. It also includes the other B-complex vitamins, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), B12, inositol, & choline. Much of the B-vitamins are lost through drinking alcohol. The alcoholic in recovery can be certain that they are Vitamin B depleted.

The B-complex plays a vital role in maintaining a stable nervous system and a balanced brain essential for recovery. A balanced brain = a balanced mood – also essential for recovery. Deficiencies in these vital nutrients can result in: memory loss, mental confusion, nervousness, headaches, poor concentration, depression, anxiety, fatigue, apprehension, hyperactivity, insomnia, and impaired ability to create serotonin and other mood regulating neurotransmitters.

Additionally, Vitamin C, the true guardian of the immune system is found in this salad. It is no coincidence that our energy runs low in the winter. Winter is a difficult season for the body. Its more vulnerable, and our immune defenses tend to weaken. And if heavy drinking or drug use is or was present then it is for certain that the immune defenses will be down as well as the supply of B- complex. This needs to be replentished once in recovery.

Another nutritional plus in this salad is its content of ellagic acid which protects against damage to the chromosomes and blocks the cancer-causing actions of many pollutants such as in cigarette smoke. How many people in recovery are still smoking? Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional content of the ingredients:

Mache – is a small green that grows in rosette-shaped bunches. 5 oz. of mache contains 95% of the RDA of Vitamin C. Thanks to its Vitamin B9 content, mache is a food that has natural anti-fatigue, anti-stress, and anti-depressive properties. 100g of mache contain almost the RDA of 400-mcg of B9. Mache contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron (it has a third more iron than spinach), and fiber. It can be found in the refrigerated packaged greens section at Whole Foods.

Frisee – or curly endive is a variety of chicory with a slightly peppery or nutty taste. Similar to dandelion greens – frisee is high in Vitamin A, C, and the B vitamins riboflavin, B6, and thiamine. Frisee is an excellent source of calcium, copper, manganese, iron, protein, choline, inulin, and pectin. Overall, the benefits of eating frisee are one of a “toning” effect on the body. The bitterness is a digestive tonic with intestinal, antiseptic, germicidal, and expectorant effects.

Apple – an excellent source of Vitamin C, pectin, and other fibers, potassium, ellagic acid and flavonoids (especially quercitin). Raw apples have a higher nutrient content than cooked and the nutrients are found mostly in the skin. Apple consumption is consistently associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer (ellagic acid), asthma, and Type 2 diabetes.

Raspberries – an excellent source of fiber, manganese, Vitamin C, flavonoids (powerful antioxidants), and ellagic acid. A good source of B-complex ( B2, B9, niacin, pantothenic acid, and B6).

Pecans – 1 oz. of pecans contains 2.6 g of protein, 3.93 g of carbohydrates, and 2.72 g of fiber. They contain significant amounts of plant sterols, which have been widely researched for their cholesterol-lowering effects. They are a good source of the B-complex B1, B3, B5, B6 and Vitamin E. Pecans are high in manganese, copper, molybdenum, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and selenium.

Goat cheese – a good source of protein, phosphorous, calcium, the B- vitamins riboflavin, biotin, and pantothenic acid, and Vitamin D.

Olive oil – consists chiefly of oleic acid, a monosaturated oil that is mildly anti-inflammatory. It is one of the healthy fats that we need in our diets. This simple yet nutritiously dynamic salad is easy to make, delicious, and full of the nutrients that the body in recovery so desperately needs.  

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