Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Figs

May 5, 2014
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs & a Balsamic Glaze .. this salad offers truly amazing flavor .. the final product truly better than the sum of its parts

There's an interesting dynamic I've noticed, as we enter week six of Venice Nutrition's 8-week run


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I could be wrong, but something tells me I'm not.  Putting words to the feeling taking longer than I ever would have thought

The Freudian Slip

“Stopped at Starbucks for my morning coffee” .. What a great dessert we had at Easter dinner” .. “Went out for burgers last night” .. “Had my glass of wine before bed .. “

(Not a judgment by any means, from the woman who went to Mexico and had a sordid love affair with fig gelato)

followed by its close friend Awkward

The slipper realizing, “Shoot, maybe I shouldn't have said that since I'm part of the run.”  In a hushed, almost shamed voice, begins the duck and cover, backtracking.  “I had just one.  It was my treat meal.”

“Of course,” the graceful out freely given.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs & a Balsamic Glaze .. this salad offers truly amazing flavor .. the final product truly better than the sum of its parts

Week 1 – Detox  – While it was difficult, it seemed overshadowed by the newness — a sense of adventure.  Group camaraderie was high as we started this new and exciting challenge together.

Week 2 – Some continued with Detox, while others moved to the Ignite phase.  If motivation during week one was a ten, this week brought an 8 1/2 – 9.  New recipes were posted.  There were stories from the road.  Every time someone walked through the door,  they were visibly smaller.

Week 3 – The newness has lost its luster.  Our weight loss was slowing dramatically as we added foods like complex carbs back into our diets.  Fewer people came for the Monday night webinar, although we seemed to remain determined, settling in for the long haul

Week 4 – The left turn at Albuquerque – It was here, it seems, for one reason or another, we each started to slip

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs & a Balsamic Glaze .. this salad offers truly amazing flavor .. the final product truly better than the sum of its parts

I offer no profound commentary, nor judgment of the kind.  But we may as well give a nod to the dance, acknowledge the awkwardness of the moment, and stop the closet shame of eating a slice of bread, some Greek yogurt or having a glass of wine before bed

The reality is, the 8-week run is challenging; it really is, in a way that something worth having truly can be.  It takes out sugar, dairy, gluten,  caffeine, alcohol, soy, and pretty much anything one is used to.  I tell you what, my friend, at the end of the day, that is a lot.  I don't care who you are; it just is.

Don't get me wrong; the list of foods you CAN eat are all incredibly clean, healthy, and delicious.  Anyone can follow the plan for a while.

(Many more thoughts to come ..)

Sweet Potatoes & Figs 14

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If you came to our house and opened the fridge, you would find Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.  Do I have it every day or for every meal?  No, but it's there.

The other night my husband and I celebrated three months of marriage (a season) by sitting in the window of our downtown wine bar,  sharing a Subway sandwich and a glass of wine.

Will it take me longer to reach my goals?  Probably, but that's ok.  As my coach would say, “May your actions match your expectations”  or “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

Since I started, I'm down 7 1/2 pounds and 2% body comp.  I'm still doing the run, 80-85%.  I've found what works for me.  Because at the end of the day, life isn't about being 100% nor is it about guilt, shame, or awkward moments among friends

So I wonder, if we'd all be a little bit better, event a little bit happier, if we just said it out loud?

Food for thought

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Figs & a Balsamic Glaze .. this salad offers truly amazing flavor .. the final product truly better than the sum of its parts

Over this beautiful and sunny Iowa weekend, my husband and I spent some time in the kitchen.  It's one of our favorite things to do, and this recipe a wonderful excuse to use the fresh/frozen figs we picked up at Trader Joe's.

If you're looking for a delicious side, this one is really good.  The finished product is better than the sum of its parts.  The balsamic reduction I'll make again for drizzling on other roasted veggies.



ps:  To make this recipe vegan, simply eliminate the goat cheese

pps:  This recipe could easily be converted to a main meal by adding a serving of protein

— —

~ Adapted from Epicurious

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Figs


  • 4 small sweet potatoes
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 12 green onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 2" segments
  • 1 red chile, thinly sliced
  • 6 ripe figs, quartered
  • 5 oz soft goat's milk cheese, optional
  • sea salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Roast the Sweet Potatoes
  • Preheat the oven to 475° F
  • Wash the sweet potatoes, halve them lengthwise, and then cut each half again similarly into 3 long wedges. Mix with 3 Tbsp of the olive oil, 2 tsp salt, and some black pepper.
  • Spread the wedges out, skin side down, on a baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes, until soft but not mushy.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

  • Make the Balsamic Reduction
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, until it thickens.
  • (Be sure to remove the pan from the heat when the vinegar is still runnier than honey; it will continue to thicken as it cools. Stir in a drop of water before serving if it does become too thick to drizzle)

  • Finish
  • Arrange the sweet potatoes on a serving platter.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the green onions and chile. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often to make sure not to burn the chile.
  • Spoon the oil, onions, and chile over the sweet potatoes.
  • Dot the figs among the wedges and then drizzle over the balsamic reduction.
    Serve at room temperature. Crumble the cheese over the top, if using.
  • Serve at room temperature.
Serves: 6
Nutrition + Show
Calories 240
Total Fat 14.5g
Saturated Fat 6g
Carbohydrates 21.3g
Fiber 3g
Sugars 12.6g
Protein 7.3g
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  • Reply Allison May 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I love all of these flavours together! The balsamic would be fantastic with the veggies and figs. Yum! Great recipe 🙂 Looks like something a little different than just the standard roasted sweet potatoes!

    • Reply sexyveggie May 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm

      Thank-you so much Allison .. it really is worth trying.

      I truly appreciate you taking time to read & leave a comment.


  • Reply Annie May 8, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Look at all those colors! I love this, it sounds like an awesome flavor combo. Pinning!

    • Reply sexyveggie May 8, 2014 at 4:11 pm


      Thanks so much ..


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