Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Figs with a Balsamic Glaze

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 6 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 Fruedian 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 judgement by any means .. from the woman who went to Mexico & had a sordid love affair with fig gelato)

followed by it's close friend Awkward

The slipper realizing .. “Shoot .. maybe I shouldn't have said that since I'm part of the run” .. and in a hushed .. almost shamed voice .. begins the duck & 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 & exciting challenge together.

Week 2 .. Some continued with Detox .. while others moved to the Ignite phase. If motivation during week 1 was a 10 .. 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 slowing dramatically as we added foods like complex carbs back into our diets .. less people came for the Monday night webinar .. though 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 difficult .. it really is .. in a way that something worth having truly can be. It takes out sugar .. dairy .. gluten .. caffeine .. alcohol .. most protein powders .. 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 .. and anyone can follow the plan .. for a period of time.

(Many more thoughts to come ..)

Sweet Potatoes & Figs 14

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

The other night The Chef & I celebrated 3 months of marriage (a season) .. by sitting in the window of our downtown wine bar .. sharing a Subway sandwich & 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 .. 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 & sunny Iowa weekend The Chef & I spent some time in the kitchen .. one of our favorite things to do .. 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 really is good. The finished product better than the sum of it's 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

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~ Adapted from Epicurious .. here

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Fresh Figs


  • 4 small sweet potatoes 2 1/4 lb / 1 kg in total
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp organic 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 and 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 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons 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.
Serves: 4
Nutrition + Show
Calories 230
Total Fat 12.44g
Carbohydrates 27.5g
Sugars 11.78g
Protein 4.28g
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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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