figs. also, some kale.

I was a little slow this morning, both mentally and physically.  The snooze button on my alarm was pressed for a full 45 minutes before I finally crawled out of bed.  I knew the weather was supposed to be cold and dreary today so I’ll blame my lack of motivation on that.

When I puttered out to the kitchen to work on prepping today’s eats I had nary a clue as to what I would fix.  As I shuffled things around on the top shelf of my fridge, I accidentally knocked a small container of Fage to the floor.  After picking it up and discovering the crack that had formed in the bottom of the container, I realized that breakfast was solved.

Breakfast:  one 6oz cup of 0% Fage, 1/2  a pink lady apple, 1/4 cup of homemade granola from my lovely friend Beth and a drizzle of cranberry ketchup.

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Perfect combination.  I truly loved this breakfast.  Have I mentioned that the CK is good on EVERYTHING? I know you’re probably sick of reading about it, but I’ve got just over one jar left to finish up before it goes bad so I’ll happily continue to experiment over the next week.  In fact, this morning I made my hubb a brie, apple, spinach and cranberry ketchup sandwich on honey wheat bread.  He LOVED it, as did I when he brought over a bite for me to taste.

After solving my breakfast and the hubb’s lunch, I was at a bit of a loss thinking about what I wanted for lunch.  I thought about more meatball soup, but decided I should give it a rest and add some variety back into my meals and my blog.  There are a couple of sweet potatoes on the counter that I thought about baking, but didn’t have time.  Same with the spaghetti squash.  I finally settled on a bag of dried french lentils in the pantry that I’ve been meaning to make a salad with for quite some time.  It seemed that I had enough time to quickly simmer them soft, but I wasn’t altogether sure since it had been awhile since I’d made them.  

I brought 1 cup of french lentils to a boil in 2 cups of chicken broth, reduced the heat and simmered for 40 minutes, 10 minutes longer than I had anticipated which resulted in a very rushed salad prep.  They are still slightly crunchy, which I like.  I’m not a big fan of lentils when they turn to mush.

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Tossed with chopped bell pepper, cucumber, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and creole mustard, this simple salad turned out pretty well.  I’ll be experimenting more though because I’ve had many better lentil salads at restaurants around town.

Lunch:  Lentil Salad with 1/2 a whole wheat pita and a pear.  I meant to sprinkle some crumbled feta on top of the salad, but in my rush I forgot.  Maybe tomorrow.

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For snacks I brought:  2 clementines and an Iced Gingerbread Clif Bar, I only ate one of the clems.

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This was my first experience with any of the holiday-flavored Clif Bars.  I know, I’m way behind.  I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’ve read many mixed reviews about them, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I nibbled on the bar a bit before lunch.  It was quite tasty!  I saved the rest for an afternoon snack and enjoyed it immensely.  Looks like I’m in for a hunt around town before they are all gone for another year.  Now if I could only remember where I found them…

I also had two more dark chocolate covered potato chips.  Yes, I said potato chips.  I don’t know why they don’t show the dark chocolate option on the website, but I definitely prefer dark to milk chocolate these days.  I wish the chocolate was a little thinner so you could taste a bit more of the salted potato chip, but they are delicious all the same.

During my lunch break I perused the last couple of days of the NY Times Dining + Wine section on the web.  I came across this recipe and couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I’ll blame it on the rain again. So, I hopped in the car with my hubb for a couple of late-lunchtime errands and purchased 4 chicken thighs, some dried figs, honey and lemons.  Also, some kale.  I’ve been craving greens since I couldn’t find them for our New Years Day lucky dinner.

Dinner:  Broiled Chicken with Honey Fig Sauce, sautéed kale and roasted garlic rice.

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I discovered a new love for dried figs.

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They are perfectly sweet and soft, and the seeds provide a wonderfully satisfying crunch.  Love.

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The chicken is broiled in the oven until the outside is delicately crispy and the inside still moist.  The figs are simmered with honey, white wine and spices until a thick glaze forms, then drizzled over the chicken.  Paired with one of my longtime favorites, sautéed kale, this meal was a sure winner.

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We sautéed the kale in olive oil with some garlic, salt and pepper until the leaves wilted slightly and turned bright green.

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Before serving, we squeezed a bit of lemon juice across the kale.  Perfect.

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The hubb and I were pretty happy with the results.  If we make the chicken recipe again we will make a few changes…

  • Use ground coriander instead of whole, and cut amount accordingly
  • Omit lemon juice from fig glaze
  • Lessen honey, perhaps substitute a bit more wine?  🙂

At any rate, I’m a very happy girl after eating this simple gourmet meal.  Especially since we paired it with one of my new favorite wines, a local white that we used in the glaze as well.

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And now, its bedtime after another long post.  I hope you’ve all had a pleasant day, and that tomorrow brings better weather for those of us that have been plagued with rain and cold for the last 24 hours. Good night!  🙂

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25 responses to “figs. also, some kale.

  1. That dinner sounds wonderful!

    I hope the dreary weather ends soon!

  2. Hope you get some good weather soon! I have got to make that cranberry ketchup… thanks again for the recipe 🙂

  3. Kale! I keep walking by the kale at the grocery store and thinking I should pick some up, but it intimidates me for some reason. I think I’ve only ever prepared it in soup before, for myself. I’m gonna have to get some and just do a simple saute, like you did, because it looks delish. Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

  4. I made sauteed kale for the first time the other night, and loved it. I have to try the lemon juice on it!

    Lovely pictures and eats, as always!

  5. Great fig compote for the chicken! I love that kind of creative cooking in the kitchen!

  6. I like your lentil salad, great idea.

  7. Dried Figs + Kale + Granola Bowl = Some of my favorite eats ever!

  8. Where DID you find those Clif bars? My little sister has been looking all over for the iced gingerbread flavor and cannot for the life of her find it!

  9. CHECK OUT MY LATEST BLOG POST FOR SOMETHING WITH DRIED FIGS!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  10. i just needed to come out of the closet and tell you…i LOVE your blog. it is my all-time fave. your photos are always so beautiful and i just love the way you enjoy food and health. have a lovely day!

  11. This is so timely, as I’ve been thinking that I should give chicken another try. (I usually don’t enjoy chicken much.) But, with figs, honey and white wine…how could it not be wonderful?

    Thanks for posting!

  12. Laura – Still dreary here…but I’m hoping it will clear up by this evening’s run!

    Maggie – I hope you do make the CK…its soooo good. I’m planning on making a bunch and actually canning it so that I can keep it handy even when fresh cranberries are unavailable!

    Rachel – Definitely try kale! It is one of my all-time favorite veggies. If you get larger leaves, be sure to trim the stems out or they will be too tough. Or, boil first for 3-5 minutes then saute. Enjoy!

    sarahannmatheny – the lemon juice was a new touch for me, and I really liked it! Also good, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. 🙂

    Jessica, Meghann, Shelby – Thank you!

    Ashley – I remembered this morning that I found them at Integral Yoga…do you have those in NYC?

    VeggieGirl – Heading over there right now!!!

    Bek – Thank you! I’m blushing…you made my day! 🙂

    Maureen – Do try the recipe, but maybe with the suggestions I made at the bottom. Or not. 🙂 I thought the broiled chicken would freak me out a little (I’m iffy on chicken too…) but I loved the crispiness! 🙂

  13. I was feeling so sluggish today too!
    Gosh I can’t wait for Spring to arrive…!

    Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog. I find you very inspiring! 🙂 Your story is very similar to my own.

    What are your running goals for 2009?

    Angela
    http://www.ohsheglows.com

  14. Your dinner looks so fabulous!

  15. Thanks so much for the comment on my blog – it led me to your BEAUTIFUL blog! Honestly, gorgeous pictures!!

    Your hubs sandwich sounds like a knockout!

  16. I can not get over your pictures. They look like they’re out of a high end cook book or magazine.
    I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never had kale, is there anything you could compare it to?

  17. Chocolate covered potato chips? Hmmm…talk about hitting two cravings with one stone! 🙂

    I totally want to try them!

  18. I’m not sick of the cranberry ketchup – it looks so beautiful on all your dishes – keep talkign about it! 🙂

    I love the Clif holiday bars – the pumpkin pie was beyond amazing!

  19. Your pictures are so beautiful! I always get hungry when I look at them! 🙂

  20. Hi there! Just found your blog from your cousin Meghann’s…I love it! I’m eyeing that kale, it looks so good! Your pictures are awesome!

  21. Pingback: sleepy girl « bella eats

  22. Thanks everybody!

    Angela – Thank you! I love your blog too! 🙂 My first running goal is to finish the 10-miler on April 5th, and after that we’ll see!

    Danielle – I think kale is very similar to collard greens, but with a different texture. My favorite is lacinato (dinosaur) kale…I stay away from the curly green and purple varieties, they are more bitter. Give it a try! Read my reply to Rachel above though…

    FitBottomedGirls – you may be able to order from the website…! 🙂 They are so good, but make sure you have some friends or co-workers to share with, they are addicting!

    Alli – Don’t worry…plenty more cran ketchup coming! 🙂

    Jill, K, Danielle, dailygoods, Aggie – welcome and thanks for stopping by!

  23. Love the lentil salad!

    I liked that flavor Clif bar, too. 😀

  24. wow. nice recipe. I’ve never tried kale. maybe i’ll give it a whirl soon!

    and clif bars- we eat them like crazy at my house. good stuff.

  25. Pingback: bella terra: bridging the gap « bella eats

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