Tag Archives: Quick and Easy Meals

Figs with Honey, Ricotta, and Balsamic


I fully intended to make a peach cobbler when I stopped at the Tuesday evening farmers market in Culver City, but I got distracted by a table topped with baskets of luscious mission and calimyrna figs. They were set apart from the other fruit, merchandised like precious jewels. A man in a bright blue Arnett Farms t-shirt and denim apron stood guard over them to make sure they weren’t roughly poked and squeezed by shoppers. There was no need to manhandle them, samples were sliced and set out with toothpicks to prove that they were indeed perfectly ripe and lightly sweet. I bit into a wedge of mission fig, felt the crunch of tiny seeds and tasted the honey-flavored fruit, and I forgot all about peach cobbler.

Figs are just coming to the markets in Southern California and they’ll be around until early October. We’re lucky. In some parts of the country, figs are elusive, ephemeral crops that  appear for mere weeks. Snatch them up! These ruby gems should be enjoyed. They are versatile ingredients that are as delicious in desserts as they are in savory meals (try them in salads, and with pork loin or chicken). Figs are also really good for you. Thanks to their seeds and meaty flesh, figs are very high in fiber, plus they are a good source of calcium and potassium. Ayurvedic medicine recommends eating figs every morning to strengthen teeth and gums and regulate digestion.

Perfectly ripe figs are one of the most perishable fruits. They’re picked after they ripen and bruise easily, so they can be hard to find in supermarkets. Farmers markets are the best place to buy figs, and most vendors will even let you sample the goods first (my favorite part)! If you get figs that are a little too hard, try leaving them in a sunny spot for a day, then eat them right away.

Look for plump figs with intact stems and flesh that isn’t torn or bruised. You want soft fruit that gives ever so slightly when squeezed, anything softer will be mushy. Figs spoil quickly, so plan to eat them within a day or two, if not in the car on the way home. Store them unwashed and covered on a shelf in the fridge where they won’t get bruised. Wash just before serving.

When they’re this beautiful, I like to eat figs just as they are. They shine in simple preparations like this dish with a honey and ricotta “cream” made with yogurt. I topped them with a drizzle of really good aged balsamic vinegar from Los Olivos, which is a rich, dark syrup with complex flavor and none of the acid tang of salad dressing. Splurge on the best balsamic you can afford, but if the grocery store variety is all you can find, you can make a syrup of balsamic vinegar by simmering a 1/4 cup over low heat until it reduces by half. Let cool completely before using in this dish.

Figs with Honeyed Ricotta and Balsamic Vinegar
(Makes 3 servings, about ¼ cup each)

Total Time: 5 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: None

⅓ cup part-skim ricotta
⅓ cup nonfat plain yogurt
1½ tsp. raw honey
6 fresh figs, cut in half
3 tsp. aged balsamic vinegar

1. Combine ricotta, yogurt, and honey in a small bowl; mix well.
2. Divide ricotta mixture into three small serving dishes; top each evenly with figs.
3. Drizzle each dish with 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

from Beachbody Blog


White Fish with Tomato Salsa

This flaky white fish is easy to make and high in protein. Cooking it with fresh tomatoes and herbs gives it tons of flavor.

White Fish with Tomato Salsa

Total Time: 19 min.

Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 9 min.
Yield: 4 servings

1 medium red tomato, finely chopped
1 medium yellow tomato, finely chopped
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
4 (4-oz.) each white fish fillets (like cod, halibut, or tilapia)

1. Preheat grill or broiler on high.
2. Combine tomatoes, basil, oil, and vinegar in a medium bowl; mix well.
3. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well. Set aside.
4. Top baking sheet with foil. Top with fish and tomato salsa. Pull up sides of foil and close, leaving a small opening at the top.
5. Grill or broil for 7 to 9 minutes. Open foil carefully (steam will come out). Fish should flake easily when tested with a fork.

Nutritional Information: (per serving)

Calories: 140
Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 49 mg
Sodium: 76 mg
Carbs: 3 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 1 g
Protein: 21 g


P90X/P90X2 Portions (per serving)

1 protein
1 vegetable


P90X3 Portions (per serving)

½ carb
1 protein

Body Beast Portions (per serving)

2 proteins
1 vegetable

21 Day Fix Portions(per serving)

1 green container
½ red container
1 tsp.

Sweet Potato Salad

This salad is topped with hearty sweet potatoes–a superfood that is high in beta-carotene, potassium, and manganese. Pumpkin seeds add extra crunch!

Sweet Potato Salad

 Total Time: 1 hour 15 min.

Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 30 min.
Yield: 2 servings

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. raw honey (or pure maple syrup)
1 dash Himalayan salt (or sea salt)
1 tsp. chopped fresh herbs (like basil, oregano or parsley) (to taste; optional)
1 medium baked sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 medium green apple, chopped
½ medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk green onion, finely sliced
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups fresh arugula
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seed kernels, toasted (or chopped raw walnuts)

1. Combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and herbs (if desired) in a medium bowl; whisk to blend. Set aside.
Set aside.
2. Combine sweet potato, apple, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl; mix well.
3. Drizzle dressing over sweet potato mixture; toss gently to blend.
4. Place even amounts of arugula on two serving plates; top each with sweet potato mixture and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Tip: Bake fork-pierced sweet potato at 450° F for 30 to 40 minutes or until just tender. Do not over bake; cool.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 236
Fat: 11 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 194 mg
Carbohydrate: 32 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sugar: 16 g
Protein: 5 g

P90X/P90X2 Portions (per serving)

½ carb/grain
1 vegetable
½ fat
½ fruit

P90X3 Portions (per serving)

2½ carb
1 fat

Body Beast Portions (per serving)

1 starch
1 fat
2 vegetables
1 fruit

21 Day Fix Portions(per serving)

1 green container
1 yellow container
1 blue/orange container