Tag Archives: fig

Romantic Mains to Impress

10 Feb

Even though I am not currently dating someone special… I still like to cook something nice, even if it’s just for myself.

After all, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate LOVE and there are many ways to express and celebrate love – love towards your parents, love towards your kids, love towards your siblings, love towards your pets, love towards your partner, love towards your neighbors, your family in general, your co-workers, your friends and most of all, LOVE TOWARDS YOURSELF.  Because, if you don’t love yourself, how do you expect others to love you too???

Here are a few ideas I have cooked in the past to impress a few loved ones…  hope you choose to make one to impress YOURSELF!!!

Cheese, Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

My Plate

Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes over Pasta

Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes - 3 tom

Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms

My Maggiano's Mushrooms

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Bake


Asparagus Tart

ASparagus Tart - Before 2 KFC

Korean Seasoned Tofu

Sesame Sauce

Chame’s Spinach Salad with Figs and Blue Cheese

Chame's Salad

Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Almond Praline


The Shape of Foods Help our Organs?? – FIGS

30 May

This is part of a series on how our food can help certain organs that resemble their same shape. I already shared with you how the following foods benefit these organs:

Carrots – Eyes

Tomatoes – Heart

Grapes – Heart

Walnuts – Brain

Celery, Rhubarn, Bok Choy – Bones

Beans – Kidneys

Sweet Potatoes – Pancreas

Eggplant, Pear and Avocados – women organs and issues

After discussing women issues… the guys can’t be left behind. Apparently, figs resemble the male testicles, therefore they seem to be beneficial in the production of male sperm.

Photo Courtesy of Meeta @ http://whatsforlunchhoney.net

Figs are also very effective at increasing libido in both males and females due to the high levels of amino acids, which play a vital role in normal sexual function. The fig is said to also increase sexual stamina. See? Who needs oysters when we have figs??

On a less sexual note, figs are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. Figs, like other high fiber foods, are also helpful to manage weight and the leaves of the fig have repeatedly been shown to have anti-diabetic properties and can actually reduce the amount of insulin needed by persons with diabetes who require insulin injections. Fig leaves have also been shown to lower levels of triglycerides.

I have discovered using figs in my cooking just recently. Before, my fig intake came from Fig Newton cookies. Now I can also enjoy them in:

Spinach, Figs and Blue Cheese Salad

We can all cook!!!!

21 Mar

Some of us love and enjoy cooking… Some of us just like to eat and would very willingly skip the cooking part because they find no joy in it at all. Or they just believe they do not have the skills necessary to cook delicious and healthy meals.

Such is the case of my friend Alison, the executive director of KarmaNYC’s Karma Life & Style Magazine. Alison loves to eat and she actually wants to follow a more healthful diet but feels her skills in the kitchen are an obstacle to her goal. She does not feel comfortable in the kitchen, AT ALL… not even her own kitchen. She doesn’t even know what kitchen appliances she owns!!!

She came to me for help… “Madelyn… I can’t cook to save my life!!! Where do I start??” Alison is not alone… I get this same question all the time from friends, family, even people I meet randomly. And what I suggest all of them do is start SMALL.

I now love cooking… but this wasn’t always that way. I remember there was a time when all I knew was to make things in the microwave. But it’s all a matter of exposure… exposure to flavors and techniques and ingredients that make your life easy and delicious.

I went to Alison’s home recently and created a whole dinner party menu ANYONE can put together, even kitchen-challenged Alison!!!! This menu is all about ASSEMBLY – mixing, layering, pureeing, tossing together ingredients which in the end all look and taste delicious. And on the best thing… it’s all good for you. Look at the directions of each of these recipes… lots of assembly, very little tending over a stove.

Here was our menu:

White Sangría


Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce

Queso de Cabra Tapa - KFC

Asparagus Tart

Mesclun Greens, Figs and Blue Cheese Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Apple Crisp

I hope Alison and some of you “eaters-not-cookers” find the confidence to make at least one of these recipes at home. You don’t have to make them all for a dinner party… start small. Pick one and start building your self-confidence. You’ll see that in very little time you’ll slowly start enjoying cooking, or at least “assembling” a whole lot more.

Stay positive… I am rooting for all of you. Right, Alison???

Chame’s Spinach, Figs and Blue Cheese Salad

12 Mar

This is my current favorite salad… hands down, I have been making it for 2-3 weeks straight almost every time I cook for myself at home.

Chame is my friend for 15+ years now.  And she has been inspired by our little blog here to follow a healthier lifestyle.  By reducing the animal products she and her family eat, they have been able to lose many pounds.  She tells me she feels with more energy, her cholesterol numbers are lower, she is trying new recipes each week … basically, she is in love with their new lifestyle.  The message here is that shifting your habits and lifestyle overall, does lead to improvements in weight and self-esteem.

When I was in Miami recently she invited me over to dinner.  She wanted to “brag” about the changes they’ve made in their diet and lifestyle and wanted to showcase one of their favorite meals – A mini pizza with a spinach salad with blue cheese and figs.  After my experience at Cocina Abierta recently, I am certainly a believer of figs in a salad.

Inspiration goes both ways… I am grateful to Chame for inspiring me to create this salad.  This is as easy as any salad is, and impressive enough to make for company.


Baby Spinach
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, sliced or diced
Dried Mission Figs, diced
Pickled Onions
Sliced Almonds
Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Assemble all salad ingredients in a salad bowl – from the spinach up to the cheese.
  2. In a measuring cup or bowl mix together 2 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar with a dash of salt and pepper to season.  Mix well and drizzle over salad.  Toss to coat.
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