Hi all! It’s been awhile. I’ve been traveling for most of the past few weeks. My husband and I traveled to Germany for his work, with a weekend trip to Berlin tacked on to that. Last week, we participated in a diplomatic trip, which included a couple of days on a lovely Danish island called Bornholm. I have lots of pictures to share, which will be in my next post. Here’s a sneak peek!
Cows…(I think this one is posing.)
And the ocean!
In the other news, I just got caught up on laundry. Why does it feel so good to be caught up on laundry? (Probably because it rarely happens.)
Eating was a bit tough in Germany since starchy potatoes, sausages, and beer are EVERYWHERE. We had to actively seek out other options. At one point, we had a juice bar just mix fresh strawberries and ice for us since we desperately wanted to eat something healthy and basic.
When we came back from that trip, we were only home for a few days before heading out for the diplomatic trip. While at home and between trips, I made a very simple dinner that I’m sharing with you today. I took leftover chicken and placed it on spinach salad (sometimes we use arugula – I love arugula!). Just to make the salad special, I sliced and warmed some dried figs using a little extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick skillet. That was dinner.
You have to try these warm figs. They’re good out of the bag, but they’re really something special when you warm them up! In addition to being tasty little things, dried figs are also rich in antioxidants and high in fiber. I thought of heating them up because I was trying to use up what we had in the house, which wasn’t much since we cleared the fridge in preparation of being out of town.
It’s important to remind ourselves that making a healthy meal can be quick and easy. You don’t need lots of seasonings or vegetables carved out like flowers. Arrange what you have nicely on a plate to make it special. My husband is just so happy to sit down and eat. He wouldn’t care if I threw it all in a bowl. But, I do like to make it look nice since it’s my way of showing him that I love him. I’m Italian and Greek. Cooking and sharing food is a big deal. We cook for the people we love!
We’re attending lots of diplomatic events, lunches, and dinners where there’s usually appetizers, a meal, wine, desserts…you name it. We recently attended a dinner where “dessert” was 3 courses! (More on that in the next post!) While we usually hold back from eating a lot of the food, we still have to eat if we’re at lunch or dinner. In an effort to remain balanced with our eating, we’re eating especially light right now when at home. Eating extra light and clean in these summer months is also a nice way to reset the body. It’s also nice to cook things that don’t take a lot of time or effort.
For the next couple of months, I’ll share what we’re actually eating at home during this busy time. It’s a challenge to make meals interesting when keeping it simple—but I do my best to mix things up and keep it tasty using fresh ingredients.
I dedicate this post to my Mom and Dad who are celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary today! My sister noted that on their 30th wedding anniversary, Dad asked Mom how they made it through so many years. Mom replied, “One meal at a time.”
Mom taught me everything I know about cooking and baking—and that includes the philosophy that healthy meals don’t always have to be complicated.
Enjoy this simple one! As always, it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and, corn-free.
Spinach Salad with Warm Figs
Yield: One salad
2 cups spinach (loosely packed)
1 piece of cooked chicken (sliced on the diagonal)
2 dried figs, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (to sauté figs)
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (for dressing)
squeeze of lemon (for dressing)
salt and pepper to taste
- Wash spinach and place on dish.
- Slice your leftover chicken on the diagonal and place it on top of the spinach.
- Slice figs so you end up with 6-8 pieces. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and the figs. Sauté the figs for 10 minutes, tossing them around every few minutes. Once soft and warm, place them over the salad.
- Dress salad with olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Sometimes I use arugula or a mix of spinach and arugula.
- Sliced pork works nicely in place of chicken
Nutritional Information Per Serving (One salad): 307 Calories, 4g Fat, 159mg Sodium, 29g Carbohydrates, 7g Fiber, 22g Sugar, 32g Protein