Monday, August 29, 2011

Grilled Figs with Honey & Thyme

Grilled Figs with Honey & Thyme

Last night on CNN, I stumbled upon an hour long documentary hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta called "The Last Heart Attack." A large chunk of the documentary explores the link between diet and heart disease, and specifically, whether eating a nutrient dense, plant-based diet (essentially a "vegan" diet, however, they stray away from using that word) can not only prevent, but also reverse heart disease.

Much of this interest has been sparked by President Clinton's recent revelation that he has converted to a vegan, nutrient dense diet in order to combat his much publicized heart disease (and Dr. Gupta interviews him at length).

Now, we all know that the American diet is a heart attack waiting to happen. That's not exactly breaking news. What was most interesting to me about the documentary was the idea that heart disease is reversible through dietary changes alone.

And the key to the diet isn't just avoiding meat, dairy, and saturated fat, but also eating nutrient dense foods, which I'm a big believer in (and it's a huge part of why I write this blog).

So it's not vegan or vegetarian, but rather nutritarian. This is my new favorite word, and one that I try to apply to my lifestyle. Essentially, it's a diet rich in plants (fruits and vegetables, with a heavy emphasis on greens), beans, nuts, and whole grains. And low in meat, dairy, and unhealthy fats. This is why I venture to the farmers market every week and load my cart to the brim with every type of fruit and veggie that catches my fancy. And then I plan meals for the entire week based around these purchases.

Here's a great Huffington Post article by a doctor on the topic called, "Heart Health: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease."

So, this isn't breaking news, right?

The real question is whether people will actually be willing to make these dietary changes. I do see a shift, but only time will tell...

On that note, here's my Meatless Monday column, where I bring you fabulous, nutrient-dense recipes every week. Oh, and Meatless Monday is featuring my recipe for Roasted Eggplant with Cilantro Yogurt on their website this week (and they have other great meatless recipes available every week).

Today, I wanted to share my latest food obsession: Grilled Figs with Thyme and Honey. Local figs have appeared at the farmers market.

The other night, I halved and grilled up a batch, and topped them with a little fresh thyme and a drizzle of organic raw honey. Then, I served them up for dessert.

When I took my first bite of fig, my brain synapses were completely overloaded by the deliciousness. The delicate flesh, sweet and tart flavors, and crunchy seeds are like nothing else in the world. The thyme added a great herbaceous flavor, and the raw honey gave the figs just a touch of decadence. There really is nothing like fresh figs.

On a health benefits notes, figs are high in potassium, fiber, and a good food source of calcium. They've also been shown to lower triglyceride levels (good for your heart) and inhibit cancer cell growth.

I bought another huge bag of figs today, which I'll be grilling over the course of the week. I can't wait...

Grilled Figs with Honey & Thyme
Serves 2 people
Cooking time: about 10 minutes
Vegan; gluten-free
Print Recipe

  • 1 pint of figs (about 2 cups), stems removed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  1. Preheat the grill.
  2. Grill the figs for a minute or two on each side over low or indirect heat.
  3. Remove to a serving platter. Carefully place a few thyme leaves on each fig.
  4. Drizzle them with the honey. Enjoy!  

Source for Ingredients
  • fresh figs and fresh thyme from the West Hollywood Farmers Market
  • organic raw honey from Whole Foods


  1. Roasted figs with honey and thyme sound divine! I have been a bit fig crazy myself around here... And you know I'm down with being a "nutritarian." Balance is everything :)

  2. Oh man, I'm obsessed! I'm making this again tonight. So nice to hear from you! I miss seeing you. Will you be in LA any time soon?