Fig & walnut salad with goats cheese & spinach

Hi MCLers

Hope you're all geared up (or wound down) for the Christmas break? Most of you will either have finished work or be on the verge of finishing and looking forward to starting the festivities… or if you're anything like me, you're pretty much head on into celebrations and already looking for that window of clean-time! 

If any of you have been lucky enough to jump on board a fabulous MC&L LBD or 21 day course pre-christmas you will have taken away the concept of Damage Limitation. I LOVE this term! I've been using it in earnest and have managed to get out for a few 6am runs with my gorgeous friend (and fellow MCLer) Ali Puente. 

Our thinking being a 3 mile run banks at least 3 mince pies, 2 large vinos or a steak and chips??! We all know this isn't true but surely a few morning runs scattered through the week to match the number of office parties, mums from school parties, running club parties is better than just sitting on your backside and getting fat. Thanks MC&L for the fabulous phrase. Definitely part of my festive vocabulary this year! 

As well as trying to keep as active as possible, I have also been making sure I keep to as many MC&L principles as possible whilst my daily menu is under my control. So although the house maybe filled with sweet treats and cheese, it still also has my staples of plenty of fresh fruit and veg. 

This week's blog is a combo of the festive delights in the kitchen with some clean ingredients: Fig and walnut salad with goats cheese and spinach.  

This is (as I always try) an extremely versatile recipe where you can swap the goats cheese for whatever is in the fridge: brie, wensleydale, stilton. Walnuts replaced with roasted chestnuts make for an even more festive dish. Spinach can be replaced with rocket or any other leaves you have. 

I found it a welcome dinner after a week of boozy lunches and carb loaded dinners. It was still special enough with the cheese and nuts not to feel like I was depriving myself but equally the greens and figs were warmly welcomed by my insides!!

Fig and Walnut salad with Goats Cheese and Spinach 


  • 4 figs halved 
  • 1 thumb goats cheese crumbled 
  • 10 walnuts
  • 200g spinach
  • Splash Marsala wine 
  • 2 'squirts' Agave Nectar


  1. Place figs with cut side up on a plate
  2. Squeeze agave nectar over figs liberally (2 squirts absolutely fine)
  3. In a dry pan, toast walnuts for approximately one minute and remove from heat. 
  4. Add figs cut side down and add splash of Marsala wine 
  5. Cook on medium heat for approx. 2 mins. 
  6. Whilst figs cooking, arrange spinach on plate. 
  7. Figs are cooked when juices have caramelised and figs are warm to touch. 
  8. Place figs on spinach leaves
  9. Scatter crumbled goats cheese over figs and leaves 
  10. Scatter walnuts in same fashion
  11. Drizzle over any remaining juices from fig pan - this works as a wonderful salad dressing 
  12. Enjoy warm! 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, clean lean 2015!

Until next year, 
Mandy x