Almond-Crusted Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Cherries

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Almond-Crusted Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Cherries is elegant and mouthwatering. Sweet, creamy, crunchy, and satisfying!

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I usually meal plan for the upcoming week sometime on Saturday afternoon so I can write out my grocery list and be ready to shop first thing Sunday morning.

If Ben’s around, and I’ve planned on making a ‘I’m pretty sure he’s going to hate this’ recipe that week (Veggie Burgers, anyone?) I’ll run it by him to gauge how horrified he’d be if I actually went through with it.

It always sounds like a good idea at the time, until the following inevitably happens…

Me: “Babe will you eat an Almond-Crusted Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Cherries if I make it this week?”

Ben: “Mmmm…yeah.”

Me: “Really?!”

Ben: “Yeah. You mean like as an appetizer? Totally.”

Me: “No I mean like for dinner.”

Ben: “Oh you mean like before dinner…”

Me: “NO I MEAN AN ALMOND-CRUSTED WARM GOAT CHEESE SPINACH SALAD WITH CHERRIES AS OUR ENTIRE DINNER.”

Ben: “Oh…no. Pssht. NO!

At this point he’s so horrified at the thought of only eating goat cheese, leaves and fruit for dinner, that I figure I’ll have to scrap the entire recipe because he’s lost ALL taste for it.

Unless…

Unless I can quickly & cleverly modify the meal in some way that will swiftly bring him back around, and glory can once again be mine!

Ok, “cleverly” usually entails just adding a chicken breast. I know. Seriously though, it works. Every time.

Me: “What if I add a chicken breast on top?

Ben: “Fine.”

Victory!

Thus, Almond-Crusted Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Cherries (and Chicken Breast) made it back on this week’s menu before it ever even really left.┬áThis might be my very favorite salad of the entire summer!

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Think velvety goat cheese draped over torn baby spinach, accented with juicy cherries and toasted almonds.

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Drizzled with balsamic reduction.

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AHHH!!!

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Almond-Crusted Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Cherries

Print this recipe!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1-9oz bag baby spinach, torn
20 cherries, pitted & halved
5oz chevre goat cheese (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
extra virgin olive oil
handful sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Simmer balsamic vinegar in a pan over medium-high heat and reduce until it reaches the consistency of thin maple syrup. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice goat cheese into 6 slices and line up on the baking sheet. Brush tops of goat cheese with olive oil and top with sliced almonds. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until goat cheese is warm and softened.
  3. Divide spinach between two plates. Top with cherries, warm goat cheese, and balsamic reduction.

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4. If you have a meat-loving, spinach-cheese-and-fruit-aint-gonna-cut-it-for-dinner husband, cook up a chicken breast and place it on top. :)

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His & Hers!

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I cannot profess my undying love for this combo enough. The balsamic reduction and melty goat cheese combine to make the must luscious salad dressing. MMM! :D

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It’s great when everybody wins, no? Which reminds me, here’s how to satisfy your man’s appetite AND save your waistline. :D

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In other news…I had a change of heart. I’m back to watching the Bachelorette, and the season finale is on tonight!

Bachelorette_Ashley_Hebert

I know! I feel as though I was too harsh on Ashley. True, she’s a little ditzy, but put me in front of a camera and I’d probably act the same way. She’s doing her, and who am I to hate? Plus she has fantastic hair.

ashley-hebert-i-found-a-great-man

Team JP! :D

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OH, and I KEEP forgetting to announce the winners of the 1-Day PopChip Giveaway – SO SORRY! Congrats to:

Elizabeth: I like to get together with my friends and enjoy not having work the next day!

Lauren @ Sugar Coated Sisters: Favorite way to spend a Friday:
1. Take Paid-Time-Off from work
2. Sleep In
3. Lay poolside
4. Get a massage
5. Nice dinner with friends
6. Fro yo!

Email your mailing address to iowagirleats@gmail.com, and enjoy your PopChips, ladies! :)

Have a great night!

~~~~~

Does your significant other/roommate eat similarly to you?

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Comments

  1. WOOOO TEAM JP!!!! Her sister is such a bitch. Excuse my french. I loveeee this recipe!! Balsamic is my addiction, it’s a problem.

  2. Frugal Mommy 08.01.2011

    I love this post. I have to do exactly the same thing. I am making a caprese pizza tomorrow night and my hubby says that I should make something to go with this beacause there is no meat on the pizza. Hmmmm…My thought also was chicken breast grilled on the side.

  3. I TOTALLY have to add meat to everything for the boy, too. I did that tonight, in fact. Or, I have to add the veggies he doesn’t eat ONLY to my portion! ;)

  4. Angie Matthewson 08.01.2011

    This is gorgeous! Great strategy too. But if your hubby reads the blog, won’t he be wise to you now? :)

  5. my husband is pretty willing to try most things i make, but inevitably if no meat or loads of veggies are involved, an hour after dinner=”sweetie, i’m hungry…” :) every time!

  6. Hahahaha your convos with Ben crack me up.

  7. We go through the same thing at our house…my hubby hates when my meals get too “fancy”. He’d be fine with a meat/potato/veggies meal EVERY NIGHT.
    Boring!

  8. Katie 08.01.2011

    My husband is a “if there’s not meat it’s not a meal” eater, as from the looks of it yours is too! I could seriously go a week(or more!) without meat, but I don’t so that he has something he likes to eat. Although I do employ the throw a chicken breast on top tactic fairly often as well! :)

  9. susuhenderson 08.01.2011

    The recipe sounds FAB! I have to tell you that I L.O.V.E. the picture of you drizzling the basalmic off the spoon. It is a beautiful picture!

  10. Lauren 08.01.2011

    If you made this for me, I would marry you! :)

  11. Diane 08.01.2011

    This looks amazing. It’s nice to know my husband isn’t the only one who thinks you must have meat for it to be a meal….another one of his quotes is “soup is not a meal!” Does anyone out there ever hear that?

  12. Karin 08.01.2011

    Good thinking with the chicken. I sometimes have to dress up a recipe too, to make it husband savy. I made a green bean/potato/feta salad with a dressing last week, and my hubbie wouldn’t even try it. He said, it just didn’t look right. It was wonderful!
    I’ve got a meat & potatoes guy too. Sometimes it makes cooking easy though. Just throw a steak in front him, and I’m done.

  13. My boyfriend totally eats like a 6 year old. If it’s fried, has cheese on it, or is made up of 90% sugar… he’ll eat it. He’s getting better, but it’s definitely a challenge. It’s amazing though, I think he just has to be reminded that he’s no longer a child and his taste buds may have changed. He’s been pleasantly surprised by the foods he likes now.

    Team Ben!!!

  14. Oh my gosh. I want this salad…now!!

  15. Yep. Adding chicken is key to a husband friendly meal. Mine is the same way.

    That salad is like my dream. I have a slight obsession with goat cheese and salads with fruit, nuts, and cheese are always the best.

  16. Katie 08.01.2011

    Hahahaha… I love the transcript of the conversation between you and Ben. Sounds EXACTLY like conversations in our house! Jason has gotten a LOT better about eating well since we’ve gotten married though. I do a lot of “healthified” versions of his favorite comfort foods, and he’s good about eating a full-on meatless meal about once a week, as long as I bulk it up with protein from beans or eggs or something like that.

  17. Your conversation sounds exactly like something that would happen at our house! I agree…adding some sort of meat works every time!

  18. Lindsey 08.01.2011

    I do the same little changes to the hubby’s meals as you do. Add extra meat for him or even a piece of garlic toast on the side and he is 100% willing to eat whatever I make that way :)

  19. I’m lucky in that whatever I make my man will eat. :)

  20. AKastler 08.01.2011

    Absolutely NOT! I’m married to a meat-and-potatoes-only farm boy. In our past 8 years together, I have finally gotten him to enjoy ‘grass’ aka salads! And now he’ll try some veggies, but when we eat them with a meal he has to put a piece of the meat with a piece of the veggie to ‘hide the flavor’. Wow…Story of my life :)

  21. My BF is pretty much a Ben. :) He’s good with salad–he actually wants it every night–but as a main course, it pretty much baffles him.

    • Faith 08.01.2011

      That’s my boyfriend to a tee too! I’ve gotten him hooked on salads, especially with nuts and cheese on top, but without some sort of meat or carb on the side, he’s absolutely lost!

  22. So glad she picked him! Although I still kind of don’t like her. haha. My boyfriend definitely doesn’t eat THAT similar to me, but I allow myself a couple more treats and he eats a little healthier when I’m around. It’s a good compromise.

  23. Fantastic salad!!

    Team JP :)

  24. My husband will pretty much eat whatever I make…pretty much! He might make a few suggestions as add ins for next time, but he always cleans his plate. :)

  25. Um…yum. That looks so good, and yes I have a meat-loving, spinach-cheese-and-fruit-aint-gonna-cut-it-for-dinner husband so yes I will be adding the chicken breast for him. Or maybe I will just make it when he is not home.

    Thanks for the idea- so good looking.

  26. debbie 08.02.2011

    haha, team JP all the way!

  27. emily 08.02.2011

    This salad sounds like I need to eat it asap. Great flavors!
    My boyfriend eats whatever I give him, such is his aversion to entering the kitchen himself. He even ate raw for a whole week when I was experimenting.

  28. Bridget 08.02.2011

    This sounds exactly like the conversations we have in our home – if it doesn’t have meat in it, it can’t count as a ‘real’ dinner in my boyfriend’s mind.

    This dinner looks delicious though, I will definitely be trying this out.

  29. Yeah I’m so glad JP won! I love his and hers meals that are easy to make :)

  30. Hope 08.02.2011

    This conversation sounds exactly like the one I have with my fiance. Although he is doing a lot better with meatless meals. He hasn’t even complained once! :)

    This dinner looks tasty! I’m so glad Ashley chose JP! I think they are so cute together.

  31. Stephanie Clement 08.02.2011

    Hi Kristin!

    So, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and when one does something like that regularly, as I do, some things tend to be brought up in regular ole’ household conversation. Thus, my husband tunes into your blog once in a while. Anyways, as we were sitting on the couch this morning he caught be reading your blog and said “welllll how DOES one make any meal husband friendly?!”….I read, read, read to find the answer but immediately forgtt to tell him the magic secret. Finally, he turns to me and said “WELL, WHAT IS IT?!!?” (now, I’m more concerned as to why he’s so invested…but we move on..). I turn to him and said “add chicken!” (with a smile, knowing that is obviously the answer, and IowaGirl strikes again. To my shock and dismay he replies “WRONG!”. I sit, dumbfounded, trying to figure out WHO would insult IowaGirl, grab my jaw from the floor, and ask him what IS the secret then?:
    “BARBEQUE SAUCE!….[long pause]…and possibly PIZZA!”.

    So, I guess at the end of the day, the only way to make a salad husband friendly is to totally reject the entire notion behind a salad (ie: light, refreshing, fresh) and basically add anything that can be considered it’s antithesis.

    :) have a great day

  32. Nicole G 08.02.2011

    That salad looks awesome! My husband is exactly the same way! If there is no meat, it isn’t a meal, in his eyes. He is very unsatisfied without it. I could definitely do without the meat, most of the time. I make a Southwestern Layer Salad a lot for dinner but I have to add chicken to his or he won’t eat it. Boys…er, I mean MEN! ;)

  33. Emily 08.02.2011

    Yummmmm!!! That salad looks amazing – but then again, anything with goat cheese sounds amazing to me.
    I’m pretty lucky – Big Guy is willing to eat just about anything. Except fish. So I just keep that to myself. But I’m also willing to eat a big ribeye on occassions. It’s all about compromise. =)

  34. Melissa 08.02.2011

    I love this post about husband friendly meals! There have been so many times I make a meal that is meat/veggie based and my husband will make toast to go with it just so he can have some kind of starch…gotta love our guys :)

  35. My husband and I ate on two separate meal plans when we first met. He loved fast food, greasy pizza, and beer. I am definitely more of a salad, fruit, and vitamin water type of gal. Over the years, he’s slowly acquired my tastes a little more, but still a slow process.

  36. Sara N. 08.02.2011

    I’ve always wondered how restaurants serving similar dishes get the goat cheese slightly golden without the cheese turning into a gooey, melted mess. I know most places bread the cheese and fry it similar to a mozty stick. So glad you shared a lightened up version of one of my favorites! I will probably be adding chicken to my hubby’s salad too:) He is also a born and raised Iowan coming from a meat & potatoes household.

  37. AJ 08.02.2011

    My boyfriend (who I live with) eats pretty differently from me. Like Ben, it’s not a meal unless there’s meat. He was horrified when I suggested a portobello mushroom salad for dinner a few nights ago. However, the bf has expressed interest in losing weight, so I think I may be able to convert him to eating more fruits and veggies and less meat!

  38. Yes, my bf and I usually always have the same meal…just easier that way! That salad sounds delicious, but without meat it def wouldn’t be enough for him OR me :)
    It’s hard because my bf is a chef so he’s always cooking yummy meals, and sometimes those meals aren’t always “healthy”. But we both have been striving to make healthier/more nutritious dinners. I always eat very well on my own for breakfast and lunch. It is very hard to maintain your happy weight when you’re part of a couple! You always end up eating more than normal…no matter how long you’ve been together :)

  39. Yay team JP :) And double yay for awesome salads made husband friendly! My guy would want the chicken too. I think I can deal if it means this is on our menu. Looks.amazing.!!

  40. katecooks 08.02.2011

    haha that’s pretty much the same conversation i had last night with my boyfriend. i made caprese salads (with balsamic reduction LOL) and brushed some bread (i.e. one large piece each) with EVOO and sea salt and grilled that = dinner. i added a chicken sausage to his meal and even then, his verdict was, “i loved this. now double it. that will be the perfect amount.” i can never gauge!!

  41. This looks delicious! That trick might work on my boyfriend too!

  42. Emilie 08.02.2011

    This looks so amazing…I barely have the words to say how much I want this- now! Yum.

  43. Beth 08.02.2011

    My husband grills the meat year-round for most of our meals. If I’m making something that doesn’t include meat and he wants some, he’ll toss a chicken breast or pork chop on the grill. Also, I sneak tofu into lasagna instead of meat; he and the kids haven’t caught on (or complained) yet!

  44. Julie S. 08.02.2011

    My boyfriend & I eat completely opposite! There are only a few things I can make that we both like. Ugh! I usually just end up making separate meals. Grrr…

    LOVE JP! :)

  45. woo hoo doing my popchips dance!

    Kyle and I eat fairly the same… healthy with a little indulgence here and there. He’d probably want the chicken on his salad though :) I’m wayyyy more into desserts, but he’s coming around on the fro yo front. And Sunday he even had a cupcake for breakfast… sigh.

  46. VABelle 08.02.2011

    That salad looks amazing! I struggle with the same thing with my husband. I’m trying to cut back on my meat consumption, but to him if there’s no meat, it’s not a proper meal! I love the way you modified the salad so you both were happy!

    Check out my giveaway: http://virginia-belle.blogspot.com/2011/07/its-time-for-giveaway.html

  47. [...] Comments « How to Make Any Meal Husband-Friendly [...]

  48. InthewaterDSM 08.04.2011

    Wow, I haven’t read all comments here, but you ladies must have some really one-dimensional eating men.

    Everything mentioned here sounds fantastic.

    No meat, no problem. I am more concerned with taste than any certain type of ingredient.

    Didn’t think I was that much of an anomaly.

  49. Kristy 08.04.2011

    My other half is full on meat and potatoes and I am a veggie. Also he can eat anything and stay thin and I look at chips and gain 5 pounds. So needless to say we eat many seperate meals. luckly I love to cook. Great blog love it all the way from Vancouver, BC. :)

  50. Erica A. 09.08.2011

    I just made this salad for dinner (including a chicken breast for my husband!) and it was FABULOUS. It tasted and looked so gourmet, but it was very quick to prepare. Loved it.

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