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 I’ve planned on making a ‘I’m pretty sure Ben’s going to hate this’ recipe that week 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: “Hey will you eat an Almond-Crusted Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Cherries if I make it this week?”
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?
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. This might be my very favorite salad of the entire summer!
Think velvety goat cheese draped over torn baby spinach, accented with juicy cherries and toasted almonds.
Drizzled with balsamic reduction.
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Almond-Crusted Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Cherries
Almond-Crusted Warm Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Cherries is elegant and mouthwatering!
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-9oz bag baby spinach, torn
- 20 cherries, pitted & halved
- 5oz chevre goat cheese
- extra virgin olive oil
- handful sliced almonds
- 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.
- 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.
- Divide spinach between two plates. Top with cherries, warm goat cheese, and balsamic reduction.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
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.
It’s great when everybody wins, no?
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 :)
Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) 08.01.2011
I’m lucky in that whatever I make my man will eat. :)
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 :)
Autumn @ Good Eats Girl 08.01.2011
Your conversation sounds exactly like something that would happen at our house! I agree…adding some sort of meat works every time!
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.
Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun 08.01.2011
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.
Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles 08.01.2011
Oh my gosh. I want this salad…now!!
Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio 08.01.2011
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.
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.
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?
If you made this for me, I would marry you! :)
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!
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! :)
Ally @ Sweet & Savory 08.01.2011
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.
Allie (Live Laugh Eat) 08.01.2011
Hahahaha your convos with Ben crack me up.
Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef 08.01.2011
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!
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? :)
Iowa Girl Eats 08.01.2011
The jig is up! ;)
Blog is the New Black 08.01.2011
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! ;)
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.
Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn 08.01.2011
WOOOO TEAM JP!!!! Her sister is such a bitch. Excuse my french. I loveeee this recipe!! Balsamic is my addiction, it’s a problem.