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?
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!!
Baking Serendipity 08.02.2011
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.!!
Katie @ Changing Patterns 08.02.2011
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 :)
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!
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.
Amanda @FancyOatmealBlog 08.02.2011
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.
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 :)
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. =)
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! ;)
Stephanie Clement 08.02.2011
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
Iowa Girl Eats 08.02.2011
Ahhahahaha – BBQ sauce. Don’t I know it! Check this out!
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.
alyssa - fashion fitness foodie 08.02.2011
Yeah I’m so glad JP won! I love his and hers meals that are easy to make :)
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.
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.
haha, team JP all the way!
Elena (running in heels after child) 08.01.2011
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.
Megan @ Sweet B's Homemade 08.01.2011
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. :)
Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] 08.01.2011
Team JP :)
[email protected] 08.01.2011
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.
Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine 08.01.2011
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.
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!