Spinach Salad With Goat Cheese and Dried Cherries and My Handsome Brother

Hi everyone. Please click on the title of this post to read the rest of the post and see the video that follows. I am coming off of a very entertaining filled week and I thought I would discuss how I did my prep and made a few meals out of the first cooking session.

The first eating extravaganza was my second annual Peg and Cathy lunch at my house. I decided to make my corn quiche, vegetable orzo salad and a spinach salad with goat cheese, dried cherries and pine nuts. For our appetizer, I made the savory cheddar cookies.

Now, the ladies were coming over at 11:30 AM but I had a few errands to run before they came over and kids to watch. The key to my success was that I planned way in advance. The following is a list of ways in which I relieved myself of stress the morning of (please note that the pressure was on since Cathy and Peg are both PHENOMENAL chefs and I have an ego. Also, as you’ll see from the video, I had to enlist the help of a purple friend-no guilt!…):

1) I made and froze the quiche crust a few days before and brought it out of the freezer the night before to defrost. I did the same with the savory cheddar cookie dough.

2) I made the orzo pasta the night before and left it in the fridge in a tupperware

3) I choppped the olives for the orzo salad and left them in a tupperware in the fridge

4) I defrosted my corn for the quiche, sauteed it up and put it in a tupperware the night before

5) I toasted the walnuts for the salad beforehand and stored them on the counter in a covered bowl

6) I chopped the dried cherries up and set aside on the counter for the spinach salad (You can buy these at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)

7) I defrosted the lemon juice I froze to create my lemony orzo salad dressing

As you can see, I did most of my tasks before the actual lunch time which allowed me to more or less just assemble the dishes instead of doing a lot of time consuming prep work.

The best part about this meal was that I had enough left over to eat for dinner that night. Two days later, my brother , Andrew, came for an unexpected visit from Brooklyn and I was able to serve him like the King he is. Check him out in the video and see for yourself but don’t get too attached-he’s handsome but married.

Here is the recipe for the Spinach Salad:

Spinach Salad:

4 big handfuls of fresh spinach
3-4 ounces crumbled up goat cheese
a big handful of toasted walnuts or pine nuts (also known as pignoli nuts)
a handful of dried cherries, chopped
serve with my famous maple-soy dressing (it’s in a previous Take Back the kitchen post) Mix it all up and Enjoy!!

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One Response

  1. alma, i am a friend of joanne’s who turned me onto your webpage. i tried your spinach salad with goat cheese and cherries and bar none, it is one of the best salads i have ever had! the dressing is unbelievable! i look forward to future recipes of yours. as the mom of 4 also, i too cook early morning and there is something special about knowing that dinner is prepared by 8am! look forward to future “secrets” and recipes. best, allyson

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