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Arugula Salad with Fresh Cherries, Quinoa & Herbed Goat Cheese

Here’s a little fun fact about me, did you know that I have a salad with EVERY dinner? It’s an absolute must in my house and another great way to add more greens. Sometimes we take it a step further and salads become the dinner. In the case of this salad, it can become a light dinner or delicious side to a main course. Redefine dinner and make salads the mains and the sides to keep that plant intake high.

Goat cheese, with its tangy taste and crumbly texture, has earned a reputation as being one of the healthiest cheese choices there is. In moderation, goat cheese provides healthy fats, is easier for many people to digest than cow’s milk cheeses, and is even a bit lower in calories and fat than other cheeses.

Arugula Salad with Fresh Cherries & Herbed Goat Cheese

Serves 2 

Ingredients:
½ log herbed goat cheese
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 T. fresh rosemary (or herb of your choice), finely chopped
2 tsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
¾ cup gluten free panko breadcrumbs
4-5 heaping cups organic arugula
1/s cup red quinoa, steamed
½ cup fresh cherries, pitted and cut in halves
2 T. toasted almonds, chopped
Shallot & Balsamic Dressing:
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
pinch sea salt & crack black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil.
2 T. shallots, minced
Add ingredients to blender and blend until smooth

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place goat cheese log the in freezer for about 15 minutes to keep it firm and make it easy to slice into rounds. Cook quinoa according to package directions.

In a small skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add your panko crumbs to the oil and sauté until slightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

Prepare herbs for coating the cheese. I use a finely chop combo of rosemary, fresh parsley, and oregano, but you can use herbs of your choice.

Take your chilled goat cheese and roll it into your freshly chopped herbs. Gently press the herbs into it, then use dentai floss to slice your chilled goat cheese into rounds. Then press your cut rounds firmly into the panko crumbs (now that they have cooled off). Your rounds should be coated in panko. Place each seasoned and crusted goat cheese round onto your baking sheet and place in over. Bake for ten minutes, then flip and bake for additional ten minutes.

While goat cheese bakes, prepare your remaining salad ingredients (quinoa, arugula, cherries, almonds) and dressing. Toss salad ingredients, then top with the baked goat cheese rounds, serve right away (best with goat cheese rounds served warm).

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