Cranberry Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese

I have always loved Christmas!  I love everything about it…shopping, baking, decorating, spending time with family & friends and sending & receiving Christmas cards.  This year, I’m changing tradition though.  For the first time in our 25 year marriage I’m not going to send Christmas cards.  For years I have loved getting the perfect photo of my kids for our Christmas card.  However, they’ve gotten a little too old for this tradition, especially Wes.  I know, life goes on, but knowing that this part of my Christmas tradition has changed forever really makes me sad.

So, from that sad note on to a happier one.  This salad is to die for.  It is “lick the the bowl clean” good.  Not that I would do that…especially in front of people!  You could change it up to your liking.  Just because it calls for dried cranberries doesn’t mean you have to use them.  You could substitute the goat cheese for something like a feta if you like or completely leave the cheese out.  Change up the almonds by using pecans.  Use a spring mix instead of the spinach if you prefer.  Either way, this is a great dressing that I just happen to think works great with the cranberry, almond, goat cheese, & spinach combination.  This would be great to serve at a holiday party!


Cranberry Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • ¾ c. slivered almonds
  • 1 lb. spinach
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. finely minced onion
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ c. white wine vinegar
  • ¼ c. cider vinegar
  • ½ c. canola oil
  • crumbled goat cheese
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a quart jar with lid (or medium bowl) add sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and canola oil. Close jar and shake to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, toasted almonds and cranberries. Toss with dressing just before serving. Crumble goat cheese over top.
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