Your mind goes blank when thinking about cooking a special dinner for Valentine’s day? If you had it your way, you’d want an intimate and romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day at a posh restaurant.
But we’re all forced to break the tradition this year because of COVID-19. But all is well when you’ve got someone to spend February 14 with. A wistful setup at home isn’t all that bad, especially when you come up with an exceptional dinner.
Cooking a Special Dinner for Valentine’s Day
You can be casual or extravagant, dreamy, or animated. The idea is to put your heart on every dish regardless of the mood.
A romantic meal doesn’t need to be overly expensive. However, you do have to exert some effort to cook a special dinner for Valentine’s Day. Don’t be overwhelmed by the thousands of recipes and tips online… we’ve got everything you need right here!
Before you turn on that sultry Sade ballad or a Boyz II Men classic, make sure you put a sumptuous and passionate meal on a fancy table with candles. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Start your lovely evening with a classic appetizer, and what could go wrong with a shrimp cocktail? It’s a relatively easy dish to prepare as long as you get your hands on fresh uncooked shrimp.
It’s best to poach them with the shell on – it’ll keep the shrimp juicy and tender. Don’t stress on the sauce. All you need is a lemon and vinegar combo for tanginess, ketchup for colour and sweetness, and the added kick from the horseradish.
Vegan Squash Soup
If it’s a winter Valentine in your area, a vegan squash soup with a spicy kick makes perfect sense. Combine the butternut squash and pumpkin with the tofu’s smooth texture, and you’ll get a hearty yet filling dish without the guilt.
It’s also a highly recommended dinner offering in a cold Valentine night to keep you and your partner warmed up for the rest of the evening.
Gnocchi Paired with Walnuts and Garlic
Fancy name aside, gnocchi is relatively easy to make from scratch. You’ll need some effort and time to do it right, but you’ll impress your Valentine date in a heartbeat with this dish. Remember: A special dinner for Valentine’s also includes a romantic ambience.
Pan-Fried Chicken with Roasted Broccoli on the Side
Chicken is on the safe side, which is perfectly fine if you have little experience in the kitchen. Since this dish only requires a minute or two in pan-frying chicken, you won’t feel overwhelmed by it. The roasted broccoli on the side spruces up the rather bland presentation of chicken alone.
Salmon with Pistachios
There’s nothing special with salmon when it’s on its own. But if you add a crust of toasted pistachios on top, it quickly becomes a sumptuous dish that’s perfect for a Valentine’s dinner vibe.
Roast Turkey Breast
A whole turkey is for Thanksgiving and the entire family. Give it a twist in February by serving the breast part to your partner. Throw in some “must-have” sides, i.e., parsnips, potatoes, and carrots to make it delectable.
Chicken with Sautéed Apples and Mushrooms
You may have noticed our fondness for chicken, but there’s a good reason for that. It’s a safe bet, plus it gives you a lot of room to be creative. One perfect iteration for a romantic Valentine dinner for two involves searing the meat in a lava of mushrooms and apples, creating an inviting combo of earthiness and sweetness in one dish.
Who says romantic dinners can’t be healthy? Arugula salad reinforced by goat cheese, chickpeas, and walnuts is the best meat-free main dish for Valentine’s Day. It’s a testament that hearty meals can be delicious and extravagant at the same time.
No matter how fancy or upscale your Valentine dinner table is, nothing beats the romanticism of sharing homemade pizza and a pack of beer with the love of your life. That’s how we’d do it in the 90s!
New York Strip Steak
Don’t be afraid if you haven’t made steak at this point of your life. Make this year’s celebration of Valentine’s Day as your first-ever steak night. The only “fancy” tool you’ll need is a meat thermometer for this to be a rousing success. Marinate the meat with garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Put some Salt Bae action after slicing the pan-grilled meat. This one should sweep your partner off her feet.
White Cheddar Paired with Bacon Risotto
Risottos aren’t just for kids. Pair your bacon with white cheddar and some frozen peas, giving you a simple yet satisfying addition to your fancier dishes.
Wine is a Must-Have
Valentine’s Day is all about professing your romantic side, and there’s no better way of doing that than sharing a glass of red wine. It represents richness in flavour yet offers a sure way to relax the mind and body. Your dinner table with candles and fancy dishes aren’t complete without a bottle of red wine.
These meal suggestions to cook a special dinner for Valentine’s Day are straightforward enough for anyone to try, regardless of experience or skill in the kitchen. A few of them will challenge your creative side, but the good thing is that no one’s expecting you to imitate restaurant-quality food. As long as every dish is hearty and comforting, that’s all that matters.