5 Valentine’s Day Dinners That Are Easier Than They Look

With Valentine’s day quickly approaching, people are scrambling for ideas on how to show love to their partners. From cards, to gifts, to grand gestures, Valentine’s day is filled with adoring couples. No matter how couples decide to celebrate, having dinner together is almost a certainty. But everyone knows that here in Athens, financial funds tend to be limited and restaurants tend to be crowded. Do not worry, here are five Valentine’s dinner options that will make your partner think you are a five-star chef, or at least close.

1.     Salmon

Salmon is an exceptionally easy fish to cook, but also a dish that you can almost always find at the fanciest restaurants. Buying salmon at your local grocery store is also very easy on your wallet. Baking is a great way to cook salmon. This also does not take much time, only about 20 minutes. Salmon is best when spiced with lemon and garlic, and of course butter. Steam some asparagus or broccoli and you have a simple, yet decadent dinner. For those of age, salmon pairs great with a light chardonnay.

Try these recipes:

Garlic Butter Salmon  and Lemon Garlicky Herb Salmon

2.     Steak

Steak in an American staple and incredibly easy to learn how to cook. As it is February in Ohio, the temperature may not be suitable for grilling. However, steak can be easily cooked in a flat pan. The tips for cooking steak - use a medium heat setting, never press down, and know how your partner likes their steak done. Here’s an easy guide to mastering your steak; well done has absolutely no pink, medium well has a little pink, medium has a hot pink center, medium rare has a warm pink center and rare has a cool pink center. The price will depend on how big of a steak you want and what type of cut. Get some steak seasoning and potatoes, and your partner is sure to be happy. Red meat is best paired with red wine, especially a cabernet.

Try these recipes:

Perfect Steak and Steakhouse Steak

3.     Lasagna

This recipe is for the vegetarian couples. Lasagna has lots of flavor and you can never go wrong with pasta. Get some oven-ready lasagna noodles, pasta sauce of your choosing, ricotta cheese, spinach, mozzarella and some garlic; and you have a great dinner. Pasta dishes are a great, budget-friendly option without losing out on taste. Toast some garlic bread and dinner is ready. Dry white wines pair well with lasagna, and a sauvignon blanc would complement this dish.

Try these recipes:

Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups and Vegetable Lasagna

4.     Chicken

The beauty of chicken is how adaptable it is, and how easily available. Baked chicken is simple to make, just remember to cook chicken on the low and slow to create a great, juicy dinner. Chicken has a lot of options in flavor as well; lemon pepper chicken is a nice safe option. Marinate the chicken and season well and you have a dinner bursting with easy flavor. For a side-dish, angel hair pasta is a good addition, so is a nice mix of steamed or sautéed vegetables. Chicken is traditionally paired with a white wine but really, any wine will complement the flavor of chicken.

Try these recipes:

Garlic Chicken and Garlic Parmesan Chicken

5.     Lobster

Lobster may seem daunting but in reality, it is relatively simple to cook. All you need is a large pot, butter, garlic, and some Old Bay seasoning. Lobster is a little pricier but still better for your wallet than going out. Lobster cooks quickly and tastes amazing, just make sure you have lots of melted butter for dipping. Lobster goes well with potatoes, pasta, rice, or vegetables. It is an easy dish to cook that will really surprise your partner. Lobster is best paired with white wine along the lines of a chardonnay.

Try these recipes:

How to Cook Lobster and Boiled Lobster