You and some other lucky human have made the choice to stay in and cook on Valentine’s Day. Good for you. But if you’re not careful, cooking a homemade meal can be just as expensive as going out. Stay away from the precut produce and the spice aisle. Save money by steering clear of complicated recipes with long ingredient lists and focus on recipes that utilize your own personal staple ingredients. If you don’t already pantry stock two of the three spices needed in a recipe, then skip it. Focus on showcasing one or two specific ingredients and save the Beef Wellington for another fat-walleted night. Delicious, classic and farmers’ market fresh, these five blogger recipes are easy both on the eyes and the bank account.
Poaching an egg for someone means that you care enough…to poach a freaking egg. Just because this recipe is super simple doesn’t mean it’s rudimentary; there’s something incredibly sensual about poached eggs. Take your time with this vegetarian-friendly recipe and brown the cauliflower with a serenity and tenderness.
It might not be Lady and the Tramp spaghetti but it’s close enough. The ultimate humble-meets-classic-meets-fall-in-love dish, pasta carbonara is rich, playful and a prime example of “The simpler the better.” Spend a chunk on quality Parmesan cheese.
It’s got to be a damn good salad if it’s being served as an entrée course. Grilling greens and lettuce adds extra flavor and depth to meatless salads. Substitute ricotta for extra soft goat’s cheese as a tangy alternative. Plus, figs are super sexy.
Healthy and gorgeous, spend the largest amount of your budget on quality center-cut salmon fillets. Simply serve the finished product with a side salad of arugula dressed with olive oil, alongside a good piece of country bread or some brown rice.
Make your own ravioli from scratch (gasp!) Ricotta and pureed beets combine to make a gorgeous Valentine’s Day-themed filling. The only drawback is that the dish might turn out to be prettier than your date. Definitely buy fresh beets and make sure the ricotta is made from whole milk.
Don’t forget those bottles: here’s our list of 10 wines for under $10.