easy valentine’s recipes for the timid cook!
12 dishes that will fool anyone into thinking you’re a goddess in the kitchen
Published Jan 14, 2016 5:00 AM
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Don’t let a tiny detail like not being able to cook stop you from treating your love to a delicious Valentine’s Day meal. These twelve appetizers, main dishes, and desserts were chosen with your novice skills in mind, although even the most accomplished home chef should consider adding them to their rotation.
Spinach and Artichoke Ravioli Bake This veggie-stocked ravioli bake is the ultimate in creamy, comforting food. We love the idea of using a seafood or veggie ravioli in the place of basic cheese. Whatever flavor you choose, you’ll have a cheesy, warming meal that will make you want to cozy up to your date. If you’re feeling ambitious, make the Alfredo sauce recipe as included, or you can just add a jar of pre-made sauce to your grocery list.
Banana Split Dump Cake Ok, we know the name is unfortunate, so when you serve this easy-peasy dessert, make up another name: Banana Split Surprise, perhaps. Dump cakes are foolproof desserts. You literally dump the ingredients (or spread them in layers) in a pan, and they magically turn into a delicious treat.
Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tart with Thyme Using premade puff pastry sheets is a major time saver, and it makes for an impressive dish with only the effort of opening a package. Topped with sautéed onions and goat cheese, this tart is flavorful and filling and would be perfect served with a green salad.
One Pot Pasta One pot pasta dishes are totally worth their recent buzz. Simply toss all the ingredients in a pot-everything, including the pasta and cook. Everything miraculously comes together as perfectly as if you had cooked it all separately. Cleanup is also a cinch.
Cilantro Lime Tilapia If you’re scared of cooking fish, don’t be. It’s far less scary than you think and the health benefits are well worth the effort. This tilapia is seared on the stove in just a few minutes and corn, cilantro, and paprika add pops of flavor. Hold on to this recipe for weeknight meals as well.
No Bake S’mores Bars These s’mores bars look almost too easy, only have four ingredients, and definitely appeal to the kid in us! Warm up some chocolate chips and shortening or oil in the microwave, then mix in the marshmallows and Golden Graham cereal for a crunchy, addictive treat that would also be a hit with any junior Valentines in your family.
Mezze Platter Even you aren’t even willing to turn on the stove or oven, a delicious dish is possible. Arrange grape leaves, roasted vegetables, hummus, couscous, olives, pieces of bread or crackers, and other goodies on a pretty plate for a nosh-worthy meal. Drizzle a little olive oil or some chopped herbs on top for a more homemade visual. Or try a cheese plate–they are irresistible!
Beet Salad with Feta and Figs This hearty salad features feta (you could sub goat cheese if you like) and roasted fig and beet pieces. Roast the figs and beets yourself or outsource them from a fancy deli or grocery store. The dressing recipe is easy to whisk together and perfect for adding to your arsenal of Things You Can Make.
Apple Pecan Arugula Salad Another salad, this one with super seasonal ingredients like apples, pecan, dried cranberries, and peppery arugula greens. Complemented with a dressing flavored with maple syrup and lemon, it’s a great start to a healthy meal. Buy the pecans pre-toasted and all you have to do is make the dressing.
Almost No Stir Mushroom Risotto We’re not going to lie: this one does take a little work. But much less than traditional risottos that require you to stalk your simmering pot of goodness, stirring constantly. With minimal stirring and sautéing at the beginning and end, you’ll have a scrumptious and sophisticated meal. Enlist your dining companion as sous chef for any tedious tasks if he or she is up for it.
Stacked Watermelon Salad We can’t imagine an appetizer that could look cooler and be simpler to assemble. A refreshing and surprising “salad” that is restaurant-worthy in appearance yet virtually foolproof for at-home chefs.
2-Ingredient Nutella Brownies You read that right; these brownies are made from just eggs and Nutella. That’s it! If you find yourself at the eleventh hour without flour, sugar, or any of the other baking basics, give these babies a try. It’s Nutella. What can go wrong?