A Romantic Dinner for Two (Or More)

  in Blog

Stay in this Valentine’s Day and cook up a lovely meal for two, or the whole family. Mix and match these recipes for a sweet February supper. They can easily be scaled up or down for however many people you are serving.

Simple Carrot Salad

4 large carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Grate carrots into a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, oil, and salt. Let the salad sit for an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Serves 4.

Colorful Cabbage Salad

2-3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt and black pepper
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 carrots, grated
1 small red onion, minced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 small green or red (or both) cabbage, shredded
optional: chopped fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, chives, tarragon

Whisk together vinegar, oil, garlic, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. This salad tastes better after it sits awhile.

Turkey Thyme Meatloaf Patties with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped 
1 teaspoon thyme
1 egg
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 small red onion, diced small
Juice and finely grated peel of 1 orange
1 tablespoon flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth, divided
4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  1. Boil the sweet potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, add turkey and season with salt and pepper. Add breadcrumbs, green onions, parsley, thyme and egg and mix well. Shape the meat into four oval patties. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the orange peel and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over red onion and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then whisk in 1 cup chicken broth and the orange juice; cook until thickened, about 1 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Mash the potatoes with remaining 3/4 cup chicken broth. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar; season with salt and pepper. Serve with the turkey patties and the gravy on top.

Lemon Roasted Chicken

1 whole pastured chicken
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 lemon, finely zested
sea salt and black pepper

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the cavity and exterior of the chicken liberally with salt. 
  2. Cut the zested lemon in quarters and stuff into the cavity. Mix the lemon zest with the butter and drizzle over the chicken. Crack some fresh pepper over the top of the chicken.
  3. Roast until the bird registers 170°F with an internal meat thermometer, about 1 1/2 hours, or more, depending on how big the chicken is. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.

Quinoa Sweet Potato Pancakes

3/4 cup red or white quinoa
2 eggs
2 cups shredded raw sweet potato
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Oil for frying – coconut, canola, etc.
Optional  topping: sour cream

  1.  Bring quinoa, 1 1/2 cups of water, and ½ teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Water should be absorbed or drain excess. Cool for 15 minutes. 
  2.  Beat eggs and add sweet potato, green onion, cilantro, flour, cooked quinoa and remaining salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes.
  3.  Heat a small amount of oil in a fry pan over medium high heat.  Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop mixture into hot oil and press to flatten. Cook until golden, about 6 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel and serve hot with sour cream.

Garlic Pasta with Broccoli & Parmesan

3/4 lb pasta of your choice
1 lb. broccoli florets
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, chopped fine
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup toasted, chopped walnuts

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add plenty of sea salt.
  2. Add the pasta of your choice to the boiling water. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Depending on what kind of pasta you use, about 5 minutes before the cooking time is up, add the broccoli florets. Return to a boil. About 3 minutes later, add the zucchini. When pasta and broccoli are al dente, remove from heat and drain well.
  3. While the pasta and broccoli are cooking, add the oil and chopped garlic into a small skillet. Place skillet over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, cook for about 30 seconds (be careful not to burn it) and then remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Pour the drained pasta and broccoli back into the cooking pot and pour the garlic oil over the top. Toss to coat everything well.
  5. To serve, sprinkle pasta with lots of Parmesan and the toasted walnuts. Serves 4.

Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes with Feta

Reprinted by permission from strongertogether.coop.

1 small cauliflower
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
1 large carrot
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped parsley

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Slice the cauliflower into large florets with a knife so that the flat side of the florets can make full contact with the pan and caramelize during baking.
  2. Dice the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes and slice the carrots crosswise, about 1/3-inch thick. Place vegetables on a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and salt. Toss vegetables to coat and spread out on the pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, shaking and turning the pan halfway through. When the vegetables are tender and easily pierced with a knife, remove from the oven and toss with feta and parsley. Serve hot.

Baked Falafel

From Mark Bittman

2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked 24 hours
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons olive oil
Tahini Sauce
½ cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 package pita bread
Optional: lettuce, tomato

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Drain chickpeas and transfer to a food processor with the garlic, onion, cumin, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and baking soda. (Do this in batches if you have a smaller processor.) Pulse until everything is minced but not pureed.
  2. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Roll the bean mixture into 20 balls, about 1½ inches each, then flatten them into neat, thick patties. Place falafels on the prepared pan. Flatten a little on the pan. Brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Use more oil if needed. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until browned on the bottom. Flip and cook another 15 minutes until browned on both sides.
  3. While felafels are baking, whisk the tahini and remaining ½ teaspoon salt with ½ cup water in a small bowl until smooth. Serve the falafel drizzled with the sauce. You could also serve with tzaziki sauce.

Molten Chocolate Cake

4 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for muffin tins
1/3 cup cane sugar, plus more for muffin tins
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
Optional: vanilla ice cream, strawberries, raspberries, etc.

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Generously butter 6 cups of a standard muffin tin. Dust with sugar, and tap out excess. 
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Beat in flour and salt until just combined. Beat in chocolate until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake just until tops of the cakes no longer jiggle when the pan is lightly shaken, 8 to 10 minutes. (Don’t overbake!) Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.
  4. To serve, turn out cakes and place on plates. Serve with vanilla ice cream and fruit, if desired.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

8 oz semisweet organic chocolate chips
1 pound organic strawberries, large if possible, washed and dried well, stems intact

  1. Place chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally, until melted, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. You could also melt them using the microwave oven. Put chocolate chips in a glass or ceramic bowl and microwave for one minute. Stir the chocolate with a spoon or plastic spatula to check out the extent to which the chocolate has melted (it’s not obvious based on appearance because chocolate gets heated inside-out, and retains its shape when heated). Heat for 30 more seconds if needed. Stir again (and/or heat again if needed) until all the chips have melted.
  2. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. One at a time, dip each strawberry in chocolate, twirling to coat and place on waxed paper. Chill strawberries 15 minutes to set chocolate. Serve immediately.