9 Delicious Meals to Wow Your S.O. this Valentine’s Day

Opting for an at-home date with your special someone this Valentine’s Day? Grab your aprons and tackle a homemade meal that’ll rival any restaurant dish. (Bonus: Cooking with your significant other can be SUPER romantic!) Read on for nine mouth-watering dishes you’ll want to start shopping for today. Even if you’ve already got reservations for February 14, these photos might make you change your mind.

 

1. A Spicy Pasta Dish

By: JanDP

Pasta is a classic Valentine’s Day dish, but the birdseye chili and ginger in this prawn and spaghetti pairing make this dish anything but ordinary. Even better, this dish looks impressive but takes only minutes to prepare. Simply boil pasta, prepare toppings, and eat! Buon appetito!

Chilli Prawn Pasta with Garlic and Ginger

 

2. A Saucy, Sticky Asian Dish

By: aldrichmh

Paired with sauteed broccoli and steamed rice, these glazed Asian-style drumsticks are the perfect Valentine’s Day dish. Make them on the mild side, or add extra Sriracha to taste. Takeout has never been this tasty or this romantic!

Asian Glazed Drumsticks

 

3. A Pared-Down Vegan Stunner

By: Serious Eats

If you’re swearing off meat, eggs, and dairy, whether it’s a temporary resolution or a long-term lifestyle choice, you can still enjoy a decadent Valentine’s Day meal. Try this vegan risotto, that gets an earthy, textural kick from wild mushrooms and a green hue from spinach, parsley, scallion greens, and tarragon leaves.

Green Risotto with Mushrooms (Vegan)

 

4. A Classic Steak Preparation

By: Jonas Sharron

Ok, so maybe you want a challenge in the kitchen; we totally get that. If the sound of multiple steps and components all coming together in one stunning dish that’ll blow your S.O. away sounds like the perfect Valentine’s Day to you, try cooking this beef roulade, stuffed with bacon and walnut-parsley pesto.

Beef Roulades with Walnut Parsley Pesto

 

5. A Non-Boring Chicken Dish

By: Bon Appetit

Even after preparing it for Valentine’s Day dinner, this is the kind of chicken dish you’ll want to eat the next night and the night after that. Crispy chicken skin, juicy dark meat, tangy kimchi— what’s not to love?

Roast Chicken and Kimchi Smashed Potatoes

 

6. An Elegant One-Pot Meal

By: Pinch of Yum

What’s the only bad thing about making an elaborate dinner for your Valentine’s Day? Cleaning up the dishes. If scouring a dozen pots and pans isn’t something you’re interested in doing this February 14, opt for a one-pot meal like this Spanish Chicken and Potatoes, which is easy, yet still delivers in terms of flavor and creativity.

One Pot Spanish Chicken and Potatoes

 

7. A Utensils-Optional Burger

By: Sue Singh

Your special Valentine’s Day dinner doesn’t have to be fussy or fancy. The important thing is that you make something that you and your sweetie will love, even if that happens to be a juicy burger, piled with unexpected toppings. This lamb burger is flavored with coriander and tandoori spice and topped with fresh mango, Mango Atchar, and sweet chili sauce.

Tandoori Lamb Burger

 

8. A Date-Ready Steak

By: My Recipes

Filet Mignon may be one of the priciest cuts of meat, but it’s so, so worth it for that melt-in-your-mouth texture. Try this recipe, where perfectly prepared steak is paired with a bright arugula salad that doesn’t distract from the main ingredient.

Filet Mignon with Arugula Salad

 

9. A Centerpiece Salad

By: Toronto Cook

Salad for a special dinner? Sure! Main dish salads like this have it all: Crunchy vegetables, fresh greens, flaky salmon, and creamy white beans that add an extra punch of protein and fiber to the meal. Greens for dinner also means you’ll have that much more room left for a decadent dessert.

A Salad of Salmon, Beans and Crunch

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Halloween Eats

 

 

Frankenstein Pasta

Halloween is right around the corner. So are ghosts, goblins, and witches…

And we totally bet they would go crazy (in a good, non-scary way) over these special Halloween recipes! Whip these up and enjoy a fun, creative food spread that everyone, even Frankenstein, will enjoy.

Bloody Cups

These aren’t as gross as what you might think based on the name. Think of them as chocolate peanut butter cups, but with raspberry filling instead! These are a great sweet treat for parties and are also vegan and gluten-free. Spooktacular!

Pumpkin Smash Martini

Halloween calls for crafty spirits and this one is perfect. Enjoy all the flavors of a pumpkin pie without the calories!

Chocolate Halloween Spiders

No doubt spiders are creepy. This fun recipe is really easy to prepare and is bound to spook anyone that passes by…before they devour these tasty treats.

Zombie Finger Snacks

No, these do not taste like actual zombie fingers (not that we know what those taste like…). They are shortbread with raw pumpkin seeds as the fingernails. So even though they look super gross, they are actually quite delicious. Grab one and take a bite!

Halloween is the perfect time to get creative and play with recipe ideas. Whether you’re entertaining or making recipes for the kids, there’s plenty of inspiration here to help.

Happy haunting!

 

 

Tailgate Treats

 

 

Slowcooker Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes

If there are two things we love to do it’s eat and have fun.

So when football season comes around, that’s why we’re all excited and wearing the same “lucky” shirt every Friday in the office – how many more fun things are there than the camaraderie of your fellow fans, eating delicious food at a tailgate party, and spending the next day recovering and refueling so you can do it all over again the following week?

If you’re tired of the same foods every season, let us help. Check out these recipes for some fun food inspiration for your next tailgate!

Spicy Vegan Pimento Cheese Ball

Cheese balls are an awesome addition to any party. This pimento cheese ball recipe is easy to travel so you make it ahead of time and won’t hassle with a bunch of prep while you’re just trying to party. This delicious vegan option is one that everyone will love – serve with pita chips or anything else you wish and enjoy!

Taco Chicken Bowls

This taco bowl recipe is perfect because it satisfies your party-taco cravings without the inevitable mess of an actual taco! Try it with chicken or sub for any other meat you like (or none at all if you prefer). An additional perk: the ingredients are pretty inexpensive, too!

Ham & Cheese Tailgate Sliders

As always, sliders are a great option for times like these! These ham and cheese sliders are the right amount of savory and gooey and are bound to be a hit.

Broccoli Cheddar Baked Potatoes

Have a grill handy? Make up some of these potatoes for a quick and easy snack or side!

Looking for more winning recipes?. This collection has a variety of tailgate foods that are definitely worth trying. And if you have any other great ideas be sure to send them our way!

Happy cooking!

 

 

Grilled Cheese Inspiration

 

 

Steak Fajita Grilled Cheese

But first, cheese.

If you didn’t already know, we are cheese lovers here at BigOven. We love cheese so much that the debate of whether cheeses say “People” when asked to smile for photographs is a normal (and frequent) occurrence in the office.

If you’re like us, you love the idea of having your favorite foods combined into one delicious masterpiece. When we discovered grilled cheese recipes that included ingredients like chocolate and raspberry, we realized the grilled cheese game was changed. Our stomachs rumbled while looking at all the remarkably crafted variations.

Well…less talk and more cheese! Here were some of our favorites that we found:

Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese

It’s basically a better version of the traditional Sloppy Joe. Put between two slices of rye bread and be prepared for the possibility of eating more than one.

Hawaiian Grilled Cheese

This is such a wonderful flavor combination. There’s Hawaiian flavored pizza, so there can be a Hawaiian grilled cheese, right? Absolutely! Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

Taco Grilled Cheese

When you think of a grilled cheese, you typically don’t think of a taco…BUT, if you think about all the ingredients you love on a taco and adding them to a grilled cheese, you probably think that sounds pretty tasty. That’s because it is. We are sad we didn’t think of this sooner.

Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

If you are craving cheese, carbs, and some spice, here you go. It’s all of these and will leave you with a smile.

And there’s more where that came from. Check out this collection of other creative grilled cheese variations, including lobster and other ingredients you’ll be excited to try.

Happy cooking!

 

 

Back to School

 

 

Health-ified Pizza Lunchboxables with Tempeh Pepperoni

It’s time to head back to school! It’s these coming months of the year that parents weigh their bouts of relief to have a quiet house against ironically feeling sad there won’t be loud afternoons with messes to clean up constantly. Oh, the bittersweetness as we enjoy the last days of summer and get ready to plan for the return to school.

Now whether we want to or not, we have to accept that it’s time to start preparing for what our young ones will be taking along in their lunchboxes when it’s time to send them off.

Typically it’s a hassle to think about all of the planning involved, and finding new ideas that stray away from the ordinary sandwich and yogurt pack seem unattainable. If your kids won’t eat boring foods at home, they certainly won’t eat them at school. What kind of fun options are there that will make them too cool for school and you a winner in their eyes? Check out these recipes:

Cheesy Lunchbox Poppers

Basically, this is one of the easiest and quickest lunchbox filler you can find. It’s a pastry recipe with 6 simple ingredients and practically takes no time. You can make these poppers ahead of time to enjoy all week. It’s the perfect snack addition to make any lunchbox pop. (We love puns, btw!)

Fruit Roll Ups

What kid doesn’t love the fight of tearing away the sugary, sticky goodness from the plastic of a Fruit Roll Up wrapper? There’s actually a much healthier version of these that are made with real fruits and honey for the right amount of sticky and chewy (with no annoying wrapper constraint). This recipe does require some time, though. About 6-8 hours of low heat in the oven is what you need, but the prep time is just a few minutes. Don’t rush this recipe and enjoy it!

Corn Dog Muffins

Dont be thrown off by the name. Muffins and corn dogs together may not sound appealing at first, but this is a neat combination and is always a hit. It’s essentially just a stick-less corn dog that’s shaped like a muffin. Make a batch and freeze them for later and don’t forget the ketchup.

Cookie Dough Hummus Lunchables

If you’re looking for a healthier lunch kit option than what the typical grocery store has to offer, try this cookie dough hummus. It’s packed with protein from the chickpeas but fun enough to make any kid smile and want more. Plus you can package it to make it look super cute! Serve in reusable mason jars (simply rinse out baby food jars, etc.) and add some fruit or graham crackers on the side for dipping.

Planning back to school meals doesn’t have to be stressful. And it doesn’t have to be hard or boring, either. Find recipes you can make ahead and don’t forget about simple ideas like soups that can be stored in a Thermos.

Here’s a collection with some other recipes to help you prepare. Don’t forget to share if you have great ideas of your own!

Happy planning!

 

 

Nuts about Nuts!

 

 

Coconut Macadamia Nut Granola

We’re going nuts over nuts here! Well, some of us are anyway. Our office is pretty divided when it comes to loving tree nuts vs. not really being a fan. And of course, we have to be aware and remain conscious of those with allergies.

In the past we’ve created recipe collections and offered suggestions for those seeking completely nut-free recipes. Now we’ve made a collection for those who love nuts and are also looking for non-traditional ideas.

We had never heard of Pine Nut Breadsticks before so when we did, we immediately had to find out how to make them!

Pine Nut Breadsticks

Sometimes bread recipes can seem intimidating-it might look there are too many ingredients…too many steps…but that’s not always the case. These breadsticks are actually relatively easy. In just a few hours you’ll be able to dip these yummy sticks in your favorite soup or serve as an appetizer.

Pistachio Fluff

The name might sound off-putting (can you eat fluff?), but we promise this “fluff” is edible, delicious, and practically takes no time to make. All you need is some pistachio pudding, chopped nuts, whipped topping, fruit (we prefer pineapple), marshmallows, and about an hour’s worth of chilling in the fridge and you’ve got a lovely dessert salad dish!

Cashew Bread

This cashew bread recipe calls for cashew butter and non-dairy milk and makes for a grain-free, moist loaf. It’s simple recipe that also freezes well, so double the ingredients and enjoy one for later, too.

Did you know you can also make cashew butter and pine nut sour cream? It’s true! Check out our entire collection of other creative recipes to enjoy.

Happy cooking!

 

 

The Best of Summer

 

 

Coconut Ice Cream

Well…the weather has definitely proven that it’s summer! And it sure has been an eventful season already.

The summer season is meant for lots of activities. Of course it’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors but temperatures are warm enough these days to make preparing food miserable. So when it’s time to start thinking about food, what can you make that doesn’t take a lot of effort while still being flavorful?

Here are a few recipes that will leave you satisfied instead of burned out (pun intended).

Fresh Veggie Summer Rolls

Veggies are a great choice for a healthy snack or quick lunch. These veggies rolls are stuffed with summer vegetables and can be wrapped with cucumber or zucchini. So cute and really tasty, all while being super healthy!

Squash Pancakes

To the naked eye, these look like crispy golden latkes but instead of potatoes, try grated summer squash. So good!

Summer Grilled Mexican Street Corn Quinoa Salad

It sounds like a mouthful, and it is in every way. This quinoa salad is full of so many delicious ingredients that it’s impossible not to love the combination. Plus, any day you can eat Mexican street corn is a good day!

Grilled Surf and Turf Salad

Ok, this recipe does actually require some flames from the grill but it’s worth trying to power through the summer heat for.  It’s a fun spin on traditional Surf & Turf – just add some fresh spinach and watercress and drizzle with a homemade dressing for a savory tossed salad dish full of flavor.

Don’t forget to save room for some homemade ice cream and refreshing drinks. Here’s a collection of other perfect summer recipes to enjoy.

Happy cooking!

 

 

Fun & Creative Independence Day Recipes

 

 

Patriotic Bundt Cake

It’s that time of year again: the time where Americans prepare to stock up on tons of sunscreen for outdoor activities, find their most patriotic clothing, and of course, get excited for all the good food Independence Day seems to provide every year.

There are so many food traditions revolving around the 4thof July that food creativity can seem hard to achieve. Although burgers, BBQ, and beer are certainly some of the most enjoyable of them all, there are other ways to get creative with your recipes this July 4th.

Here are 4 fun ideas that will inspire you to get creative and colorful with simple ingredients you may not have thought of before!

Patriotic Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppyseed Dressing 

Celebrating doesn’t always have to mean being unhealthy. You can easily enjoy this healthy fruit salad AND be able to scream “Merica” at the same time. All you need are the right colored fruits, a star-shaped cookie cutter, and you’re set. Red and blue berries, apples, and just a few other ingredients and you’ve got healthy, creative 4th of July dish.

Patriotic Potatoes with Mustard Sauce 

This is such a simple idea that also makes complete sense! Show your spirit with red, white, and blue potatoes. This recipe is really easy plus the sauce has bacon and sour cream…Boom!

Cookie Dough Truffles 

There are several reasons why these truffles should absolutely be on your food list. For starters, there are only 3 ingredients and these can be made so quickly. And these “cookie dough” truffles aren’t real cookie dough FYI, so no need to worry about consuming raw foods-these are actually made from a cake mix and butter mixture. Add some red, white, and blue sprinkles, chill for 30 minutes and you’re ready to chow.

Cupcakes in a Jar

Talk about a great idea. This recipe is like having both a cupcake and a pie at the same time. There are so many flavors and each bite tastes like something different (and better) than the last. Check this recipe’s ingredients out and find out how to assemble it into the jar properly so things don’t get messy. Although, it would be a beautiful, tasty mess.

See? The limit for creativity this Independence Day expands much further than you may have realized.

Get creative with your food choices this year. There are a ton of ideas, but we’ve created an Independence Day Collection to help you get more inspired and excited to celebrate.

Happy cooking!

 

 

Perfect Picnic Foods

 

 

Food to bring on a perfect picnic
Homemade Potato Chips

 

The ice and snow have finally decided to move along and allow us to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather.

If you’re anything like us, you’re itching to be outside as much as possible before the brutal heat of summer arrives. We’re yearning to fill our evenings and weekends enjoying the great outdoors as much as possible.

This is the perfect time for planning a picnic to connect with family, friends, or a loved one. When was the last time you got to relax and enjoy the outdoors with great company? And no need to stress about the planning- it can be easier than you think. Just choose a nice location and let us help with your food prepping.

If you’re wondering what food you should pack for a picnic, remember to think about goodies that can be made ahead, don’t require too much refrigeration, and are light to carry. Here are a few food ideas to get you started:

Homemade Ranch Zucchini Chips

These zucchini chips are really easy to make at home and can travel well, of course. Plus, it’s a healthier alternative for greasy, salty store-bought chip brands.

Chicken and Smoke Gouda Wrap

Typically picnics and sandwiches are associated with one another, but eventually you’ll bored with sandwiches, right? A wrap is a great spin on the traditional picnic sandwich and this chicken and smoked gouda is a fantastic recipe to try.

Mini Sweet Potato Pies

You can’t forget the picnic sweets, but sometimes it’s too much of a pain to 1) make a whole pie and 2) make sure there’s enough room for it in the basket. These mini sweet potato pies are perfect for picnicking and not to mention, they’re adorable.

Roasted Rosemary and Cayenne Nuts

Nuts are an often overlooked, but convenient choice for events like this. They don’t require refrigeration, they’re light, and can be made ahead of time. Fancy them up with spices and you’re set.

Wash it all down with a yummy lemonade or refreshing cocktail and enjoy! It really is that simple.

Get creative most importantly, have fun. Here’s a whole list of more recipes to help with your food planning if you’re looking for more ideas. Feel free to share your favorites as well!

Happy cooking!

 

 

Father’s Day Recipe Ideas

 

 

Grilled Ribeye Steak and more Father's Day recipe ideas
Grilled Ribeye Steak

 

 

Father. Papa. Dad. Pops.

No matter what you call him, it’s time to celebrate! What better way to make the special man in your life feel appreciated than a homecooked meal?

When we asked the dads here in our office what their favorite part of Father’s Day was, the majority of the answers included spending time with family and eating good food.

When we asked others how they liked to celebrate Father’s Day with the dads in their life, most people mentioned visiting favorite restaurants or hosting a party.

Notice a common theme here? Most everyone chooses to fill the day with FOOD!

And of course, right? Food is one of the best parts of a celebration! Memories, laughs, comradery, love…all these are shared around the table (or wherever you enjoy eating).

This Father’s Day we’ve pulled together a variety of recipe ideas that will truly be loved. Get prepared for a day filled with good times and be ready for the possibility of the stretchy pants coming out.

Cheddar Bacon Waffles

Cheese. Bacon. Waffles. This is a perfect brunch recipe to set the mood right for an awesome day of celebrating!

Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheddar Dipping Sauce

These pretzel bites and beer cheese are great for snacking on throughout the day or before dinner. Add beer to the sauce mix and you’re sure to bring a smile to his face!

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes…Tex Mex style! The only way a Sloppy Joe can taste better is by adding some spice and serving with guacamole on top. Who couldn’t love this combination?

Butter Pecan Frosted Fudge Brownies

Adding something on top of an already super tasty brownie is always a great idea. This butter pecan frosting is just the right amount of sweet and there’s no doubt there won’t be a single crumb left once these are ready to serve.

 

 

Looking for more inspiration? See our the complete collection of Father’s Day recipe ideas.