Category Archives: Meals for Two

Date Night at Home / Dinner / Holidays / Meals for Two

Valentine's Ideas: Dinner for Two

February 10, 2014

Happy week of love, friends!  Are you all ready to celebrate the holiest of holidays?  Oh, what, you don’t think Valentine’s Day is an important holiday?  Well, you’re right.  It’s not.  But, whatever your relationship status, I think it’s nice to celebrate the ones you love, halfway through February.

And what better way to do it than with food!  Because you can’t spell “heart” without “eat.”  ← I totally just made that up.

I like to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home (because restaurants tend to be overcrowded, overpriced, and generally annoying on Valentine’s Day), by making a delicious meal for two.  But, y’know, nothing too time consuming because I don’t want to spend the day of love cooped up in the kitchen.  Also, nothing too complicated because I also like to cook cocktail-in-hand ifyaknowwhatimean.

I’ve got a whole series devoted to Valentine’s Day this week, starting off with dinner for two.  Coming up: cocktails (because, hello, I love you), and sweet treats for that special someone.  You’ll have everything you need to have an awesome date night at home!

Ready?  Let’s get started.

Dinner for Two

  1. Hawaiian-Style Salmon with baby bok choy and brown rice Hawaiian-Style Salmon with Brown Rice, Bok Choy, and Honey-Soy Glaze
  2. Appetizer Spread appetizer spread
  3. Caramelized Onion Pizza with Goat Cheese and Prosciuttocarmelized onion pizza with goat cheese and prosciutto 2
  4. Copycat Chipotle Burrito BowlsCopycat Chipotle Burrito Bowls
  5. Chili-Rubbed Salmon Tacos with Apple-Cucumber Salsa and Lime Cremataco
  6. Barbeque Chicken PizzaBarbeque Chicken Pizza by Go for 30
  7. Margherita PizzaMagherita Pizza by Go for 30
  8. Spicy Summer Vegetable FlatbreadIMG_4246
  9. Steak and Shrimp with Parsley-Smashed Potatoes and Caesar SaladIMG_3508

Dairy-Free / Date Night at Home / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Meals for Two / Savory / Stay Healthy

Meal for Two: Hawaiian-Style Salmon (with bok choy and brown rice)

February 3, 2014

In case you’re interested (you probably aren’t, it’s really not that interesting), but this recipe came from: 1. getting some baby bok choy in our CSA box, 2. my love of teriyaki salmon, and 3. a meal I had at Roy’s a few weeks ago.  I mean, did I say interesting or did I say interesting?

I know, completely boring.

Anyhoo, boring or not, this recipe is really easy, but looks like one of those sort of fancier-restaurant style meals.  (Or maybe I just think that since I’m constantly making one-pot or one-bowl meals…)  And, KC was super into this dish, so I think it’s safe to say that it’s pretty dang tasty.

He’s not one to just throw out compliments, y’know.

Also, this would be an awesome meal for a date night at home or a stay-in Valentine’s day.  It makes just the right amount of food, is really flavorful, and a lot of the work (steps 1-3) can be done ahead of time.  Although, even if you don’t do anything ahead, the recipe takes about 40 minutes from start to finish (assuming you’ve soaked your rice — step 1 — ahead of time).

Convinced yet?

(Oh, and in other “interesting” news: I’ve added a few new categories to the blog — “Date Night at Home,” “Cocktails,” and “Meals for Two.”  Blowing your mind right?  Totally.)

Let’s get cooking.

Hawaiian-Style Salmon with Brown Rice, Bok Choy, and Honey-Soy Glaze

Hawaiian-Style Salmon with Honey-Soy Glaze (plus bok choy and brown rice)

serves 2

  • 1/2 pound salmon filet (preferably wild-caught)

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 tbsp each: rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

For the honey-soy glaze:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • sesame seeds

Brown Rice:

  • 3/4 cups brown rice (I used brown jasmine rice)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • big pinch of salt

Bok Choy:

  • 2 heads baby bok choy, cleaned and cut in half
  • salt and pepper
  • pot with steamer basket
  1. First, place rice in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl.  Cover the rice with water and let soak for at least one hour (preferably longer).  You can do this overnight, or earlier in the day.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the marinade and pour over salmon.  Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk together all ingredients for the glaze and set aside.
  4. When you’re ready to cook dinner, drain and rinse the rice, then add it to a saucepan with the 1 1/2 cups water and salt.  Cover and bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes (without removing the lid — no peeking!)
  5. After the rice has come to a boil, bring your steamer pot of water to a boil.  Once boiling, place bok choy into the steamer basket above the boiling water, replace the lid and steam for 5 minutes.  Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  6. While you’re waiting for your steaming water to boil, place a skillet over medium heat.  Add some oil to the pan, then cook the fish on both sides until just cooked through and the center is still just slightly raw-pink (about 4-5 minutes per side for 2-inch thick filet).
  7. Divide the fish, bok choy, and rice (you’ll have extra) onto two plates and serve with the honey-soy glaze.

*To make this recipe gluten-free, use Tamari in place of the soy sauce.

Date Night at Home / Dinner / Meals for Two / Savory

Pesto Chicken Pizza

October 15, 2013

pesto pizzaYou guys, this pizza is so good.  You should probably make it immediately.

Pesto Chicken Pizza

  • 1 lb pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
  • pesto (I used TJs)
  • mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • optional: red bell pepper, sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 475°
  2. Stretch our pizza dough, and place onto a greased baking sheet.  Cover dough liberally with pesto, then bake for 8-12 minutes, until crust is just beginning to brown.
  3. Cover dough with mozzarella, then top with chicken, red onion, sun dried tomatoes, and bell pepper (if using).  Bake another 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is crispy and golden brown.

Then, obviously, eat the entire thing and wonder why you don’t make this for dinner every night.

Date Night at Home / Dinner / Gluten-Free / Holidays / Meals for Two / Savory / Stay Healthy

Valentine’s Dinner for Two, 2013 edition

February 12, 2013

Happy Valentine’s week, lovers!  Are you all prepped and ready to shower your honey with love this Thursday?  Will you be spending the day of love curled up on the couch with a box of chocolates? Out at a restaurant enjoying a fancy meal?  Drowning yourself in a margarita?  Those all sound like wonderful options to me.

Personally, I think there’s little else that’s more romantic than having a home-cooked meal with that special someone.  Now, as much as I love a fancy-schmancy meal, I really don’t like to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen.  (Because what’s romantic about sweating over the stove for hours while your sweet-baboo watches basketball?  That’s right: nothing.)  So my M.O. for cooking a Valentine’s meal is this: make it delicious, and keep it simple (and not too heavy.  Feeling sickly-full is not romancey.)

So, in keeping with the hot-and-spicy theme of the holiday, I’ve got a delicious meal for you to make for your loved one.  It’s full of flavor, takes very little effort (but still seems fancy), and pairs wonderfully with a margarita.  Convinced yet?  Let’s get cooking!

Chili-Rubbed Salmon Tacos with Apple-Cucumber Salsa and Lime Crema

adapted from Food & Wine

serves 2 (makes about 6 tacos)



  • Two 1/3 lb boneless, skinless salmon filets (preferably wild-caught)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 6 corn tortillas (try to find good, handmade corn tortillas — it really makes a difference!)
  1. Combine sugar, chili powder, and orange zest in a small bowl.  Drizzle salmon with olive oil, then rub with spice mix.  Let sit 5 minutes (or you can just pop it back in the fridge at this point until you’re ready to cook off the fish.  When you’re ready to cook the fish, complete steps 2-4, below.)
  2. Heat oven to 350°.  Wrap tortillas in foil and bake just until warmed through, about 10 min.
  3. Heat olive oil in a grill pan on medium-high heat.  Add salt to both sides of salmon, then add fish to the grill pan.  Sear fish on both sides until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Place fish onto plate, then break apart into pieces.

photo 1


  • 1/2 granny smith apple, diced
  • 1/2 small or 1/4 large english cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 3/4 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine.  Add salt to taste. (Feel free to make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge — it keeps well.)

photo 2

Lime Crema:

  • 1-2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. freshly-squeezed lime juice
  1. Combine mayo and lime in a small bowl, stir to combine.

taco preptacoTo put these tacos together, here’s what I like to do:

  1. Take a warmed tortilla, and smash 1/6 of an avocado in the middle (the avocado part is completely optional).
  2. Add 1/3 of one of the salmon filets (broken apart into pieces).
  3. Drizzle with a little lime crema.
  4. Top with apple-cucumber salsa.
  5. Eat it up, then wash it down with a margarita.

What’s especially awesome about this meal is that you can make everything ahead of time and just sear the fish and warm the tortillas 10 min before you’re ready to eat.  (But even if you don’t, total prep time is about 10 min otherwise.)  Like I said, easy-peasy.

Wouldn’t it be romantic to come home and have your sweetie hand you a margarita, then lay out this this spread for dinner?  Yum yum.

And here’s a complete shopping list, to make things even easier:

  • corn tortillas (taco size, preferably handmade)
  • two 1/3 lb. boneless, skinless salmon filets (preferably wild-caught)
  • chipotle chili powder
  • sugar
  • 1 orange (for zest)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 ripe avocado (optional)
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 small red onion
  • white wine vinegar
  • 1 lime
  • mayo

I hope your Valentine’s Day is muy caliente.

Date Night at Home / Dinner / Favorite Things / Holidays / Meals for Two / Savory

Valentine’s Dinner for 2

February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day lovebirds!

I know a lot of people have issues with this holiday.  I understand, it’s very commercialized (but really, what holiday isn’t?  Arbor Day?)  Personally, I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day.  I pretty much love any holiday that revolves around candy.  And really, what’s so bad about a day where you get to celebrate the people you love?

My Valentine’s day was shaping up to be uber-romantic.  KC knew he’d be working late, which meant I’d be hitting the 5:30 Bar Method class and then heading home to snuggle with the Seuss and eat a lonely salad for one.  Not exactly a night of whirlwind romance hmm?

So instead of celebrating this day of love on February 14, KC and I had a night out at home last night.  I say “night out” because I made a meal which you would normally get at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day.

Yes, I made red meat.  I haven’t really discussed this on here before, but I almost never buy red meat.  (In fact, the last time I made beef was Valentine’s Day 2010!)  Partly, this is because beef is frickin’ expensive (when I buy meat, I make the utmost effort to ensure it’s organic, local, grass-fed, cage-free, and all that other good business, which translates into — not cheap).  The other reason I pretty much only buy fish and fowl, aside from my limited budget, is because I feel very far removed from the food I eat a lot of the time.  I think if it came down to it (if I was stranded on a desert… farm… or something), I’m pretty sure I could take down a chicken or a striped bass if I really needed to.  But ask me to slaughter a cow?  I really don’t know if i could (gulp) stomach it.  Thus, I only buy red meat on very special occasions (much to KC’s chagrin).

Anyhoo, back to the point.  Last night I made KC and I caesar salad with homemade sourdough croutons; parsley-tossed shrimp; organic, local, grass-fed chateaubriand (aka top sirloin); and parsley-smashed red potatoes.

We started with the salad, shrimp, and a bottle of champagne:

Sorry you can’t see much, but isn’t candlelight romantic?  I set up a table complete with candles, wine glasses, and my fanciest china horse plates (50¢ from TJ Maxx, nothing but the finest for my table!)

After the first course, we moved on to the main course: parsley smashed red potatoes and steak (rounded out with a delicious bottle of petite syrah – yum!)

So next Valentine’s, maybe you and your special someone can skip the rush at the local steakhouse and have a romantic meal where you won’t be interrupted by a waiter, or hurried out the door as soon as you’re done with your meal (and, not to mention, save a pretty penny in the process!)  And really, what says “I love you” more than a meal cooked with love?  That’s right, nothing. (Except diamonds.)

Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons

serves 2

*pairs well with champagne, white wine, or a light cocktail

  • 2-3 thick slices sourdough bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 small head romaine, cored, torn into pieces
  • 1 egg yolk, or 1 tablespoon pasteurized egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • a few dashes of worcestershire sauce
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 cup olive oil (plus more for croutons)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.  On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle bread with olive oil, salt and pepper, then toss to combine.  Bake 8-10 minutes until browned and crunchy.
  2. Whisk together egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, garlic, anchovy paste, worcestershire, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until well-combined.  Stir in parmesan, then drizzle over romaine and croutons and toss to combine.  (This makes a big batch of dressing, so you’ll have quite a bit leftover.  Piadines anyone?)

Steak and Shrimp with Parsley Potatoes

serves 2

*pairs well with a full-bodied red wine such as cabernet, petite syrah, or zinfandel

  • 1/2 pound small red potatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 filet mignon, sirloin, or flat-iron steaks (6 oz each)
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 extra-large shrimp (6 oz total) peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  1. Place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch.  Season with salt; bring to a boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer.  Cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain potatoes and return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high.  Pat steaks dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper.  When oil just begins to smoke, add steaks to skillet.  Cook until browned well on all sides, turning with tongs as needed, up to 10 minutes total (for thinner steaks, cook 6-8 minutes total).  Reduce heat to medium, top steaks with thyme, and add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet.  When butter froths, tilt skillet slightly so butter pools and repeatedly spoon it over steaks, 1 minute.  Transfer steaks to a plate and tent with foil.
  3. Briefly rinse skillet under cold water and return to medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet; when it froths, add shrimp and cook until beginning to brown at edges, about 2 minutes, turning halfway through.  Season with salt and pepper, add half the parsley, and toss.  Transfer to plate.
  4. Return skillet to medium heat and add cooked potatoes.  Cook, stirring, until potatoes are heated through and starting to break down, 1 minute.  Add 1 tablespoon butter and remaining parsley and toss to coat.  Season potatoes with salt and pepper.  Serve steak and shrimp with potatoes.

*Finish off this meal with your sweetie’s favorite dessert (we had See’s chocolate – yum!)

A big plus of the above recipes?  If you follow the specifications, it won’t leave you or your honey feeling overly-stuffed and weighed down, so you’ll still have room for dessert.  And really, what’s Valentine’s Day without something a little indulgent to finish it off right?  Right.