5 Recipes to Spread the Love

Happy Valentine’s Day! This week we celebrate those we love with comforting meals that say, “I care about you!” We have biscuits and gravy, miso soup, lamb chops, chicken with creamy mustard, and personal cheesecake.

Spread the love meal plan.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year…but what if, instead of saving the love for just one dinner, you spread it all week long? It doesn’t need to be fancy. Just make things you like to eat and do it with care. I’ll take a lovingly prepared meal any day over a five-star one served in icy discomfort. 

So, this week, you create that comfort. There’s no act more nourishing. Besides, Valentine’s Day is functionally a terrible day to eat out since restaurants are packed. I’ll be treating my gravy-loving daughter to biscuits and gravy and treating myself to a warming easy miso soup with soba. And my sweetheart? He’s a vegan, so I’ll mash avocado and use that instead of cheese on his quesadillas. 

You don’t have to make grand gestures for people to feel loved. It’s the little things in the long haul that make the difference.

  • "Kale"sadilla

    Kale Quesadilla
    Elise Bauer

    Increasingly, when we make quesadillas at my house, they end up being more about the vegetables than the cheese. We love it that way, but if you prefer the veggies be the accent, make that pile of quick-sautéed kale a generous sprinkling instead.

  • Biscuits and Gravy

    Biscuits and gravy on a plate.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Bakes

    Such a satisfying dinner. Sausage gravy is the most forgiving gravy of all—lumps are never visible! If baking biscuits from scratch isn’t your thing (this one’s quite simple), use a baking mix, or buy canned or frozen ones. We’re not here to judge!

  • Easy Miso Fish Soup With Soba

    Two white bowls filled with quick and easy Miso Soup with fish, peas, herbs and soba noodles on a marble background.
    Sally Vargas | Banner Art Credit: Elena Resko

    Let your body recover from those biscuits and gravy with this uber-light soup. Enrich chicken stock with miso, add flaky white fish, finish with snap peas, and you’re done! Use any noodle you like (even spaghetti) if you don’t have soba around. This recipe serves two, so if you’re feeding more, scale up.

  • Lamb Chops with Rosemary and Garlic

    Lamb Lollipops cooked rare, sliced, and served on a plate
    Elise Bauer

    Lamb chops cook so quick and taste so good, you barely need to do anything special to them. But they are more expensive than other cuts of meat, so we save them for special times. Roasted fennel would be nice on the side.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • Cream Dijon Mustard Chicken

    creamy dijon mustard chicken
    Elise Bauer

    This is about as “date night” as our meal plan gets this week. Use chicken cutlets (pound them yourself or buy ready-to-go) for tender chicken that cooks quickly. Make a simple pan sauce with cream and grainy mustard, and serve over rice, polenta, or buttered noodles.

  • Weekend Baking: Raspberry Cheesecake in a Mason Jars

    Mason Jar Raspberry Cheesecake

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    What dessert could be more special than your own personal cheesecake? This one has an Oreo crust and is baked in little jars to make it easy to gift to your sweethearts. Mason jars have been hard to come by where I live, so if you don’t have any, use 8-ounce custard cups.