5 Romantic Couple Meals to Spice Up Your Zoom Dates

5 Romantic Couple Meals to Spice Up Your Zoom Dates

Super meal ideas you can easily make for that next online date, first made by TLC's hit blind-date series Travel for Love

Been on a date lately? Well, Zoom dates count too. The lovely ladies and very eligible bachelor Tony of TLC's hit blind-date series Travel for Love shares some super meal ideas you can easily make for that next online date. There's sticky sweet BBQ chicken wings from Kuala Lumpur's Tahanee, and a picture perfect (and palette perfect) Butternut Squash Pasta from Manila's Samantha, and more. Not every date food is steak and candles, hey?  

1. Pick-me-up Spinach Pasta with Honey's Roasted Butternut Squash

Feeling blue because you can’t see your other half in person just yet? Try making a vibrant plate of Spinach Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash to share with your darling over dinner. This colorful dish is made possible by adding blanched spinach to your typical pasta mixture. You can roll it out and cut it to any desired pasta shape you want – fettuccine, farfalle or even the twisty all'uovo. The garlic butter sauce adds a splash of aromatic creaminess and compliments the spinach pasta and butternut squash perfectly. Top with pine nuts, chili flakes and Parmesan cheese when done. We promise that your rainbow dinner date will not only look good, it’ll bring joy to both your taste buds! 

  • Find out more about Honey here

2. Let’s Stick it Out with Tahanee's BBQ Chicken

Some days (and dates) just call for fried chicken. Make that crunchy fried chicken covered in sticky gooey finger-licking good honey BBQ sauce. If you don’t have chicken wings, you can use drumsticks or even breast meat that is cut into chunks. For drumsticks, increase the frying time by 50% or until the flesh inside has turned from pinkish-red to white (slice one open to check if necessary). To create a balanced meal, you can pair it with mashed potato and some grilled or roasted vegetables. The mash will soak up the extra gravy and the vegetables will provide a sweet extra crunch. Did we mention that you should go hands free during your chat while digging into this meal? As much as you both love each other, sticky glaze all over your phone might not be the sweet ending you are looking for! 

3. Extra Indulgence with Samantha's Creamy Chicken Pasta & Mango Panna Cotta

Creamy main and extra creamy dessert? Yes and yes! Whether it’s a special occasion (half the world will be spending their birthdays in lockdown) or any cause for celebration, this Creamy Pasta Chicken & Panna Cotta will surely satiate even the biggest of appetites. Chicken goes really well with pasta as it provides some tender, juicy texture to go with the smooth creamy sauce and al-dente chewiness of pasta. Red meats don’t work as well in this case as they tend to be too stringy and heavily flavored, but you can definitely replace the chicken with shrimps, or even smoked salmon. Our favorite part has to be watching all that freshly shredded parmesan melting over the hot creamy pasta, giving it the addictive gooey, stretchy IG-worthy shots we are all looking for.

Hold on – don’t forget about the best part of your virtual date! Dig into the perfect Panna Cotta topped with succulent strips of mango. Ripe mangoes are really sweet – so you can actually reduce the amount of sugar in this famous Italian pudding if you don’t want a huge sugar rush.

1. Turn Up the Heat with Tony's Kimchi Pierogies

Say what?! Pierogies (pronounced as pih-ROH-ghee) are a norm in Central and Eastern European cuisines, and stuffing them with kimchi, on top of the usual mashed potato adds a spicy Korean twist to these little savory dumplings. Unlike your traditional Curry Puffs, which are deep fried, these dumplings are boiled before being stir-fried, making them a tad healthier. The making of these Kimchi Pierogies can be a fun virtual date in itself (be sure to set your phone camera far away from the flour covered working area). Share your kneading techniques, secret extra fillings and creative dumpling shaping over video chat with your loved one. That’s right, on top of potato, cream cheese and kimchi, you can stuff your Pierogie with juicy Beef Bulgogi, sautéed butter mushrooms or crunchy bacon bits. Remember to pinch the edges of the Pierogie tight to seal the entire creamy filling in. You can double seal it again with the edges of a fork, creating pretty patterns on the circumference of your dumpling. Pair it with some sour cream and chives to add a touch of tartness or get whacky with the sauces by dipping it in cheesy tomato gravy, creamy pesto or even a spicy curry!

5. Going Nuts Over You with Mariska's Spicy Beef Stew (Rawon)

There’s no better way to say you’ve missed your better half than by brewing this dark as night Rawon soup and sharing the earthy, rich flavors over Zoom. If you are new to East Indonesian Cuisine, this classic recipe calls for Keluak Nuts or Pangium Edule. These reddish-brown fruits (around 3 cm in diameter) are almost impossible to find outside of the mangrove swaps of Malaysian or Indonesia. The nuttiest thing about them is the fact that they are actually poisonous – the seeds contain hydrogen cyanide – when plucked fresh from the tree. Fret not – this virtual date will have a good ending! These rare fruits take a bit of work to become edible. They are boiled, covered in ash and left to ferment for 40 days before the poison dissipates. Before you ditch this recipe and your virtual date (no way you’re waiting 40 days!), you’ll be happy to know that Keluak is commonly sold with this tedious fermentation already done. All that’s left for you and your partner to do is to stew the ingredients for an hour and enjoy this one-of-a-kind soup on a cold day over video chat.

Find out more about TLC's hit travel-date reality show, Travel for Love, here, and watch selected full episodes, here

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