Zuchinnis and Squash make excellent sweet and juicy pairings to the tender chicken. Mark DeYoung/Unsplash

A Romantic Meal on a Budget

It’s that time of year again; love is in the air, romance is on the horizon and expectations are high. Everyone wants to please their partner, but no one wants to shell out cash they don’t have. Perfect solution? Make a romantic meal! Here are a couple easy options that will not only have your partner swooning but make your wallet happy. 


This baked chicken dish is called Everything but the Sink! Sounds a little wacky, but it leaves room for the chef to make substitutions to taste. It can be made with as little as two pans and tastes like hours of effort went in. 



4 cloves of garlic

12 cherry tomatoes

3–4 large kale leaves

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 pinch sea salt

2 pinches ground pepper

Your choice of vegetables (suggested: onion, broccoli, bell peppers and snow peas)

Your choice of herbs (suggested: thyme, basil or oregano)

Hanna Aderson

What’s great about these ingredients is that a lot of them can be whatever you already have on hand for produce. If you have to buy all the ingredients, the cost could be as little as $23.



Preheat the oven to 375. The garlic needs to be smashed, peeled and chopped, tomatoes halved and kale leaves cut into thin ribbons. Rub 1 tsp of salt all over the chicken. 



Heat a large pan on the stove over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add olive oil and then the chicken. Let sear for about 3 minutes, then flip and let sear for another 3 minutes. With about 1 minute left in the second sear, add garlic. When finished, remove from heat.


Move the chicken to an oven-safe dish. Add kale, tucking the leaves under the chicken, then surround the chicken with your choice of veggies and tomatoes. Sprinkle salt over the whole pan and do the same with the pepper. Let the mixture bake for 30–40 minutes. Once removed, sprinkle your herb mixture over the meal. 


Now you have a tasty meal that’s worthy of the romantic night you and your partner are about to share. If this doesn’t sound like enough food, add pasta, potatoes or even grits!


Recipe adapted from Brooklyn Supper, Chef Elizabeth.