02 October 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Dinner and a Movie Date Night When You’re Broke and Can’t Cook

I thought it would be nice for S and I to have an at-home date night since our youngest was home and we couldn’t go out. In the mood for seafood, I initially decided on getting carryout from Bonefish but in my new effort to cut back on the amount of money that I’m spending on restaurants and because I have two bdays and a wedding anniversary in October , I’m trying to cut back where I can.

So instead I decided to make our own restaurant-style seafood dinner at home. This probably sounds pretty every-day for all you amateur chefs out there, but if you know me, you know that I hate to cook. (This blog doesn’t have microwave in the title for nothing!)

I used Utokia Langley’s grilled scallop spinach salad with sweet lemon vinaigrette arugula recipe but instead of making a salad using baby spinach, I used asparagus. (When I went out to shop for the ingredients, asparagus was on sale for 1.99). This recipe seemed easy enough and as a bonus, I already had most of the seasoning ingredients in my house. Here are the ingredients

GRILLED SCALLOP SPINACH SALAD INGREDIENTS:
6-8 Scallops
1 cup of fresh baby spinach
6-8 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (to toss with scallops)
1-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (to heat in the pan)
Sea salt (to taste)
Ground black pepper (to taste)
Dried thyme (to taste)

SWEET LEMON VINAIGRETTE DRESSING INGREDIENTS:
Juice of ½ a lemon
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tsp. of country Dijon mustard
zest of ½ a lemon
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
Sea salt (to taste)
Ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Visit She’s Got Flavor for the instructions.

Because I didn’t think that the scallops alone would be enough, I decided to beef up my dinner with some mussels (pun intended—hee-hee). My husband and I love mussels, and I found these already-cooked frozen mussels for $4.50. You just heat in a pot of boiling water and eat. (I know all of my pics look bootleg– my camera was trippin’)

mussels for a quick date night meal

I also found these New York style cheesecakes in the supermarket bakery. They are being discontinued, so I picked them up for only two bucks. Sorry its hard to see.

Store bought cheesecake for inexpensive date night

This meal was so easy to make. The hardest part was getting the bag of mussels open. It took me about 10 minutes to cook the scallops and the asparagus, about seven minutes to heat the mussels, and less than five minutes to make the dressing.

inexpensive date night meal

The only ingredients that I didn’t already have in my kitchen for the scallops recipe were the scallops themselves and I had to buy lemons for the dressing. The dressing called for country Dijon mustard, which I didn’t have, but I had white wine Dijon which worked fine as a substitute. At $2 for the cheesecakes, $4.50 for the mussels, $10.00 for the scallops and less than $2 for the asparagus (I ended up buying a bag of lemons, but on its own it was probably pennies), and adding a bottle of wine that we already had in the house, (although S doesn’t drink wine, so he made his own concoction) we had an amazing dinner with dessert for about $20; probably 1/3 of what it would have cost if we had gone out. Plus it only took non-cooking me less than 30 minutes to prepare it.

We ordered a comedy off of Netflix to end the evening. Lots of fun + minimal money= the perfect date night for me.

Do you have an easy date night dinner? Share it in the comments section!

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