With Valentine’s Day AND midterms coming up, some of us, myself included, are too stressed about studying for tests to even begin thinking about planning a nice Valentine’s Day dinner for your significant other. However, I still wanted to do something special and meaningful for my valentine, namely my beautiful roommate pictured below:

Ingrid Lin / Daily Nexus

So, I decided to come up with a three-course meal that can easily be whipped up in an hour and has the quality of a gourmet meal.

Here are some easy, foolproof recipes that only require instant foods to bring delicious results that will clinch your Valentine’s Day dinner plans, just like how you will (hopefully) clinch that A.

Vegetable Ramen

Ingrid Lin / Daily Nexus


Packaged ramen noodles of your choice

An egg

Broccoli, or any other desired vegetables

Seaweed or nori flakes

  1. Cook the ramen according to the steps found on the package. The first step usually involves adding water into a saucepan and letting it come to a rolling boil on high. The next outlined steps should be along the lines of turning down the heat to medium, then adding in the broth and ramen noodles. The vegetables should be added in last.
  2. To make a soft-boiled egg, pour enough water in a separate saucepan to submerge an egg.
  3. Allow the water to come to a boil on medium-high heat. Use a spoon to lower the egg carefully into the water and let it boil for 6 ½ minutes.
  4. Remove the egg and transfer it to a cup of ice-cold water and let it rest for two minutes, making sure that the water covers the egg completely.
  5. Carefully peel the egg and then slice the egg in half.
  6. Pour the ramen into a bowl, and garnish it with the nori, egg and vegetables.

Ingrid Lin / Daily Nexus

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingrid Lin / Daily Nexus


Boxed mashed potatoes

Garlic clove


Whole milk

Parsley or herbs of choice


  1. Follow the instructions on the box. Add in the water and the butter in a saucepan and allow it to come to a boil and then remove from heat. Add in the cold milk and stir in the suggested serving size of potato flakes until it moistens If the potatoes are too thick, add in more milk. If the potatoes are too thin, add in more flakes.
  2. Dice some parsley and mince the garlic clove, then mix them into the mashed potatoes.
  3. Fluff the mashed potatoes with a fork, season with salt to taste and serve.

Ingrid Lin / Daily Nexus

Lemon Custard

Ingrid Lin / Daily Nexus

2 tbsps of Bird’s Instant Custard Powder

2 tbsps of granulated sugar  

1 pint of whole milk

Blackberries and parsley for garnish

  1. Put 2 tbsps of custard powder and 2 tbsps of sugar in a saucepan. Add in about 2 tbsps of whole milk and stir the mixture until it forms a smooth paste.
  2. In a separate saucepan, heat the remaining milk until it boils, then pour it into the custard powder paste and whisk the mixture well.
  3. Grate some lemon zest and stir it into the mixture. You can also add in some lemon juice for a tangy taste.
  4. Pour the custard into individual serving dishes (I used glass yogurt containers).
  5. Refrigerate the custard for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Garnish with blackberries and parsley, then serve.

Ingrid Lin / Daily Nexus