Valentine's Day is upon us. That day of love, of togetherness, of romance. Unless, of course, you are single. Then it's the time of “gag me with a NON-CHOCOLATE-covered spoon.” But why not take Valentine's Day as an opportunity to make like Donna and Tom from Parks and Recreation and treat yo self? Here are the seven best meals to eat alone on Valentine's day — just you, your sweatpants and a DVR full of TV shows. Hey, this might be a great night after all.
1. One-pot pasta: Anne and Donna from Apron Strings knows that cooking for one isn't just about phenomenal food, it's also about easy clean up. This one pot pasta has all of the good stuff — spaghetti, tomatoes, garlic, onions and spices — cooked in one pot until the pasta is al dente and the water and other ingredients have been transformed into a rich, flavorful sauce. Maximum flavor, minimum cleanup.
2. Garlic chicken: Nobody to kiss = no reason to have good breath. Indulge your most garlicky fantasies with Simple Bites' 40 cloves of garlic chicken. Aimee makes this for a crowd, but it's the perfect eat-alone dish. She recommends making this a day ahead of time to let all of the flavors meld. I recommend adding a straw for all of the sweet, savory garlic gravy.
3. Baked potato with caviar: Because a little bit of indulgence is good for the soul. Dana from I've Got Cake loads whipped potatoes with smoked salmon, sour cream and chives, then piles the potatoes back into their baked shells and then tops the whole thing with loads of caviar. It's decadent, it's delicious and it's perfectly portioned for one person.
4. Mac and cheese dog: Think caviar is for snobs? Treat yourself to two childhood faves with this recipe for macaroni and cheese-topped hot dogs from Taste and Tell. Don't be afraid to add some hot sauce or ketchup — you only have to please yourself, so there's no need to hold back.
5. Ramen burger: Kate at Framed Cooks takes every drunken craving and puts it onto one shiny plate. After drinking an entire box of wine, what could be better than bouncy ramen topped with a juicy burger, crispy bacon and creamy cheese? Don't worry, there's some lettuce scattered on top for nutrients.
6. Southwest stuffed baguette: There's nothing like guilty-pleasure food when you're home alone with nobody to judge you. Sarah and Tim from Curious Cuisiniere take this idea to a new level with their Southwest stuffed baguette. They hollow out a baguette, then fill it with a spicy, garlicky cauliflower, corn and cheese mixture. The loaf is then baked until the outside is toasty and the inside is gooey and cheesy. Add sausage for an extra hit of decadence!
This article was originally published Feb. 11, 2015 at 12:52 p.m. ET.