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Great Tasting, Low-Cost Valentine's Day Starters

Whether you're planning a Valentine's meal at home, or looking for menu inspiration, these ideas won't break the bank!

For starters, you want something quick and easy to set the meal off on the right foot. Impress your guests from the get-go with our choices below.

Asian Appetisers

To start off, allow your guests to nibble on some steamed edamame beans with a sprinkling of chilli salt.

These edamame beans are only £1.99 per pack!

To follow, we suggest our delicious gyoza which can be pan-fried, boiled or steamed. Choose from three varieties including prawn, chicken and vegetable, and five vegetables - there's something to suit every taste, even vegetarians!

We suggest serving the gyoza with a super-simple dipping sauce, combining:

To customise to your guests' tastes, add some chilli flakes, crushed garlic, crushed ginger or a sprinkling of sugar if needed.

These gyoza's start from £6.99 per bag - an affordable starter dish that can be cooked from frozen!

If you're catering for vegans, why not try teriyaki tofu? Simply cut firm tofu into cubes and coat in:

  • One tablespoon of soy sauce

  • One tablespoon of cornflour

  • A pinch of black pepper

  • One tablespoon of any high-heat oil

Bake in a hot oven for around 30 minutes, turning halfway through. Add the teriyaki sauce to a saucepan and heat through, then add the tofu and mix together. Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and some crispy onions.

Our blocks of tofu cost £1.99 and are perfect for serving two people.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are inexpensive, perfect for stuffing and can be easily customised to your guests' needs.

  • Pre-heat the oven and place the cleaned mushrooms onto a baking tray

  • Fry 125g of unsmoked bacon lardons until just crispy, then add a finely chopped shallot and garlic clove. Fry for around five minutes until everything is cooked

  • Remove the pan from the heat and add in four tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs, and a teaspoon of dried sage - stir together

  • Spoon the mixture into the mushrooms and sprinkle with some grated cheddar

  • Bake in the oven for around eight to 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted, then serve!

These mushrooms are only £7.99 for a 1.5kg tray - that could serve approx. 15 people!

Seafood Spread

Seafood lovers, this one is for you!

Our range of JJ own-brand coated prawns and squid rings make up the perfect picking platter before a main course.

Simply choose from our range of filo, tempura, butterfly and torpedo prawns, salt and pepper panko squid rings and chunks - or combine them all!

Serve alongside a sweet chilli dipping sauce or spicy mayo, and enjoy!

Our coated prawns start from £6.99 per box, and squid rings start from £8.99 per box - perfect for at least three portions.

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Want to treat your guests to that finer dining experience? The combination of crispy, salty prosciutto and buttery hollandaise sauce is something your guests will thank you for.

  • Prep the asparagus by washing them and ensuring they are completely dry

  • Take three asparagus spears and wrap one slice of prosciutto around them. Place each of the bundles on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, and season with pepper to taste

  • Roast in a 200°C oven until tender (this can take between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the asparagus thickness)

  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the hollandaise sauce until warmed through

  • Remove the asparagus from the oven once done, and plate three bundles per person

  • Drizzle over the hollandaise sauce and serve

To level-up the dish once more, top with a golden, runny poached egg!

Our fresh asparagus are priced at £1.40 per bunch, with a pack of prosciutto crudo for £7.99 and pre-made hollandaise sauce for £3.99. These ingredients can serve multiple portions!

Shop everything you need to create these starter dishes.

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