It's summer. It's hot. The last thing you want to do is ruin the air-conditioned paradise that is your kitchen by cooking. What you'd actually like to do is end your busy day outside on the patio/deck/lawn and relax. Catch up with family/roommates and reset for the next day. And not cook.
However, you are also trying to ensure that you – and your family – eat healthier. Especially as eating healthier boosts the immune system and in this pandemic summer, the healthier and stronger your immune system is the better. So fast food and take out should be a no. But you still don't want to cook, it's so hot…
The good news is that you may not have to, or sacrifice healthier eating. Here are some simple no cook recipes that are tasty, healthy and do not involve ovens, burners, grills or anything else that will add heat to an already hot day.
Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap
White beans mashed with ripe avocado and blended with sharp Cheddar and onion makes an incredibly rich, flavorful filling for this wrap. The tangy, spicy slaw adds crunch.
A pinch (or more) of ground chipotle pepper and an extra dash of cider vinegar can be used in place of the canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Serve with tortilla chips, salsa and something cool to drink.
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce,
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
- 1 ripe avocado
- ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- 4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat wraps, or tortillas
- Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and cilantro; toss to combine.
- Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion.
- To assemble the wraps, spread about 1/2 cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about 2/3 cup of the cabbage-carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.
Smoky Ham & Corn Salad
Look for frisée, a light-green chicory with frilly leaves, for this dinner salad. Its sturdy texture and slightly bitter flavor hold up well when tossed with the smoky, creamy tomato dressing. This is a great salad for summer, when fresh corn is at its best. We call for store-bought croutons in this recipe to keep it quick, but if you have the time and extra bread you can make your own.
- ⅓ cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked (see Shopping Tip)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 cups trimmed frisée, (about 1 large head) or 8 cups mixed salad greens
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels
- 1 cup croutons, preferably whole-grain
- 3/4 cup diced ham, (about 4 ounces)
Whisk sour cream, vinegar, paprika and salt in a large bowl. Add frisee (or salad greens), tomato, corn, croutons and ham; toss to coat.
Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken
Chicken turns this Greek-inspired salad into a substantial main course. Feel free to substitute other chopped fresh vegetables, such as broccoli or bell peppers, for the tomatoes or cucumber. Use leftover chicken, store-roasted chicken or quickly poach a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts while you prepare the rest of the salad. Serve with pita bread and hummus.
- ⅓ cup red-wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken, (about 12 ounces; see Tip)
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- ½ cup sliced ripe black olives
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Whisk vinegar, oil, dill (or oregano), garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta; toss to coat.