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During the summer months, I try to refrain from doing anything that might unnecessarily heat up my tiny apartment – that means not charging my laptop overnight, not using my hair straightener or blow dryer and most importantly, avoiding the oven or stove on the hottest days. Though these kitchen accoutrements are certainly useful for whipping up quick, healthy dishes, who wants to stand in front of a hot stove stir-frying vegetables when it is already 90 degrees outside? With a little inspiration, you can make healthful and tasty meals without even having to turn on the gas or the oven. So beat the heat this summer with these flavorful no-cook dishes!
Zucchini Fettuccine With Tomato Sauce
It’s fettuccine you don’t have to cook! This recipe uses zucchini cut into thin strips to give it the appearance of pasta and a pureed tomato sauce with garlic, pine nuts and a little jalapeno for a kick.
Recipe: Zucchini Fettuccine With Tomato Sauce (above)
Turkey Avocado Wrap
This California-inspired wrap adds jicama, scallions and tomatoes to the classic pairing of turkey and avocado, with a fiery dressing that combines low-fat ranch dressing with chipotle salsa and orange zest.
Recipe: Turkey Avocado Wrap
This lighter take on the classic chopped salad is filling and loaded with lots of interesting textures. It has hearty chickpeas, peppery radishes and sliced almonds for an added crunch. The creamy homemade dressing incorporates feta, olive oil, lemon juice and dill to deliver flavor without the extra additives found in bottled dressings.
Recipe: Chopped Salad
Giada’s Chicken and Arugula Pita Pockets
Buying a rotisserie chicken from the store is a great way to save time and bypass using the oven. Giada gives store-bought chicken an Italian twist by adding arugula pesto and cherry tomatoes and stuffing the mixture into portable pita pockets.
Recipe: Chicken and Arugula Pita Pockets
Tyler’s Cold Summer Soup
Chilled soups like this one are a great option for a refreshing summer meal that’s loaded with flavor. Honeydew melon, onions and serrano chilies give this soup a great sweet and savory balance, while low-fat yogurt adds body and creaminess.
Recipe: Cold Summer Soup
Sandra’s Bay Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Toss pre-cooked shrimp and veggies in your favorite vinaigrette and serve it atop avocado halves for a great presentation and an easy anytime snack or light lunch.
Recipe: Bay Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Update your hummus recipe by using edamame instead of chickpeas. Tahini, cumin, coriander and lemon zest make this a fresh and colorful summer dip that’s also a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies!
Recipe: Edamame Hummus
Rachael’s Devilish Angel Cake With Wine-Soaked Berries
Don’t forget dessert! Berries soaked in wine and sugar atop light and fluffy store-bought angel food cake make for a perfect summertime treat that tastes luxurious but isn’t too rich.
TELL US: What’s your favorite no-cook meal?
One sure way to avoid the highly processed add-ins found in many protein bars is to turn out a batch using your own ingredients and a boost of protein powder. A word on that front: You’ll want a protein powder low in added and artificial sweeteners. Whey, which is dairy-based, is one good option, butRead more