It’s July and the weather is starting to heat up! With a busy schedule, and scorching temperatures, the last thing you want to do is heat up the house cooking dinner. This week we’re focusing on fast and easy meals that require little to no cooking! Summer is a great time to focus on no-cook meals since there’s so much delicious, seasonal produce! Last week we focused on lighter foods for summer, this week we’ll go a little further and focus on tips for fast, easy, no-cook meals.
Focus on beans.
Beans and legumes are a great way to make a delicious, filling, no-cook meal. Beans are full of protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer. There are tons of options for how to use them. Pinto or black beans work great with Mexican or Southwest flavors, mix them with corn, bell peppers, avocado, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing bean salad, great as a dip or served over lettuce. Chickpeas are great for Mediterranean flavors, add chickpeas to a Greek salad for extra protein, or highlight these beans in a refreshing Curried Chickpea Salad.
If you have to heat up the house to do some cooking, plan ahead so you have ingredients ready for the rest of the week. Grill or roast chicken for salads and sandwiches. Make a pot of grains for adding to salads all week long, or make grains the feature of a salad like in this Pesto Wheat Berry Salad, or make a grain bowl.
Use a slow cooker.
Slow cookers are perfect for the summer since they don’t get the whole house hot. Use a slow cooker to prepare your protein of choice, and then serve it with cooler items, try chicken tacos and use the meat for tacos, salads, or bowls.
Highlight fresh produce.
The produce in summer is pretty hard to beat. Highlight all the fresh flavors by serving produce raw, try a fresh panzanella salad, or a shaved zucchini salad. Switch up how you think about meals, and make a dinner out of fresh vegetables, fruits, and proteins. Try hummus with whole wheat pita, sliced radishes, and carrot sticks, and cucumber slices with cottage cheese and dill.
What are your favorite no-cook meals for summer?
Let us know on the Sweet Life Wellness Facebook Page!
Sweet Life Wellness Student Intern
Dietetics student at University of Maryland-College Park