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5 no-cook dinners to beat the heat

By Hilary Meyer, July 6, 2009 - 10:36am

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I could cook when it’s hot, but why would I when I can just as easily make a no-cook dinner? These five recipes are excuse-proof for those of you burnt out on making dinner: they remove cooking from the equation altogether. Plus they can be made—in under 25 minutes—by anyone wielding nothing more than a sharp knife and a good attitude. There’s nothing a hungry family has to wait around for: roll up an easy Creamy Avocado & White Bean Wrap and dinner is ready. Smoky Ham & Corn Salad and Chopped Greek Salad with Chicken take advantage of the summer-fresh vegetables that are falling over themselves to be part of your meals at this time of year. Toss the ingredients in a big bowl: done. By the end of the week, you won’t have used the stove once.

Here are a few of my favorite quick no-cook recipes:

Mediterranean Tuna Antipasto Salad: Packed with protein and fiber, this tuna and bean salad is ready in a flash. Serve with warm, crusty bread or pack it in a pita for a sandwich. For an extra kick, add a pinch of crushed red pepper or cayenne.

Italian Vegetable Hoagies: This delightfully easy, and somewhat messy, sandwich packs a punch with sweet balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, red onion, provolone cheese and zesty pepperoncini. We love it for dinner as well as lunch. If you’re packing the hoagies to take along, keep the ingredients separate and assemble right before eating to avoid soggy bread. Serve with tomato and cucumber salad.

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 Tecate beer.

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.

Smoky Ham & Corn Salad: Fresh corn, diced deli ham and crunchy croutons are tossed with a smoky, creamy tomato dressing in this light summer salad. Serve with a crisp glass of rosé and sliced melon.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Food Blog, Dinner, Quick meals

Hilary Meyer
EatingWell Associate Food Editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

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