Five Easy No-Cook Summer Meals To Beat The Heat

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s summer.  Besides long, gorgeous days and balmy, lazy nights, summer brings with it the thorny issue of how to make a satisfying dinner when the last thing you want to do is stand by a hot stove.  Personally, as much as I love cooking, I can’t take the heat, so I try to find meals that are no-cook and no-fuss. Because I know I’m not alone, I gathered five of my favorite hot weather meals that are low on the sweat factor, but big on taste.

Texas Caviar Rice and Beans

1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup finely chopped roasted red bell peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped poblano pepper
Texas Vinaigrette, divided
2 (8.8-oz.) pouches fully cooked basmati rice
1 1/4 cups halved grape tomatoes
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded pepper Jack cheese
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
2/3 cup thinly sliced celery
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
Tortilla chips
Garnish: sliced pickled jalapeño peppers

1. Stir together first 4 ingredients and 1/4 cup Texas Vinaigrette in a microwave-safe glass bowl; let stand 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring at 30-second intervals.
2. Heat rice according to package directions; fluff with a fork. Divide bean mixture, rice, tomatoes, and next 4 ingredients among 4 to 6 individual plates. Serve with tortilla chips and remaining vinaigrettepeach 9517476591_91d4152c16_k

Prosciutto, Peach, and Sweet Lettuce Salad

2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 (6.5-ounce) package sweet butter lettuce mix
2 large ripe peaches, cut into wedges
3 ounces very thin slices prosciutto, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 ounces ricotta salata cheese, divided into 4 equal pieces
2 tablespoons dry-roasted sunflower seed kernels
Small mint leaves (optional)

1. Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Gradually drizzle in olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in chopped mint.
2. Combine lettuce mix and peach wedges in a large bowl. Drizzle lettuce mixture with dressing; toss gently to coat. Arrange about 2 cups salad in each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 3/4 ounce prosciutto, 1 piece of ricotta salata, and about 2 teaspoons sunflower seed kernels.crab9307841351_7372e822d1_o

Crab Rolls

1/2 pound lump crab meat, or chopped cooked shrimp
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 radishes, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons celery leaves
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and black pepper
4  hot dog buns, split

1.    In a medium bowl, combine the crab, mayonnaise, radishes, celery, celery leaves, apple, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
2.    Dividing evenly, fill the buns with the crab mixture. Serve with the pickles and chips.

Asian Chicken Wraps

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 2-1/2 cups), from a 3-pound chicken
4 rectangular wraps or large tortillas
1/2 sweet red pepper, cored, seeds removed and thinly sliced
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 cup mung bean sprouts

1.    In large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, warm water, soy sauce and vinegar until smooth. Stir in the garlic and scallion. Add chicken and stir until coated.
2.    Place one wrap or tortilla on a flat work surface. Scatter one-fourth each of chicken, red pepper, cucumber and bean sprouts over the top. Tightly roll up from one narrow end. Cut in half. Repeat to make 4 wraps.hoi-sin-chicken-wrap4

Spicy Tuna Wrap

2 5- to 6-ounce cans chunk light tuna, drained
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Sriracha
1 scallion, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 10-inch whole-grain wraps
3 cups watercress leaves
1 ripe avocado, cut into 16 slices
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
Reduced-sodium soy sauce for dipping (optional)

1.    Combine tuna, mayonnaise, hot sauce and scallion in a medium bowl. Combine rice and vinegar in a small bowl.
2.    Spread one-fourth of the tuna mixture over a wrap. Top with 1/2 cup rice, 3/4 cup watercress, 4 avocado slices and one-fourth of the carrot matchsticks. Roll up and cut the wrap in quarters or in half. Repeat with the remaining filling and wraps. Serve with soy sauce for dipping, if desired.

I’ve tried all of these recipes, at least once, since it started heating up in May; Scout’s honor!  We have such a wonderful, diverse choice of places and cuisines to eat here in the Bay Area, but sometimes it’s just too hot to go out to a restaurant.  On these nights, try one of these no-cook meals to keep your cool.

Do you plan on trying any of these cool meals this summer, or do you already have a hot weather meal plan in mind?  Please let us know in the comments below!


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