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Oven-free cooking to keep you cool

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Summer No-Cook Meals

When it's over 90 degrees outside, the last thing you want to do is turn on an oven to prepare dinner. But what can you make that is satisfying and filling without switching on a single appliance? The answer is fresh summer salads, sandwiches, and even pizza (for dessert). These tasty no-cook meals will make your summertime dining simple and satisfying from start to finish.

Shrimp Salad

Oven-free Recipes


Caribbean Shrimp Salad

Serves 4 main dish courses or 8 appetizer courses

Start your dinner with this light and refreshing salad or enjoy it as your entire meal. Purchasing already-cooked shrimp makes this dish super easy to put together. You can also used baby canned shrimp for even easier eating.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup prepared vinaigrette dressing
1/4 cup honey Dijon mustard
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 pounds cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 mango, peeled, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
1 large package mixed salad greens

Directions:
In a large bowl, whisk together dressing, mustard, and yogurt. Add shrimp, mango, and avocado to dressing and toss to coat. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, place greens on plates and top with shrimp mixture.

Avocado and Spinach Pita Sandwiches with Tahini

Makes 4 servings

These vegetarian sandwiches are great for lunch or dinner when combined with a light salad. Use any of your favorite vegetables for additional filling.

Tahini dressing:
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt, to taste

Sandwich ingredients:
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
4 ripe plum tomatoes, diced*
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup alfalfa sprout
1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, sliced
1 cucumber, diced
4 large whole wheat pita breads, sliced open

Directions:
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together tahini dressing ingredients and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, toss feta with tomatoes and spinach. Spread dressing evenly on all four pitas and top with tomato mixture, alfalfa, avocado, and cucumber.
*Before eating tomatoes, be sure to read Do your tomatoes have salmonella?

Strawberry Pizza

Makes 4 servings

A sweet ending to a summery, light, no-cook meal. This is a crowd pleaser as well as a kid-friendly treat.

Ingredients:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 tablespoons strawberry jam
4 large sugar cookies
1 cup sliced strawberries

4 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions:
Combine cream cheese with strawberry jam. Spread the mixture onto the flat side of each cookie. Top with sliced strawberries and dust with powered sugar. Serve with a chilled glass of lemonade.

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