No-cook meal tips
1. Clean out your refrigerator/pantry
Sometimes the best way to create a hassle free meal is to take inventory of your refrigerator and pantry and see what has been in there for a while. Most people have tons of jams, jellies, spreads, and other various condiments that can be used for sandwiches or salads. Also, bread, cheese, and lunch meats are frequent staples as are fresh veggies. If you have any of these ingredients, a sandwich or salad piled high with cheese, meat, and veggies is a great no-cook option.
2. Create a smorgasboard
On extra hot days in the summer eating a full meal just does not seem appealing, so instead graze on a spread of meats, cheeses, breads, spreads, olives, etc. You can quickly put together trays of fresh fruits, veggies, and other "picky" foods that will satisfy your hunger. You can make a variety of homemade dips and spreads such as hummus, olive tapenade, or sour cream and onion dip to serve with breads, pita, or chips.
3. Make soups
On a hot day, eating soup may be the last thing on your mind but chilled soups are a great no-cook option. Many cold soups can be made from tomato juice or pureed vegetables then mixed with fresh herbs and a dollop of sour cream. Served with a big hunk of crispy bread finishes off this no-cook meal.
4. Pasta dishes
You may be thinking, how can I make a pasta dish without cooking? Well, it is possible. You can make cold pasta salads with pre-cooked noodles which you can find in many grocery stores. Toss these with chopped cheese, olives, and any other condiments you may have on hand then drizzle with salad dressing or olive oil for a quick and tasty pasta salad. You can even add canned tuna, pre-cooked chicken, or you can thaw out frozen pre-cooked shrimp for extra protein.
5. Eat leftovers
Leftovers are the perfect no-cook dinner option. Many taste even better served the next day at room temperature. Eggplant parmigiana and pizza are two of my favorites. If you have leftover chicken or steak then toss it on a salad or in a sandwich and leftover pasta can be created into a tasty pasta salad (see above).
Up next: No-cook recipes for summer>>