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Non-cook meal ideas

If you can’t handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen… or, just don’t turn the oven on. Try these great recipe ideas for some oven-and-hotplate-free meals that won’t overheat your house in summer.

Fresh garden salad

It’s a sticky summer evening, you’re still covered in beach salt and sand, and the last thing you feel like doing is turning on the oven and making the house feel even more like a sauna. So don’t. Leave the oven and hotplates off and whip up one of these non-cook recipes for a light, refreshing and healthy dinner. No cooking — what a blessing!


When you think non-cook, salads are always the obvious choice. Not only are they extremely good for you, but — surprise, surprise — they can actually also be interesting and filling, so your hubby won’t have to go fossicking through the fridge in search of carbs an hour later.

Throw in protein-rich extras like eggs and chickpeas, and aim for a balance of textures, colours and flavours. Try some of these delicious combinations for a great summer salad:

  • Combine a mesculin lettuce mix with tuna, olives, sliced red onion, a quartered boiled egg, crumbled fetta and capers, then drizzle with oil.
  • Do as the Italians do and enjoy fresh tomato, buffalo mozzarella and torn basil leaves, accompanied by generous lashings of olive oil and crusty bread.
  • Slice up a cold BBQ chicken from the supermarket and serve on a bed of lettuce with quartered tomatoes, sliced cucumber, sliced capsicum, crumbled fetta and pitted Kalamata olives.

A mixed mezze platter

Serves 2

Our appetites tend to be lighter in the hot summer months, so prepare a giant plate full of bite-sized delights and enjoy a leisurely evening meal with great flavours, good company and a glass of wine.


  • 12-15 cooked prawns, peeled
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Parsley
  • Pita bread, halved
  • Kalamata olives
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Marinated red capsicum
  • Cucumber, sliced
  • Fetta cheese, crumbled
  • Hummus
  • Tzatziki
  • Lemon wedges to serve


  1. Mix the prawns, tomatoes, olive oil and lemon juice together in a bowl.
  2. Throw the pita bread halves in the toaster, then cut in half again once toasted and crunchy.
  3. Dust off your finest serving platter or even a big wooden chopping board.
  4. Arrange everything on the plate, spooning generous serves of the hummus, tzatziki and prawn salad into smaller presentation bowls. Granish with lemon wedges and dig in!


For a sweet ending to the meal, throw some berries into plain yoghurt or ice-cream, give it a swirl with a fork to create a marbled effect, and spoon into glass serving bowls. A few torn mint leaves (or even a couple of lashings of chocolate sauce) will also add a little something to this non-cook meal.

More summer recipes

Great summer mango recipes
Summer desserts
Perfect summer picnic recipes and picnic packing tips

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