9 No-Cook Meals to Stay Cool this Summer

Co-written by: Christina Chu, CPT, a Boston University Dietetics & Communication Student.

With the summer approaching, it may be time to give your stove a rest. This is a peak time for many fruits and vegetables so not only are you cooking less but you are also consuming more nutrient-dense foods. There are benefits of eating raw produce, such as increased fiber and antioxidant intake, but keep an eye out for food safety issues with eating raw. Regardless, what better time is there to experiment with different foods? Try these cooling, no-cook recipes for a day’s worth of refreshing meals.

For Breakfast:

Berry Smoothie

For an on-the-go morning meal, blend your favorite berries together with a banana, Greek yogurt, and almond milk. If you’re feeling adventurous, add leafy greens, nut butter, or even a dash of cinnamon. Packed with protein and antioxidants, a smoothie is a great way to get fiber in first thing in the morning.

Overnight Chia & Oats

It doesn’t get easier on a busy morning than grabbing a jar out of the fridge. Try this new spin on oatmeal by combining ½ cup of oats, ¼ cup chia seeds, and 1 cup of almond milk with a pinch of cinnamon and/or vanilla extract in a Mason jar or Tupperware. Stir and let sit in your fridge overnight. In the morning, top the oats with the fresh fruit and/or nuts of your choice. High in fiber from the oats and omega-3 fatty acids from the chia seeds, this filling combination is one to try.

Avocado Toast

The always trendy avocado toasts are great for mornings when you have a little bit more time on your hands. Top a piece of 100% whole-wheat or oat bread with smashed avocado. Avocadoes are rich in heart-healthy fats which keep you full throughout the day. You can step up your toast game by adding tomatoes, smoked salmon, an egg, or strawberries and pomegranate seeds. This recipe is delish and photo worthy too!

For Lunch:

Bean Salad

Beans are a power play filled with fiber and protein. Try making a quick bean salad this summer. Bean salad is a great, cost-effective lunch to carry on the go. Combine your favorite beans, such as kidney, black, garbanzo, pinto, and green beans with onion, celery. Add a simple dressing of olive oil, lime juice, herbs, and spices such as chili powder, cumin, parsley, and/or thyme.

Collard Greens Wrap

For a low-carbohydrate lunch option, substitute your wrap for collard greens leaves. Not only are collard greens a great source of fiber, but they are also full of vitamin A, K, and folate. I had my wrap with hemp seed dill dressing, cucumber noodles, shredded carrots, red peppers, cabbage, and spring mix. Try yours with an assortment of fillings, such as tahini, beets, garbanzo beans, or hummus.

Avocado Tuna Salad

Make sure you get your healthy fats in at lunch by substituting mayonnaise in your favorite tuna salad recipe with avocado. Spread between two pieces of 100% whole wheat toast or put a scoop in your salad.

For Dinner:

Gazpacho

Try your culinary hand at a cool summer gazpacho by blending tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, red wine vinegar, EVOO, and salt and pepper together until smooth. Chill and serve the soup with EVOO, avocado, cilantro or whatever toppings are desired.

Buddha Bowls

Trending on Instagram, Buddha bowls are great for a simple summer dinner. Simply chop your favorite vegetables in a bowl and top with homemade dressing. I did mine with romaine lettuce, napa cabbage, corn, carrots, cucumber, and green onions, with a topping of tahini, orange and lemon juice, and cilantro.

Raw Tacos

Who said tacos were only for Tuesdays? This summer try making these raw tacos: replace the tortilla shell with romaine lettuce leaves and fill with your desired toppings. I made mine with avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, corn, cilantro, cashew cream, and jalapeno with lime juice, chili powder, and cumin.

When you try out these recipes, tag me on Instagram @SkylarGriggsRD to show me your work.

Sky’s Scoop:

  • Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can make a refreshing, nutritious, and balanced meal this summer without turning on your stove or oven.
  • These meals can be made low-carb by substituting with vegetable alternatives.
  • One up your meal by adding toppings naturally rich in heart healthy fats, fiber, and/or antioxidants.