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A&E >  Cooking

No-cook meals for the heat wave

UPDATED: Wed., June 30, 2021

Hit the fresh produce aisle of your local grocery to get the makings for some tasty and filling salads.  (Pixabay)
Hit the fresh produce aisle of your local grocery to get the makings for some tasty and filling salads. (Pixabay)

In this heat wave, nobody is firing up the stovetop or oven if they can help it. Here are some ideas for nutritious meals that don’t require turning on a single hot appliance.

Cold zucchini salad with lemon and Parmesan

Pair filling zucchini with bright and refreshing citrus for a flavorful and healthy meal.

2 zucchinis

1 tablespoon of thyme

1 tablespoon of oregano

1 large lemon

⅓ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Use a vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin noodle-like ribbons. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Finely chop the thyme and oregano, and zest and juice the lemon. Add the herbs and zest to the bowl and set the juice aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil and mustard until well combined. Pour over the zucchini noodles and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with grated Parmesan cheese to serve.

Melon prosciutto salad

Salty dry-cured prosciutto meets sweet and juicy melon in this delicious cold green salad.

For the salad:

About 8-10 slices of prosciutto

4 cups arugula

8 ounces fresh mozzarella

One-quarter to one-third each of a watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe

For the dressing:

½ cup basil

½ cup mint

1 garlic clove

1 lemon

1 tablespoon honey

½ cup olive oil

A pinch of salt and pepper

Use a melon baller to scoop balls from the melons, or chop into about 1-square-inch cubes. Tear or cut the mozzarella and prosciutto into bite-sized pieces. Add the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the honey and lemon juice and zest and pulse until combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil while blending on a low speed and blend only until combined. Toss the desired amount of dressing with the salad ingredients and serve immediately.

Chickpea salad

This vegetarian twist on a chicken salad is great for beating the heat if you opt for canned chickpeas.

For the salad:

Two 14 ounce cans of chickpeas

1½ cups seedless red grapes

2-3 celery stalks

⅔ cup pecans or walnuts

For the dressing:

4 tablespoons of mayo (or tahini for a vegan option)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

2 teaspoons dijon

1 garlic clove

Pinch of salt and pepper

Drain the chickpeas and transfer to a mixing bowl. Slice the grapes in half lengthwise, dice the celery and roughly chop the nuts. Add to the chickpeas. Mince the garlic clove, and add to a separate mixing along with the rest of the dressing ingredients. Whisk until well combined. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss. If the dressing seems too thick, add a touch of water to thin and add additional salt and pepper if needed.

Asian snap pea salad

For the salad:

1 red bell pepper

1 carrot

8 ounces snap peas

2 scallions

Sesame seeds (optional)

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon Sriracha

¾ teaspoon minced ginger

Slice the bell pepper into strips and the carrot into half-rounds. Trim the ends of the snap peas. Slice the scallions into about one-quarter inch rounds. Combine into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined. Pour the desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss. Garnish with sesame seeds to serve.

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