4 Healthy No-Bake Meals You Can Whip Up This Summer

by Mary Sauer

When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. Not only will it heat up your home, but the staple appliance will also work against the AC, hiking up that monthly electric bill. Avoiding baking during the hottest weeks of summer makes sense, but at the same time, nobody wants to live on cold-cut sandwiches and pasta salad.

For the sake of cool and variety, here are four basic recipes for a no-bake meal:

Chicken Pitas with Yogurt Sauce

Everything about this meal is refreshing, with vegetables, cool yogurt sauce, and grilled meat in every bite. There are really no rules when it comes to building the perfect chicken pita. In our house, we pile our favorite veggies into a soft pita, add grilled chicken and feta cheese. Of course, we always top it off with homemade tzatziki sauce—diced cucumber, Greek yogurt, garlic, and dill all mixed up. 

Also on Z Living: Just Beet It: Five Ways to Enjoy Beets

Sweet Corn and Bacon Pasta

There is nothing easier than throwing together a simple pasta dish on a busy weeknight. Just set a pot of water to boil and prep a few basic ingredients to toss in once it's cooked through. After this simple prep, you can easily adapt the dinner recipe to your tastes, or based on the ingredients already in the fridge. This super simple and yummy example is made with 10 ounces of gluten free rotini tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper. Top off the pasta with chopped bacon, grilled sweet corn and a little crumbled goat cheese.

Street Tacos

Every Tuesday, my family breaks out the chips and salsa to snack on while we throw together a small buffet of taco toppings, using whatever’s in the fridge. Tacos are the perfect summer meal because they are easy to make and adapt to various allergies and tastes. In my family, our favorite tacos are ground beef in corn tortillas, topped with black beans, roasted sweet potatoes and sour cream. We also love these paleo bang bang shrimp tacos, with homemade chili sauce and slaw. 

Also on Z Living: Healthy Home Cooking Hacks: Make Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Throw together a delicious, low-calorie meal without even turning on your stovetop. Take the plunge and give rolling your own Vietnamese-style spring rolls a try. Typically, these spring rolls are made by rolling chilled shrimp, rice vermicelli, finely sliced veggies, and Thai basil in a thin rice paper wrapper. I use this recipe from Chowhound as a guide, and adapt mine based on the vegetables I have on hand. As a warning, you should know the rice paper is a little tricky to work with at first, but after a few tries you will figure it out.

Have more delicious no-bake recipes? Tell us about them in the comments. 

Watch On Z Living: Healthy Gourmet, where nutritionist Julie Daniluk and chef Ezra Title join forces and battle between taste and nutrition, helping home cooks create nutritious and tasty meals that can feed a crowd.

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