11 Healthy, Tasty No-Cook Recipes for Cool Summer Meals

Caught in a heat wave? You don’t need to fire up the oven to enjoy a healthy summertime meal.

August 10, 2009

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—The dog days of summer are no time to be sweating over a stove. Fortunately, with so much fresh food available at farmer’s markets, in the supermarket produce section, and even in your own garden, it’s the perfect time for delicious dishes that are best served cold. Not only will your guests enjoy a refreshing, healthy meal, you’ll get something out of the deal, too: You won’t look like you’ve just run a marathon when you step out of the kitchen. Here are 11 healthy recipes, no oven or stovetop required.

Recipe: Greek Village Salad with Feta


Tip: Look for grass-fed, organic cheese. This ensures that the cows ate a natural diet, which in turns produces more nutritious dairy products for us. Organic dairy farmers don’t use growth hormones or antibiotics, either.

Recipe: Fresh Corn and Tomato Bruschetta Salad

Tip: If you’re not in a region that’s been hit hard by this year’s early late blight, you may have so many juicy, ripe tomatoes that you don’t know what to do with all of them! Whether you grow your own or you find a great deal on organic tomatoes at your local farmer’s market, Organic Gardening magazine teaches you how to freeze the leftovers to use in sauces later in the year.

Recipe: Orange-Scented Cucumber Salad
Tip: If you’re bored with the same old cukes, check the markets for a different kind to try, such as the heirloom true lemon variety. It’s yellow and round like a lemon, but tastes nearly the same as the green ones you’re used to seeing and is easier to digest.
Recipe: California Club Sandwich
Tip: This recipe is vegetarian, but if you’re a meat eater, add a slice of chicken breast for additional protein. For a healthier and more humane protein option, find a local farmer who raises chickens organically and allows them to peck around outside.
Recipe: Cucumber Tubes
Tip: Avoid supermarket cucumbers that are coated in wax that you’ll have to peel off; instead, find your cukes at a farmer’s market. That way, you can save energy by leaving on the peel, and gain beneficial nutrients.
Recipe: Maria’s Fresh Salsa
Tip: If you’re expecting guests but have virtually no time to create an appetizer, use this recipe! In five minutes flat, you’ll have fresh salsa that you can serve with pitas or chips.
Recipe: Gazpacho-Veggie Twister
Tip: This spicy tomato drink calls for hot sauce, but if that’s too much heat for your tastebuds, just add a few shakes of pepper.
Recipe: Fresh Tomato Garden Soup
Tip: This is one of those recipes that tastes even better if you let the different flavors soak together during refrigeration before you serve. If you’re worried the garlic’s going to give you bad breath, just garnish with a parsley sprig, and then munch on it after lunch for a natural breath-freshening remedy!
Recipe: Cold Tomato and Cucumber Soup
Tip: If vinegar’s not your favorite ingredient, you can swap it out and use vegetable broth instead. Just go for the boxed type instead of the canned. Most food cans contain BPA in the lining. Studies have linked BPA, or bisphenol A, to childhood reproductive problems and to cardiovascular disease.
Recipe: Chilled Strawberry-Apricot Soup
Tip: This low-calorie soup is so naturally sweet it can be served as a healthy dessert, too.
Recipe: Minted Melon Soup
Tip: If you use fresh lemon or lime juice for this recipe, you can grind the used peels up in your kitchen garbage disposer to freshen things up down there.