By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA
It’s August! And the words hot and humid come to mind! I tend to think less of food and more of hitting the pool or the beach this time of year. But still, we have to eat at some point and the last thing anyone wants to do is fire up the stove for another heat wave. I go for foods that require minimal prep time and little to no cooking – Here are a few of my favorite Too Hot to Cook favorites.
Summer Soups: Cold soups such as gazpacho, cucumber and strawberry are light in calories, tasty and hydrating.
Simple Summer Salads: Variety is key; include vegetables, fruits and a protein with a light oil based dressing.
Summer Sandwiches: To keep it exciting, skip your traditional boring sandwiches and spice it up a little. Swap your bread for a pita pocket, fill with your favorite meat, cheese, and veggies, and top with fresh salsa. Instead of using high fat mayo, finish it off with a delicious good-for-you mashed avocado!
Eat More Seafood: If you really want to stay out of your kitchen go for canned tuna, sardines or salmon. These fish are tasty additions to salads and wraps. Packed with protein and omega-3s, this no-cook solution is a no brainier!
Tip: Pick up a store prepared rotisserie chicken to round out soups, salads and create satisfying sandwiches!
If you’ve never had gazpacho, the idea of cold soup may be foreign to you; but trust me this “soup” is so tasty and refreshing it just may become a summer staple for you!
Prep: 30 Minutes
Makes: 8 Servings
- 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup diced red onion, rinsed in cold water and patted dry with paper towels
- In a blender, whirl tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, olive oil, salt, and vinegar until smooth. (Blend in batches as not to overcrowd blender). Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with red onion, if desired.
Tropical Chicken Waldorf Salad
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 celery stalks, chopped, leaves reserved
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup red seedless grapes, halved
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- 1 whole, fresh pineapple with skin
- 1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- In large saucepan, place chicken breasts and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Add onion, celery leaves and kosher salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Remove from liquid and set aside. Discard liquid.
- When cool enough to handle, cut chicken into bite-size pieces. In large bowl, mix together chicken, celery, apples, scallions, grapes and almonds. Use sharp knife to split pineapple into sixths from top to bottom. Slice core off each pineapple wedge and slice off fruit, leaving tufts of leaves in tact. Set aside half the fruit for other use or garnish. Cut the remaining fruit into chunks and add to chicken mixture. Set pineapple wedges on 6 plates.
- In small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice; blend well. Add dressing to chicken mixture and toss thoroughly. Add salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto pineapple wedges and serve.
Recipe courtesy of the National Chicken Council
Nutrition information: 487 Calories; 27g Fat; 5g Saturated Fat; 8g Polyunsaturated fat; 12g monounsaturated fat; 82mg Cholesterol; 736mg Sodium; 1242mg Potassium; 35g carbohydrate; 9g Fiber; 31g protein