By: Heather Mangieri, RDN
Has anyone else noticed the heat wave? I love hot weather so I’m not complaining, but it’s too hot to cook! Just the idea of turning on the oven sends sweat running down my face. Whether we feel like it or not, it’s important to stay well hydrated and well-nourished every day, even when we don’t feel like eating. Preparing a no-bake meal can help.
One of the most difficult tasks of preparing a no-bake meal is finding balance. That is, making sure that the meal incorporates a high quality protein source, healthy carbohydrates (such as fruits and vegetables) and a source of healthy fats.
Keep your kitchen cool and try one of these balanced, no-cook options.
1.) Make a fruit and cheese plate. One ounce of cheese or ½ cup of cottage cheese paired with 1 cup raw veggiesand ½ cup fruit. You can also include 1-2 tablespoons of hummus to dip the vegetables.
2.) Make a summer salad. The options are endless. Fill a plate with a few cups of healthy greens and load on the veggies. Sweeten things up with a few slices of strawberry or adding dried raisins or cranberries. Finally, top your salad with a hard-boiled egg, an ounce of cheese (feta or goat cheese are easy toppers) or beans to make sure you get a high quality protein source. For some healthy ideas, check out my salads page on pinterest.
3.) Stuff a tomato. Tuna salad or chilled chicken salad pair perfect stuffed into a tomato (or bell pepper!) Balance your plate with a serving of fruit and a few whole grain crackers.
4.) Wrap it up! Start with a whole wheat tortilla and wrap up your favorite protein. Start by spreading a thin layer of flavored hummus or avocado on the shell then add chilled turkey, ham or roast beef, a slice of cheese and whatever vegetables you love. Spinach gives a wrap a big boost of nutrition and vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are hydrating and add crunch. Add fresh herbs for flavor!
5.) Blend it! Make a balanced smoothie that includes all of the macronutrients- protein, carbohydrates and a bit of healthy fats. Start with a green (spinach or kale work great), add your favorite fruits (sweeter fruits such as pineapple or grapes help to hide the bitterness of the greens) and toss in a bit of healthy fats (chia, hemp or flax seed work well.) Blend in 1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt as a source of protein.
Have another idea? Share your balanced no-cook meal with us.