no-cook meals

Marlene Nakamoto
September 27, 2018

Oh boy. It’s hot. It’s really hot.

It’s so hot … (“How hot is it?”). It’s so hot that my smartphone says the temperature is, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”

It seems like everything takes more effort in the heat. And when simply getting up from a chair to open a window causes you to break into a sweat, who wants to turn on the stove to cook a meal?

Not me.

Here’s my suggestion. Take a respite trip to one of the coolest places around−the grocery store−to get what you need. At home, prep, mix, toss, assemble, and serve. No cooking required.  

Stay cool.


For a heartier meal, add chopped cooked chicken breast.



  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 1/3 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pulse all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.



  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 12 oz. firm tofu, drained and cubed

Combine vegetables in a large bowl and mix well. Add tofu and toss gently with dressing. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving (without salt): Calories 280, protein 17 g, carbohydrates 14 g, total fat 18 g, saturated fat 2 g, cholesterol 5 mg, sodium 60 mg, fiber 5 g, total sugar 6 g.


For the best flavor, prepare this a day ahead of serving.


  • 29-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. shoyu
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving (without added salt): Calories 80, protein 2 g, carbohydrates 9 g, total fat 5 g, saturated fat 1 g, sodium 120 mg, fiber 3 g, total sugar 5 g.



Take your tuna sandwich to the next level with this no-mayo version.


  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 5-oz. cans oil-packed tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • Fresh mint to garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Crumble tuna in a medium bowl and add dressing and olives. Mix well. Garnish with mint and serve with your choice of bread. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: Calories 430, protein 41 g, carbohydrates 3 g, total fat 27 g, saturated fat 4 g, cholesterol 30 mg, sodium 780 mg, fiber 1 g, total sugar 1 g.

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