It’s simply inhumane to ask someone to turn on their oven when, to get home, they just slogged through air so thick you could cut it with a knife and so hot they now resemble a melting ice sculpture. And isn’t this how we all feel after walking home on an August evening?
Yes, yes it is. So I’m not going to ask you to turn on your oven this month. Instead, I’ve rounded up 9 healthy recipes that require zero cooking for you to turn to when the mere thought of turning on your stove makes you start dripping beads of sweat. Happy no-cook cooking!
In my house, white beans and canned tuna are to hot summer days what Kanye West memes are to the internet: simply expected. This recipe—a simple blend of tuna, red onion, canned cannellini beans, arugula and parsley—is super-fast and easy to execute, and can be served over salad or with a crusty sourdough.
If you aren’t eating tomatoes by the bushel right now, what are you doing with your life? August is peak tomato season on the East Coast, when they’re perfectly sweet instead of the watery, flavorless variety you find on sandwiches throughout the rest of the year. This gazpacho recipe (that’s a chilled tomato soup, for the uninitiated) requires zero cooking—just some chopping and blending, and voila: you’ve got a great dinner soup to pair with a hefty salad for a cooling, hydrating dinner on hot summer nights.
The magical thing about rice paper spring rolls (also called summer rolls) is that they are so darn versatile. This recipe calls for a slew of sliced raw veggies, fruits and herbs, paired with a delightful ginger-peanut sauce, but you can easily mix up the ingredients and increase the protein and fat content based on what you have in the fridge. A few of my favorite add-ins include avocado for healthy fats and filling fiber, already-cooked grains like quinoa for protein and cruciferous leaves like red cabbage and arugula. If you have meal-prepped proteins like grilled chicken or baked tofu on-hand, these can also easily be thrown in the mix, too.
The required ingredients for this salad are kale and romaine, cilantro, avocado, pepitas, tortilla strips and a lightened up Caesar dressing made with Greek yogurt. Once you’ve got those bad boys in the mix, you can bulk it up with whatever you’d like—leftover quinoa, canned black beans, radishes, raw sweet corn (‘tis the season!), and more.
For lazy days, we’ve got a handful of poké spots around Philly serving up the Hawaiian specialty of marinated raw fish and rice. But when you’re feeling more ambitious, you can easily make your own at home: Just grab some sushi-grade tuna or salmon, dice it up and toss with avocado, sesame seeds and a soy sauce marinade then serve with over room temperature rice, quinoa or with crackers. Easy, right?
This salmon salad, made with canned wild salmon, can be thrown onto greens with avocado, sliced cucumbers, and a squeeze of lemon for a light yet filling lunch or dinner. Bonus points: It takes two minutes to throw together, which means you have more time for air-drying in front of the air conditioner before your stomach starts grumbling. Praise be.
Lettuce cups are the Selena Gomez of dinners: They can seem boring and basic—until, that is, you actually give them a real chance (there’s a reason “Wolves” has over 500,000,000 listens on Spotify). The thing with lettuce cups is they’re only as boring as you make them, but if you have good flavorful ingredients on hand—canned olives, herbs, canned garbanzo beans, red onion, and a good dressing—you have what you need to make a healthy, tasty dinner that’s more fun to eat than plain ol’ salad.
This might just be the prettiest pad Thai recipe you’ll ever see: Instead of using noodles, this works in julienned vegetables as noodles—from the expected, like zoodles, to the unexpected, like daikon noodles—and mixes ‘em with tofu, bean sprouts and more in a peanut dressing. Two words: Yes, please.
This is called a pizza, but it’s really more like an open-faced sandwich: You take pita, spread hummus onto it, then sprinkle it with your toppings—hydrating veggies like chopped cucumbers, red pepper and tomatoes; feta cheese; olives; herbs; protein; and whatever else your heart desires.
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