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No-Cook Summer Meals Keep Kitchens Cool

During the hot summer days, consider preparing no-cook meals.

Keep menus simple

All you really need is a carbohydrate, protein, and vegetable/fruit source. For example, start with a whole-wheat tortilla, top with refried or black beans and cheese, and microwave until hot. Add chopped tomatoes, peppers, and onions, and serve with salsa and a glass of milk.

Make main dish salads

Use a variety of vegetables and fruits and add a lean protein like chicken, turkey, beans, or hard-boiled eggs. Pair with whole-grain crackers or a whole-wheat roll for a healthy summer meal.

Serve sandwiches or wraps

Use a variety of whole grain breads, pita pockets, or tortillas and fill with tuna, chicken, egg salad, or lean meats, along with vegetables like lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and roasted peppers.

Veggie Rainbow Salad

Recipe provided by USDA

Ingredients

  • 1 can red kidney beans (15.5 ounces, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can black beans (15.5 ounces, drained and rinsed)
  • 3 carrots (scrubbed and sliced)
  • 1 yellow squash (small, washed and sliced)
  • 1 zucchini (small, washed and sliced)
  • ½ cup light Italian dressing
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

Mix all the vegetables together in a large bowl. Pour dressing over vegetables. Sprinkle with pepper. Stir gently, coating all vegetables. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Nutrition Information

Serving size 2 ⁄ 3 cup, 90 calories, 2g fat, 4g protein, 5g fiber, 210mg sodium

--Karen Thomas, Penn State Extension