Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

20 No Cook Dinner Ideas – Beat the Heat!

It’s June.  It’s Hot.  Our A/C is not working and the repair guys wont be here for another 3 days.  I am not getting anywhere near the oven, stove, microwave or any other form of heat until it’s fixed.

I know I’m not the only one suffering from lack of cool air, albeit temporarily.  This made me think of some ideas for no-cook dinners for days when even plugging in the toaster is too much.  If you have anything to add, I’d love to hear your no-cook ideas!

  1. Turkey Sandwich with Potato Chips.  Okay – this is a no brainer, but I think we forget this can be dinner, too.  There’s no reason this has to be that complicated.  Make a sandwich, add some chips, carrot sticks or a salad and voila – yum.  The key to making this dinner-like is the toppings – dont just slap some meat and cheese on a piece of bread, get creative.  Thin sliced cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrots, jarred or deli red peppers and/or pepperoncini.  Make it awesome!
  2. Wrap it up!  Make a salad, add some diced ham or turkey and wrap it up in a tomato basil or spinach wrap.  Serve with chips or store-bought potato salad.  I have a weakness for the redskin potato salad from City Market (Kroger.)  You can also make yummy Cucumbers with Lemony Dressing to go with it.

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Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Veggies and Fruit

Cucumbers with Lemony Dressing

I love salads that don’t actually involve lettuce.  While lettuce is fine, it’s like a talisman to the fact that I’m actually dieting, which irritates me, so I pretend I don’t like it.  I’m always looking for something quick to throw together to make a non-lettuce salad to go with dinner.  I stumbled across this recipe from The Dinner Daily and adjusted it a bit for our tastes.

Whether you use cucumber, pour it on a zucchini noodle salad, pour it on a regular salad, or spoon a bit over blanched or roasted asparagus, this is really fresh and light.  You may be tempted to skip the salt and pepper, but that’s probably the most important part – it brings out the liquid in the veg, and salt counter-balances the sweet from the lemon and sugar.  you could substitute stevia in here if you wanted, easy peasy.

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Budget Friendly, Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes

Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Asparagus

I found this recipe on Pinterest and adapted it a bit from the one Damn Delicious posted.  Hubby had his with a fried egg on top, and really enjoyed it.  Runny egg yolks are not my thing without toast, so I skipped the egg and enjoyed mine with a sprinkling of fresh grated parmesan cheese.  The egg definitely adds protein though – so to boost it if you don’t want eggs, try a legume like chickpeas or cannellini beans.

The Boy had his without egg and cleaned his plate, so even good for picky eaters.  My kids both love roasted asparagus, though – so that makes things easier!

Serve with a green salad and garlic bread – perfect quick-cooking, no plan meal.

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small cowboy caviar recipe
Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Cowboy Caviar – Small Batch

I found a nice recipe for Cowboy Caviar but honestly – they make SO MUCH and I really didn’t need to have so much in my fridge.  I cut the recipe here and there and it still made quite a bit – great for a couple or small gathering.

Hubby hates cilantro – so I made it optional here.  Use whatever bell pepper you have on hand, I like yellow, orange & red better than green – but green would work okay as well.  I do think that red onion is a must, a regular yellow onion would be too strong.

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Entertaining, Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa and Coconut Rice

I have posted previously about my dislike for fruit and meat combos, and I’ll stick to that in MOST cases – but last night I made a mango salsa that was amazing with grilled chicken.  Coconut rice was the perfect accompaniment – its not overpowering, and it was really tasty on a piece of Naan Bread with the salsa and chicken.

I bet this salsa would be good with fish, too.  I’m not a huge fish fan – but if I get some nice Cod, Halibut or something else I’ll try it grilled with this salsa.

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Budget Friendly, Light and Healthier, Menu Planning, Recipes, Weeknight Favorites

Oven Roasted Cabbage

I’m always on the prowl for tasty veggie sides that aren’t frozen or canned.  I refuse to buy anything but canned corn – and frozen veggies are okay – but fresh is best.  We love asparagus and brussels sprouts but they’re seasonal and sometimes VERY expensive.  One thing that seems to be available year around, and is quite inexpensive, is cabbage.  Aside from coleslaw, I never really gave it much thought as a side dish – and then I saw oven roasted cabbage on Youtube and I had to try it myself. Continue reading “Oven Roasted Cabbage”