No-Cook Go-To Dinners

It all started with a mason jar on the clearance shelf of my local home store.

It called to me; I had to have it! The possibilities were endless!

I could make homemade lemonade and drink it from the jar.

I could make a salad in a jar and carry it with me on a hot summer day.

I could make a delicious dessert trifle in a jar.

Of course I clipped handfuls of mason jar recipes and each one looked better than the next!

As you might imagine, I bought the mason jar. I carried the mason jar home. I placed the mason jar on a shelf in the kitchen cabinet. And the mason jar has been sitting there ever since.

That was almost two years ago.

Every time I noticed it, pushed it to the side or caught it when it toppled out of the cabinet I felt bad. I had all these great ideas but I hadn’t acted on any of them.

This past weekend I decided that was all going to change.

It was almost one hundred degrees here with very high humidity. I didn’t want to cook, broil, bake or grill. But a refreshing no-cook layer salad in my mason jar sounded like just the thing.

So I dug out one of the many clipped recipes and got to work.

The salad was yummy and it tasted even better because it came out of the jar I had waited so long to put to use.

All this got me thinking about how many light, refreshing summertime recipes I have stockpiled but I have hardly made a thing.

  • How nice to make something using summer fruits and veggies.
  • How nice to make something portable, perfect for taking to the beach or a concert in the park.
  • How nice to make something that doesn’t heat up the kitchen.
  • How nice to make something ahead of time so there is no 5 o’clock what’s for dinner conundrum.
  • How nice to finally put special summer gadgets to good use – like the corn on the cob cutter.

Today I invite you to find a summer recipe you want to try and actually buy the ingredients then (and you know where I’m going with this) prepare the recipe!

Having a few go-to no-cook (or little cook) recipes can make the lazy days of summer a little more fun.

I have another recipe I go-to all the time. If you don’t heart beets then you can stop reading right now. If you heart beets you’re going to really like this:

Roasted Beet Salad

To make it the way I prep it you’ll need fresh beets, nuts to toast (I like pistachio or pecan), goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh basil.

Wash and trim the beets. DO NOT peel. Wrap tightly each individual beet in aluminum foil.

Roast in toaster oven on 375 for about an hour for small to medium sizes. They’re done when you can slide a fork in without resistance. I toast the nuts in a tray on the top of the toaster oven, mine gets hot enough on the top to do this.

Once cooked the skin slides off cleanly.

Mix the oil and balsamic vinegar together.

I serve the beets warm, pour the vinegar and oi oven them, sprinkle with goat cheese, toasted nuts, salt, pepper and minced basil.

So that’s it. This week let’s try a new recipe or two so we have some meals planned ahead of time. Less cooking and more enjoying!

Comments are closed.