5 Quick & Healthy No-Cook Family Meals

TV ads and in-store flyers might have us all taking our kids to after school soccer practice, bundled in turtlenecks and scarves no less, but in fact there are more than a couple of weeks of warm weather ahead of us yet. Which means there will still be evenings when the thought of turning on the stove – let’s not even talk about the oven – is simply unacceptable, especially if you're busy prepping or even just thinking about the enormity that is back to school.

My daughter’s answer to this dilemma is to order in. The casual way my 4-year-old suggests this option tells you all you need to know about how I deal with heat waves (or fatigue or dinner burn out). “How about pizza, Mummy? Or Chinese?” It takes super-mom strength to do the right thing when the people you’re trying to do your best for are giving you an easy out. That, plus a few easy, no-cook recipes in your back pocket don’t hurt either.

Chicken and Asparagus Salad
(Okay, you have to steam the asparagus for this dinner salad, but if you do it in the morning and pick up a rotisserie chicken on your way home, your work is done!)
1 whole roasted chicken, white meat sliced and cut into bite size chunks
1 cup shaved cheddar cheese
1 red pepper, sliced and chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, steamed and chopped
4 kale leaves, stemmed and chopped

Dressing
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

1. In a tall, lidded pot, place two inches of water. Tie asparagus into a bundle with string and place in pot upright, with stems at the bottom Cook for 3- 8 minutes depending on thickness of asparagus. Remove from water and set aside.

2. Chop chicken meat and place in a large mixing bowl. Shave cheese and cut asparagus into bite size pieces similar in size to chicken. Chop red pepper. Combine chicken, cheese, asparagus and red pepper into bowl and gently mix. Drizzle desired amount of dressing into salad. Use a wooden spoon to combine.

3.
Arrange chopped kale on plates and then spoon chicken salad over top and serve.

Here are a few of our other favorite no-cook recipes for the last hot days of summer:

Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho is deliciously easy to make and packs a cancer-fighting lycopene punch.

A classic salad gets a sandwich spin. The Nicoise Sandwich is hearty enough to make a meal (and great for picnics).
 
Panzanella is an easy-to-make Italian bread salad. It’s satisfying and healthy with lots of fresh veggies.
 
A pie you don’t have to bake? Oh yeah, baby, here it is. No-Bake Strawberry Pie.

For more kid-friendly recipes and snack ideas, sign up for the awesome and indispensable Sweet Potato Chronicles newsletter!
 

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