5 dinners that beat the heat — no cooking tonight!

Chill with these healthy ideas for quick meals.

When summer brings the heat, standing over a hot stove may be the last thing you want to do.

Here are 5 cool ideas for no-heat suppers:

1. Spread-your-wings chicken salads.

When precooked poultry, such as a rotisserie chicken, meets your favorite salad fixings, you’ve got a low-fuss main dish in minutes. Discard any poultry skin to help keep it healthy — and use a light salad dressing. For example, you might:

  • Go fruity. Mix chopped chicken with toasted nuts and sliced strawberries or grapes,<?> with a light vinaigrette or low-fat mayo. Serve on a cool bed of lettuce or on whole-wheat slider buns.
  • Get your Cobb on. Cover crisp greens with pretty rows of chopped chicken, diced tomatoes, avocado slices and quartered hardboiled eggs. Boil your eggs during the cooler part of the day — or buy them already cooked (and peeled!) when you pick up your chicken.
  • Hail Caesar! Pair chicken with romaine lettuce and a little Parmesan cheese to rule this classic salad. No croutons? Toast whole-grain bread rubbed with fresh garlic.

Looking for a vegetarian option? Invite tofu to the party.

2. Summer rolls.

Start with rice spring roll wrappers. For the slaw filling, use shredded or thinly sliced veggies, such as carrots, cabbage, cucumbers and bell peppers. Fresh herbs, like mint and basil, can add flavor. Give your rolls a punch of protein with precooked shrimp or tofu. Dip them in your favorite light and spicy dressing.

3. Cool beans salsa salad.

Grab a can opener for this quick and hearty vegetarian dish. Mix rinsed and drained canned black beans with corn and diced tomatoes. Add some jarred salsa and fresh fixings if you have them, like green onions, avocado, mango and cherry tomatoes. Enjoy with whole-grain pita chips.

4. Chilled tuna delight.

Dress up tuna for dinner by mixing it with canned white beans (rinsed and drained) and diced red onion and bell pepper. Add a little olive oil, lemon juice and pepper to taste. Chilling this dish helps meld the flavors.

5. Party platter for one.

Celebrate any night of the week with a small plate of delicious and healthy nibbles. You might include crisp veggies, fresh fruit, mixed nuts, whole-grain crackers, hummus and low-fat cheese.


What to do next

Get ready for your next summer cookout with these food safety tips. You’ll learn what to wash first, what to keep separate and what temperature to cook chicken and burgers to. We even have 3 safety tips for iced tea. Who knew?

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