These four recipes can be served together for a satisfying meal, or prepared separately for any occasion.
Cool Cuke Gazpacho
This cold Andalusian soup is traditionally tomato-based. Cut the prep time down, simplify the ingredients, and make the cucumber the hero for a tasty main course.
- 6 peeled cucumbers
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 tsp each cumin, coriander, salt & white pepper
- 2 red bell pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 1 chili pepper
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Puree the cucumbers in a food processor or blender. Add the yogurt and lemon juice. Chop the other vegetables finely, and mix in a large bowl. Add the cucumber-yogurt mixture and the spices and stir well. Garnish with a handful of chopped tomato and serve in pre-chilled bowls.
Rosemary Bean Spread
Long days at the pool make you hungry for protein. The only recipe on the list that requires any cooking at all, this bean spread is so scrumptious that you won’t begrudge the ten minutes by the stove.
- 1 can white kidney beans
- 1 lemon
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
All ingredients except the garlic go straight into a small pot and are cooked over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, brown the garlic in a small pan with butter or olive oil. Add the garlic to the bean mixture and simmer for five minutes. Remove the rosemary, mash the beans, and voila! Enjoy warm or chilled on tortilla chips or a sandwich.
Fresh Lemon Cooler
Unless you’re deliberately trying to fit into a larger swimsuit this summer, skip the soft drinks. Studies have shown that even folks who stick to diet drinks pack on the pounds. Instead, impress your guests with a fizzy, low-cal beverage.
- 1 glass of soda water
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon
- Squirt of agave nectar (can be found in any natural foods store)
- 1 sprig of fresh mint
Combine the first three ingredients in a glass, garnish with mint, and take a long refreshing sip…yum! Hint: to release the flavor of the mint, crush the leaves in your fingers first.
Orange Rosewater Wedges
Summertime desserts should be light and fruity. Inspired by Indian cuisine, this is the easiest—and most delectable—dessert you’ll prepare all summer.
- 1 orange per person
Slice oranges and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with rosewater and cinnamon and serve. This keeps well in the fridge, and the longer the slices marinate in rosewater, the more fragrant they become. Served a la mode or with a bowl of vanilla yogurt, these cool citrus treats are out of this world.
Once you’ve realized how easy it is to prepare tasty summertime meals without an oven, you won’t know how you ever put up with the heat and inconvenience. Stick to no-oven meals for the rest of the season, and let your summertime memories be cool and refreshing.