Too Hot to Cook! 25 Ideas for Hot Weather Meals

By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD

When it’s hot outside, and maybe even hotter inside, the
soups and hearty casseroles we crave in cooler weather don’t sound appealing.
Besides, no one wants to have the oven heating up their kitchen or to spend
time over a hot stove on a steamy summer day! Some of these dishes can be
prepared in the morning when it’s cooler and some don’t require cooking.

Hummus or other bean
spreads

1. Dip cut up vegetables, crisp fruits, and crackers or
tortilla chips in homemade or purchased hummus

2. Roll hummus and chopped vegetables in a whole-grain
tortilla

3. Spread white bean dip on sliced baguettes and top with
strips of roasted red pepper

4. Warm corn tortillas in a skillet and top with pinto bean
spread, salsa, chopped tomatoes, and shredded lettuce

5. Top a microwaved potato or sweet potato with a bean
spread. Try a garlicky hummus on a white potato or roasted red pepper hummus on
a sweet potato.

Sandwiches – serve
with fresh fruit and a side salad

6. Tofu salad with sliced tomatoes in a pita pocket

7. Not-tuna salad (made with chickpeas, vegan mayo, chopped
celery, and spices to taste) on toasted rye bread

8. Marinated tofu with sprouts or lettuce, shredded carrots,
and peanut sauce in a wrap. Marinated tofu and peanut sauce can be purchased or
homemade

9. Sliced bagel with nut butter and sliced fruit (try
nectarines, peaches, or other fruit in season)

10. Vegan deli slices on a sub roll with vinaigrette
dressing, tomatoes, and lettuce

Salads – make ahead
and chill until dinner; can serve with a fruit salad and bread

11. Potato salad with black beans, corn, and a salsa
dressing

12. Pasta salad with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, fresh
basil, and Italian dressing

13. Spaghetti with a soy-sesame dressing tossed with cubes
of baked tofu and steamed (or microwaved) broccoli

14. Rice salad with adzuki beans, diced carrots and
cucumbers, and a sweet chili sauce

15. Peanut noodles with water chestnuts and red pepper
strips

16. Taboulleh (bulgur with parsley, scallions, mint,
tomatoes, and cucumbers in a lemon-olive oil dressing) with chickpeas

17. Three bean salad

18. Shredded cabbage in a soy-sesame dressing with baked
tofu or seitan strips

19. Quinoa and bean salad with shredded kale and a cumin-lime
vinaigrette

20. Chef salad with strips of vegan deli slices and cubed or
grated vegan “cheese”

Miscellaneous

21. Veggie sushi – homemade or purchased

22. Smoothie made with plant milk, silken tofu, fresh and/or
frozen fruit; can add nut butter and leafy greens for a meal in a glass

23. Vegan yogurt with berries and chopped nuts on a toaster
waffle

24. Gazpacho garnished with croutons, chopped tomatoes and
cucumbers, and avocado slices

25. Rice paper wrappers filled with rice noodles, shredded
Napa cabbage, baked tofu, cubed mango, and chopped peanuts