The weather is sunny and it’s time to have dinner. The last thing we want to do is cook. So here’s some ideas for no-cook dinners in the Summer where the toughest bit of heat you’ll have to handle in the kitchen will be the kettle.
Couscous Bean Salad
Couscous is a fantastic carbohydrate that cooks in just 5 short minutes once you cover it with hot water. Use about 50g per portion and use 75ml of hot water per person. Put both in a heat proof bowl and cover the top with cling film. Leave to one side for 5 minutes then it’s ready to eat warm from the dish. Alternatively you can cook up the couscous earlier in the day, then add fresh salad items to it before serving. I like adding chopped peppers and scallions to my couscous salad. For protein, add cheese or some cooked mixed beans. That’s a meal in one dish without slaving over a hot stove. That leaves plenty of time to be sitting out in the sun catching some rays.
Make Your Own Picnic
I picked up a massive Vienna Roll in my local supermarket yesterday for €1.19 and a packet of pitta pockets were cheaper again. Rather than making sandwiches for everyone, set out the vegetables on the table and let your guests serve themselves to whatever they like. Big hits in our house are grated carrot, tomatoes, cucumber and cheese. For small children, this means they only pick what they want to eat and it cuts down on food waste.
There’s a full meal to be had if you plan this out carefully. Hummus (made from chickpeas) is a great source of protein and perfect with loads of fresh chopped vegetables. Nuts are also another good protein source so pile your table with carrots, cucumbers, peppers, spring onions, cabbage, breadsticks, hummus and nuts. You’ll be getting far more than your 5-a-day and all for under €10 for a great gathering. Here’s my reliable hummus recipe to try out.
The Sweet Stuff
You don’t always need to use the oven or the hob to make an impressive dessert! What about a Cheat’s Affogato, which is essentially freshly brewed coffee poured over an ice cream of your choice. Here’s an easy version with a little bit of Bailey’s.
The bonus to all these no-cook dishes? Less washing up!