While summer may be over, the heat is still here! The last thing you want to do during a heat wave is add to the discomfort of the scorching temperatures by turning on the oven—but you still have to eat! Instead of opting for boring salads in an attempt to stay cool, consider a few more creative options for prepping meals when it’s still warm out. Here are some delicious recipes to try that don’t require you to crank that oven to 350 degrees.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps


A glorified, nutritious, and delicious step up from a regular salad, these Asian chicken lettuce wraps are sure to cool you down and fill you up without turning up the heat in your apartment. Cool, crisp and refreshing are the key with this recipe.


  • 1.5 cups water

  • 1 cup short grain rice

  • 0.5 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice and 2 teaspoons fresh lime zest

  • 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 pound ground chicken

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • 1 jalapeno stemmed, seeded, and minced

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

  • 3 green onions, finely chopped

  • 12 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves (about 1 head), washed


  1. Bring the water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Combine fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl, whisk, and set aside.

  3. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the chicken, jalapeno, and lime zest and cook. Break up the chicken into small pieces, and cook until it’s no longer pink.

  4. Whisk the fish sauce/lime mixture, and add it to the skillet, cooking over medium-high heat. Stir often for one or two minutes until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil and scallions.

  5. Open up a lettuce leaf, scoop in a bed of rice and top with some warm chicken. Serve and enjoy!

Find the original recipe here.

Apricot-Basil Chicken Salad Toast


Chicken salad sandwich lover? Then you’ll love this no-cook recipe, where you’ll get to leave all the heat behind and whip up something delicious in no-time. Choose a hearty seed and nut bread to add some complex carbs to this versatile meal or even use the mixture to top some fresh greens if you have leftovers.


  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 5 teaspoons champagne/ white-wine vinegar

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken

  • 1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted

  • 1/2 medium white onion, minced (1/2 cup)

  • 1 large celery stalk, diced small (1/2 cup), plus leaves

  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, diced small

  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn

  • Salt and pepper


Whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, paprika, and vinegar in a large bowl, and stir in chicken, almonds, onion, celery, apricots, and basil. Add to toast, and season with salt and pepper.

Here’s the original recipe.

Cold Southwestern Corn and Shrimp Soupsoup

Don’t bash cold soup until you’ve tried it—particularly this cold soup! Creamy while still being healthy, the combination is unexpected and complex. Consider whipping this up for your next backyard BBQ and impress your friends with your culinary skill—though the recipe is extremely simple!


  • 4, 10-ounce packages frozen corn kernels, thawed

  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • Pinch cayenne, pepper

  • 1 pound cooked frozen shrimp, thawed, roughly chopped, reserving 4 whole shrimp

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced


  1. Puree corn, yogurt, milk, lime juice, coriander, and cayenne in a blender, and strain into a large bowl, extracting as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Stir in chopped shrimp, and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Garnish with tomatoes, avocado, and whole shrimp. Serve and enjoy.

If you want the original recipe, find it here.

Pad Thai with Kelp Noodles


Thai lover, but can’t possibly put up with the sweaty preparation? Well stress no more, and instead try this easy, no cook pad thai recipe using kelp noodles! It’s quick,delicious and keeps well for tomorrow’s lunch.



  • 1/2 cup soaked and strained tamarind pulp (see below for notes on tamarind pulp)*

  • 1 cup heated water

  • 1 medium tomato

  • 1/2 of one thai chili (depending on spice desired)

  • 1 medium clove garlic

  • 1 small shallot

  • 1/4 cup shoyu

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon agave


  • 1 head of baby bok choy, roughly chopped

  • 1 medium carrot, diced or julienned

  • 1 medium zucchini diced or julienned

  • 1 medium orange or red bell pepper, julienned

  • 1 large sliced king oyster mushroom (or handful sliced shiitake or other mushrooms)

  • 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced on a diagonal

  • 3 green onions, white and about 3″ of green, sliced


  • Open two 12 oz. packages of Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles and chop into 3-4” pieces


  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews

  • drizzle of sesame oil

  • sprinkle of sea salt

  • Handful of cilantro



  1. Cut off a 2x2 inch block of tamarind and dissolve in 1 cup of hot water. Remove any seeds and work it into a paste with a fork. Let soak for 15 minutes.

  2. Combine and blend tomatoes, chilis, garlic, shallots, 1/2 cup shoyu, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, sesame oil and agave in Vitamix or high speed blender. Add the tamarind pulp and blend until smooth.


  1. Mix all chopped veggies in a large bowl

  2. Add 1/4 cup shoyu, 1 tbsp lime, drizzle of olive oil, 2 tbsp of Pad Thai Sauce for the vegetable marinade.

  3. Mix veggies and marinade until evenly dispersed. Let sit in refrigerator for at least one hour.


  1. Chop two 12 ounce packages of Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles into 3-4 inch pieces

  2. Add the noodles to the veggie mixture, pouring about half of the Pad Thai sauce into the bowl and mix well until sauce is evenly distributed


  1. Mix cashews with salt and sesame oil, sprinkle over finished Pad Thai. Drizzle with lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

Check out the original recipe here.

Creamy Spinach and Shrimp Dip


A light snack for a gathering or just for a moment to yourself, you can whip up this no-cook creamy spinach and shrimp dip for the perfect midday snack. We love the tangy combination of cilantro and lemon and you can make the dish more health conscious by choosing organic or lower fat mayonnaise and cream cheese.


  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves

  • 2 scallions, cut into thirds

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 jalapeño, chopped

  • One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and dried

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • Salt

  • 3/4 pound cooked shrimp, chopped (beat the heat by buying pre-cooked shrimp!)


Chop the cilantro, scallions, garlic and jalapeño finely in a food processor. Add the spinach, mayonnaise, cream cheese, lime juice and salt to taste and process until smooth. Add the shrimp and chop finely. Refrigerate the dip in a bowl until chilled.

Have a look here for the original recipe.

With no need to turn on the oven, you might just find that you’re feeling cooler—and more well-fed—than you have in a long time. Use the heat to inspire new creations and happy summertime cooking!

Photos: Lisovskaya Natalia / Shutterstock, Mels Kitchen Cafe, Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, Raw Food Recipes, Food and Wine