With summer’s heat at full blast, the last thing I want to do is turn on my stove. These low-calorie, no-cook (and low-cook) meals are ideal for balmy days.

June 29, 2010

With summer’s heat at full blast, the last thing I want to do is turn on my stove. These low-calorie, no-cook (and low-cook) meals are ideal for balmy days.

Breakfast
Overnight Oats in a Jar is just like a regular bowl of oatmeal—only you have it cold. I prefer to eat this dish from a nearly empty peanut butter jar, but a bowl will work too. The base is typically oatmeal, but you can also use oat bran, spelt flakes, or granola. All you do is add your favorite oatmeal toppings to the jar, screw on the lid, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Overnight Oats in a Jar
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup soy milk (or other liquid)
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
2 teaspoons walnuts
1 teaspoon chia seeds

Combine ingredients in a nearly empty peanut butter jar (with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter still in it). If you don’t have a jar, a simple bowl will do. Let sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, grab a spoon and enjoy!

Lunch
I like to eat big salads for lunch, but now that I know that low-fat protein and healthy fats are needed to keep me satisfied, I make sure to include some in every salad I make. My newest favorite recipe combines heart-healthy salmon with delicious pesto and veggies for a quick and easy salad.

Salmon-Pesto Salad
Makes 2 servings

1 can salmon
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped

Combine ingredients in a small bowl, then serve over salad greens with a dressing of your choice.

Dinner
I love this pasta salad! It’s actually my husband’s recipe. It’s very tasty, but also packed with nutritious ingredients.

Heavy-on-the-Veggies Pasta Salad
Serves 4-6

5-6 ounces whole-wheat rotini
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 can of black beans, drained
1/2 cup Italian dressing

Cook pasta according to directions, then combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Serve cold.

Dessert
Every once in a while, everyone deserves a small diet splurge. Having a summer sangria is one of my favorite ways to “cheat” on my diet.

Summer Sangria
Makes 8-10 servings

1.5 liters dry white wine (I used Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc.)
1/2 liter soda water
1/2 liter diet citrus soda (I used grapefruit-flavored soda.)
3 peaches
2 pears
1/2 cup raspberries (They can be fresh or frozen.)

Cut peaches and pears into bite-size pieces. Combine wine, soda water, and citrus-flavored soda in a large pitcher, then add peaches, pears, and raspberries. Chill sangria for approximately 45 minutes in the refrigerator. Serve in your favorite glass and enjoy!
Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots 'N' Cake.

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