It's too hot to cook, so here's a vegetarian no-cook meal plan to rescue you.
Harvesting of garden veggies is going strong right now. My kale has been very productive, and ditto for my herbs. Growing tomatoes in high altitudes is a sport, and not one I've yet mastered. But we did finally pick and eat our first tomato. It was small, and a little tart. But we have about 15 more to harvest, in various stages of growing and ripening.
In honor of Labor Day weekend, and taking our extremely high temperatures, I laid out a week of no-cook, easy, quick dinners for the week ahead.
Make them all, or pick a couple you'd like to try this week. And let me know how it goes for you.
3 Tips to Make Fruits and Veggies Last Longer in the Refrigerator
Do your fruits and veggies go bad faster than you use them? Berries in particular don't last long. But I have problems with everything drying out in my refrigerator and just simply going bad. Here are 3 tips that work great for me:
- I keep sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini in a container of water in the refrigerator. It's best not to place the container in one of the drawers, unless it's a closed container. Otherwise, you'll get a lot of sloshed water in the drawer.
- Purchase Bluapple Produce Savers. They absorb ethylene gas in your produce drawer typically emitted by fruits such as apricots, apples, avocados and bananas. This gas is one of the things that speeds spoilage. Bluapples last up to 3 months, but I use mine for around 4 – 5 months before replacing. They come in packages of 2, or if you want, you can buy a package that includes 8 refills which is far more economical.
- Soak berries for 2 minutes in 5 cups of water + 1/2 cup of white vinegar. This kills mold spores and promotes a far longer shelf life. Dry the berries, and line their container with a paper towel before storing them in the refrigerator.
N O – C O O K M E N U
(Vegan, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb/Keto)
(Can Be Easily Made Vegan and Gluten-Free)
THURSDAY: Kale, Avocado and Hummus Wrap
(Vegetarian, Easily Made Vegan and Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)
SUNDAY: Sesame Cucumber Spiralized Salad
(Vegetarian, Low-Carb/Keto, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)
M O N D A Y
SIMPLE VEGAN CHICKPEA SALAD WITH OLIVES
VEGAN EASY MAKE AHEAD LOW-CARB/KETO GULTEN-FREE 30 MINUTES OR LESS
Get the recipe here.
The entire salad except the greens can be made several days ahead and kept in the refrigerator. This makes a great dinner as well as an on-the-go lunch.
Omnivore Tip: Add bacon for the omnivores.
T U E S D A Y
BEST TRADITIONAL-ISH GREEK SALAD (PANZANELLA STYLE)
EASILY MADE VEGAN EASY MAKE AHEAD ELIMINATE THE BREAD FOR GLUTEN-FREE
Get the recipe here.
Make the dressing up to 4 days ahead.
If you're making this for a group, everything can be prepped earlier in the day, making this dish incredibly easy to make at the last minute.
Make it Totally No-Cook:
Eliminate the toasted garlic bread pieces.
Make it Vegan:
Eliminate the feta cheese or make a vegan feta-style cheese.
Omnivore Tip: Serve with sliced skirt steak (or flank steak) on the side for the omnivores.
W E D N E S D A Y
VEGAN MAKE AHEAD DAIRY-FREE
Get the recipe here.
This soup is best made ahead and well-chilled in the refrigerator.
T H U R S D A Y
KALE AVOCADO HUMMUS WRAP
VEGAN 30-MINUTES OR LESS EASY
Get the recipe here by Hello Glow.
I grew my own kale this year on our back deck, and it totally thrived. It's still going strong, and I expect to get salad (and this wrap) from them for another 2 months until a deep freeze arrives.
This beauty is ready in under 15 minutes, but you might want to make it ahead of time for an on-the-go-lunch.
I love spicy chickpeas and often have them on hand, I may add a couple handfuls for a light crunch and extra protein.
Omnivore Tip: My husband would love strips of skirt steak in his.
F R I D A Y
SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD WITH RED ONION, LEMON & PECORINO
VEGETARIAN EASILY MADE VEGAN & DAIRY-FREE GLUTEN-FREE
Get the recipe here from Food52 (one of Merrill Stubbs' fabulous recipes).
This is a great dish when you're starting to crave fall veggies, but you don't want them to be too autumn-y. When I'm not ready to braise, roast and sauté Brussels sprouts, I make them into a raw salad.
Prep Tip: Slicing the individual sprouts into thin shavings by hand is possible, but very laborious. I highly recommend using the slicer attachment for a food processor. Pile a handful of sprouts down the shoot of your food processor lid, turn the food processor on, and press them down with the plastic insert. This task can be completely done in 5 minutes. Super easy.
Omnivore Tip: Bacon lardons, says Carnivorous Maximus.
S A T U R D A Y
RAINBOW SPRING ROLLS with GINGER PEANUT SAUCE
Get the recipe here from The Minimalist Baker.
These spring rolls only take 30 minutes to make, but I'll make the sauce ahead. In fact, I'll double the sauce recipe because it looks perfect for a lot of veggie dishes and salads!
S U N D A Y
SESAME CUCUMBER SPIRALIZED SALAD
VEGETARIAN GLUTEN-FREE 30-MINUTES OR LESS EASILY MADE VEGAN
Get the recipe here by Bowl of Delicious.
Sometimes I see a salad like this that looks fabulous as both a side salad and main event salad. Because this will be dinner for me, I plan to add some sliced tomatoes and mint from my garden, and crispy spicy chickpeas for protein.
Prep Tip: If you don't have a spiralizer, don't sweat it. Just slice the cucumbers into thin round disks.
Make Ahead Tip: If you're tempted to make this ahead, I wouldn't. Cucumbers have a tremendous amount of water in them, and I'm concerned making it ahead could make the dish too watery. But you can always make the dressing ahead and store in the refrigerator until you're ready to make the dish.
Omnivore Tip: Add strips of roasted chicken or shrimp.
If you're looking for a vegetarian cookbook, check out this list put out by The Chef's Pencil. I was so happy (and surprised) to see that my cookbook made her list of Top 10. There are also some others on the list I highly recommend!
If you make any of the above dishes, I would love to see how it turns out for you!! Take a photo and put it up on Instagram – just don't forget to tag me @wimpyvegetarian.
Note: Affiliate links are included in this post.