Turning on your stove is not a requirement for delicious, healthy meals at home. Whether it is the last days of summer or you are awaiting the first days of spring, use a few key kitchen gadgets to save time and keep things cool in the kitchen. Also consider cooking multiple servings that can be used throughout the week.
- Panini or sandwich press
- Rice cooker
- Slow cooker
Try using precooked ingredients, such as rotisserie chicken, canned beans (first, drain and rinse the beans to reduce sodium) and tomatoes, and canned chicken and tuna to create quick meals in minutes. Try these five kid-pleasing meals without using your stove.
Black Bean Salad
Mix up a Mexican-style meatless meal by tossing canned (drained and rinsed) black beans with fresh, frozen or canned corn, a tomato, bell pepper and red onion. Add avocado, jicama or diced mango for more adventurous eaters. Toss with lime juice and olive oil, and serve over crunchy romaine lettuce with whole-grain tortilla chips.
Slow Cooker Double-Duty Roast
Prepare your favorite beef or pork roast in a slow cooker, and serve half for dinner. Reserve the remaining roast to use as a filling for tacos or sandwiches later in the week. Try shredded pork tacos with salsa made with fresh pineapple, red bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice. Toss shredded beef with barbecue sauce, and serve on toasted whole-grain hamburger buns with a fresh green salad or crunchy coleslaw.
Chicken Salad Sliders
Mix together chopped rotisserie chicken, toasted chopped pecans or walnuts, quartered seedless grapes, light mayonnaise, chopped tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve on whole-grain slider buns, dinner rolls or in pita pockets.
Turkey and Apple Waffle Sandwiches
Replace bread with whole-grain frozen waffles for a new spin on sandwich night. Prepare the waffles according to the package directions using a toaster. Combine light mayonnaise, maple syrup and Dijon mustard, and spread over the waffles. Layer with deli turkey, sliced Granny Smith apple and spring mix salad greens.
Microwave Stuffed Potatoes
Use a microwave for easy stuffed potatoes. Prick medium russet or sweet potatoes with a fork and microwave on high power for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Split the potatoes and scoop out some of the flesh. Add your favorite seasoning to the scooped out potato flesh, and spoon back into the potato shells. Try topping baked potatoes with guacamole, chopped tomato and cilantro, or stuff sweet potatoes with broccoli, walnuts and dried cranberries.
- Vegan Chickpea Salad Recipe
- Jicama Salad with Lime-Marinated Shrimp Recipe
- Pickled Vegetable Salad with Sesame Seeds Recipe
- Caprese Salad on a Stick Recipe
- No-Shell Vegetarian Taco Salad Recipe
- Tomato, Cucumber and Bell Pepper Gazpacho Recipe
- Panzanella with Cucumber Recipe
- Rainbow Layered Salad Recipe
- Vietnamese-Style Shrimp Lettuce Rolls with Chile-Lime Sauce Recipe
- Tuscan Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Arugula Recipe
- Citrusy Tuna Salad with Plantain Chips Recipe
- Sun-Dried Tomato-Olive Hummus Recipe
- Grilled Eggplant Pesto Pizza Recipe
- Avocado-Grapefruit Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette Recipe
Jessica Cox, RD, is a culinary nutritionist and chef based in Birmingham, Ala.
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