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by Jenny Atkins, LiveLighter nutritionist and busy mum

When it’s hot outside, I’m looking for ways to keep my house cool. No-cook recipes sound like the perfect solution for summer meals. So, get ready to step away from the microwave, stove and oven and try these ten meal ideas that are perfect all summer long!

1. Breakfast bircher

A few minutes of preparation the night before means my family wakes up to a cool, filling and healthy breakfast! This bircher muesli is super easy (even my daughter can make it!). I vary the flavours by using the delicious summer fruits in season right now – mango, grapes, stone fruit, melons.. mmmmm!

berry bircher muesli

2. Smoothie time

Sometimes you get out of bed, and the day is already hot. You’re hungry, but don’t feel like eating much. Smoothie to the rescue!  The addition of oats boosts the nutrition value, and everything else is pretty much stock standard items: fruit, milk and yoghurt. A quick blitz in the blender and serve. This recipe uses banana, but you could use fresh or frozen berries or even tinned fruit like peaches or apricot!

breakfast smoothie

3. Pudding for breakfast? Yes please!

This is not only a regular feature for summertime breakfast in our house, but also makes for a great dessert! Preparation is so easy that the kids can make it.

coconut mango chia pudding

4. Fiesta salad

Let’s step into something really simple like a basic lunchbox salad.  Use iceberg lettuce as your base and add the usual salad suspects, then lift it up a notch with some corn kernels and red kidney beans  - now we have a filling salad!  This recipe serves one person, but it can be quickly ramped up to serve the family.

fiesta salad

5. Walnut lentil salad

This salad always receives lots of compliments! Drain a tin of lentils, add a bunch of greens, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, crunchy walnuts and a splash of dressing.  What’s simpler than that? I love this salad on its own, but it is also a great share plate to take to a BBQ!

walnut lentil salad

6. Avocado rice paper rolls

Grab some cooked prawns from your local supermarket and get the family in on the action – these rice paper rolls are quick and easy to make, not to mention fun! Also, it’s a great way to get the family to eat their vegies. You can easily vary the fillings to suit what you have in your fridge.

prawn and avocado rice paper rolls

7. Quick tuna couscous

This is delicious and hearty enough for dinner. It’s got a delicious fresh, sweet and savoury flavour that can’t be beat. 

quick tuna couscous

8. Chicken pesto wrap

This is perfect if you have leftover cooked or BBQ chicken! Spread the pesto on the wrap, layer the chicken and salady bits, roll it up and eat! Easy as for either lunch or dinner.

chicken pesto wrap

9. Fancy something fancy? Try our gourmet vegetarian sandwich

This Mediterranean style sandwich is packed with flavour and deliciousness. Grainy bread gives this sandwich crunch and Swiss cheese adds a sweet, nutty flavour. YUM!

gourmet vegetarian sandwich

10. Winner, winner, zucchini dinner!

This recipe was submitted for a LiveLighter competition, and still sits as one of my all-time favourite fresh summer dishes. Who would have thought that raw zucchini, mint, almonds and dressing could come together to make an amazing dish. Try it!

zucchini carpaccio

I love that these recipes require minimal effort for plentiful flavour, and help you stay cool this summer! You might even add some as regular meals throughout the year. I say the more no-cook meals, the better!

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