The dog days of summer have an inverse relationship with most people’s desire to cook—the hotter it gets, the less they want to deal with a hot oven or stovetop.
It’s no wonder.
Cities around the country have hit records recently, with New York City’s heat index reaching 105 degrees over Fourth of July weekend, and Las Vegas recording temperatures as high as 117 degrees.
But temporarily swearing off hot food doesn’t have to mean subsisting on a diet of salads and ice cream.
No-heat recipes can be versatile—and they’re also often no-fuss and no-budget-buster options.
Here are 8 to try:
It’s not your typical no-bake cheesecake recipe.
This raw foods version incorporates cashews and dates.
Making your own ceviche can be intimidating, but Vincent Pellegrini, executive chef at Hyatt Regency Aruba, says it’s easy.
To make, dice four ounces fresh Ahi tuna in a bowl and add three ounces passion fruit juice and the juice of one lime.
Add two ounces of julienned white onion, two ounces shredded green apple, an ounce of diced red pepper and a half-ounce of finely diced Serrano chili.
Add minced garlic and chopped cilantro to taste. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.
This creamy, cold soup can be made two ways, depending on how much time you want to spend in the kitchen.
Fresh Strawberry Dessert
Preparing this recipe in small canning jars makes for easy portioning, says Cheryl Najafi, author of “You’re So Invited: Panic Less, Play More and Get Your Party On!”
To make it, mix two cups strawberries and a half-cup sugar. Refrigerate overnight.
Then mix three cups crushed pretzels, one-third cup sugar and five tablespoons melted unsalted butter until pretzels are coated. Stir with fork until mixed well.
Spoon pretzel mixture into jars and press gently into bottom, creating crust.
In a bowl, beat a half-cup sugar, two packages cream cheese and a teaspoon vanilla extract until smooth. Fold in a container of frozen whipped topping.
Add a layer of cream filling to each jar (use a piping bag if desired). Add a layer of the strawberry compote. Repeat as necessary.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Make-Ahead Oatmeal
Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox of “May I Have That Recipe?” describes this recipe as dessert for breakfast, but without the guilt. Or heat.
It’s refrigerated overnight to let the oats soak up the flavor.
Forbidden Sesame Rice
In lieu of cooking the organic black rice for this dish, holistic health and wellness educator Ruby Lathon lets a cup and a half soak overnight. The next day, drain and rinse.
Combine the rice in a bowl with a chopped tomato, three diced green onions, a quarter-cup chopped cilantro, a clove of garlic, half of a finely chopped yellow bell pepper, and a diced ripe avocado.
Add a half-teaspoon sea salt, a teaspoon cold-pressed olive or sesame oil, and a teaspoon black or white sesame seeds.
Gently stir until all ingredients are well incorporated. Serve chilled or room temperature as a side item or main dish.
Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers get an added kick from watermelon in this cold soup.
Five-Minute Corn Chowder
Jacqueline Fisch of “Barefoot Essence” uses a high-speed blender to give this chowder a smooth, creamy consistency.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.