Five No-Cook Dinner Ideas for Steamy Summer Nights

This morning I had the great pleasure of cooking on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda—it was so exciting, I can hardly believe I didn’t dream the whole thing up! On the show I showcased 3 recipes that you can make quicker than it takes to heat a frozen pizza, including Garlic Crusted Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes, Fried Egg and Avocado Sandwiches and Salsa Chicken Packets.

In addition, Today Moms features an article I wrote on how to keep your kitchen cool in the summer and 5 no-cook dinner recipes for hot summer nights. They didn’t have space to post all the recipes on their site, so they asked me to share them here.

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Avocados Stuffed with Tuna Salad


Avocados Stuffed with Tuna Salad
Total Time: 15 minutes

12 oz. chunk light tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced (about 1/4 cup), or substitute celery
3 ripe avocados
1/2 lemon, juice only, about 2 Tbsp.
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste

Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pits, and sprinkle them with lemon juice and salt.   Fill the avocados with the tuna salad, mounding the tuna.  You can eat the salad and avocado flesh right out of the avocado “bowl”.

Do Ahead or Delegate: Make and refrigerate the tuna salad.

Italian Caprese Sandwiches
Italian Caprese Sandwiches
Total Time: 10 minutes

1 ciabatta or other wide flat loaf of bread
12 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 – 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
20 fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette dressing, (or whisk together 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar)
1/2 sweet yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced (optional)

Slice the bread in half, separating the top from the bottom.  On the bottom half of the bread, put a layer of the cheese, followed by the tomatoes and basil.  Top the fillings with the vinaigrette dressing, and add the onions, if desired.  Put the top half of the bread on top of the fillings and slice the sandwich into 4 smaller pieces to serve it.

Scramble Flavor Booster:  Add a thin layer of pesto to the sandwiches and use the optional onions.


California Taco Salad

California Taco Salad
Total Time:  25 minutes
Serve with tortillas.

1 small head iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped, about 6 cups
15 oz. canned black or red beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or use Cheddar or Pepper Jack, or more to taste
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 mango, peeled and diced, or use 1 – 2 tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 lb. cooked and shredded chicken breast, or use cooked ground beef, turkey, or vegetarian ground meat (optional)
1/2 lime, juice only, about 1 Tbsp.
1/4 – 1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing, or to taste
1 cup tortilla chips or corn kernels, crushed if using chips
1 cup nonfat sour cream, for serving (optional)
1 cup salsa, for serving (optional)

In a large serving bowl, combine the lettuce, beans, cheese, avocado, mango, olives, and cooked chicken (or other meat) (optional).  Sprinkle it with the lime juice and dressing and toss it thoroughly.

Top the salad with the chips or corn kernels (and warm the tortillas). Serve it immediately, topped with a dollop of sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop and refrigerate the lettuce, shred the cheese if necessary, peel and dice the mango, cook the chicken, beef or turkey if necessary, juice the lime, crush the tortilla chips if using.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1 diced fresh jalapeño pepper and use Pepper Jack cheese.

Tip: If you are adding ground beef or turkey to the salad, brown it in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and season it with a little salt and/or chili powder.  Allow it to cool for several minutes before adding it to the salad.  If using meatless ground “meat”, prepare it according to the package directions.















Crunchy Rainbow Wraps

Total Time: 20 minutes

4 oz. light vegetable cream cheese (or use Boursin cheese or blue cheese or ranch dressing)
6 large flavored wraps such as spinach or red pepper or whole wheat or flour tortillas
6 large iceberg lettuce leaves
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots, (2 – 3 carrots)
1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage, or use peeled and diced cucumber
1/4 red onion, finely diced (1/2 cup total)
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup crumbled blue or shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese


Spread a thin layer of cream cheese (or other spread) on one side of each tortilla, and top it with a lettuce leaf.

Distribute the fillings evenly on the tortillas (or customize them to your family members’ tastes), fold in the ends, and roll them up burrito or wrap-style.  Cut each wrap in half diagonally to expose the rainbow within.

Do Ahead or Delegate: Shred the carrots and cabbage if necessary, dice the onion.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Use the flavored wraps and sprinkle some hot pepper sauce on the cream cheese (or use jalapeño cream cheese) before topping it with the lettuce.

Israeli Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing

Israeli Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serve with Hummus and Pita Bread or Pita Chips

4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and diced into small pieces
1 lb. cherry tomatoes, diced into small pieces (or use 2 large tomatoes)
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. tahini (sesame paste), well stirred (or use hummus if you can’t find tahini)
1 lemon, juice only, about 4 Tbsp.
2 tsp. Dijon mustard (use wheat/gluten-free if needed)
1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)
2 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup pita chips, broken into small pieces

In a medium serving bowl, combine the chopped eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and parsley.

Hard boil the eggs, if necessary (cover them with water in a small saucepan, bring water to a boil, simmer partially covered for 10 minutes, and then transfer to an ice bath [bowl of very icy water] for a few minutes before peeling).

In a small bowl or large measuring cup, combine the tahini, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, water, honey and salt. Toss the salad with the dressing (you might not need all of the dressing) and pita chips, and serve it immediately. (You can make the salad and dressing up to 4 hours in advance but don’t combine them until you are ready to serve). Season the salad with black pepper, if desired.

Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook and chop the eggs, peel and dice the cucumbers, dice the tomatoes and the red onion, make the dressing.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Add olives or tuna to the salad.

Healthy family meals on the table in 30 minutes or less!

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4 thoughts on “Five No-Cook Dinner Ideas for Steamy Summer Nights

Jessica says:

Do you have the recipe links for those featured with KLG & HK? I only saw the shrimp recipe in the video, though did not hear the amounts for the recipe… I would love to see each one if they’re available? Garlic Crusted Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes, Fried Egg and Avocado Sandwiches and Salsa Chicken Packets… Thankyou!

Aviva says:

Hi Jessica, since you’re a member of the Scramble you can access them all on our site. Enjoy!

Jessica says:

Can’t wait to whip up the Stuffed Avocado & Rainbow Wraps. Easy peasy recipes, just as I like ’em 😉

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