The No-Cook Challenge

crab

Now that the house is up for sale and being shown, we need to be ready to pick up and head out at a moment’s notice. What does this mean for me? No more cooking elaborate meals until the house sells. I’d hate to pour cake batter into pans only to get a call that we have to head out for a showing in 15 minutes. I thought I’d share with you what we’ve been eating these last few weeks. This list will also be great for going into Summer when you want meals that are easy to throw together without heating up your kitchen.

 A couple of suggestions to start:

 Prepare staples ahead of time when you can. Later at night when I knew no one would be by the house for the rest of the evening, I carved out a couple of hours to cook some staples to keep things running smoothly. I baked chicken breasts and cooked pasta and quinoa to store in the fridge. I also roasted a variety of vegetables that would multi-task in salads and sandwiches such as bell peppers and red onions. Scrambling a few eggs to store in the fridge is a good idea too. They come in handy for any meal. If you have the time, slow cooking and shredding pork is a huge help. I had a leftover container in my freezer that proved to be versatile.

 Keep it interesting. As someone who cooks every day and puts a lot of effort into meal planning, the whole no-cooking rule had me a little panicked. I love different options and was worried I’d get bored. I quickly learned that just having a few different options of bread, cheese, meat and greens on hand kept things interesting. I bought a spinach and kale mix as well as some green leaf lettuce. For bread choices I picked up naan, whole grain wraps and a couple of baguettes. Including meals inspired by all kinds of ethnic groupings kept things fresh too. Mexican wrap for lunch and Greek salad for supper? Sounds good to me!

Sandwiches:

BBQ Pork Wrap – Leftover shredded pork, BBQ sauce, mayo, shredded marble cheese

Taco Wrap – Ground beef or diced chicken, taco seasoning, black beans, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar & green leaf lettuce

Hummus Wrap – Sliced red pepper & red onion, hummus, feta & green leaf lettuce

Pesto Roasted Vegetable Wrap – Pesto, roasted vegetables & Havarti cheese

PB&J & Banana – Do I need to explain this one? It’s basic but so good. Also makes a great breakfast on the go!

Scrambled Egg & Cheese Wrap with Special Sauce – Warm some previously cooked eggs, add shredded cheese and green leaf lettuce. For special sauce, mix 1 tsp. ketchup and 1 tsp. relish with 1 tsp. mayo.

 Classic Turkey & Cheese Baguette – Shaved deli turkey, white cheddar slices, lettuce, salt & pepper. Sauce: equal parts mayo & mustard with a dash of hot sauce if desired

A cold version of this Pesto Chicken & Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich is also a great option

Salads:

 Crab Salad, a no bake version of this recipe. Mix chopped imitation crab with chopped red onion and cucumber, sour cream, dill, seasoning salt & cracked black pepper. I love this over mixed greens or wrapped in a lettuce leaf or naan bread.

 Tom’s Favorite – Spinach & kale mix, deli turkey, shredded marble cheese, dried cranberries, shelled sunflower seeds, sliced red onion, sundried tomato vinaigrette

 Chickpea Salad 

 Moroccan Chicken Salad 

 Classic Chicken Caesar – Caesar dressing, (I love Marzetti Simply Dressed), parmesan shavings, chopped romaine, garlic croutons, chopped cooked chicken breast

 Pasta Salad

 Taco Salad – Ground beef or diced chicken seasoned with taco seasoning, black beans, shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, crushed tacos

 Quinoa Salad

 Easy Bean & Corn Salad

No-Cook Sides & Snacks:

  • Chips (Pita, Multigrain Tortillas, Pretzels)
  • Cut up fruit & vegetables
  • Hummus for dipping
  • Cheese (I love Laughing Cow wedges on the go)
  • Yogurt (add fruit & granola for a parfait)
  • Nuts
  • If you need a no bake treat, these Peanut Butter Energy Bites are the best!

I have to say, I’ve enjoyed this style of “cooking” much more than I thought I would. Cleanup is way easier and I have much more free time in the evenings. It’s been fun to fly by the seat of my pants a little bit and it’s definitely made me more creative in the kitchen.

I’ll be sharing more no-cook meals as I make them, so stay tuned!

Do you have any favorites to share with me?

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