Preparing no-cook meals is one of the best ways to shed unwanted pounds, save money, and learn new and healthy recipes. All you need is an open mind and willingness to let go of everything you’ve learned about traditional cooking—while embracing a whole new way of preparing food.
While many folks think going stove-less means sacrificing taste, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
While no-cook meals are great for the warmer months when people don’t feel like using their stoves and ovens, they’re also super-convenient for when you’re are on the move—whether attending school, traveling for work, going camping, and the like. You can find any required meats at your local deli or prepare them ahead of time and freeze them until needed.
Here, we’ll walk you through some no-cook meal ideas so you can free yourself from the shackles of the stove and still enjoy some tasty foods.
Granola cereal will fill you up and is a good source of protein, fiber, and micronutrients. It provides iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin E, vitamin D, potassium, B12, and phosphorus.
If you have access to a refrigerator, great—just break out some cold milk. However, sometimes you might be on the move, and while granola is easy to store, you can always transport your milk in an icebox and place it in your vehicle. Or simply pack some canned evaporated or condensed milk (evaporated milk contains less sugar), or powdered milk.
Just be sure to choose a healthier granola brand by reading labels to ensure it has natural sweeteners, such as honey (no high fructose corn syrup).
Optional toppings include bananas, blueberries, strawberries, or any other fruit you prefer.
Avocado spreads on bread have seen a rise in popularity as of late and that’s really no surprise, as it’s not only a filling meal but also highly delicious and nutritious.
Your choice of bread is important. Try a multi-grain or whole grain bread such as pumpernickel, which is packed with nutrients, including selenium, manganese phosphorus, B vitamins, and copper. They’re also less flimsy than your standard white or wheat slices of bread and thus can hold their toppings better. If you prefer more crunch, you can substitute bread altogether with some multi-grain crackers.
Simply mash an avocado and spread it over your bread or crackers. Sprinkle with paprika, which has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Chicken Salad Wrap
Chicken salad mixes are typically used for sandwiches or eaten alone. But putting them in wraps can make them less messy and a lot more portable. Ideally, you’ll want to prepare your chicken salad wraps ahead of time for those busy days, or for when you’re going to be on the move. You can use carved chicken breast slices or bring canned chicken along with you if you’re going camping or on long trips.
Simply combine your pre-cooked shredded or sliced chicken, red cabbage, cucumber, turmeric, and some cracked black pepper. Then stir everything up in a bowl. While people commonly use mayonnaise, you can always use a healthier alternative.
Avocado: These fruits provide all the richness of mayonnaise but are full of nutrients and healthy fats.
Greek yogurt: Creamy, delicious, and packed with protein, yogurt is also probiotic (depending on the brand), which promotes gut and immune system health.
Vinaigrette: A classic, Mediterranean blend of zingy vinegar and heart-healthy olive oil that also makes your wrap moist and flavorful.
Fresh Taco Salad
This fresh taco salad is a delicious and robust option full of fresh ingredients—it’s also a great option for meal prepping or using up any leftovers. You can make large batches of this meal and pack it up for lunches or dinners throughout the week.
This isn’t one of those skimpy taco salads that contain soy products and whatnot—it’s much more substantial and packed with either lean grass-fed steak or chicken. After all, most of us want a hearty and satisfying meal that’ll leave us feeling full instead of famished. In other words, food that keeps your engine running, instead of letting you run out of gas.
Use a leafy green vegetable of your choice as a base, then stack on some sliced chicken or lean grass-fed steak, black beans, corn, spinach or kale, Greek yogurt, Roma tomatoes, lime juice, and avocado. Top with a healthy sauce of your choice.
Optional: Add sliced jalapeno peppers for some extra zing.
Healthy Tuna Salad
When it comes to eating healthy lunches, tuna salad is a pretty popular choice. It’s creamy, tasty, and provides the perfect amount of crunch from celery, as well as some tanginess from lemon juice.
This healthier tuna salad option contains all the flavors of a classic tuna salad but delivers it in a lighter, healthier package that uses Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
It’s also very versatile and you can use it with sandwiches, leafy green salads, or multi-grain wraps for convenient, healthy meals. It’s also perfect for packing along with you on trips.
Simply combine some canned (in water) tuna, chopped celery, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, sea salt, cracked black pepper, and paprika. Stir, and voila.