Whole Story

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Cooking for One: Summer Faves

By Jaye Joseph, May 12, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Jaye Joseph
Sometimes when I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is cook, but I still want a delicious, healthy meal. Summer is a great time to get creative in the kitchen with fresh produce and prepared foods at Whole Foods Market. For an easy, versatile meal, I like to cut up a yellow squash and a zucchini squash (or grab a serving from the salad bar) and toss with lemon juice, salt, pepper and fresh herbs to taste (basil and oregano pair well for a light taste of summer). You can also peel the squash into ribbons using a vegetable peeler and top with shaved Parmesan cheese for a different texture reminiscent of pasta. Starting with this, I’ll add a variety of items from Whole Foods Market’s salad bar or prepared foods to make an easy no-cook meal: ●      goat cheese and grape tomatoes ●      red onion and shredded chicken ●      pre-cooked salmon and capers My very favorite no-cook meal is sliced tomato, crumbled feta and capers. Drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it’s filling and delicious. Want to make it heartier? Try a traditional Caprese salad (tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil) and add a few slices of good salami from the deli. For a variation on the Caprese, I like to cut up a container of cherry tomatoes and toss them with a drained container of fresh perlini mozzarella, chopped fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. I will typically eat that for dinner, and save the leftovers in the fridge. The longer it sits, the more “dressing” it makes and it will keep for a couple of days. If I’m up for boiling water the next night, (trust me, sometimes it’s a stretch!), I’ll cook some pasta and top it with the leftover salad for a great summer pasta dish. And, of course, don’t forget dessert! Did you know that you can find pre-reduced balsamic vinaigrette in many stores next to the vinegar? It makes a wonderful topping on sliced fresh peaches paired with a little goat cheese or on strawberries sliced on top of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Do you have any favorite no-cook summer favorites? Share them in the comments section.




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05/13/2011 8:06:58 AM CDT
Betty Thompson says ...
Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the first time I have seen any recipe for 'one.' I am a single elderly woman with a taste for gourmet food or even good recipes for one. Normally recipes are geared for families and sometimes they are difficult to scale down.
05/18/2011 6:28:38 PM CDT
donni says ...
Such great fresh ideas! My favorite summer strategy is to cook up hard-boiled eggs, green beans tender-crisp, nugget potatoes, or any other veggies on a cooler evening and store them in the fridge. Then on hot nights I serve them along with easy protein - cheese, smoked salmon, rotisserie chicken, marinated beans, sliced meats, quinoa salad, cooked prawns. Add any fresh raw veggies like tomatoes, cauliflower, radishes. Add any condiments like olives or capers or dill pickles. Top with a yummy dressing, like peanut, or balsamic, or ranch. It's different every night, and has a great variety of different tastes, colors and textures.
05/19/2011 11:58:42 PM CDT
Tavia says ...
These are some great ideas! I'm also one for not heating up the kitchen in the summer and don't feel like cooking either. I like to take some black beans, mash them up a little and spread them on a fresh french roll with some salsa or avocado or maybe a bit of cheese, melted. Another favorite: open-faced sandwiches w/ cucumbers & hummus or smoked salmon & cucumbers. Toast bread lightly and pile on your desired toppings.
05/21/2011 5:38:40 PM CDT
Louise says ...
Depends on your definition of no-cook! One of my favorite salads is incredibly simple and just really requires a knife. Cube some jicama and cucumbers, dust LIGHTLY with cayenne, and drizzle with plenty of lime juice and lime zest. Ridiculously refreshing, and a potluck favorite!
05/23/2011 11:50:31 AM CDT