Cooking for One: Summer Faves

Team Member Jaye shares her secrets for creating delicious summer meals for one while not heating up the kitchen.

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 capersMy 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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