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Healthy No-Cook Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner That'll Make Your Life Easier

No-cook meals can not only save you time, they'll keep your waist trim and your wallet fat.

Sometimes you just don’t feel like turning on your oven or stove and spending a ton of time in your kitchen, especially when the weather is hot. But rather than hitting the nearest greasy drive-through or ordering high-calorie take-out, try these simple, delicious no-cook recipes.

Overnight Oats

Although many of us foodies have been enjoying overnight oats for years, this nutritious culinary time-saver has cropped up on food and nutrition blogs seemingly overnight (much like the oats themselves). Making overnight oats is simply a way of making oatmeal without cooking it. Overnight oats are creamier, denser, and more flavorful than cooked oats. Simply soak old-fashioned rolled oats in whatever liquid you’d normally cook it in (water, milk, almond milk, etc.) and add any other good-for-you goodies such as diced fruit, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, or chopped dried fruit, and stick it in your fridge overnight. The next morning, you have a healthy, filling grab-n-go breakfast at your fingertips.

Hummus & Veggie Wrap

When time is of the essence and you still want to enjoy a tasty meal without relying on gross fast food, roll up your lunch without having to roll up your sleeves in your kitchen for hours. Simply start with a whole-grain tortilla or wrap, spread on a layer of hummus, and pile in the colorful veggies. Add a little hot sauce, tzatziki, or mustard, roll it all up and enjoy. And that’s a wrap!

White Bean & Veggie Salad

A salad is an easy, delicious go-to lunch option, but plain old iceberg lettuce and dressing is a snooze-fest and lacks hunger-banishing lean protein. Canned white beans such as cannellini, navy, great northern, or garbanzo beans make for a fiber-full, protein-packed salad mix-in that will keep you satisfied for hours. Simply add drained, rinsed beans to 2 cups of salad greens (the darker the leaves, the better), 1 cup of chopped veggies of your choice, and 1/2 of an avocado, diced. Whisk together 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and drizzle over your salad. Bon appetit!

Lettuce Pizza Wraps

Craving pizza but worried about taking in too many calories, especially from fat and refined starches? Get all that yummy pizza flavor for a fraction of the calories with quick, easy, delicious lettuce pizza wraps. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (sliced in quarters), 3 ounces reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 cup), 1 ounce chopped turkey pepperoni (about 1/4 cup), 1/4 cup no-sugar-added pasta sauce, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano. Divide evenly among 4 large Bibb or Romaine lettuce leaves and enjoy. Makes 2 servings.

Avocado Crab Soup

This simple recipe has heart-healthy fats and sweet protein-packed crab. Plus, since it is a cold soup (much like gazpacho), no heat is required! In a blender, simply combine the following ingredients until smooth: 3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk, 1/2 cup tomatillos (chopped), 1/2 cup chicken broth (fat-free, reduced-sodium preferred), 2 ripe avocados (peeled, pitted), 1 serrano pepper (seeds and ribs removed), 1 large clove garlic, 1/3 cup red bell pepper (diced), 1 tablespoon fresh chives, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh orange rind, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Divide soup among four bowls and top each bowl with 1/3 cup lump crabmeat (drained and rinsed).

Tandoori Tuna Salad

Plain tuna salad can be pretty boring, but not when you try this flavorful recipe. In a medium bowl, mix together 5-ounces canned albacore tuna (drained and rinsed), 2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon Tandoori paste (can substitute a similar paste, such as Balti), 2 green onions (thinly sliced), 1 stalk celery (diced), and 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds. Enjoy on whole-wheat bread, a whole-grain pita or wrap, or with whole-grain crackers.

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

This one requires cooking, but not by you! Pick up a whole rotisserie-cooked chicken from your local market and shred off the meat with a fork. You can refrigerate or freeze some for another recipe. Simply mix the shredded chicken with your favorite lower-sugar BBQ sauce, add some chopped scallions, and scoop onto a whole-wheat sandwich bun. Or skip the bun altogether and enjoy in a lettuce wrap. Serve with sliced veggies or a side salad.

Smoked Salmon Asparagus Roll-Ups

This incredibly easy throw-together meal will leave you satisfied for a long time thanks to the salmon’s healthy fats and lean protein. Lightly steam one bunch of trimmed asparagus (about 20 spears) in the microwave for 3 minutes. Remove, let cool slightly, and wrap 4 spears with 1 slice of smoked salmon (you’ll need about 4 ounces total). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a squirt of fresh lemon juice and enjoy with some whole-grain crackers.


[Image via Shutterstock]

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