A nutrient-dense green salad
Perhaps the most obvious choice for a heat-less dinner is a salad, but it’s all about layering different textures, flavors, and nutrients to make a salad that you’re excited to eat for dinner. Picking an inspiration point, be it a culinary style or an ingredient, is a great way to create a perfect salad. Start with dark leafy greens for a good base, and then add healthy fats, protein, salt, acid, and some crunch to make it a satisfying meal.
A lettuce-less salad
A salad technically doesn’t have to have a lettuce base, and sometimes, you don’t want to eat lettuce, anyway—and that’s where a lettuce-less salad comes in. Feel free to get creative with pairing ingredients—like green beans with nuts or avocado with fennel—to make something unique and nutrient-packed.
A well-rounded cheeseboard
While it may sound more like an hors d’oeuvres, a carefully planned cheeseboard can be a perfect dinner option for days when it’s simply too warm. We’d recommend leaning as much on the fresh accompaniments, like fruit and veggies, as you do on the cheese for a lighter feeling after finishing your meal. If you’re hitting the stores, plan on picking up some protein-packed nuts, and your favorite fresh fruits—and maybe pull out a loaf for a well-rounded meal.
A fun summer gazpacho
Just like we love to lean on smoothies and smoothie bowls for breakfast in the hotter months, we again turn to the blender for some dinner inspo. Originally an Andalusian recipe, it’s traditionally a cold soup made by blending vegetables and often includes tomato—but recipes can consist of a wide variety of ingredients including watermelon and more. This simple avocado gazpacho is a great starter recipe: To make it, blend an avocado, a cucumber, a handful of cilantro, half a red onion, two cloves of garlic, one-seeded jalapeño, the juice of 1 lime, and a cup or so of veggie stock plus salt to taste until smooth (add more stock if necessary). Pulse in a few ice cubes to make it extra cold and voilà: the most refreshing, heart-healthy dinner you can eat at the perfect cooling temperature.
A simple hummus & veggie platter
We can think of plenty of ways to eat hummus—it’s so much more than just a dip, after all! It’s a great base on sandwiches or added to salads and can even be flipped into a savory pasta sauce. But we still love having it on a platter with all of our favorite vegetables, and if you feel like doing a bit more “cooking” for your dinner, there are tons of great homemade hummus recipes you can make.