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COLD lunch and Dinner Ideas

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Please! This heat is killing me, and while it's supposed to let up by the end of the week, I want to be prepared for the summer months to come. Not to mention that ds is getting "sick" of cold fruit for dinner (oh please-we had it once! You'd think it was the end of the world for him!).

I don't mind light cooking before hand, but I'd really like some foods that taste good cool or cold--or even leukwarm. It's not the hot stove I'm concerned with so much as that the idea of putting anything warm or hot in me is making me feel sick.

Ideas?

:
post #2 of 18
The only thing I can think of off the bat is sandwiches. We used to have them at least once a week for dinner when I was a kid. I also make a delicious chicken salad and the only heat required is cooking the chicken - I usually stick it in the crockpot for 4 hours and it's tender and then no heat eats my kitchen up!
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Chicken salad--good idea. I could make chicken salad, maybe on a lettuce wrap!
post #4 of 18
we had hummus wraps with quinoa tabouleh last night, tonight we're having gazpacho and quesadillas, and tomorrow we'll probably grill and have a big salad. lunches have been cold tortellini pesto with olives, white beans and tomatoes--i made two bags of tortellini on sunday night, but tomorrow we'll be back to sandwiches or more quinoa tabouleh and chich pea salad. i am a big fan of quick cooking grains, canned or frozen beans, grilling and raw veggies/salads when it's hot like this. oh, and breakfast has been frozen yogurt and granola "pops", smoothies and thawed banana bread.

stay cool!
i'll be watching this thread for more ideas!
post #5 of 18
In the summer I cook chicken in the crockpot a lot with a ton of spices. Then when its done I shred it and put it over romaine with homemade honey mustard dressing. I'll make sourdough croutons ahead of time too. This salad lends itself to adding one whatever veggies you have on hand. The meat on it keeps dh happy too.
post #6 of 18
What about taco salad?
post #7 of 18
I have a whole list of cold dishes or dinners!

Tabouleh with hummus and pita triangles. Include mint and/or cucumber in the tabouleh for a little extra "chill" factor.

Three bean salad - red kidney beans, chick peas, canellini beans, 3 cups chopped vegi's, 1/4 to 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, italian dressing (or red wine vinegar, oil, and spices) to taste. Serve with a nice bread. Easy, quick, uses the vegis that are available in your refrigerator, what could be better.

Rice salads. Cook the rice earlier in the day, then use it cold. I've got several recipes.

Pasta salads. These can vary a lot - different pasta, different vegies, different sauces or dressings.

Gazpacho. Sometimes we include a quick grilled cheese sandwhich in the meal (not exclusively cold, but they aren't too hot either).

If the amount of work doesn't turn you off, homemade sushi is cold and delicious. We do vegi sushi (no raw fish).

A "Big Salad" - add lots of chopped vegis to a fresh lettuce or a salad pack. Maybe include grated cheese, sliced boiled egg, and/or olives if you want. Serve with a good bread.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post
What about taco salad?
Elaborate?

Yogurt pops sound great, and I forgot about my quest to make homemade hummus.

You also remind me of an awesome cold pasta salad with tortellini, veggie and pesto.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieMonsterMommy View Post
Elaborate?
My friend makes this and really doesn't use a recipe. Basically its:

1 pound of cooked and cooled ground beef (you could use cold shredded chicken or turkey)
1 can of kidney beans rinsed (or pinto or black beans)
1 whole head of iceburg lettuce (or romaine or lettuce of your choice) shredded up.
Chopped tomatoes
Black Olives
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Mix all together in a large bowl.

For a dressing she used picante or salsa.

I could see added taco seasonings to the meat too. You could also serve with sour cream and or add chopped up avacado.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann-Marita View Post

Rice salads. Cook the rice earlier in the day, then use it cold. I've got several recipes.

Pasta salads. These can vary a lot - different pasta, different vegies, different sauces or dressings.
If you wouldn't mind I'd like a few of your rice salad recipes. My son loves rice and I make a bunch early in the day; I'd love to use it for a cold dinner or snack for him. I'd love a good pasta salad or two...we've got company this week. We can't do tomato though. Outside of tomato based recipes; could you share any?
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
sbgrace,

My favorite pasta salad recipe is, roughly (cuz I always wing it)--

Cook one package of any kind of tortellini (I like the tricolor kind, since it's prettier) as directed.

When it's got 3 minutes left to boil, add in one package of frozen mixed veggies. I like trader Joes Organic Threesome or summer blend. It's got carrots, string beans and corn. But you can use any other veggie you like.

Return to boil-boil for about 2 min, then strain immediately. This'll make your tortellini slightly firmer than they might be if you were just going to eat them hot with sauce.

Toss with enough butter or vegetable oil to keep it from sticking (about 1TBSP) and add a little salt.

Chill for at least 30-45min.

Mix in 3TBSP of pesto. I used TJs, but you could use homemade. You can add a squirt or 2 of lemon juice if you'd like--I think that makes it taste more summery too.

You can serve it then, or chill even more. The tortellini can be replaced by regular spiral pasta, but the tortellini (since they're stuffed and thus more filling) make it more of a meal as opposed to a side dish.
post #12 of 18
Homemade veggie burgers: grind sunflower seeds, and ground mushrooms, rice, cooked beans, or whatever else you like, add some herbs and spices, and then add some oil and an egg or two, form into patties, and fry on skillet.


i have been eating alot of pasta salads lately. I cook up whole wheat pasta, and add whatever I can find around.
For example: butter, grated cheese, steamed local greens, diced scallions, garlic

I love th taboulli idea. I might make that tomorrow for dinner.

I love this thread!
post #13 of 18
subbing to keep track of this awesome thread!
post #14 of 18
We like sandwiches:
egg salad
turkey
tuna (although not often)
fried egg
pb&j

Quesadillas (these do take a bit of cooking in the oven, but only take about 15 min.)

Salads (usually consist of whatever is in the fridge, not any wonderful recipe, lol)

Smoothies

Crockpot
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post
If you wouldn't mind I'd like a few of your rice salad recipes.
rice & pasta salad recipes please!! :
post #16 of 18
I make a salad that DH loves...

Dark greens or spinach leaves (I prefer mixed dark greens)

Get some good roast beef (sliced lunch meat) from the deli and cut into strips and lay over the greens

sprinkle with chopped red onion (not too much because it's so strong) and feta cheese

Serve with balsamic vinagarette dressing

I usually heat up some wheat rolls in the toaster oven for a few minutes, but you could also serve it with some whole wheat crackers.


Another of our favorite summertime dinners is chicken salad with grapes and walnuts, served with blueberry muffins (I cook these in the morning before it gets too hot) and some mixed fruit - pineapple, melons, etc...
post #17 of 18
I've been making a corn omelet that tastes best cold. Slice the corn off about 3 just cooked cobs of corn. Toss it in the food processor with a handful of grated cheese (cheddar is good), 3-4 eggs, and some green onions to taste. I leave some of the corn niblets whole for some texture.

Then cook like a frittata/omelet in a frying pan. I keep the heat down low, and put a lid on. when it's nearly set on top I put it under the broiler in the oven for a SHORT time.

I think the cheese makes it taste good cold. It sets up really nice. Tastes like corn pudding. I've been eating it for breakfast too.
post #18 of 18
Here's a few more ideas:

Tomatoes, mozz cheese, basil, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper salad (I swear I could eat this everyday when tomatoes are ripe, I also like to put these same ingredients with pasta for a salad)

Here in Japan they take these thin noodles, top them with shredded egg, ham slices cut thin, cucumber, carrot then use a light sesame dressing on top, it's wonderful

sandwiches always are great

sushi rolls

grilled chicken caesar salad

soba noodles are usually served cold with a sauce of dashi, sugar, shoyu, and a little wasabi if you want
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