It’s no secret that Texas summers are hot. We find ourselves developing our own little tricks for staying sane as temperatures continue to climb (did someone say frozen margaritas?) and turning off the oven is no exception. Keeping the kitchen free of open flame and 400 degree ovens is one of the simplest ways to make your home summer-friendly, but then you’re left with the problem of what to cook, or rather, not cook. Sure, cold cuts and hummus are an easy place to start but when you’re craving something with a little more pizzazz, the right tools are all it takes. Here, we’ve listed some of our most frequently used tools for preparing the best no-cook meals.
Your Farmhouse Delivery Bushel – Fruits and vegetables from your local farmers are as fresh as it gets, so your produce requires less fuss to dress it up. It comes as a great surprise to most that a lot of vegetables don’t need to be cooked to enjoy them. Tomatoes, corn, okra, cucumber, summer squash, greens, peppers, and even beets are not only edible when in their raw form, but also just as tasty whether cooked or not.
Spiralizer – If you haven’t heard about this thing, you might be living under a rock. The spiralizer is summer’s hottest kitchen tool, spawning summer’s hottest no-cook meal trend: veggie ‘noodles.’ Raw vegetable noodles pack flavor, nutrients, and a crunch you just can’t get from pasta noodles. Plus, watching the vegetables run through the machine is totally mesmerizing. Our favorite veg noodles so far? Summer squash, beets, and eggplant.
Box Grater – Grated beets, carrots, cabbage, and cucumber are all amazing additions to any no-cook meal. By grating your vegetables, you get the great taste with a lighter texture. A great tool for making salads and wraps.
Citrus – Fresh citrus is an easy way to ‘cook’ food without applying any heat. Lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit juice each have high enough acidity that, as the food sits, it cures (think ceviche). Plus, it’s hard to beat a splash of citrus on a hot day – it’s always a welcome refresher.
Fresh Herbs – Fresh herbs are great for adding lots of flavor to a dish without adding lots of weight to it. As with fruits and vegetables, the fresher they are the more potent the flavor, so pick some up from a local farmer or even your own backyard!
Food Processor – Cold soup, salsa, salad dressings, and light, bright sauces are a big part of what we like to eat in the summer time, and having a food processor nearby makes preparing any of those a snap. In short, your food processor breaks down some of the tougher fibers that cooking your food usually does.