Just because you’re dealing with a hectic holiday season doesn’t mean you have to rely on microwave meals. There are plenty of options for fresh homemade dinners that don’t require a stovetop or oven, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorites. Keep reading for five tasty and wholesome ideas you can whip up in 30 minutes or less.
Recipe by Caroline Phelps of Pickled Plum
Indulge adventurous palates with this easy-to-make Thai fruit salad, which combines sweet, tart, and spicy flavors for delicious results.
1 green apple, peeled and sliced into strips (julienned)
1 small mango, peeled and sliced into strips (julienned)
2 small Thai chilies, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons cashews (salted or unsalted)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and toss well until all the fruit is coated.
2. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve cold.
Recipe by Lily Kunin of Clean Food Dirty City
Your little ones won’t even mind that this wholesome pasta is made without noodles. Why? Zucchini spirals, served with artichokes and an olive oil and lemon dressing, are a hearty substitute.
2-3 large (or 4 small) zucchini, spiralized or shredded with julienne peeler
1 package marinated artichoke hearts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
A few roasted garlic cloves
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional additions: sun-dried tomatoes and olives
For the vegan parmesan:
3/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1. To make the vegan parmesan, combine all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and mix until it turns into a crumbly, fine meal. Store in a container in the fridge, and it will last for a few weeks.
2. To make the salad, in a small bowl, use the back of a fork to mash the roasted garlic into a paste. Whisk in the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, roasted garlic, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Toss half the dressing with the zucchini noodles, artichoke hearts, two tablespoons of vegan parmesan, and sun-dried tomatoes or olives if using.
4. Add more dressing until well coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice as needed. Let the noodles marinate for 15 minutes before serving.
5. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and red pepper flakes if desired.
Recipe by Sue Moran of The View From Great Island
Upgrade your everyday chopped salad with this satisfying version that takes advantage of a few time-saving shortcuts, like pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and canned chickpeas.
4 handfuls of your favorite lettuce mix
2 eggs, boiled, peeled, and chopped
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and dried
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed
1 cup rotisserie chicken, chopped
1 ear of corn, grilled and kernels removed
1 small Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 handful Greek olives
1 cup small cherry tomatoes, halved
A few basil leaves
For the tomato vinaigrette:
1 small to medium ripe red tomato (to yield about 1/3 cup puree)
1 tablespoon harissa paste (or tomato paste)
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1. Lay the lettuce out onto a wide, round salad bowl.
2. Top with all the ingredients, laying out each one in its own section.
3. Scatter the basil leaves over the top.
4. To make the dressing, give the tomato a rough chop, and puree it in a small food processor.
5. Whisk in the harissa or tomato paste, the vinegar, and the olive oil until blended. Add the salt and black pepper to taste.
Recipe by Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul
Your average tuna sandwich gets a vegan makeover, thanks to this creamy chickpea salad served on toast and seasoned with distinctive Japanese ume vinegar.
14-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup vegan mayo or 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons mashed avocado
1 tablespoon Dijon or whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons umeboshi plum vinegar (add a splash more if you are using avocado instead of mayo)
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 celery rib, chopped
2 tablespoons green onion, red onion, or shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more to taste) or crushed chili flakes
4 leaves romaine or kale
Seasoned or unseasoned nori
1. Place the chickpeas, mayo, mustard, umeboshi vinegar, celery seeds, celery, onion, black pepper, and cayenne pepper into a food processor.
2. Pulse a few times until incorporated and minced. Be careful not to overblend. You shouldn’t be pulsing more than 20 seconds.
3. Serve over toast with romaine lettuce and nori.
Recipe by Kaylee Pauley of Lemons & Basil
These crunchy, shrimp-stuffed rolls, made with fresh veggies, are crowd-pleasers—plus, they’re perfect for a portable next-day lunch if you have any left over.
MAKES 6 ROLLS
6 rice spring roll wrappers
24 medium-large shrimp, precooked with tails off
3/4-1 medium avocado
1 cup (approximately) shredded carrots
1 cup cucumber, cut into small matchsticks
1-2 cups fresh spinach leaves
2-3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1. Cut avocado in half, then cut into thin slices. Cut cucumber into matchstick pieces, approximately two inches long.
2. Soak one rice paper wrapper at a time into a bowl of warm water for about 20-30 seconds. When the paper wrapper begins to loosen up and become elastic-like, remove from water and set on a damp towel or clean plate.
3. Gently pat wrapper dry, then arrange vegetables in the center of wrapper. Start with the spinach leaves, then top with cucumber and carrots, followed by avocado slices, then top with shrimp (four per roll).
4. Fold the left and right sides toward the middle, then fold the top flap over the vegetables, tuck everything in, and tightly roll it all up. The wrapper will be sticky and delicate, so work carefully.
5. Cut the rolls in half and serve with sweet chili sauce.