The food we crave in a heat wave also happens to be the most sensible option to prepare: refreshing, seasonal, and fast. And there are solutions to preparing satisfying meals without raising the temperature inside or standing over hot flames outside—ones that offer flavour, texture, and substance to please the entire family and that can take you right from breakfast to dessert.
Think steel-cut oats magicked into a heat wave-appropriate breakfast option, vegetables made into noodles for a fresh and fun take on pasta salad, canned salmon transformed into a cheap and cheerful deli-style lunch, or Nordic-inspired smoked fish nestled in a swoosh of beet and preserved lemon yogurt.
For dessert, grab that jar of tahini in the pantry and treat it as dessert by whipping it into a flurry (ah, flurries!) with sweet yogurt, lemon, and pistachios for an ice-cold spin on halva.
Use bold ingredients, season with purpose, and build flavours in the same way the magic of heat does, all without the help of an oven, stovetop, or barbecue.
Cucumber Noodles with Halloumi, Avocado, and Miso-Lemon Dressing
Steel-Cut Summer Muesli
Deli-Style Salmon Lettuce Wraps
Beet and Preserved Lemon Yogurt with Smoked Fish
Frozen Halva Slice
Allison Day is the cookbook author of Modern Lunch, Whole Bowls, and Purely Pumpkin, and creator of the award-winning food blog Yummy Beet;Twitter; Facebook; Instagram.