***This is a sponsored post. I was provided a copy of The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes for When It’s Too Hot to Cook for purpose of review. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…***
Here in Florida we’re no stranger to it being just too hot to cook. Growing up without air conditioning, Mom would often forgo cooking supper in the summer months in favor of take-out or microwavable entrees. These days we don’t have the heat problem too often, but still there are nights when you just don’t want to pull out the pots and pans and go to all that trouble.
Which is why I was happy to try out some of the recipes in The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook by recipe developer Matt Kadey. It’s not all salads and sandwiches, either, there are soups, pasta dishes, and even pizzas included in this slim volume as well as breakfast through desserts.
Beginning with breakfast, I gave their Overnight Oats (p 8) a try. As a substitute for my usual instant oatmeal in the mornings, this was a nice, if chewy, change of pace. They claim it serves 4-5 but I got over a week’s worth of moderate servings from their recipe. And even though there’s only 2 Tbsp of maple syrup for the entire recipe, it was plenty to sweeten the entire batch.
The Shrimp and Noodles with Sweet and Sour Sauce (p 72) sauce uses one of my favorite shortcut ingredients: rice noodles! Because of their delicate make-up, all they need is hot water to cook/soften, and the application of a flavorful sauce to finish off. The use of pre-cooked shrimp, defrosted, makes for a fairly quick supper that works well hot or cool.
When you’re in a sandwich mood but the usual cold cuts and sliced cheese just aren’t hitting the spot, I can heartily recommend the Smoked Salmon Arugula Pesto Sandwiches (p 78). Pesto is one of those condiments where a little goes a long way, and used as a sandwich spread could be easily overwhelming; using arugula to stretch the basil tempered the mix enough to serve this purpose, and we had plenty of pesto leftover for another two suppers.
Finally, for a taste of something sweet, we gave their Almond Thumbprint Cookies (p 131) a go. I used coconut flour and sunflower seed butter as substitutions, but the almond extract was enough to communicate the almond flavor. The batter was very stiff and assembly more closely resembled making pinch pots in pottery class than thumbprint cookies, but they were still quite tasty.
I’ve still got a few pages flagged—like the Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bars (p 26) and the savory Jerky Trail Mix (p 67—which is always a good sign, and the Overnight Oats might be making a repeat appearance on my morning menu. For a book dedicated to non-cooking, it used surprisingly few convenience items (at least in the recipes we chose) and lots of fresh, tasty ingredients. Combined with gorgeous food photography, this book is a packed full of ideas for keeping a cool kitchen without resorting to take-out or cereal!