Friday Favorites #91
July 31, 2020
No-Cook Meals
“I consider no an absolute maybe.”
— Teri Turner
Teri in a paper cloud sky
There’s nothing like midsummer heat to make cooking feel like a chore. But even during the hottest days, who doesn’t want to eat beautiful, fresh summer food—while keeping the heat out of the kitchen? I decided it would be fun to do an issue full of delicious no-cook dinners, and once I got going, it became a bit of a game.
I’d think of something perfect for summer, like a BLT, and would realize, oh, but you have to cook the bacon! Or I’d think of something lovely and summery like a Niçoise Salad and realize, oh, you have to cook the green beans and potatoes, even if you use canned tuna instead of sautéed salmon! But you know I love a challenge.
Summer Platter

Now is the perfect time for tomatoes as a centerpiece, and my first favorite as I lean into summer is to let the evenings be about a spectacular charcuterie platter. Be sure to include beautiful fruits, vegetables, and dips like my Cashew Crema and Pistachio Pesto. It’s easy to keep this platter vegan, or you can certainly go all the way and tuck in some mozzarella and salami. Present a platter large enough for your group or create a beautiful individual small cold plate just for one. But if you want to keep it Whole30, HERE is a great Caprese. 

Greek Shrimp Salad

Greek Salad is absolutely perfect when you’re entertaining a group and have no desire to cook. Combine sheep’s milk feta in brine, beautiful summer tomatoes, cucumber, kosher salt, pepper, and Marinated Red Onions, and take it up a notch by adding avocado. It’s the kind of thing you can pull together in literally ten minutes, along with a rotisserie chicken. It’s a classic dish and always a favorite on the blog. Here we gave it a twist by picking up cooked shrimp from our local fishmonger.

Simple arugula salad

Sometimes it’s even too hot to think, and that’s when I love a big arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette, sprinkled with Parmesan, hunks of avocado, and cubed salami--delicious, light, and refreshing. The combination of the texture of the Parmesan, the fattiness of the salami, and the tart of the lemon dressing is just spectacular. For Watermelon Salad, there’s simply no better time than now. If you’ve never paired watermelon with sheep’s milk feta in brine, it’s a must-do and absolutely divine.

Snack dinner
Aren’t snack dinners the best? And they’re a great way to get the entire family involved. It’s also a fun way to use your Mini Crum-bowls. Let each family member select three items to include--but it’s also fun to go with a theme, like all Mexican or all Middle Eastern. Here I’ve used a mix of deliciousness like babaghanouj, hummus, pita, cheese, guacamole and chips, fresh and dried vegetables, fruit, and trail mix. I placed this platter in front of a group of friends, and it was devoured happily. Another great snack platter is this celebration babaghanouj and hummus platter.
Canapés are a great idea for the family. They’re so much fun, and you can use items picked up at the grocery store or challenge yourself to use what you have on hand. Here are two: one with pineapple, rotisserie chicken, cucumber, and Marinated Red Onions; and another with steak, black olives, peppers, and cheese--but easily done Whole30 without that cheese. And for my vegan friends, use avocado, cucumber, tomato, and a peach wedge, topped with Marinated Red Onions. Be creative, because the sky’s the limit, and by the way, this happens to be a spectacular way to clean out your fridge.
Tuna salad and PB & J sandwich
What about the simplicity of a sandwich? As Roy said recently, “There’s simply nothing better than a delicious soft loaf of bread with high-quality peanut butter and a lovely jam.” And that’s from a guy who makes a world class pasta dish. My tuna salad is another fantastic no-cook sandwich option. Add spoonsful of olive tapenade or giardiniera to make it even more divine. It’s delicious with gluten-free crackers, wonderful with bread, and if you’re of the opinion that toasting isn’t quite cooking, slightly toast yours and melt some cheese on top. 
Summer Breakfast
When it’s breakfast for just one or two, use whatever you have on hand, like cucumbers, tomatoes, or salad. Beautiful dishes and cloth napkins simply make food taste better. I’ve long been a gal who would prefer to serve on a lovely plate than a paper one, even in the summer. My dad always told us that it was far better to use our beautiful things and break them than to leave them in a cupboard unused and unbroken. I have certainly taken that to heart. When you want to keep it simple, there is nothing better than a delicious smoothie. Easy to blend together with almost no cleanup, they are so delicious, and satisfyingly cold. One of my favorite summer breakfasts is my Skyr Soft Serve, or skyr with fruit, stuffed into a half cantaloupe or papaya. What a great way to start the day!
Mini Cold Plate
However, if you’re looking for something that requires minimal cooking, and you really want that BLT, let’s not forget what perfection it is. And there’s always my legendary egg salad.
To keep the heat out of the kitchen, boil extra potatoes and grill some extra proteins at the beginning of the week, so that no-cook dinners are easy to assemble, because you’ll have plenty of choices. I asked a number of foodie friends for their favorite no-cook summer dinners, and I can’t wait to hear yours, too.
Teri Turner, founder, nocrumbsleft
Author:  No Crumbs Left, Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous
Podcaster:  nocrumbsleft Table Talks
Pottery Shop:
Inspiration From This Week's Contributors
Black Eyed Peas Salad
 Angela Davis's Black Eyed Peas Salad

Cold bean salads are often my solution when I need a quick, protein-packed meal without turning on the oven. My favorite recipe uses canned black eyed peas dressed in a smoky vinaigrette, along with tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Minimal prep, maximum flavor, and leftovers taste even better after an overnight chill in the fridge! Click here for the recipe.
Angela Davis, Private Chef

 Angela Davis
Watermelon Gazpacho
Alex's Watermelon Gazpacho
Every summer, I love making gazpacho, the traditional Spanish cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables. It’s refreshing, delicious, and it doesn’t get much healthier than a chilled bowl of fresh, blended veggies. Here, I’ve added watermelon for a touch of sweetness. It’s still very savory and has a little kick from the jalapeno. If you are a gazpacho lover like me, this Watermelon Gazpacho is a must-make! And it looks gorgeous in the nocrumbsleft bowl!
Alex Snodgrass, Founder/Creator of The Defined Dish
Alex Snodgrass
Fend for Yourself Night 
Anna and her family

At the Groves’ House, we have a “fend-for-yourself” night every week, encouraging the kids to find whatever leftovers are in the fridge. I make a big charcuterie board with three meats, three types of cheese, and three fruits. I tuck some pistachios into the empty places, and add some grain-free crackers, and we are good to go! We all sort of graze for the night and usually watch a movie as a family.
Anna Groves, Lifestyle Blogger

Smoked Fish: Fabulous No-Cook Dish
Stephanie's smoked salmon platter

As a family of adventurers, we love having smoked fish as an excellent base for no-cook camping meals, road trip meals, and lazy nights at home. Using smoked fish can be done so many ways, but a spread like this is absolutely the way to go! It feels fancy when beautifully displayed on my No Crumbs Left Platter, when in reality all we did was pop some gluten-free bread in the toaster and eat like queens.
Stephanie Vanlochem, Nutritionist and Whole30 Certified Coach


Stephanie runs an amazing virtual Whole30 Group twice a year for women all over the world. Click here to join her September group.

Stephanie and her family
Cold Noodles with Paleo "Peanut" Sauce

Low Carb Shirataki Noodles tossed with a wickedly delicious “peanut” sauce come together quickly for a dish that’s oh so creamy and nutty-delicious! Best of all, this recipe is no-cook! Great hot summer recipe because it’s super tasty served cold! You can also use zucchini noodles.

ChihYu Smith, Author
Check out ChihYu's cookbook, Asian Paleo  

Smashed Sandwich 
Diane's no-cook Smashed Sandwich

Toast the bread if desired. Spread one half with the bean smash and the other half with the avocado smash. Then layer heirloom tomatoes, cucumber ribbons, pea shoots and pickled onions. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with Green Goddess dressing. To keep this fabulous sandwich vegan, just enjoy it without the dressing!

Diane Morrisey, 

Diane Morrissey
Set a Beautiful Table

So happy to shine the light on Karl, who owns Posh, one of my favorite local businesses in Chicago.


Whether it's a multi-course feast or a no-cook meal, the magic that happens when people gather together and share a meal is the same, when it comes from the heart. To capture that magic, know that the more your table is a reflection of you, the more beautiful it will be! Look through your cupboard (or your mother's or grandmother's) and let the pieces tell their story, whether it's a set of dishes used only at holidays, glassware from the flea market, or cutlery that reminds you of a favorite bistro in Paris. The common thread that ties a mix and match place setting together is your personal history and love.

Karl Sorensen, Posh Shop Owner

Karl Sorensen
This Week in the Shop
Patrick Bowls

Here’s the inside story on the Patrick Bowl! Everyone loved the Platters, but we sensed a need for a side dish piece, a bowl perfect for asparagus or rice, something beautiful and functional for everyday dining. We have a lot of fun naming the pottery, and this one, quite frankly, we were about to call the vegan bowl, (in honor of my son Patrick) when my friend and food photographer Tim Turner said, “Let’s call it the Patrick Bowl!” and a star was born. We’ve had it in the classic colors Azul, Malachite, Oatmeal, Oatmeal Tie-dye, and Moondust, and now it’s available for pre-order in the Drippy Collection in Robyn’s Egg Blue, Pearl, Pearl Tie-dye, and Cherry Blossom.

Click here to view the shop and order yours.

This Week's Table Talks Podcast
S E1:  Dishing with Alex Snodgrass

In this week’s podcast, I talk to Alex Snodgrass @thedefineddish, best-selling cookbook author, social media influencer, mother, and a delightful human being as well. We break it down and dish it up in Episode 1 of Season 2.

Listen on:

Get the Cookbook
Claudia Gonzalez, Whole30/Paleo Specialty Chef

What a sweet story of Crumble love! We were delighted when Karen @karen_bruno_ reached out to us to purchase an Everything Bowl for her friend Claudia @cheffyclau of Model Meals, who, with five kids and two dogs, wasn’t planning to purchase one for herself—but she sure did want one! Claudia describes how absolutely moved she was by this heartfelt gesture HERE.

Order the Cookbook
If you want to be featured here with the cookbook, DM Teri and let her know.
Partner with Us

We are so fortunate to work with brands we absolutely love and truly believe in. If you are interested in joining the nocrumbsleft family as a brand partner, including sponsorship opportunities in the newsletter, weekly giveaways, or Table Talks podcast, contact us here to find out more.

This Week's Giveaway
Joanna modeling the apron
This dressy apron from Therma Kota is wonderful for serving guests at your special event or playing bartender at a party, and this week we are giving one away. Click below to enter.
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