Foods to keep in your kitchen for no-cook summer meals


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When the temperature tips toward 105 degrees, you probably don’t feel like preheating the oven or even warming up a skillet. Calling in piles of lo mein might seem like your only option, but don’t give in; a kitchen stocked with just a few no-cook standbys can save you from an unhealthy takeout fate.

Add these nutritious and flavorful ingredients to a basic salad or wrap sandwich for a healthy dinner that will make you forget all about Hot Pockets and takeout.

Rotisserie chicken: Buy a precooked chicken at the grocery store, cut it up and pop it in the fridge to cool quickly for summery salads or wraps.

Precooked shrimp: Most seafood counters offer this low-fat, protein-rich seafood. They’re delicious dressed just with salt and pepper or Old Bay seasoning.

Chickpeas: The fiber in these healthy beans make you feel full. Throw a can in the blender with a chopped clove of garlic and a tablespoon of lemon juice for quick and easy hummus, or add them to a salad. Check out these six different hummus recipes — including classic hummus, garlic and sundried tomato hummus, and spinach artichoke hummus — if you feel like getting creative.

Heirloom tomatoes: If you get the chance at the farmers market, try one of these specially bred tomatoes. They tend to be more flavorful and can kick your salad or sandwich up a notch.

Mint leaves: Add these to a salad or sandwich for cool, refreshing flavor.

Balsamic vinegar: A healthier alternative to salad dressings that’s high in antioxidants.

Black beans: Enjoy a filling, no-cook Mexican meal with a can of black beans, salsa and avocado in a tortilla.

Avocado: Reap the benefits of monounsaturated fats by making easy guacamole or adding sliced avocado to any sandwich or salad.