Keep Cool: A Whole Week of No-Cook Sides

When it comes to favorite sides, we're on a no-cook kick. That means no stove, no oven, no grill, no Bunsen burner. Rather than charring, boiling or sauteing veggies down, we’re digging into a week’s worth of no-cook sides that’ll breathe serious life into your weekly repertoire. Call it your last-minute “raw” cleanse before swim suit season, or just think it as a way of keeping things ultra-fresh.

Despite its name, Pinto Bean Salsa Salad (pictured above) is more than just a condiment. Instead, it’s a chunky, spicy and colorful combination that’s good even without a tortilla chip.

Some of the best no-cook sides just take some avid knife work. Take the Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad. After slicing the ingredients up, all there’s left to do is toss in an easy red-wine vinaigrette.

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TU-0503 Watermelon Gazpacho,WATERMELON_GAZPACHO_H_.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

The inventor of the soup-and-salad combo was really onto something. Soup works so well as a side that you can’t let the warmer weather stop you this summer. Tyler’s refreshing Watermelon Gazpacho ensures your side-of-soup ways will stay in play this summer.

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Food Styling: Karen Evans

Photo by: Kang Kim

Kang Kim

Turn to your mandoline for a fruity No-Cook Beet-Orange Salad by Food Network Magazine. Alongside a more savory main, it’s a great way to put the last of those extra-juicy in-season oranges to use.

Food Network's Carrot, Date and Feta Salad

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

With the help of your vegetable peeler, you can turn Carrot, Date and Feta Salad into the most elegant no-cook side of all. Despite their ethereal wispiness, the long, shaved carrots keep their crunch thanks to this winning dinner-party trick.

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Bobby_Flay_Fit_Zucchini_Salad.tif

Bobby Flay's Zucchini Salad

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Rather than clinging to lettuce for a dose of green, Bobby tosses his light and healthy Zucchini Salad with fresh flat-leaf parsley, basil and mint leaves.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

It’ll be backyard barbecue season in no time. Alex’s Tomato and Watermelon Salad embodies the bounty of summer in every bite.

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I know I love the cooling effect that a mid-summer Mojito has on my system but I didn’t realize that mint in general is a great antidote to hot weather. It makes sense, considering how popular mint tea is in arid countries like Egypt and Morocco. I’m not sure I’ll be drinking hot mint tea anytime soon but I’ll definitely be adding this soothing herb to my summer fare.

Keep Cooked Rice on Hand

Leftover rice comes in handy when you're throwing together a quick dish, like the Food Network Magazine's Corn Fried Rice, or when you need to bulk up a stir-fry or soup.

No-Lettuce Salads That Keep You Full

You won't find a leaf of lettuce in these hearty and satisfying salads.