5 No-Cook Meal Prep Ideas
There's absolutely no heat required for these make-ahead dishes, which you can pre-assemble and store in your fridge—then just grab and go (and enjoy a healthy breakfast or lunch!).
By Lynn Andriani
The Insta-Vacation You Can Take Without Going Anywhere
Stirring a bunch of oats into a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt and letting them sit in the fridge overnight is one of the best "cooking" shortcuts we know. Plus, it results in a custard-like dish that tastes impressively rich. This creamy bowl includes a topping of sliced banana; pieces of coconut; crunchy, shelled hemp seeds; and, just a bit of chopped dark chocolate. Think tropical beach (straw hat optional).
Get the recipe: Coconut, Banana, Oats and Hemp Seeds
A Leafy Salad That Tastes Better with Age
We know all about kale's impressive list of nutrients (iron, vitamin A, lutein and omega-3, just to name a few). But there's another reason to love the dark, leafy green: It's hearty enough to stand up to dressings that would wilt romaine or other lettuces, so you can prep it ahead of time and it'll still taste delicious (or even better) when served. This salad also includes colorful beets and sweet potatoes, shredded raw, so there's no need to cook them.
Get the recipe: Winter Kale Slaw
The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Indian-Spiced Dish
This chickpea salad is lightly flavored with curry—just enough to give it character without overpowering the dish. And there are plenty of options for serving it, from scooping it into leaves of Boston or bibb lettuce, to stuffing it in a whole grain pita or eating it with crackers. The best part: It keeps in the fridge for three to four days.
Get the recipe: Curried Chickpea Salad
The Veggie Bowl That Looks Like a Party
Making a mixed-vegetable "couscous" is an unexpected technique for using up whatever you have on hand in your fridge (plus, it makes a nutritious alternative to traditional, wheat-based couscous). This recipe calls for a spectrum of different-colored vegetables, including bell peppers, sweet potatoes, baby corn, kale, beets, carrots, red cabbage, broccoli and radishes, blitzing them in a food processor until they're the size of grains of rice (or, more precisely, couscous). The confetti-like mixture is delicious on its own, or with whatever dressing you'd like.
Get the recipe: Rainbow Vegetable "Couscous"
A Yogurt-Based Lunch That Proves There's a Whole World Beyond Granola Out There
Plain Greek yogurt continues to amaze us with its versatility
, and the thick, tangy protein-rich food goes especially well with spice. To wit: this savory lunch parfait, which combines the dairy-aisle staple with za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend you can buy or easily make yourself. The dish also includes hummus, chickpeas and lemon juice; as well as pita chips for dipping. (If you don't want to bake your own, you can use store-bought chips and just sprinkle some za'atar on top.)
Get the recipe: Mason-Jar Savory Yogurt-Parfait