Intro to Cooking: Too Hot to Cook!

As we approach the end of July, the muggiest days of summer are upon us, which for many means it’s simply too hot to cook.  But before you reach for your pint of Ben and Jerry’s for a meal replacement (dairy has protein, right?), Intro to Cooking is here to remind you that there ARE oven-free recipes for a balanced meal. This week, I’ve got three favorites to tempt your taste buds (and keep those stove tops stone cold).

The Chocolate Cherry Bomb Shake

Created by Kristen of Kristen’s Raw, this vegan delight is PACKED with 35 grams of protein! Sayonara, steak; this shake takes the cake!


1 cup water
1 banana, chopped

1 cup frozen cherries
1/4 cup hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons raw chocolate powder
splash vanilla extract

Simply add all ingredients to a blender and blend till smooth!

Frozen Banana Bites

When the mercury skyrockets, so does the human desire to shove one’s head in the freezer. But to make your trip worthwhile, why not whip up a few of these frozen treats? (Just try keeping yourself from wolfing down all of them at once!)  Thanks, Bon Appetit!


3 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into bite size slices
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons canola oil
Assorted toppings for coating bananas (such as crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, toffee bits, chopped Butterfinger candy bars, chopped salted peanuts, or toasted shredded coconut)


1. Stir chocolate and oil in small saucepan over low heat just until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes to cool.
2. Place each topping in separate dish. Line baking sheet with foil. Arrange banana slices on foil. Using fingers, dip 1 banana slice in chocolate, coating completely. Shake off excess chocolate. Drop dipped banana in 1 topping. Using clean hand, sprinkle more topping over banana to coat; transfer to foil-lined sheet.
3. Repeat with remaining bananas, chocolate, and toppings. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours, then serve.

Pantry Gazpacho

This traditional Spanish soup is usually served cold–perfect to get your dose of veggies without breaking a sweat! And true to it’s name, the Pantry Gazpacho recipe is made from non-perishables easily found in many kitchens. What’s not to love?


14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 red onion, chopped
11 oz. can corn, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 cups vegetable cocktail juice (like V-8)
6 oz. can tiny shrimp, drained
1 cup garlic croutons


In a large glass bowl, combine all ingredients except croutons and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to blend flavors or serve immediately. Top with croutons before serving. Serves 5.

Channeling My Inner Susie Homemaker
Channeling My Inner Susie Homemaker
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