A summer dream come true: Raquel Pelzel’s quick no-cook menu: Avocado-Crab Rolls; Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ With Herbs; Heirloom Tomatoes, Cannellini Beans and Snap Peas; Lentils With Hot-Smoked Salmon; No-Bake Coconutter Fudge Bars. Get the recipe links, below. (Jennifer Chase/For The Washington Post)

I used to have all the time in the world to make dinner. See, I was a freelance food writer, and it was my job to obsess about what to cook, how to cook it and how to frame it for an Instagram post. Then I did something crazy — took a full-time legit job as editorial director at cookbook publisher Clarkson Potter. And now . . . those languid days of dinner dreaming are gone, baby, gone.

Even though I cook all the time, I am now one of those single moms who think — on my commute home — about the fastest way to get dinner on the table for my two hungry boys. Typically, I might turn to a baking sheet to roast, braise or bake my way to a one-pan dinner in one clean swoop, as it is efficient, easy and the subject of my next book.

But the weather is steamy, so no-cook dinner, here I come! No stove top, no grill — recipes that are the holy grail of sticky nights like these. Not only will you stay cool and composed, but you also can have the whole meal on the table in 40 minutes, including a no-bake dessert. (Spoiler alert: You do need to melt chocolate in the microwave.)

Here’s a menu’s worth of dead-simple yet sophisticated recipes to see you through the hottest of days.

Pelzel’s “Sheet Pan Suppers: Meatless” will be released in October. She will join Wednesday’s Free Range chat at noon: live.washingtonpost.com.


(Jennifer Chase/For The Washington Post)

Avocado-Crab Rolls

(Jennifer Chase/For The Washington Post)

Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ With Herbs

(Jennifer Chase/For The Washington Post)

Heirloom Tomatoes, Cannellini Beans and Snap Peas

(Jennifer Chase/For The Washington Post)

Lentils With Hot-Smoked Salmon

(Jennifer Chase/For The Washington Post)

No-Bake Coconutter Fudge Bars

More no-cook recipes

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