As we all try to keep up with our homebound hunger games feeding our gangs all day long, we know many of you are looking for a bit of a vacation from using your ovens. As much as we love cooking, we could use a break too! So we’ve rounded up some of our favourite No Cooking Required Family Recipes & food plates we hope you’ll enjoy & get some much needed reprieve from the stove. We’ll keep adding to it as the time in isolation is indefinite and the warmer temps creep in where we’d rather be outdoors then in the cucina.
Before we began our adventures in parenthood, Andrew and I did a whirl around Italy & learned to make this rustic Tuscan salad during a stop at a vineyard in Tuscany. There are many variations of this simple dish, but it starts with using up stale bread and building it with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, red wine vinegar & herbs like fresh basil. Fresh buffalo mozzarella is a bonus, but not essential.
Tuscan Panzanella Salad
- large salad bowl
- 1/2 loaf stale italian bread cut into chunks/cubes
- 2 medium tomatoes any you have on hand, diced or about 8-10 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil enough to generously coat the ingredients
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar half as much as the oil you've used
- 1 ball buffalo mozzarella tear into small chunks (*substitute with whatever fresh cheese you have on hand, like bocconcini)
- 4 leaves fresh basil chopped, to taste (or used dried basil)
- coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste
- freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese to taste
- Add stale bread chunks to a bowl filled with a bit of water. Swish around about 10 seconds then remove & add to your salad bowl.
- Grab your tomatoes, squeeze out juices into your salad bowl then add in.
- Add your red onion, buffalo mozzarella & basil.
- Drizzle olive oil and pinches of salt & pepper to taste. Toss well, cover & refrigerate about an hour to let flavours mix together a bit more. *Refrigeration is optional - we've also enjoyed this one immediately after prep* Sprinkle with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese just before serving. Buon appetito! TAG: @House_of_Kerrs #LaCucinadiKerrs on IG if you try!
2. Burrata Plate
At least one night a week we’ve been making a bunch of simple appys for dinner instead of a big meal. The burrata plate is one of our favourites for date nights in, but now on repeat during isolation. Modify as you wish with your family’s own favourite toppings & serve with fresh bread…YUM!
Burrata Shared Plate Appetizer
- Food board or long plate/platter
- 1 ball fresh burrata
- spring mix greens *enough to cover area around the burrata ball*
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic glaze
- roasted red peppers *jarred*
- mix of olives
- pickled beets
- Place the burrata in the centre of your board/plate. Add enough spring mix lettuce to surround it and fill the plate.
- Add & arrange roasted red peppers, olives & beets.
- Drizzle olive oil & balsamic glaze & top with coarse salt + ground black pepper, to taste.
- Serve with your favourite sliced artisan bread or pre-made crisps. Buon appetito!
3. The Crudité
A crudité a day keeps the constant snack asks at bay! Fill a large platter with all your gang’s favourite things – veggies, deli meats, cheeses, bread sticks, pita & dips – and take a night off of cooking with a family picnic.
4. Mediterranean Chickpea Village Salad
Using our homemade Greek dressing, you can make this no fuss village salad including chickpeas to keep bellies full with a protein punch. For kids who don’t like the dressing, just set aside all the fixins for a veg & protein plate. Serve this one with pita as a meal, or make extra & pair it with BBQ meats when you feel like cooking things up again.
Mediterranean Chickpea Village Salad
- large salad bowl
- 1 cucumber diced in large chunks
- 2 medium tomatoes diced in large chunks
- 1 red pepper chopped in chunks
- 1/2 red onion chopped in chunks
- 1 can Chick peas rinsed & drained
- fresh parsley or arugula chopped, to taste
- 3/4 cup feta cheese in brine or other
Greek Dressing - double up ingredients to have extra on-hand
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove fresh garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 pinch each coarse salt & ground black pepper
- Dressing: add all ingredients to a small bowl & whisk or use a dressing emulsifier.
- Salad: throw all of your chopped veggies, feta in a large salad bowl. Add dressing, toss & finish with parsley/arugula. Refrigerate or serve immediately. Pairs nicely with fresh pita bread and/or BBQ meats! Enjoy!
5. Mediterranean Tuna Lettuce Wraps
Using the Mediterranean Chickpea Village Salad recipe above, but chopping the veggies a bit more, add a can of tuna & our Greek dressing and voila! You’ve got another simple recipe! Scoop the ingredients onto leaves of romaine lettuce, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley or arugula & serve. A squeeze of lemon over top tastes nice a fresh if you fancy. Easy-peasy and we love this one for lunches or even a light dinner.
Other No Cooking Required Recipes We Love:
Make THIS Traditional version, or forget fancy & give our Messy Caprese a try (chop tomatoes, rip apart fresh buffalo mozzarella & throw it on top of mixed greens or arugula. Drizzle with balsamic reduction + extra virgin olive oil and pinch of coarse salt + ground black pepper! DEE-LISH!
Try our homemade Greek dressing & simple salad. This one’s on repeat all Spring/Summer around here whether served with just Pita + tzatziki or the perfect addition to your grilled meats. RECIPE HERE
Probably my favourite thing to make with leftover asparagus, just roll it in prosciutto on an angle, drizzle with balsamic glaze & enjoy!
This 5 Bean Medley Salad is a modified version of Nana’s tasty batch she always whips up for our family BBQs. We’re missing those lots, so I made this one with our little ones for last weekend’s BBQ at home. Press “PLAY” on the video below to watch how to make it!
Snacks aren’t just for kids – this is one of mine & DadChef’s faves for date nights in. Slice your favourite Italian loaf on an angle & layer with ricotta cheese, arugula, thinly sliced prosciutto + fresh fig, then drizzle with balsamic glaze…dee-lish!
We’ll keep adding to this post for more no-cook food inspo, and also have video how-tos over on IGTV & Youtube we’ll be adding to in our No-Cook Recipe series. If you have a family recipe we need to try, reply in comments or send to email@example.com!
Keep well, eat well!