Easy No-Cook Dishes For Warming Spring Days

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It is the time of year to gather an armload of irises and lilacs, bring them into your home and not only enjoy the beautiful colors, but the wonderful sweet aroma.

Did you know that the colors of purple and violet have powerful healing abilities? They represent oneness with the creator, devotion, loving kindness, love-wisdom, deep compassion, gentleness and high spirituality.

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Pick up a rotisserie chicken and some fresh peaches and salad greens at the store on your way home from work and you have the basics of a flavorful and healthy no-cook supper.

Bringing into your life this gift from Mother Earth can only enhance your surroundings. Make sure to give them fresh water and trim tips to keep them healthy.

You can also make a swag with lilacs once they begin to wilt. Tie them together with branches facing down and put in a shaded area to dry; to help it keep its colors, spray with acrylic to last longer.

Today, I share with you a collection of no-cook, stove-free recipes: tuna and chickpea salad with pesto, chicken and peach platter, herbed tuna in tomato and a wonderful aromatic cantaloupe soup with prosciutto and mozzarella sandwiches.

Tuna and Chickpea Salad with Pesto

Hands-on time: 15 minutes; total time: 15 minutes; serves 6

2, 15.5-ounce cans (3 cups) chickpeas, roughly chopped

1, 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced

24 black olives, pitted and roughly chopped

2 stalks celery, thickly sliced

3, 6-ounce cans tuna, drained

5 tablespoons store-bought pesto

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

6 sprigs fresh basil (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, red peppers, olives, celery, tuna, pesto, salt and black pepper. Divide among individual plates. Garnish with the basil (if using).

Chicken and Peach Platter

Hands-on time: 20 minutes; total time: 20 minutes; serves 6

2 heads romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1-inch strips

1 store bought rotisserie chicken, meat thinly sliced

2 ripe peaches (peeled, if desired), roughly chopped

3 ounces (3/4 cup) bleu cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup (2 ounces) almonds, roughly chopped

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Arrange, the lettuce, chicken, peaches, cheese and almonds on a platter. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss.

Herbed Tuna in Tomatoes

Hands-on time: 20 minutes; total time: 20 minutes; serves 6

6 large tomatoes

3, 6-ounce cans tuna, drained

3 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin oil

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

With a paring knife, remove the stem end from each tomato. Scoop out the seeds and pulp and transfer them to a bowl. Add the tuna, capers, parsley, lemon zest and juice, oil, and pepper to the bowl and combine. Spoon this mixture carefully into the hollowed-out tomatoes.

Cantaloupe Soup with Prosciutto and Mozzarella Sandwiches

Hands-on time: 25 minutes; total time: 25 minutes; serves 6

2 baguettes

2, 8-ounce balls fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced

1/2 pound sliced prosciutto

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cantaloupes - chilled, halved, and seeded

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

16 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced

Cut each baguette in half lengthwise, then in thirds crosswise. Layer the mozzarella and prosciutto on the bottom of each baguette portion. Drizzle with the oil and sandwich with the baguette tops, set aside. In a blender, puree the cantaloupe and salt. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with the pepper and mint. Serve with the sandwiches.

No-Cook Chicken Salad Burritos

1 cup shredded meat from rotisserie chicken

1 small cucumber

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar, Swiss or Mexican blend cheese

3 tablespoons creamy buttermilk salad dressing (ranch dressing made with buttermilk)

4, 7-inch flour tortillas

1/2 cup shredded lettuce

Put shredded chicken in mixing bowl.

Cut cucumber in half and put half in plastic wrap, bag or food storage bowl and refrigerate for later use. Slice cucumber half in half again, length-wise, then chop into small pieces.Combine cucumber pieces, cheese and dressing with chicken, mixing well.

Put a quarter of the mixture on each tortilla, top with a quarter of the lettuce. Roll tortilla and enjoy.

Serves 2

Marinated Vegetable Salad Recipe

5 minutes preparation time; serves 8

1 cup broccoli florets

1 green pepper

1 cup cauliflower

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup baby carrots

1 ounce ranch dressing mix

2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white vinegar

Chop broccoli, peppers and cauliflower into bite-sized chunks.

Mix broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, whole cherry tomatoes and baby carrots in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk ranch dressing, oil and vinegar until thoroughly mixed.

Pour dressing over veggies and toss until coated.

Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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