Cold dinner recipes for when it's too hot to cook

Sometimes it's just too hot to cook. Dietitian Meridan Zerner from the Cooper Clinic stopped by Good Day to share some cold dinner ideas.

Fresh Shrimp and Avocado Nachos

4 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 tomatillos, husked and chopped
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound peeled and deveined cooked shrimp (31-40 per pound), coarsely chopped
2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and pitted, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
8 cups tortilla chips
1 cup shredded lettuce

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, onion, cilantro, oil, 1 tablespoon lime juice, vinegar, garlic, sea salt and oregano. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes. Stir in shrimp.

For avocado cream, mash 1 avocado with sour cream and 1 tablespoon lime juice until smooth. Cube remaining avocado and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice.

To serve, arrange chips on a large platter. Top with shrimp mixture, cubed avocado, lettuce and avocado cream. Serve immediately.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps 

1 Tablespoon avocado oil (olive or coconut oil would work well too)
1 lb. ground chicken (we grind raw chicken breast or chicken thighs in our food processor)
6–8 oz. white, button or baby bella mushrooms, finely minced
1 (8oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and minced
2 green onions, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4–1/3 cup coconut aminos, GF tamari, or soy sauce
Optional: 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Lettuce leaves (butter lettuce, romaine hearts, or iceberg lettuce work well)
Cilantro (optional)
Your favorite dipping sauce

1/4 cup. dijon mustard
1/4 cup. coconut aminos, gluten-free tamari, or soy sauce
A few dashes of chili oil or sriracha if you want a little kick.
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Prepare the filling by heating the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until fully cooked all the way through, about 6-8 minutes.

Add mushrooms, water chestnuts, and green onions. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until mushrooms are softened.

Add ginger, garlic, and 4 Tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari or soy sauce) and sesame oil (if using) and cook 1 minute longer, stirring to coat chicken mixture.

Add additional sauce as desired (remember you don’t want it too wet, or it will make eating your lettuce wraps a very messy, soggy experience).

Scoop meat mixture onto lettuce cups. Top with cilantro, if desired, and your favorite dipping sauce.

In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, tamari/coconut aminos, and a few drops of chili oil or sriracha to taste. (If this feels too salty, feel free to dilute with a bit of water.) Spoon sauce over the lettuce wraps and enjoy!

BLT Chicken Salad Avocado Cups

2 avocados (halved, and pits removed)
1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup baby tomatoes, halved or quartered
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 green onion, sliced
2–3 Tbsp fresh cilantro or basil
3–4 Tbsp mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 Tbsp)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, mix together chicken, tomatoes, bacon, green onion, herbs, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt and pepper. Taste and add additional lime juice, salt or pepper as desired.

Scoop chicken over avocado halves and serve! (You can also dice up the avocado, mix it into the chicken salad, and serve with crackers, chips, or wrap it in a tortilla or gluten-free wrap.)