Spring Fest: 4 Reasons Not to Turn on Your Oven

By: Emily Lee



Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

With temperatures heating up, get ready for an al fresco meal without turning up the heat: These quick no-cook sides are perfect for a picnic on a warm spring day.

Ellie's no-cook salad truly does come together in five minutes, combines fresh, seasonal ingredients with protein-packed beans. The lot is mixed with her simple homemade vinaigrette and a handful of torn basil leaves for that from-the-garden taste.


Toss chickpeas with spinach leaves for a quick and refreshing springtime lunch. A light, tangy dressing — made with olive oil, cumin, cayenne, lemon juice and zest — holds the chickpeas together. If the heat from the cumin and cayenne is too much, try drizzling the salad with a blend of orange juice, honey and yogurt instead.




Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2009, Jeremiah Alley. 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2009, Jeremiah Alley. 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Why toss out a slightly stale baguette when you can turn it into a hearty vegetarian side or filling vegetarian entree? This classic is light and easy, without needing an oven. Combine chunks of the bread with a blend of  seasonal vegetables, then add oil and vinegar just before digging in. Basil leaves from the garden make a perfect, fresh garnish.

Alton Brown Carrot Slaw



Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Instead of using the typical julienne for his slaw, Alton breaks out the vegetable peeler, shaving his carrots into long, thin ribbons, which look lovely piled high in a bowl. For added sweetness, combine the ribbons with pineapple and raisins. A quick toss in a curry-and-mayonnaise dressing holds it all together.

More No-Cook Ideas from Family and Friends:
Weelicious: Lemony Quinoa Salad
Jeanette's Healthy Living: "Mixed Bag" Kale Salad
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Creamy Mango Pudding
Dishin & Dishes: Herbed Yogurt Cheese
Virtually Homemade: Frozen Raspberry Cheesecake

Next Up

Spring Fest: 6 Easy Easter Sides

Get recipes for spring vegetables like asparagus and peas with these side dishes from Cooking Channel.

Quick Onion Tarts for Spring Entertaining

Use foods from your fridge and pantry to turn puff pastry into these easy appetizers -- small, savory tarts -- with this recipe from Cooking Channel.

Pineapple Quesitos: A Spring Breakfast (or Dessert) Treat

Make pineapple quesitos, the popular Puerto Rican pastry filled with sweetened cream cheese and various fruits, with this recipe from Cooking Channel.

Feast Your Eyes on 4 Roasted Carrot Recipes

Get roasted carrot recipes for side dishes, easy appetizers and salads from chefs and hosts like Tiffani Thiessen and Giada De Laurentiis on Cooking Channel.

Crowd-Peasing Recipes Using 3 Varieties of Spring Peas

Get easy Spring peas recipes and ideas for appetizers, side dishes and entrees using English peas, snap peas and snow peas on Cooking Channel.


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