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Summertime No-Cook Meals


Keep your cool this summer with these no-cook summertime dishes that are simple, delicious, and packed with all the sunny season flavours we know and love—and a few you’ll want to get acquainted with!

We all love these lazy, sun-drenched summer days. It’s the perfect time for relaxing and soaking up the great outdoors. But the last thing we need is to be hot and bothered in the kitchen. Keep your cool this summer with no-cook summertime dishes.

These no-fuss meal ideas are designed for maximum flavour with minimal effort. From our delicious vanilla fruit dip for grazing and exciting chai lemonade for cooling to our uniquely flavoured, endlessly versatile three-pea salad and nourishing rainbow bowls, you can stay refreshed from prep to dessert.

Share all the al fresco fun by inviting your kids into the kitchen to help with the prep. (They don’t need to know it means less work for you!)


Chocolate Espresso Banana Ice Cream

Chocolate Espresso Banana Ice Cream
Mango Chai Lemonade

Need a midday break? This delicious spiced lemonade is the perfect pick-me-up for a quick afternoon reset. The beautiful warm spices we typically associate with the colder months don’t need to be forgotten in the summer. They pair beautifully with tropical fruits such as mango or papaya and can be enjoyed year-round. A fruity herbal tea also would work perfectly for a simple caffeine-free version.

Vanilla Fruit Dip

This beautiful, tasty, and vegetable-packed ceviche makes the perfect appetizer for friends on a warm summer evening. The vegetables are so perfectly uplifted by the tangy citrus and aromatic herbs, you won’t even notice the fish is missing.

Vegetable Ceviche

This beautiful, tasty, and vegetable-packed ceviche makes the perfect appetizer for friends on a warm summer evening. The vegetables are so perfectly uplifted by the tangy citrus and aromatic herbs, you won’t even notice the fish is missing.

Three-Pea Salad with Burrata and Dukkah

Peas are a beautiful, bright reminder of summer, so this salad is the perfect side dish for a summer barbecue, or a light, fresh lunch. Peas are naturally sweet, so they’re a favourite with kids. The nuttiness of the dukkah adds flavour to the simple and subtle dressing, while the burrata provides depth, creaminess, and an element of decadence suitable for a lazy summer day.

Rainbow Nourish Bowls

Challenge your whole family to create a rainbow in their bowls, and you’ll be sure to kick their nutrient levels sky high! Add a creative flair and keep these nourish bowls innovative by switching up the vegetables and proteins each time you prepare them.




Truth Teller

Get J-C Poirier talking about food, and the word “honest” will be sprinkled throughout the conversation like the Diamond Crystal kosher salt the Michelin-starred chef uses in the kitchen of his Quebecois bistro, St. Lawrence, in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Honest food Poirier’s favourite food is “honest food.” As a culinarian, and one paying homage to his French-Canadian heritage, he’s all about “being honest with his food.” But unlike the opaque marketing buzzword that “honest” has become in the food world, Poirier applies it with earnestness to the cooking that inspires him and that he hopes to encourage in others, including with his recently released cookbook, Where the River Narrow s (Appetite by Random House, 2022) . “What I mean is, you’ve got to be attentive to yourself as a chef or as a cook. It comes by knowing yourself and your background, and where you come from,” Poirier says. “Being honest is offering a part of who you are. That’s how I know the difference between good cooking and great cooking.” Honest roots Poirier comes by his greatness at cooking, well, honestly. All apron strings lead back to his bon vivant mother, who was as convivial as she was creative in the kitchen of the family’s Saint-Jérôme, Quebec, home. She bought local and stretched a dollar. She also pushed boundaries with the young taste buds around the table, exposing Poirier to quinoa before it became a household grain and making her own tofu. Honest training The magic of cooking and gathering over a meal compelled Poirier to eventually enrol in culinary school. He spent a year training in classical French techniques before putting them to the test in the storied Les Remparts in Old Montreal. Poirier was drawn to the physical aspect of cooking, but like many young people forging their own path, he was eventually lured away from the place that reared him. Vancouver beckoned. After stints at Rob Feenie’s Lumière, and even in his own Italian-inspired dining rooms and eateries, a meal in Paris inspired Poirier to get back to his roots in the kitchen. In 2017, he opened St. Lawrence, a cozy 40-seat space that’s like “entering my grandma’s house.” “It’s being authentic to myself,” he says. Honest legacy Poirier retraces his professional journey and personal growth in < Where the River Narrows > using recipes that channel timeless and foundational French and Quebecois cooking techniques, and a more relaxed Poirier at home. If he’s being honest, Poirier hopes the book will be a legacy to share with his two young daughters, Aïla and Florence. It also serves as a business card for a restaurant that’s earning prestigious accolades, including Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year by Vancouver Magazine . Last fall, dining authority Michelin bestowed one of its coveted stars upon St. Lawrence, too. Honest values That success can be linked to the professional values Poirier upholds in addition to raw talent. He leads by healthy example, eschewing alcohol, especially on the job, and espousing work-life balance by opening St. Lawrence only four days a week. He also offers employment benefits, including four weeks of vacation every year. His staff stay, and success follows honestly. Looking ahead, Poirier knows only that he will stay true—to himself and his craft. “I’ll just keep going forward and try to be me,” he says. “And my team? Try to be better and better every day at what we do, and the rest will come.” Key ingredients Quality over quantity is as much a mantra for J-C Poirier as honesty, especially when it comes to ingredients. That’s why he encourages home cooks to splurge on premium options. They make a significant difference to the end result, he argues, and because of their quality, you’ll need less of them, too, extending their value. Poirier’s essential top-shelf ingredients grass-fed, cultured butter organic all-purpose flour for baking; whole wheat, buckwheat, and Red Fife flours for bread making top-notch oils for a variety of purposes, including grapeseed oil for cooking, first-pressed canola oil for salad dressing, and extra-virgin olive oil for finishing dishes Diamond Crystal kosher salt for seasoning food and Maldon sea salt for a finishing touch to add texture high quality vinegars, including red wine, balsamic, and apple cider Cooking for the health of it French food doesn’t always conjure healthy eating. After all, the French eat four times as much butter and 60 percent more cheese than the average American. There are health-conscious ways to stay true to both your inner gastronome and the cuisine, however. For J-C Poirier, it’s cooking with emotion, logic, and love, and remembering the following. Less is more “I don’t need a 10 ounce piece of beef. I need maybe four or five, and a really high quality,” Poirier says. “I pay the price for it, but I just eat less.” Eat the seasons “In the summer, I will buy all the vegetables from the farm,” he explains. “When it’s asparagus season, we eat asparagus. In the winter, we eat potatoes and parsnips and sunchokes.” Cook for yourself—and from scratch “A lot of people buy processed food, and that has a higher amount of salt or sugar than if I start from scratch and control what I put in there.” Watch your fat Use high-end, pure versions of butter and cooking oils rather than refined options or those cut with other ingredients that could negatively impact health. “It’s being a little more aware, I think, of what people are buying,” Poirier says. Excerpted from < Where the River Narrows: Classic French & Nostalgic Québécois Recipes From St. Lawrence Restaurant > by Jean-Christophe Poirier. Written with Joie Alvaro Kent. Copyright © 2022 Jean- Christophe Poirier. Cover and book design by Jennifer Griffiths. Photography by Brit Gill, except page 148. Photo on page 8 by Amy Ho. Photos on pages 2, 5, and 6 courtesy of the author. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin