No Cook Meals for Seniors to Beat the Heat

No Cook Meals for Seniors to Beat the Heat

Baby, it’s hot outside! Summer brings wonderful opportunities for seniors to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. But there are definitely days when there’s just a little too much heat that can negatively impact senior health.

While it’s clear that being outside in the hot sun and high temperatures can easily lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration, sometimes being inside the house can be stifling, too.

Heat is no joke: according to Harvard Medical School, almost 1,000 people died in the 2021 heatwave in the Pacific Northwest, and the vast majority of those were seniors.1

But why are the elderly more prone to dealing with heat-related illnesses or even life-threatening situations due to high temperatures? There are a few reasons that make the elderly more susceptible:

·        According to the National Council on Aging, nearly 95% of elderly people have chronic conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure, and heat can exacerbate the problems those conditions bring.2

·        Our bodies become less efficient at handling the heat as we get older, meaning that an elderly person would feel heat exhaustion sooner than a younger person might.

·        Some medications that seniors might be taking, such as diuretics, can make it more difficult to handle the heat.

·        As we age, our thirst signals begin to diminish. If you aren’t feeling thirsty, you might not remember to drink enough water. That leads to dehydration, and when you add in extreme heat, the combination can be deadly.

·        Many seniors are socially isolated and have mobility issues. This could mean that they might have trouble finding the help they need if their air conditioning goes out or if they need assistance during a heat wave.

If you wind up in a situation where the heat is too much to handle, it’s vitally important to reach out for help. Senior alert systems are a great way to ensure that you get the help you need, when you need it. Though a personal emergency response solution is often seen as a way to protect yourself from the consequences of falls, it’s a great option for any other sort of accident or emergency, including problems with handling the heat.

Recipes for Keeping Cool this Summer

When the world starts to heat up, the last thing you want to do is contribute to the high temperatures. According to Dominate Kitchen, using your oven can drive the household temperature up by as much as five degrees Fahrenheit.3 This might not seem like much, but it can be the difference between a safe household temperature and an unsafe one.

Choosing recipes that don’t require using the oven at all are a great way to keep the heat down and provide you with good meals that have a fresh flavor. Besides that, they are simple, delicious, and quick! Here are some great no-cook recipes for seniors to get you started.


This classic, refreshing soup isn’t just great for an easy no-cook meal. It’s loaded with good nutrition. Use well-ripened heirloom tomatoes for the most impressive flavor.

·        2 cups low-sodium tomato juice

·        4 large tomatoes, peeled and very finely chopped

·        1 small cucumber, seeded, peeled, and very finely chopped

·        1/3 cup onion, very finely chopped

·        ¼ cup olive oil

·        ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

·        2 tsps. sugar

·        A pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large non-reactive bowl (do not use stainless steel). Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.

Cobb Salad Wraps

These take the classic summer salad and dress it up in a healthy wrap. Look for spinach wraps for added flavor and healthy vitamins. These can be made ahead of time for lunch the next day; just wrap them well in cling wrap and put them in the fridge until you’re hungry.

·        2 spinach tortillas (10-inch works great)

·        ¼ cup blue cheese dressing

·        1 cup canned, cooked chicken

·        1 cup lettuce of your choice

·        1 tomato, sliced thin

·        4 bacon strips, cooked crisp

·        1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced thin

·        3-4 black olives, sliced into rounds

·        1-2 tbsps. crumbled blue cheese

Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds to loosen them up if necessary. Spread the dressing over the tortillas. Layer the other ingredients on top of the tortilla, roll them up, and enjoy!

Cucumber Chicken Pitas

This cool summer treat will have your friends and family asking for seconds! This unique recipe allows you to switch out the veggies for whatever you might enjoy more or simply have on hand (for instance, feel free to switch out the olives for broccoli or the red pepper for mushrooms). If you want to go meatless with this one, substitute the chicken with crushed garbanzo beans or your favorite flavor of hummous.

·        2 cups canned, cooked chicken breast

·        1 large cucumber, seeded, quartered, and sliced thin

·        10-12 ripe olives, sliced into rounds

·        1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped fine

·        1 sweet red pepper, chopped fine

·        ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

·        ¼ cup red onion, chopped very fine

·        12 pita-pocket halves


·        ½ cup ranch dressing

·        ¼ cup mayonnaise

·        1-2 tbsps. creamy Italian dressing

·        ¼ tsp. garlic powder

·        1 tsp. dill

·        Pinch of pepper

Combine the first eight ingredients well in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, blend together the dressing ingredients. Pour it over the chicken mixture, toss well to coat, and fill each pita half with about ½ cup of the mixture. Serve immediately.

Tomato Club “Sandwiches”

This unique take on the Hasselback technique uses tomatoes as the base for a summery main course. Drizzle some creamy Italian dressing on these for a bit more oomph.

·        4 large plum tomatoes

·        2 slices of baby Swiss cheese, cut into quarters

·        4 bacon strips, cooked semi-crisp and cut in half

·        4 slices deli turkey

·        4 lettuce leaves, ripped into pieces

·        A sprinkling of black pepper

Cut the plum tomatoes crosswise into slices, leaving the tomato intact at the bottom. Fill each space with cheese, bacon, turkey, and lettuce. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

Smoked Salmon Salad

Get your omega-3s with salmon tucked into croissants. You can also use pita bread or tortillas if you prefer.

·        ¾ cup mayonnaise

·        2 tsps. dill

·        1 tsp. lemon juice

·        Healthy dash of salt

·        Pinch of pepper

·        8 ounces smoked salmon, diced fine

·        6 croissants, split lengthwise

·        1 cup baby spinach, lightly chopped if desired

Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl until well-incorporated. Line the croissants with spinach and then top with the salmon mixture.

Raspberry Pecan Chicken Sandwiches

This unusual recipe is a delicious twist on a summertime treat that your friends and family will rave about. Don’t be afraid of the seemingly contradictory flavors here – they work together beautifully!

·        6 ounces orange-flavored yogurt (regular, not Greek)

·        ½ cup mayonnaise

·        ¼ - ½ tsp. Chinese five-spice powder

·        3 cups canned, cooked chicken

·        3 green onions, chopped fine (white and green parts)

·        ¼ cup celery, finely sliced

·        ¼ cup pecans, chopped

·        1 cup raspberries

·        12 slices whole wheat bread

Gently blend together all ingredients except the bread. When the mixture is well-incorporated, spread it on the bread, cut each sandwich into halves, and serve.

Greens & Beans Sandwiches

This is another unusual option you can break out during lunchtime to surprise friends and family. This one is loaded with protein and enough fiber to keep you satisfied.

·        15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

·        2 tbsps. teriyaki sauce (or other soy-based sauce of your choice)

·        1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

·        Fennel stems and fronds, thinly sliced

·        4 slices dark rye bread

·        8 thin slices of Feta cheese

·        1 cucumber, peeled and sliced very thin

Mash together the beans, sauce, and lemon juice. It should be mostly smooth, then season with a dash of salt. Layer the bean mixture, the fennel and fronds, Feta, and cucumbers. Close up the sandwiches, cut into halves, and serve.

Staying Safe During the Summertime Heat

No matter where you roam during the summer – whether you are right there in your kitchen or across the country at your cousin’s barbecue – wearing a medical alert necklace can give seniors safety and peace of mind. And though fun in the sun can mean being exposed to some heat, pay close attention to your body. Drink plenty of water, use sunscreen, and stay under the shade as often as possible. Using a fan or air conditioning is always a great idea. Remember that heat can creep up on you before you know it, so don’t hesitate to use a button alarm if you need assistance.

And of course, when at home, do what you can to keep the heat down. That includes looking for more fantastic no-cook recipes, using your microwave and crock pot rather than the oven or stove, and keeping your cool with chilled drinks and delicious foods like the recipes you’ve read here. Enjoy!