Seasonal Sundays (Week 28) Summer "Extras"

Too hot to cook? If not yet, then soon. So here I've collected some of my very favorite "extra" recipes for summer, the little things that make it extra easy to put together a quick sandwich, salad, taco, pizza or a quick meal with a touch of something special, all without planning. More and more, it's these "little extras that make all the difference" that fascinate me.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hey, all. How're you holding up? It's going to be a long haul, it seems. Another year? two years? We squandered those first weeks of lockdown. Other places are slowly returning to normal while our numbers go nowhere but up.

The heat's up too. Who wants to stand over a hot grill? stove? when it's that hot? But we still have to eat right? My strategy of relying on what I call "Little Extras That Make a Big Difference" is inspired by my dear Auntie Gloria, my mom's sister. Even as a kid, I was always so impressed that she could pull this and that and a dab of this and a dab of that and voila, lunch was on the table. So when it's too hot to cook, I still make something every day, but something that will make the next meal easier.

Which one will make your next meal easier? There are so many choices!

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Masks. Face Coverings. Whatever we call them, we'd best get used to them because they're the one thing that stands between us and 55,000 (and counting) new cases per day and doubling every two weeks. (And no, it's not just "more testing". The so-called "positivity" rate is also increasing rapidly.) If your current mask isn't working for you? Try another. I'm still experimenting myself, just ordered my third yesterday. If you love yours? Let me know where you got it and I'll share the info with other readers next week. Just leave a comment or drop me a line if it's easier via


Pick One is for those of us overwhelmed by life's unending choices. If that resonates, then check out this one recipe and then call it a day. It's one that I think could make the most difference, the one I hope will become a regular in your kitchen, as it is in mine.

Two ways to make fresh Homemade Ricotta ♥, just milk, lemon and salt. Easy and delicious! Many tips, including skinny and creamy versions. Just Three or Four Ingredients. Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free.

Cook. Eat. Repeat.

Here's my appeal for mealtime minimalism, the idea that you don't have to think up a new breakfast or a new lunch every day. It's a way to think less about food rather than more. It's maintains that the ritual of healthy satisfying staples can fill you up in a way that the new and the novel cannot.

Best-Ever Lentil Salad with an unusual cooking technique ♥ A Veggie Venture

Salad Makers

My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing, another Master Recipe ♥, quick, easy meal prep. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.

Spiced Pickled Red Onions ♥, a game changer for tacos, salads, eggs and more.

Maple-Glazed Pecans ♥, crisp and barely sweet, add a spoonful to salads, morning oatmeal, a bowl of ice cream.

Sauces for Sandwiches, Pizzas, Meats & Veggies

Homemade Basil Pesto ♥, extra basil flavor thanks to no cheese, mixing technique.

Lime Crema ♥, a simple way to upgrade tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and more.

How to make Chimichurri ♥, the Argentinian parsley sauce that's great with meat and fish but also livens up other dishes.
  • THE RECIPE Chimichurri How to make chimichurri, the Argentinian parsley sauce.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Homemade Sazón A gorgeous Dominican sauce, so fresh, so alive.

Famous Mustard Sauce (Carolina BBQ Mustard Sauce) ♥, Carolina BBQ mustard sauce from a handful of pantry ingredients, use as an ingredient and a condiment!

Green Mayonnaise ♥, a whole new way to think of mayonnaise, blended with spinach and fresh herbs.

For the Fridge

Refrigerator Pickled Beets ♥, made with canned beets or fresh roasted beets, no canning required, keep for weeks in the fridge. Vegan. Low Sugar. Low Cal. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Cauliflower Refrigerator Pickles, more quick pickles ♥ No canning required. Vegan. WW Friendly. Budget Friendly.

Appetizers for Dinner

Roasted Eggplant Hummus ♥, eggplant, chickpeas & Greek yogurt in an addictive, ultra smooth and creamy dip and spread. Low Carb. Weight Watchers friendly.

My Guacamole, the restaurant-style house recipe ♥ Very Weight Watchers Friendly. Unusually Low Cal. Low Carb. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.

Best Quick Tomato Salsa ♥, 10 minutes start to chip. Budget Friendly. Low Carb. Vegan. Great for Meal Prep.

Summer Meal Prep Favorites

How to Transform Your Morning Oatmeal ♥, half steel-cut oats and half old-fashioned rolled oats cooked in part milk, part water. Great texture. Great for meal prep. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Back-Pocket Recipe

We all keep certain recipes in our virtual back pockets, right? We might not need them right this minute but recognize their usefulness in our recipe repertoires.

Easy Apricot Jam with Rosemary ♥, a small batch with just five ingredients, rustic and barely sweet. No canning required.

Summer Easy: Less Cookin', More Livin'.

More than a decade ago, I started collecting a certain style of summer dishes that espouse my summer motto, Less Cookin', More Livin'. These are Kitchen Parade's most simple, most fresh, most memorable and most summery recipes, all in one place. I hope you love 'em all! See Easy Summer Recipes!

Cantaloupe Smoothie ♥, how to make a 100% cantaloupe smoothie, either creamy or frosty.

Something New to You? A Challenge!

It's one thing to know what we like. It's another to get caught in a rut of repetition. Every so often, I may offer a challenge to try something that just might be new. The challenge is yours to accept – or y'know, not – but I hope to pique your palate!

Homemade Mayonnaise for BLTs ♥, airy pillows of just-made mayo, perfect for BLTs.

Sweet Endings

Master Recipe: Rustic Fruit Ice Cream ♥, a no-cook master recipe for ice cream with all different fruits, rich, creamy and totally fruity.

Seasonal Showcase: Can't Get Enough!

Blueberry Recipes, sweet to savory ♥

Soups & Salads Especially for July

Seasonal Soup & (Mostly) Salad Recipes for July, summer recipes and a monthly feature ♥ A Veggie Venture

What's New?!

Best-Ever Macaroni Salad, the summer classic, just better ♥ Great crunch, thanks to six different vegetables in a light and bright savory dressing. Budget Friendly. Potluck and Party Friendly. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Best Ever New Potatoes & Green Beans, a classic summer combo ♥ Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Budget Friendly. Gluten Free. Rave Reviews.

Just Updated!

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus or other Fresh Summer Vegetables, another Quick Supper ♥, just shrimp and your choices of vegetables tossed in an addictive sweet 'n' sour sauce. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Cantaloupe-Tomato Gazpacho ♥, a slightly fruity vegetable gazpacho, lovely color and quick to the table.

Blueberry Jam with Cinnamon, a big batch in just 90 minutes ♥, sweet, spicy and summery. Recipe, tips, nutrition & more jam recipes too.

Easy Easy Radish Spread, another simple vegetable starter ♥, just radishes, green onion and cream cheese. Creamy with a little bit of radish heat!

Text Me Back!

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail via, dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, whatever.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.