Seasonal Sundays (Week 30) Memorable Summer Sides

Side dishes are having a moment but really, aren't the best summer side dishes ones that can easily move to the center of the plate with a little protein on the side? I love every single one of these recipes hope you will too!

Seasonal Sundays, a weekly newsletter ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Seasonal Sundays is 100% written by me, Alanna, a real, live human, no blah-blah copycat ChatGPT AI plagiarism, thank you very much. Any awkward phrase, unclear meaning, misspelled word, mistaken fact, bad punctuation or overwrought alliteration is the clean, proud product of my own quirky humor, inadequacy as a wordsmith and oversights as an eagle-eyed editor. But when that very much living human says she's grateful that you're here, reading, well, please know, she really truly 100% means it.

A few weeks back, I promised you inspiration for summer's best produce. This week, I'm pivoting just a bit, focusing on that produce in side dishes.

Now these aren't just your plain ol' mashed potatoes or rice, no, no, no.

Instead these are side dishes with all of summer's best vegetables, beans, corn, tomatoes and more. in easy summer versions that easily stand in for a meal, especially with some sort of added protein.


PERSONAL NOTE I'm taking one, maybe two, maybe three weeks off for a couple of big-birthday big-bashes for my husband, some family time (so excited) plus a visit from one of my favorite seven-year olds (soooo fun). Bring on the zoo! the ice cream stops! and so much more. I'm not sure any of it qualifies as "rest and relaxation" let alone "vacation" but it is important family time and I'm much looking forward to it all.

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Read on ...

Déjà Vu

Something useful ... or thoughtful ... or interesting ... or fun ... or maybe inspirational ... from Seasonal Sundays, this same week in 2020, when I shared a photo of a butterfly captured in our favorite spot of wilderness.

Again, from 2020, Seasonal Sundays (Week 30) Seasonal Salads ...

A moment of welcome calm, an eastern tiger swallowtail, a male I think, a common butterfly with broad habitat across America from the Atlantic to the Great Plains. This handsome fella is feeding on purple blazing star (also called liatris) in a meadow in the northern edges of the Missouri Ozarks. Close-ups of these lovely creatures often reveal less than perfect specimens: their wings are often in tatters and yet they're still flying.

A lesson?

If you, like me, are feeling beat up by the vulnerable state of the world — no, that's not right, it's the precarious state of these un-United States that sends me hangdog. What is it that makes so many of us so mean and selfish and outright bullies? What makes us accept and even applaud Portland, Atlanta, character assassination, stifled science and so so much more.

Every day feels like a firehose of insidious new and expanding threat. My long-time Canadian friend wrote this week, "You can't even escape to Canada anymore" because, you know, the border is closed (and should be).

And yet ... battered butterflies continue to fly and let us never forget that Black people have fought oppression and discrimination for centuries. As just-passed civil rights leader John Lewis wrote, "Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Do not become bitter or hostile. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. We will find a way to make a way out of no way."

Life, it's a long game, God willing.

In Praise Of ...

  • SHARING RAIN REPORTS WITH NEIGHBORS ... I've kept a rain gauge for-evah, that's how I know that here in St. Louis we once got rain a half inch or an inch at a time and now, whoah, it's four inches at a time. That's no complaint, I know there are so many parts of the world with severe drought. (Hmm. We've all heard of flash floods. But there's something called flash drought, too.) Anyway a rain gauge is essential to these back-n-forth rain reports. I recently replaced a gauge that held only five inches to this glass replacement tube that measures seven inches. Heaven help us if we need even more ...
  • LIVING VASES ... It's time, it's time! This week I cut long stems of basil and mint for vases for the kitchen, stripping the leaves from the bottom ends of the stems that are in water. In a few days, the stems will begin to take root (the basil definitely will, some years the mint doesn't cooperate) and will stay fresh for weeks and weeks, right up until Thanksgiving. For the first while, you'll need to replace the water every few days but once the roots take hold, the stems become their own little ecosystem and the vase's water stays clear and doesn't seem to evaporate.

May I Suggest ... a Link?

Let me just presume that if you're reading this, well, you're both a cook and a recipe collector. Don't the two kinda go together? And that means you tuck aside interesting recipes all over the place and then, dang, where is that chicken recipe that looked so good anyway? Here's an idea. Start a folder on your phone, call it "Kitchen Parade" or "Alanna" or whatever makes best sense to you. Then save the recipes you're most interested in right there in one place. Easy Peasy.


Fresh Creamed Corn ♥ How to DIY creamed corn with fresh corn and rosemary. Homemade and nothing like canned creamed corn!

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing ♥, re-inventing the picnic favorite.

Raw Mexican Street Corn Salad with Cauliflower Rice, another summer salad ♥ Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb.

Skillet-Stewed Green Beans with Tomato & Basil ♥ All the best tastes of summer in one pan.

Tomato Platter with Olives & Feta, another easy summer salad ♥, small plates to large platters. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Summer Lentils, another hearty salad ♥ A Veggie Venture, healthy lentils plus plenty of vegetables for crunch and color. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan or Vegetarian.

Wedge Salad with Homemade Low-Cal & Low-Carb Blue Cheese Salad Dressing, another weeknight easy supper idea ♥ Low Carb. High Protein. Fresh & Seasonal. Summer Classic.

What's New?!

Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.

Fresh Blueberry Cookies ♥ Sweet with blueberries, bright with lemon, a real summer treat.

Looking Back ...

Party Food!

A week from today, I'm hosting the second of two parties to celebrate my husband's birthday, a smallish gathering (25) for friends one night and a bigish (50 + 20 kids) swim & supper party for family two days later.

Crazy? I hear you, what have I gotten myself into.?!

And the weather!! My romantic notions of idyllic summer evenings poolside are not-to-be. Ten days out, the Friday forecast has ranged from 85F to 108F in the last couple of days, the Sunday forecast from 91F to 110F.

So we're moving the Friday party entirely inside, then leaving it set up that way as "cooling stations" for the Sunday party. The house is already topsy-turvy, reconfiguring everything to make room for rented tables and chairs inside. Dear friends are coordinating lots, cooking lots and prepping/serving it all (how lucky is this ...) but I'm cooking a few things, especially what can be made ahead of time.

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions ♥, memorable caramelized onions, extra-special with a little brown sugar and dry sherry, extra-easy in the slow cooker.
  • THIS WEEK We also did a test run of the sandwiches, thin-sliced rare Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef with the onions, a creamy horseradish sauce and arugula on brioche buns. We think they're pretty tasty! Thoughts? Recommendations?!
  • THE RECIPE Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions Extra-special with a little brown sugar and a little sherry.

A Quick Peek Into a Real-Life Kitchen

Just so you know, everything's not all pretty pictures around here, in the background is a pile of dirty dishes. And just like many (all?) of us, come five o'clock, I too draw a blank about what to make for supper, despite so many recipes I so dearly love. Here's a quick peek from the last week, not including the hummingbird food, roasted beets and quick microwave sweet corn on repeat this time of year.

Southwestern Chicken Taco Salad Plates, another Quick Supper ♥ No cooking, just assembly. Summery and adaptable.
  • THIS WEEK I thought about finishing a new recipe for a smoked-salmon quiche but instead, used a filet of hot-smoked salmon in this cold salad supper. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Southwestern Chicken Taco Salad Plates A summery Quick Supper, no cooking required, just assembly. (PIN This)

How to Cook Dried Chickpeas for Hummus ♥ Yeah, it's worth the effort.

Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus ♥, simple hummus, perfected with three special techniques. Vegan and lower-fat.
  • THIS WEEK Because once the chickpeas are cooked to that super-tender state, this is such a lovely, loose hummus. Even the Littles (ages 7 and 3 years and 51 weeks, lol) were all over the hummus, especially with triangles of warm naan bread.
  • THE RECIPE Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus Perfected with three special techniques.

Easy Garlic-Herb Mediterranean Chicken ('Med Chicken') ♥, marinated Middle-eastern chicken a real crowd pleaser.
  • THIS WEEK The hummus was just the start to an easy Mediterranean menu for summer. I actually forgot to add the toppings that shouldn't be skipped. Still so good! Some chicken was leftover, I learned that it's super-easy to warm it up, just a minute in the microwave.
  • THE RECIPE Easy Garlic-Herb Mediterranean Chicken ("Med Chicken") A real crowd pleaser!

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables ♥, barely roasted, big chunks meant for casual sharing. Vegan. WW Friendly. Low Carb.
  • THIS WEEK I've never paired the "Med Chicken" for what in this house we call "Med Veg" but oh, what a great call. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables A casual feast, even mid-winter.
  • SERVED OVER How to Cook White Rice Basics done well, for dinner, for the freezer.

Just Updated!

Sweet Rhubarb Pizza ♥ A thin cookie crust topped with summer rhubarb brightened, reddened with jello powder.

Don't Be a Stranger ...

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail (my current address is in the FAQs), 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, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, 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, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. 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. When you make my recipes, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below or better still, on the specific recipe's page.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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