Seasonal Sundays: Let's Beat This Heat (Week 26)

Put down that fan, people, because this week's "Seasonal Seven" recipe collection promises to reach right out of the screen to wipe the sweat off your brow. I've got you covered, breakfast, lunch and dinner and even a couple of sweet endings. Will you need to turn on the oven? Heavens no. (What am I, crazy?) You may not even need to cook to stay feeling cool and refreshed. Lean in, all, it looks like it's gonna be one Long Hot Summer.

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

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hey, all. Thank you for following Kitchen Parade, for checking in on these Sunday recipe collections. It means the world to be welcomed into your InBox and RSS readers and most of all, your kitchens. So thank you, thank you. And if you like this week's recipes, perhaps you'll share this newsletter with a friend or social circle? If you forward this message, others may subscribe for free right here. Thank you!

It's been a year, this month. We made another trip to Toronto, our second this spring. Somewhere along the way home, we really don't know how/where, we picked up a bad bout of ... remember that thing called Covid? Yeah. That.Thing. That Awful Thing.

As of today, we're on Day Eleven, including five days in the hospital with Covid pneumonia for my husband 😳 and wracking coughs that all this time later, still just don't quit until your throat leaps to the back of your front teeth.

But it's been a good time to stay in, sipping on ice water and hoping the popsicles hold the coughs at bay for a few minutes.

I harbored what little energy I might muster to feed us with what we had on hand plus a Whole Foods home delivery (thanks for making that so easy, Amazon; while our local grocery Schnucks, couldn't for the life of it figure out how to keep an order going). Surprisingly, I even tried two new recipes which will appear hear over the next few weeks, definite summer keepers.

Take care, all. It's still out there.

In Praise Of ...

  • ... Outshine Fruit Bars from Sam's Club, pineapple, mango and watermelon real-fruit popsicles, just 40 calories each and about $.25 a pop ... and price is important, since not only am I the neighborhood Popsicle Lady handing out popsicles to pool guys, Amazon delivery people and more but also because the family Littles know that Auntie Al has a very important rule: if you want a popsicle, go get one! Even the 18-month old can go through two or three during an afternoon swim!

  • ... with apologies to the folks surrounding us (we swear, we had NO idea we'd be hit with Covid symptoms that night), re-connecting at a live outdoor concert with Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan, sounds of what now feels like eons ago

  • ... these CliC magnetic & expandable reading glasses (affiliate link), especially useful for anyone who's always reaching for their cheaters

Democracy Matters

Every so often, I like to share my favorite sources of information and activism. Hmmm. I just this minute realized that all my favorites are ... women.

  • My #1 pick will always be the brilliant Heather Cox Richardson who has been writing Letters from an American nearly every single day since September 2019. For me, "Heather" (as we refer to her in this house) is a must-read. She cuts through the day's news and presents an interpretation in a calm, history-grounded voice, with an eye/ear for what will matter to historians in future. Facebook people, she also does twice-weekly talks/lectures: she's whip-smart, speaks in plain language without drama. Yes, I'm a big fan.

  • Joyce Vance writes another Substack newsletter called Civil Discourse. She's a law professor, a 25-year veteran of the Department of Justice, a former U.S. Attorney, a legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC – also a knitter and chicken keeper! The chicks and chicken show up every so often. I have increasing appreciation for her intellect and encouragement. "We're in this together," she signs off.

  • Jessica Craven's Chop Wood, Carry Water comes 5x a week with encouragement (so important!) plus a meaty list of very specific actions individuals can make, from 2 minutes to maybe an hour. But for anyone who's feeling discouraged, her Sunday "good news" newsletter is a must-read. Prepare to feel re-inspired!

  • Jess Piper is my latest newsletter crush, she calls herself the "Dirt Road Democrat" and is an activist who ran for office (and lost) in Deep Red Missouri. She's a great writer and storyteller and while The View from Rural Missouri covers Missouri, well, its threads are woven into the fabric of this country.

  • Podcast people, you'll appreciate the rich language and extemporary eloquence in Dahlia Lithwick's podcast covering the Supreme Court called Amicus. Isn't that such a great name?! (Amicus is an individual or organization that is not a party to an action but who volunteers or is court-invited to advise on a matter before the court.)

THE SEASONAL SEVEN: Let's Beat This Blasted Blasting Heat

For this week's recipes, I aimed for recipes with summer flavors and combinations that ...

  • ... lean on early-summer vegetables and fruits so abundant in grocery stores right now
  • ... no ovens, no instant-pots, no easy fryers, basically, no cooking at all, really (except one, a simple soup)
  • ... are filling but light, needing little more than a slice of good bread with just a little salty butter or whipped cream cheese
My Perfect Sangria ♥, how to make sangria from scratch, 'dry' and not sweet, 'fruity' and not boozy.

Magical Breakfast Cream ♥, just yogurt and a few stir-ins, from the French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook.

Cucumber Dip with Feta ♥, super easy, great for serving with vegetables and grilled steak.

Finnish Summer Soup aka Kesäkeitto ♥, perfect new summer vegetables suspended in a milky broth, make it all summer long.

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.

Fruity Gazpacho ♥, an unusual savory-sweet, vegetable-fruit soup that's good as an appetizer, an entrée, even a dessert. Positively fresh and delicious.

Simple Sliced Peaches ♥, just four ingredients.

Easy Summer Recipes ♥, a collection of easy-to-remember and memorable recipes especially for summer. Less cookin'. More livin'. It's the summer's motto!


Please know, you so matter here! Your comments and email (my current address is in the FAQs) encourage and inspire and motivate and some times make me laugh out loud or turn a little teary. It's a good day when I can "see" what you're cooking, "hear" how a recipe worked out, "know" what you're loving.

Cauliflower Steaks with Warm Corn & Poblano Salsa, another vegetarian supper ♥ A Veggie Venture.
  • SHE LIKED IT! "This was AMAZING! I followed the recipe but put in some chopped cilantro into the salsa for a bit more southwest flavor. Thank you! I'll make it again and again." ~ Anonymous
  • THE RECIPE Cauliflower Steaks with Warm Corn & Poblano Salsa Roasted until golden and topped with a warm salsa of summery vegetables.

June: Reader Favorites

Finn Crisp with Marmalade & Cheese, a typical Finnish breakfast ♥

June: Lost Recipes

Chickpea & Chicken Salad ♥, notched up from the mundane with chickpeas, olives and Indian-style spices in a yogurt dressing.

The Kitchen Parade Almanac: Looking Ahead ...

A collection of recipe ideas for Canada Day ♥

A collection of hand-selected recipes Fourth of July celebrations ♥

Looking Back ...

Good to Know!

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.

Soups & Salads Especially for ... June

Roasted Beets with Feta & Lemon, another simple vegetable recipe ♥

Silly (But Fun?!) Food Holidays

The Best No-Recipe Recipe I Made This Week

Sliced Onions + A Little Oil + Vinegar = A Sandwich Maker

All of us were on Day 297 of pulled chicken leftover from a family party. To mix it up for after a family swim, once again I pulled out a trick learned from my cousin Lynda when we visited Toronto two weeks ago. I just fried some sliced onions until turning golden (but not caramelized) and stirred in a little sherry vinegar. Wow. We piled a few onions into the pulled chicken sandwiches. Everybody was raving! Total easy game-changer.

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 this week.

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.
  • TWO WEEKS AGO After eight days of road food to-from-in Toronto, we were starved for home-cooked healthy food. A quick grocery run, this was on the table. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Summer Lentils aka the "Great Big Vegetable Salad with a Few Lentils Thrown In Just for Fun".

Easy Easy Magical Jello Bites, another fun idea for kids ♥ Guaranteed to light up kids' eyes!
  • TWO WEEKS AGO Yes, I make these for the kids, every single family gathering. This time, I gave the nearby great-great nieces a choice. A (age 7) picked "blue" and J (age 4) picked "yellow". Oops, what to do now? I tried again. "Blueberry" or "pineapple"? "Pineapple" it was. At the party, it was really fun to watch V (also 4) take a taste and identify the pineapple flavor. Wow, a little tastemaker! All the kiddos liked pineapple ...
  • THE RECIPE Easy Easy Magical Jello Bites Guaranteed to make kids' eyes light up! (PIN This)

Protein Smoothies for Two ♥ Intentionally fill a blender with 40 grams of protein and about 400 calories.
  • THIS WEEK Even during the last eleven days of illness, I managed to make smoothies almost every morning, including carrying contraband into the hospital. (That hospital food, ugh, so vile. And so silly, always favoring processed food over the very rare whole-food options.) I've taken to tossing in one of those small cucumbers instead of fresh herbs, less work and easier to keep on hand. Plus it means the smoothies turn out plenty sweet with half the fresh fruit, dropping from a half pound (for the full pitcher) to a quarter cup. All these week, still so good! PS I'm eyeing a refurbished Vitamix. Are they really worth the money???
  • THE RECIPE Protein Smoothies for Two Maximize protein with everyday ingredients. (PIN This)

Pinto Bean Salad, another Fresh & Flexible Salad ♥ Quick to Make. Low Fat. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan. Gluten Free.
  • THIS WEEK The cupboard was bare but I still had everything for this versatile, substantial salad. We only nibbled on it the first night but it "made" no-cook lunches for a couple of days. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Pinto Bean Salad 2020's salad of the summer, so fresh and flexible.

Homemade Basil Pesto ♥, extra basil flavor thanks to no cheese, mixing technique.
  • THIS WEEK With a week of heat, our basil plants are busting. Too many years, I "save" the basil for something special. This year, forget that. I made a quick half-batch in the mini food processor using sunflower seeds instead of the traditional but pricey sunflower seeds. I'd intended to cook a little pasta for a side dish, instead, I tossed the pesto with some cooked rice in the fridge. OH MY. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Homemade Fresh Basil Pesto Without Cheese Unleashing sweet, fresh basil flavor. (PIN This)

Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake, another easy summer recipe ♥, moist and delicious with fresh or frozen blueberries. Rave reviews!
  • THIS WEEK After such a long week of illness and nothing sweet except popsicle sticks for our sore throats, I used up the last of the blueberries, turning to my mom's recipe for summer comfort food. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake A family favorite, for good reasons.

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.

  • Any advice for Seasonal Sundays?
  • Just one thing that would make it more useful for you?
  • Anything else? Chime in, chat away.

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.

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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.