Seasonal Sundays (Week 06) Early February

A quick read, seasonal recipes, meals and life ideas for February. PS Go Chiefs!
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays!

I hear there's some kinda game on today, is that right?

Well, let's get right to it then because this household will soon fill with mini Chiefs fans, including a ten-year old who's rarely seen without his red Kansas City Chiefs sweatshirt. His mom has to wash it while he sleeps!


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.

No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock ♥, how to turn making chicken stock from a production into No Big Deal.

Once upon a time, I remember detailing the steps for roasting a chicken for a new cook. Let's just say, it was extremely detailed, all 70-something steps.

I watch other cooks go to similar extremes when it comes to chicken stock and wonder, Why???? when all it takes is water and heat and the carcass from a rotisserie chicken?


And guess what you make next, then?

Ten Things to ♥ About February

  • The days are noticeably! longer
  • Late-winter sunsets can stop you in your tracks
  • Plotting a mid-winter escape somewhere warm is its own therapy
  • But there's still hope for a surprise snow day or two
  • So many non-Hallmark celebration possibilities: the Superbowl, Groundhogs Day, the Oscars, Galentines, Chinese New Year, Presidents Day, Mardi Gras, Pancake Tuesday and ... this year, Leap Day!
  • Some theaters show the year's best movies back to back and if not, there's 31 Days of Oscars on the classic movie channel
  • Chocolate-peanut butter cups in heart shapes!
  • Still two months to get your taxes done
  • It's a short month, even in a Leap Year

  • What do you love (or okay, despise) about February?

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.

Kale Salad To-Go with Avocado & Apple ♥ A Veggie Venture, make it ahead of time, then carry it along to work or outdoor activities. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan.

LOL best stock up on Mason jars. This is a great take-it-to-work salad.

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.

Shhh Banana Bread ♥, healthy low-fat banana bread, just 1 tablespoon oil and whole wheat flour.

Everybody loves a slice of good banana bread. But when you compare recipes, you'll soon note that the fat or oil used varies from four to eight tablespoons, that's half a stick of butter or a whole stick of butter.

Not this recipe! It calls for only a single tablespoon of oil but you'll never know it. More importantly, it doesn't rely on the usual applesauce to compensate.

What Do LeCreuset and KitchenAid Have In Common? Color!

My favorite LeCreuset pot in the classic red color

Do you crave color? Apparently, millennials (aka Gen Y) do. (Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996 so they're 24 to 39 years old right now. They're often the children of baby boomers.)

And they're buying rainbow-colored enamel cast iron and stand mixers at record rates.

No naming names but I know a food blogger who at last count had seven different Kitchen Aid mixers lined up in her pantry, all different colors. True!

Who else uses color that way? Fiesta but I dunno, their colors are more retro. The LeCreuset and KitchenAid colors are just soooo pretty!

PS Until Jerry and I were married, I used my mom's first-generation stand mixer. It worked just fine and didn't seem affected by the 1970s gold color.

Two Brand-New Recipes This Week!

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

Once upon a time, I cooked one new recipe after another, often without settling. And because I'm a seasonal cook, many of my favorite recipes are made only once or twice a year.

So for the last while, my focus is on perfecting recipes that get made year-round and often. That includes guacamole ...

Spinach Brownies, another easy, healthy breakfast ♥ A Veggie Venture. Fresh & Flexible. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Low Cal. Vegetarian.

No chocolate here, LOL. These are all about spinach, an entire pound is used to make an 8x8 pan or even a dozen muffins. Spinach Brownies are great for a grab'n'go breakfast, very filling and satisfying.

Something for Supper

Lentil, Pepper & Spinach Supper with Crispy Tofu & Indian Spices, another healthy one-pot supper ♥, lentils with bright bell pepper and dark spinach, topped with tofu cooked with Indian spices. Weight Watchers Friendly. Perfect for MeatlessMonday. Vegan, filling and satisfying. Adaptable too!

Anyone else craving lentils (or beans?) and spinach?

Who's Thinking Ahead?

In my mind, there are two kinds of cooks.

PLANNERS You know who you are. You've been strategizing for days, maybe even weeks, for a football-friendly spread. This list is for you, even if you'll save it to read later.

IMPROMPTU-ERS You know who you are, too. You woke up this morning and thought, hmmm, what should I do for the SuperBowl today?

PS Is anyone else thrilled that Lent begins in late February (February 26 to be exact), when it should be (I wish) every year! That keeps Valentines and St. Patrick's Day separate and distinct and puts Easter in mid April (April 12th to be exact), when it too, should be.

Plus in 2020 we get a holiday of sorts, February 29th. I definitely think an extra day in our lives is worthy of celebration. It falls on a Saturday, what kind of party would you give on that day??? I'm thinking of ideas ...

The Superbowl Valentine's Mardi Gras Shrove Tuesday Lent Leap Year February 29th Pi Day St Patrick's Easter Derby Day Cinco de Mayo Mother's Day Father's Day

Seasonal Showcase: Raspberries

Lemon Pudding Cake ♥, the old-fashioned lemon dessert, lemon cake on top and lemon pudding on the bottom, now with raspberries.

What ingredients shouts "February"? Chocolate, of course. But somehow, raspberries too! Almost all my raspberry recipes were published in February.

Naturally, mostly the recipes call for frozen raspberries.

Mid Winter ... Blueberries?

Heads up, Sam's Club people!

The blueberries now are not only a good price but wonderfully sweet! We're going through a couple of containers a week and haven't yet made blueberry muffins!

Friday Fun

How to Cook Popcorn in a Microwave in a Paper Bag ♥, how to make airpop popcorn in the microwave, just popcorn kernels, a paper sack and NO oil.

Purple Plan people, this popcorn qualifies as zero points for Weight Watchers.

For the rest of us, it's a simple to go from microwave to sofa with hot popcorn in a nano-moment.

Soups & Salads Especially for February

Seasonal Soups & Salads for February, a monthly feature ♥ A Veggie Venture

Just Updated!

It might be a record! I updated 76 recipes in Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture in January! This week I focused on A Veggie Venture ...

Quick Navigation & Other Tips

It's called "UX" for User Experience and it's something that writers like me give a ton of attention because we want our sites to be easy for visitors like you to click-click-click around in, finding exactly what you want.

Every so often, I'll share an inside tip about my sites' UX here. I hope these are obvious but just in case, here they are!

Is there something that would make Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture work better for you? Let me know!

  • NEW! NUTRITION INFORMATION Other bloggers consider nutrition calculations a burden and outsource the calculations or use an app. Me? Nutrition calculations make me a better cook. I take great care to get these right.
  • IMAGES Images are hyperlinked, even on email and RSS subscriptions. That means when you click on an image, either with a mouse or your finger on a phone, you'll click straight through to where you wanna be.
  • "STICKY NAV" stands for sticky navigation. It means that wherever you are on my site, on whatever device, the main navigation bar at the top remains visible so you can always find your way back to the home page or to another Recipe Box page.
  • "MORE" On our phones' small screens, that main navigation bar at the top is pretty small! But just click or touch the "More" button on the right side and you'll see a dropdown box with more navigation options. Cool, eh?
  • LOVE VEGETABLES? You know I have two recipe sites, right? This is Kitchen Parade, the food column I've been writing since 2002 and before that, my mom, starting when I was a baby! But way back in 2005, when food blogs were juuuuust beginning to appear, I started writing A Veggie Venture. It was a total lark, I thought I'd just try a new vegetable recipe every day for a month. Somehow one month turned into an entire year and all these years later, I'm still fascinated by, even obsessed, with the limitless ways to cook vegetables. For you, it's easy to switch back 'n' forth between the two sites. Just check the main navigation bar, on mobile you'll need to check the "More" button to see the link. Cool, eh?

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, 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.

© 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.