Seasonal Sundays (Week 11) Mid March

Here on the cusp of winter and spring, a collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays!

The Great Outdoors. It's a revelation, this time of year, the cusp between the winter that was and the promise of spring.

March winds mean the flags are outstretched and the garden chimes remain in constant song. It's still early so the first fronds of daffodil are just barely popping through. But the air is alive with birds (zero bugs yet!) and just smells different, wet, earthy, mineral-y.

We spent a day in the country last Sunday, our special corner of the hills and hollers of the northern reaches of the Ozarks. While the ribs & sauerkraut simmered away in the open air, we explored the new formation of the river, it changes course with every big rainfall, fast run-off coming off the hills.

This time of year, it's a place devoid of spring color, unless you look closely. The moss, the lichen, the year-round evergreen ferns in the close enclosure of a glade, they're green, bright, bright green.

Better still? The very first peeper frogs, a welcome harbinger.

The Great Outdoors? I recommend it.

PS So Sorry. I messed up the link for last week's Seasonal Sundays. If you got a page error, here's the correct link for Seasonal Sundays Week 10. Why go back? Lotsssss of information about the coronavirus. And pudding.

PPS Time Change! Have you changed the clocks this morning? So many clocks convert automatically now, I'm always surprised to find one or two that are still off a week later! We can never figure out how to change the clock in the truck, so the time there is wrong half the year! Tomorrow? It'll be the correct time again.

PPPS About the Photo (By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image): We're hearing and reading ABOUT the coronavirus but we're not SEEING it. This screen shot from the Washington Post is described as "viral particles from a coronavirus sample collected from one of the first cases in the United States". Eerily frighteningly beautiful ...


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.

Banana Cream Pudding Cups, it's Banana Cream Pie in a mini mason jar. One pudding recipe for parfaits, pie, pavlova and even (yummm) just plain with chopped banana.

There's a holiday coming up, it's Pi Day, celebrated on March 14th, that's 3/14 as stand-in for the math equation pi 3.14. Pie lovers, unite! This recipe is requires no crust, it works all ways, pie, crustless parfaits, even spoon-by-spoon plain.

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!

So the Banana Cream Pudding doesn't require a crust. But a good crust isn't hard, it just takes technique and practice. Sooo many bakers (both first-time and experienced) are amazed at their crusts when following these step-by-step tips.

Maybe Pi Day is the time to give a homemade crust a try?

Seasonal Showcase: PiDay --> #PiDayFriday

#PiDayFriday, the weekly tradition ♥ It's fun, it's delicious, it's a challenge.

Pi Day comes around just once a year, #PiDayFriday every week. Which one to you suppose the pie-loving men in my life prefer?

So yeah, we have a thing about pie around here. I even made pie for (almost) 95 weeks in a row, we called it #PiDayFriday and man, what a lesson in really digging into one thing, getting good at it.

I still have sooo many fun, interesting and even unusual pies to share with you!

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.

How to Cook Asparagus in the Microwave ♥ Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Cal. Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free. Paleo. Vegetarian. Vegan.

All that pie and sugar, we'd best have some healthy food, too, right?

March 1, every year like clockwork, the visits to Asparagus Recipes moves from flat line to steep mountain climb. And no doubt, that list includes lots of new inspiration for asparagus.

But the one way I cook asparagus all season long?

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 Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole, a master recipe ♥ Start with eggs, frozen hash browns, salsa and cheese, then adapt as you like, incl on-the-go muffins and individual ramekins.

Is it me? Or is it spring? But I'm loving the idea (not yet the reality) of feeding people in the morning, then getting on with the day.

Here's one of those hearty breakfast casseroles, it's a "Master Recipe" so opens up all the ways to adapt the recipe based on what's on hand, what you like, what you (and guests?!) like.

Something for Supper (and the Slow Cooker)

Chicken Stew with Chickpeas & Kale ♥, a hearty, one-pot supper dish for the stovetop or slow cooker, with warm spices and fresh vegetables. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein. Gluten Free. Great for Meal Prep.

Regular readers know that I'm no fan of slow cookers, not in concept but in reality. Too unpredictable and unreliable temperature-wise. Too many flavors all mushed together.

So when I share a slow cooker recipe? You know it's been through the rigors.

Something for the Weight Watchers (& Healthy Eaters)

No-Cream Creamy Cauliflower Soup, just 3 ingredients ♥ Recipe includes tips, nutrition, WW points.

Keep soup in the fridge, a light supper is minutes away. This cauliflower soup is soooo rich in taste but still low in calories and carbs.

Contemplating ... Coronavirus Quarantine / Isolation

On a side note, I keep thinking up Coronavirus Projects, a way to "learn something" or "get something done" during a coronavirus isolation/quarantine period, you know, in between binging on ... all things binge-able.

Outside the kitchen, I'm thinking about photo organization, password attention, maybe even ... recipe organization? Marie Kondo-ing the kitchen?

Inside the kitchen, maybe it's about time to really master the family pieroghies. Or finishing the veggie lasagna that's been years in the works. Or ....

The idea is to make it more "hiatus" or "sabbatical" than confinement.

Thoughts???? Is there an upside to all this?

But perhaps I'm under-estimating the difficulty of quarantining at home, this piece from the New York Times has me making made notes, how we'd do it here. It's a good read, How to Quarantine Yourself.

And with a father in a senior center who turns 94 in three weeks, the photo of the woman trying to get a glimpse of her mother through a window at the Life Care Center haunts me ...

How's everybody doing???

Netflix: Guilty Pleasures and/or Distractions

The news is overwhelming. The news is frightening. Social media is mind-numbing.

So? Netflix it is. These two shows are sheer escapism. If your life can use a little of that? These two shows have done the trick this week.

The best news? These shows are easy to keep nearby but don't require absolute attention. Double-tasking, anyone?

  • Offspring, seven seasons of Australian drama/humor/accents aka "watching other people's problems" according to my sister and her husband, who're watching Offspring together. If voices talk in your head? If you imagine what other people are saying? You will adore Nina!
  • Love Is Blind, reality show, the premise is whether you can fall in love with someone without actually seeing them, then can the love survive the real world. This is so totally not my style but I blew through it ...

Something to Read

Alice Hoffman's latest book The World That We Knew has me captivated, i'm listening to it slowly and already intend to listen again. It's yet another window into the lives of people who fiercely resisted Nazi tyranny during World War II. It's part magical realism ... pay attention to the heron when he first appears.

What's New?!

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.

Is it too soon to make a salad for Easter? It's not! These beet pickles aren't "canned" but keep for weeks and weeks. And weeks.

Crustless Quiche with Roasted Peppers, another easy healthy breakfast ♥ A Veggie Venture. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. High Protein. Gluten Free. Vegetarian.

Hungry for quiche but not the calories? A crustless quiche is the answer, this one includes cottage cheese for structure, creaminess and most of all, extra protein.

Just Updated!

How to Cook Artichokes in the Microwave, another easy vegetable how-to ♥, dead easy, dead delicious. Weight Watchers Friendly. Whole30 Friendly. Vegan. Low Fat. Gluten Free.

Quick Navigation 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!

  • 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, 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.