Seasonal Sundays (Week 49) Early December

Anyone feeling a little post-Thanksgiving plump? Today's edition reflects that after-holiday reality with some healthy (dare I say detox?) ideas for the next few days. But then, who else is ready to jump into ... or ease into ... December? So many December (not necessarily "Christmas") ideas here ...
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hey, All. Happy we-made-it-through-Thanksgiving Sunday!

How did it go for you? Better than expected? just another day in lockdown? Was it ... memorable? just a day to endure?

I'd give ours an R for for R-E-L-A-X-E-D. It was cozy at the kitchen table, the dining room looming all too cavernous and empty without chairs crowded round. We sat down later than expected with a big French red and candlelight for two: the wine sputtered out only minutes before the candles.

And ... onto December! Social media says I'm way behind in the Christmas decoration department so kudos to all who're settled in with twinkly lights and streaming carols already. I thought about skipping all the fuss but then looked through some photos from last year when I pared way, way back. This afternoon, I think ... maybe just the family room where we've plopped two comfy leather chairs in front of the fireplace.


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.

How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup, a master recipe ♥ Never the same twice! Perfect for CSA members, farmers market shoppers and all vegetable lovers!

Seasonal Showcase: After-Thanksgiving Detox

Everything Bagel Breakfast Salad, another easy healthy summer breakfast ♥ A Veggie Venture. High Protein. Low Carb. Easy Weekday Breakfast. Very Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Red Beans & Rice, another slow-cooked healthy dinner ♥ Meaty or Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly. High Protein. Great for Meal Prep.

Weight Watchers Spinach & Tortellini Soup, another healthy soup ♥ A Veggie Venture. WW Friendly. Low Carb. Low Fat. Easily High Protein. Great for Meal Prep.

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.


My Chicken Noodle Soup ♥, meaty and noodle-y with a special technique to plump up just a few noodles. Low Carb. High Protein.
  • "My husband and I are spending the winter in Nevada where my 96-year old mother still lives in the family home. The temperature and barometric pressure are dropping and all three of us are Covid fatigued. So I turned to Kitchen Parade to find the best medicinal and comfort soup I could find. And YES, I found it. I made this soup tonight for the first time and my husband pronounced it the best soup he has ever had in his life and Mom and I agree." ~ Sally
  • THE RECIPE My Chicken Noodle Soup The way I make it, meaty and noodle-y with just a few noodles.

World's Best Green Bean Casserole ♥, yesterday's comfort food made with fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms, no canned beans, no cream of mushroom soup. Rave reviews since 2006.
  • "I have been making this recipe every Thanksgiving for at least 10 years and it's always a hit. Since I'm not organized enough to save it, part of my Thanksgiving tradition has become Googling World's Best Green Bean Casserole + Veggie Venture." ~ Corinne
  • THE RECIPE World's Best Green Bean Casserole Yesterday's comfort food made fresh.

Easy Green Chile Egg Casserole ♥ No bread! Just eggs, green chiles, bits of cheese and a surprising ingredient, cottage cheese. Vegetarian. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly!
  • "... had your easy chili egg cottage cheese casserole for late supper on Thanksgiving and that was delicious." ~ Christy
  • THE RECIPE Easy Green Chile Egg Casserole No bread! Just eggs, green chiles, bits of cheese and a surprising ingredient, cottage cheese.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Grits (or Pumpkin Grits or Butternut Squash Grits) ♥, a 'skinny' pot of grits, conveniently cooked in the slow cooker with sweet potato (or pumpkin or butternut squash) and a little mik, with just a tablespoon of butter stirred in to finish.

Wildlife Report

Collage, red-tailed hawk closeup on left, hawk perched high in a tree in a meadow on the right

Remember how in the spring, during the first lockdown, how the animals emerged once the people were behind doors? It's been a week rich with wildlife here in suburban St. Louis.

I've moved the exercise bike so it looks outside. Even a small change in perspective reveals new worlds! The very first morning, I spied what I was certain, from its size, must be an owl in a nearby field. And he stayed put! So I grabbed my camera, threw on the telephoto lens and quickly realized, this was no owl, this was a red-tailed hawk and a BIG one. He was more patient than I, he stayed on his perch longer than I stayed on mine.

And then a giant heron circled overhead then slowly lowered itself to a small pond, so graceful ... and a young six-point buck fed at the edges of the trees. And just this morning, a coyote only yards from our bedroom window (yikes, the inside dog was not happy) feeding on ... something.

Festive Meals at Home for December

Celebration Salad (Maple-Roasted Carrots with Arugula, Dill, Cranberry Vinaigrette, Pomegranate and Glazed Pecans) ♥, an exultant platter of vegan texture, color, flavor and mood. Meatless Monday. Gluten Free.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Butternut Bechamel & Roasted Butternut Squash ♥, three vegetarian layers plus a gorgeous 'Butternut Bechamel' studded with roasted squash.

Chicken Cacciatore ♥, the classic Italian dish, often called Hunter's Stew. Chicken in a wine-savory tomato sauce, one of my very oldest recipes.

Holiday Versions of Year-Round Favorites

Christmas Banana Bread ♥, everyone's favorite banana bread, all dressed up for Christmas!

Gingerbread Granola ♥, granola all dressed up for Christmas with orange and molasses plus special spices. Lower Sugar, Bigger Flavor. Vegan. Gluten Free. Great for Meal Prep & Homemade Food Gifts.

Christmas Chicken Salad ♥, chicken salad all dressed up for Christmas with seasonal flavors!

Sit, Sip, Slow Down a Minute or an Hour

Hot Chocolate Mix ♥, how to make it from scratch, for a crowd, for gifts, for home.

Glögi, the Mulled Wine ♥, served hot in Nordic countries during winter.
  • THE RECIPE Glögi (Hot Red Mulled Wine) Scandinavian-style hot red wine "mulled" with spices, fruit and for good luck, an almond.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Mulled Apple Cider Fruit and spices turn supermarket apple cider into something special and irresistible.

Hibiscus Tea with Ginger & Vanilla, either cold or hot ♥, for anyone who wants to drink more water, great for Weight Watchers, Medifast and other diet programs.


My Top 10 Recipes are predictable, hello Ham 101: What to Know Before Buying a Ham and (Sloooow) Baked Potatoes (How Long to Bake a Baked Potato). But every week, seasonal recipes catch the internet's attention and start to trend.

Soups & Salads Especially for December
from A Veggie Venture

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

What's New?!

At Last Black Bean Soup ♥, Laurie Colwin's recipe, just dump in the ingredients and cook it on the stove, in the oven or in a slow cooker.

Just Updated!

Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Fruit Dip, more pumpkin fun ♥ Just four ingredients and ten minutes.

Rutabaga Puff (or Turnip Puff) ♥, a delicious purée of root vegetables, either turnip or the sunny-colored rutabaga, also called a 'swede'. A Thanksgiving favorite, especially in Canada.

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.

© 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.