Seasonal Sundays (Week 6) Early February

Hey all, tis nearly February, how can that be? Today I've gathered together some February-friendly recipes, oranges for Vitamin C, hot appetizers for the Superbowl next Sunday, some mid-winter comfort food dinners. And more, of course. C'mon in ...
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Question of the Week: "Do you have an appointment yet?"

Some 49 weeks in, something like 7% percent of Americans and 2 percent of Canadians (elsewhere? please chime in!) have gotten at least their first jab. That's a loooong way from hugging grandchildren again let alone the 70-something percent needed to come close to some semblance of normal life.

So millions of people are scrambling, putting themselves and loved ones on list after list, continually refreshing pages, hoping against hope that a vaccination spot will open up sooner than later.

In my husband's family, three have had their first vaccination and are scheduled for the second booster shot. Our first reaction was, "Really? Them? They're not on any of the priority lists, right?" quickly followed by a huge wave of relief that already, our own loved ones are safer than they were last week. (To be clear, all three met work-related criteria in the current priority guidelines.)

At the moment, vaccine production and vaccinator people lag vaccine demand by millions and millions and millions. And millions. And that's just in this rich, resourceful country let alone the whole freaking world.

So it's going to be all too easy to feel elation and relief when we and our own loved ones get vaccinated but resent it when others (less deserving? not on the priority list? jumping the line? and all the 1000000 reasons our brains can conjure) do.

Why them, right? Why not us, right?

And that's the thing, right?

Every single person who wants the vaccine is somebody's kid, somebody's grandkid, somebody's parent, somebody's important someone. They're somebody's family.

We just can't let this latest stage be another bottomless Grand Canyon dividing us into "them" and "us".

We just can't.

I'm talking to myself here: I'm not immune. (Ha. No pun intended.)

Somebody's loved ones will be last. I can't help but hope and pray it's not mine but maybe it will be. And the longer this goes on, the worse this is going to feel.

I just heard something from Dr Fauci that based on the huge 16-64 age group, good health and the ability to work from home, I shouldn't expect to be vaccinated until some time late summer.

How ever do we stay patient? However do we do that?

Individually, we can't do much about vaccine supply or demand. We can't do much about the groups we fall into.

But we can be role models, countering restlessness and counseling patience when others are frustrated and fearful.

That we can do. While we wait.

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Not my photo but it does resonate, much like our weekly drop-bys delivering pandemic pudding to my husband's daughter and her sweet family, including the much-adored twin grandsons. We're masked up. We stay outdoors. We don't stay long. And when we depart, we "hug" from afar, wrapping our arms around the air between us, filling it with love.


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.

Sunshine Orange Muffins ♥, barely sweet, sweetened mostly with a whole orange and one of my favorite pantry ingredients for a flavor boost, frozen orange juice concentrate.

Seasonal Showcase: Just-Picked Fresh Oranges

Forget one or two. Buy a bag!

Orange & Cumin Vinaigrette ♥, bright and vibrant, fresh-squeezed citrus with earthy cumin.

Savory Orange Slices ♥, a simple and surprising orange salad, savory not sweet.

Winter Greens Salad with Oranges, Avocado, Olives, Feta & Orange-Cumin Vinaigrette, another simple seasonal salad ♥


Lasagna Soup with Fresh Spinach ♥, a healthy hearty soup, high protein.
  • "I made this for dinner last night. LOVED it. I've never thought of using anise seeds in anything. They added such a nice touch. Topped with a bit of cheese, it made an excellent dinner." ~ Ann
  • THE RECIPE Lasagna Soup with Fresh Spinach

  • "I've had a bread maker for 25 or more years but used it mostly to make dough because I didn't like the texture of (most) bread maker breads UNTIL I tried your whole grain bread. Oh my! It must the add in's that give it its special taste and texture but it's SOME good. It's the new favorite in our house." ~ Kate
  • THE RECIPE Whole Grain Bread

Mid-Winter Dinners

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

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

Hamburger Casserole ♥, one-skillet weeknight comfort food, 'lightened up' and highly adaptable. Not a single can of mushroom soup in sight.
  • THE RECIPE Hamburger Casserole Weeknight comfort food lightened up.
  • ANOTHER TAKE Hamburger Soup A hearty soup with chunks of meat and a cornucopia of bright-colored vegetables.

Public Service Announcement

You know all those dried beans we hoarded bought last year at the start of the pandemic? It's time to cook 'em, stat. Time is running out.

I cooked a beautiful pot of Red Beans & Rice this week, so good. But the year-old beans took an extra hour to cook and even then, weren't quite as creamy as usual.

If you don't know when that stash of beans was purchased, my recommendation is to give them a toss. Or cook them in a simple way (Creamy Slow Cooker Beans, say) where you won't regret the potential loss of the other ingredients.

One Quick Tip: Why Dried Beans Won't Cook ♥, the reason why dried beans some times won't cook, how to avoid it.

The Light! The Light!

Take notice!

  • This is the time of year when the sunsets are amazing!

  • We had snow one day this week and the next morning when the sun came out, oh my, the kitchen just lit up in the morning!
  • The days are noticeably longer, right?

Let's Make Some Fun ...

Time is so funny now, right? Christmas feels like ... months ago. But just look what's ahead of us! Put a moment's thought to it and yeah, fun is to be had!

And yeah, these holidays will be shaped by lockdowns and social distancing. SO BE IT. But within your own pod? or in a way that keeps everyone safe? Let's have a little fun, shall we?

Me, I'm totally IN for February 6th. We're already planning an early-morning delivery for the local grandkids! One day, I hope they'll laugh about "pudding Fridays" and that one time when PopPop and Miss Alanna delivered ice cream for breakfast ...

  • 2/2 Groundhog Day
  • 2/6 Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
  • 2/7 Superbowl
  • 2/14 Valentines
  • 2/15 President's Day
  • 2/16 Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras / Pancake Day
  • 2/17 Ash Wednesday
  • 3/14 Pi Day
  • 3/17 St Patrick's Day
  • 3/27-4/3 Passover
  • 4/1 April Fool's Day
  • 4/2 Good Friday (aka Hot Cross Buns Day)
  • 4/4 Easter
  • 4/22 Earth Day
  • 4/25 The Oscars
  • 5/1 Derby Day
  • 5/5 Cinco de Mayo
  • 5/9 Mother's Day
  • 5/31 Memorial Day

Hot Appetizers

Let's start with a (just us) Superbowl party?

A side note. Is anyone else aware that we're coming up on the one-year-ago moments? The ones where we remember that last year, at this time, life was still in the Before Times? We hosted a small Superbowl thingie last year, just nine of us, a far cry from the two who'll gather this year.

You too? Similar situation? Anyway my goal here is to offer up some appetizers that you won't be sorry to have hanging around later in the week.

Buffalo Chicken Dip ♥, an easy-easy appetizer with a surprise ingredient, spaghetti squash. WW Friendly. Low Fat. Low Carb. High Protein.

Hot Corn Dip, a super-fast, super-easy hot appetizer at ♥ Just five ingredients and ten minutes.

Easy-Easy Grilled Mushroom Appetizer ♥, what an easy appetizer recipe! What a crowd pleaser! Just two ingredients and a few minutes on the grill. Easy clean-up too!

Better Hummus ...

Basics matter. Yeah, you can buy decent-but-not-great hummus already made. And even a simple homemade hummus made with canned chickpeas can be pretty special.

But I'm here to tell you, cooking dried chickpeas especially for hummus is a game-changer. Go ahead, cook a whole pound of chickpeas, they freeze well. I like to freeze them in containers that hold 271 grams, the equivalent of a drained can of chickpeas. Very convenient for recipe conversion!

Or just make this trio of homemade hummus. Hmmm, hummuses?

Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus ♥, simple hummus, perfected with three special techniques. Vegan and lower-fat.

Roasted Eggplant Hummus ♥, eggplant, chickpeas & Greek yogurt in an addictive, ultra smooth and creamy dip and spread. Low Carb. Weight Watchers friendly.

Red Pepper Hummus, another easy vegan appetizer ♥

Made Me Think ...

  • How Do You Preserve Family Recipes? from Cup of Jo, the comments are a goldmine. I just looked through our family cookbook published 19 years ago. It's still totally relevant!

  • 4 Nutrition Trends to Watch in 2021 TAKE-AWAY "From scratch cooking with whole foods, an influx of fortified foods and supplements with immune-enhancing nutrients, a return to plant-forward eating, and the embrace of the concept known as intuitive eating, 2021 is already shaping up to be a year of embracing total wellness over the concept of fad diets."

  • Am I Wrong to Tell Someone to Pull Up Her Mask? TAKE-AWAY "Silence means tacit approval of a situation that puts other people—especially other workers—at risk. We shouldn’t be so concerned about mishandling the situation that we choose to do nothing at all."

Veggies Forever

To mark A Veggie Venture's 15th anniversary in 2020, I took a hard look at the first 365 vegetable recipes from the first year to select just 15 which, all these many years and recipes later, remain ever so useful. The result is a fascinating collection of recipes, 15 Favorite Vegetable Recipes, Still Useful After 15 Years. Here's just one.

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.

PS Who's noticed? I'm big on "usefulness". See? Best-Ever “Most Useful” Recipes 2002 – Present, just one recipe per year from Kitchen Parade.

Soups & Salads Especially for February

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

Not to Miss!

Light Red Cabbage & Carrot Slaw, another bright, healthy salad ♥ A Veggie Venture. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan. Naturally Gluten Free. Winter Color!


Who else loves seeing old photos pop up, quick memories from years past? Welcome to a recipe timehop ...

Roasted Applesauce with Raspberries ♥, the raspberries add glorious color and brightness.

Quick Ways to Doctor Frozen Green Beans ♥ AVeggie, a collection of easy ideas.


My Top 10 Recipes are predictable, hello Ripe Bananas for Baking: How Ripe Should Bananas Be? 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.

How to Safely Cut a Butternut Squash into Cubes and Keep All Ten Fingers, step-by-step photos ♥ Rave reviews!

What's New?!

Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables ♥, barely roasted, big chunks meant for casual sharing. Vegan. WW Friendly. Low Carb.

Broccoli Tapenade, another versatile vegetable spread ♥ Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Just Updated!

Crockpot Chili with Spicy Sausage ♥, just cook ground beef and spicy sausage, then dump it all into a slow cooker or Dutch oven for slow cooking in the oven or on the stove. Meaty and man-friendly!

Spanish Stew with Roasted Pepper (Chilindron) ♥, a wine-enriched stew, dark and somehow mysterious with roasted red peppers.

Make-Ahead Bran Muffin Batter ♥, mix now, bake in small batches later, including a single microwave bran muffin in a mug.

How to Make Homemade Applesauce, another simple seasonal recipe ♥ No added sugar!

Cranberry Pudding with Butter Sauce ♥, a popular recipe from the 1950s and 1960s, a dense, moist cranberry cake served with a rich butter sauce.

Don't Be a Stranger ...

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.