Seasonal Sundays (Week 8) Mid February

Still looking for last-minute Superbowl and Valentine's ideas? This week's recipes have these back-to-back "holidays" covered plus so so much more.
Seasonal Sundays ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

It cannot be said too often ... "I appreciate you".

Yes, you. YOU.

Thank you for inviting Kitchen Parade into your InBox. Thank you for trusting my recipes. Thank you for your notes of encouragement and LOL the occasional Christmas letter ... and yes, occasionally, chastisement and comeuppance.

Who are you appreciating right now?

Put it into words. Say it out loud! Tell someone else, too!

Here's someone I appreciate. It's Samantha Reynolds aka bentlily who's been writing a poem a day for eleven years – her way of noticing little moments that might otherwise be missed. Try on A Love Letter to Humanity and then go ahead, sign up for a free weekly email, seven days of human moments worth noticing.

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Valentine's usually focuses on romantic couple love but today Valentine kisses go to my nephew who's over thirty and still dreaming about his nana (my mom) nearly twenty years after her passing. This week he woke up with a smile after dreaming about a full-body hug with her, LOL including her "gaudy silver bracelet" digging into his neck. The photo was taken a few months before her death. We were all in Florida for New Year's and the two of them took a walk around the neighborhood. Such, such intimacy ...


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.

Orange & Avocado Salad, another healthy mid-winter salad ♥
  • THE RECIPE Orange & Avocado Salad Simple but sumptuous.
  • WHY THIS, WHY NOW Really, LOL, who doesn't have an avocado or two leftover from making My Guacamole for the Superbowl? There's avocado toast, of course, but whoa, this salad.

What's New?!

Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.

Quick 'n' Easy Shrimp Bisque ♥, part bisque, part chowder, all delicious.

Last-Minute Appetizers

Tuna & White Bean Dip ♥, a real crowd pleaser. Low Carb. High Protein. Naturally Gluten Free. Weight Watchers Friendly!

Estonian Deviled Eggs ♥, ultra-soft and ultra-creamy with a buttery filling.

Best Quick Tomato Salsa ♥, 10 minutes start to chip. Budget Friendly. Low Carb. Vegan. Great for Meal Prep.

Last-Minute Valentine's Ideas

Seared Scallops with Garlicky Polenta & Chimichurri ♥ A simple romantic dinner, perfectly cooked scallops bedded in creamy polenta and topped with racy spoonsful of chimichurri.

Warm Baked Feta & Tomatoes with Shrimp ♥ TikTok phenomenon worth the hype as an appetizer, casual meal or pasta feast.

Sweet Pepper Pasta Skillet, another Quick Supper ♥, three colors of bell pepper plus corn, peas and fresh basil. Easy Weeknight Dinner. Budget Friendly.

The Gazpacho Gestapo

At least our miserable politics gave us a good laugh this week, when a certain congresswoman confused Nazi police with ... because this is so obvious, right? ... the classic Spanish chilled tomato soup. Within 24 hours, my wonderful summer-only Tomato Gazpacho showed up in the Top Ten recipes trending on A Veggie Venture.

Everybody makes mistakes but crime-in-etly.

PS On a lighter and personal note, it was gazpacho that turned my into a seasonal cook, the story is here, Cold & Creamy Cantaloupe Soup.

How to make Tomato Gazpacho, the classic chilled Spanish summer soup ♥ Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Vegan.
  • THE RECIPE Tomato Gazpacho Worthy of an occasion, a summer meal in itself.

For Now, It's "Enough".

MOVE MORE Last fall, I lost more than a week to a back issue that just wouldn't resolve. Getting up and down was p-a-i-n-f-u-l but I forced myself to walk for a few minutes every half hour, just in the house, just as many steps as I could manage. At one point, I even asked my husband to bring my dad's old walker up from the basement, just to keep moving.

Once back improved, we started walking just 15 minutes at a time, just around the pool, just around the front drive. Just 15 minutes! You don't have to "make time" for 15 minutes! And I've kept it up ... it's not "exercise" but it is moving more.

But I was still feeling stiff and achey in the morning. So I started doing a few minutes of standing exercises in the morning and just before bed – and by a few minutes, I mean maybe six or seven minutes max. You don't have to "make time" for six or seven minutes! I make up my own regimen, starting from the shoulders down and then back up to the neck, part stretching, part repetition, some times with small weights, just 5 reps per step.

And you know what? I couldn't believe the difference in how I felt, getting up.

Once I felt better, the morning exercises became increasingly infrequent but I kept up the night exercises – and then came the revelation that if I did both, well, I was doubling that movement. Doubled!

This obviously isn't an idea that suits people who have well-ingrained exercise practices. But for those who don't, it's "enough" (for now) to Move More.

JUST BREATHE Her mom and I were basically raised in the same cradle so I've known Tomika Koch since she was a prayer in her mom's heart. This girl's known more than her share of troubles and now is investing her life passion in song-writing, including the just-released Just Breathe. That left hand on the piano is heart-stopping ... and maybe, just maybe, there are days when just breathing is enough.

Lunch at the Kitchen Table

Delicious Microwave Sweet Potato ♥ How to microwave a whole sweet potato.

The Dinner Bell

Seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, the dinner bell rings. If we're gonna eat, somebody's gotta cook, some nights fuel, some nights a feast. Let's make it good, a welcome end to our days.
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.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes, more easy meal prep ♥ A Veggie Venture, just sloppy joes made with lentils instead of hamburger, full of spices and flavor. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan.

Even meat eaters approve of this lentil dish, just love the spices!

Pork & Poblano Skillet ♥, a quick supper recipe, pork braised with roasted poblano pepper.

Good to Know

How to Cook Popcorn in a Microwave In a Paper Bag ♥, like an airpop, no oil!

Put an Egg on Top aka "How About Eggs for Dinner?"

Why should breakfast get all the eggs?! If eggs for dinner were a club, I'd be president, chief marketing officer, resident evangelist, public advocate and ... hey, wanna join my club? Start here!

French Scrambled Eggs ♥, eggs cooked low and slow, with a few vegetables. Sumptuous! Naturally Gluten Free. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

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!

Beef Barley Soup with Mushrooms ♥, hearty, meaty soup packed with root vegetables and earthy mushrooms and the addictive nuttiness of barley.

Savoring Sweet Potatoes: A Challenge

So usually my "challenges" are, well, a challenge, an endeavor, a project. But here? For a few weeks, I hope you'll throw a few sweet potatoes onto your grocery list, knowing there'll be a simple recipe to tackle. Who's game?!
How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in a Slow Cooker, so simple ♥ Great for Meal Prep. Vegan. Gluten Free. WW Friendly. Budget Friendly.

This Week's Soup

Peasant Cabbage-Tomato Soup, another healthy soup ♥, just a handful of pantry ingredients. Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

Finnish Food

Finnish Tiger Cake ♥, a mini chocolate marble pound cake with stripes just like a tiger, easy to double for a large family or a party.

Lookin' for Love

We're all proud of our best recipes that family and friends (and the Internet!) just love. But what about the recipes we love but are, ahem, so far under-appreciated? This recipe is just that, it could use a little extra love!

Spinach Salad with Fruity Vinaigrette, Fresh Fruit & Maple-Glazed Pecans ♥, a big dinner salad, fresh and green with a rainbow of fruit and g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s Maple-Glazed Pecans, all lightly dressed in a Fruity Vinaigrette.

Made Me Think ...

Soups & Salads Especially for February

What sparks us in February? Seed catalogs, of course. But for many of us, February is the last real month of winter, almost the last chance for a seasonal cook to revel in cold-weather specialties. So there's soup, of course! And salads, of course! That's why I spent a year gathering all of A Veggie Venture's best soup and salad recipes into easy-to-scan month-by-month collections.

Dig into Seasonal Soup & Salad Recipes for February, tons of ideas!

Here's a sample!

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

Feeding a Sugar-Conscious Sweet Tooth

You too? We're cutting back on sweets without demonizing dessert, usually with smaller batches, smaller servings, shareable desserts or fruit desserts in addition to limiting frequency. But some times?

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


My Top 10 Recipes are predictable, hello Should Cooked Pork Be Pink? 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 Freeze Stock in Canning Jars ♥

Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie ♥, a summer masterpiece and a perfect balance of sweet and tart and cinnamon.

Just Updated!

Tired of the same-old same-old sweet potatoes? Find new inspiration in this collection of seasonal Sweet Potato Recipes ♥, savory to sweet, every-day to special-occasion, simple to complex, summer to winter. Many Weight Watchers, vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, whole30 recipes.

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, draw a huge heart with the power washer, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, 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.