Seasonal Sundays (Week 2) Winter Plant-Based Dinners

Seven vegetarian and vegan – that's veg(etari)an, right? – supper recipes leaning on winter vegetables, slow cookers, winter salads, big flavors and more. Fingers crossed that one or two are destined as "family favorites" in your own kitchens. Read on!

Seasonal Sundays, a weekly newsletter ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

This week, I've been thinking about what it's like to decide, on a whim, to move to a plant-based diet. There are new posts swimming in the back of my head.

I made that all-whim, no-plan decision myself way-way back and maintained a vegetarian diet for seven? maybe eight? years, I've forgotten now.

It was harder then, especially eating out: what dismay I felt, so many menus with a single vegetarian entrée, nearly aways pasta, nearly aways swimming in oil.

But it's hard now, too, because the processed food companies find big business in plant-based factory food.

So it's the same for omnivores and vegetarians and vegans: for a whole-foods based diet, with or without animal protein, you have to cook for yourself and to cook for yourself, you need a plan and ... recipes.

These thoughts inspired this week's collection of recipes that lean on vegetables, beans and lentils instead of meat. I hope you love 'em!

DO YOU HAVE A STORY TO TELL? I'd love to know your own experience with plant-based diets, transitions, accommodations, etc. Send me a quick e-mail (my current address is in the FAQs) and let's see how your story might be of interest to others. Maybe we'll talk? do an email interview? Let's see how it goes ...

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: Like much of the country, Missouri moved from deep-freeze to balmy between Christmas and New Year's. This pair of mallards was spotted at St. Louis' wonderful Forest Park.

For My Fellow Word Dancers

  • Zelensky's New Year's Eve Speech Wow. if you missed this speech, it's one that will stand the test of time. Sit down to really listen, really watch (and read, thank you subtitles) "Dear Ukranians" on Youtube.
  • I've followed journalist, author and thought leader James Fallows for a long while. Among many accomplishments, he was the youngest speechwriter ever in the Carter White House. So this guy, well, he knows the art and craft of speechmaking. On a new Substack newsletter (you can read and subscribe, for free), he outlined what made the speech so powerful, the poetry of "We Are Here" by Volodymyr Zelensky, the language, the imagery, the music, the timing. And then ... the clock struck midnight.
  • Slava Ukraini.
  • Hakeem Jeffries' A-Z Speech & Masterful Alliteration What a sad spectacle this week, watching weak men (largely) and mean women fight it out, including a near fall into fisticuffs, after being taken hostage by a rabid minority. (Sound familiar? Especially on the two-year History Rhymes anniversary of the January 6th Capitol attack?) After 15 votes, the new Speaker finally took the gavel and "spoke" to the country: all without owning up to his new masters, two accused sex offenders, both from Florida.

    But rhetorically speaking, it was new minority leader Hakeem Jeffries who owned the night: thanks to C-Span's unprecedented camera angles, even the tired GOP faces behind him knew it.

  • Jeffries' entire speech is full of literary richness but it's the alliterative A-Z that won my heart and will go down in history. Watch the whole speech on Youtube, it's worth listening to in its entirety not only for its oration but also to get to know Hakeem Jeffries' obvious intellect and warmth.
  • But the A-Z begins at the 13-minute mark, it's an incredible two minutes. And yeah, go look up "xenial" (and for that matter, "zenial") ...

Random Thoughts ...

Suet! No good way to feed the birds? We've been surprised at how much fun it is to hang a suet feeder near the kitchen windows, within easy sight. The feeder itself is inexpensive, $4 vs much more for good feeders, and the suet packs are only $2 and last for a week or more. Tis fun!

Christmas Still Up? I hear you ... though here the big stuff is down and the small stuff is contained in one room for boxing up. I intended to turn off the outside lights on Twelfth Night (January 6th) but then my Elvis-loving husband reminded me that at Graceland, the Christmas doo-dads stay up until after Elvis's birthday on January 8th, only two days of "grace" but still ...

Again this year, I'm boxing up "like things" and taking notes for next year at the same time. How many batteries and what batteries besides AA? What felt like "too much"? What brought me joy for a few weeks? (Hello, small simple wood and glass trees for the upstairs bedrooms, maybe $15 for the bunch.) I also label the boxes "none used in 2022" and "all used in 2022". I'm also on the lookout for a doll that can be spray-painted, there's just no reviving the Baby Jesus from the outdoor now-brittle 70-year old crêche that was my parents.

SEASONAL INSPIRATION: Plant-Based Dinners for Winter

Squash & Carrot Stew ♥, a low-calorie spice-rich vegetable stew with butternut squash and carrots. Two versions, one for the stovetop, another for a slow cooker. Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry Bowl ♥, for a healthy vegan dinner with coconut milk, green curry paste and lime. Weeknight Easy. Low Carb. WW Friendly.

Warm Lentil Salad with Spinach & Goat Cheese, another easy, delicious meal prep salad ♥ A Veggie Venture.

Greens & Grits ♥, spinach cooked with tomato and mushrooms, with a smidgin of heat from adobo, all atop quick-cooked grits.

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

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.

Chickpeas with Tomatoes, Spinach & Feta ♥, a vegetarian version of an all-time favorite supper.

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.

How to Poach a Perfect Egg ♥, the Cook's Illustrated technique. So easy, you'll never forget!

Just Updated!

How to Steam Eggs ♥ Simple technique for soft-cooked and hard-cooked eggs at the same time.
  • THE SIMPLE TECHNIQUE How to Steam Eggs Simple technique for soft-cooked and hard-cooked both at once.
  • ANOTHER TECHNIQUE Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs Perfect every time for meal prep, deviled eggs, egg salad and more.

Ham 101: What to Know Before Buying a Ham, a detailed guide ♥ Easter, anyone?
  • THE INFO Ham 101 What to Know Before Buying a Ham.
  • THEN FIRE UP THE SMOKER Twice-Smoked Ham How & why to smoke a smoked ham a second time.

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

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

Quick Jalapeño Pickles ♥, easy homemade refrigerator pickles, no canning required. Great for Mexican Meal Prep.

Don't Be a Stranger ...

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail (my current address is in the FAQs), 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, 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, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. 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. When you make my recipes, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below or better still, on the specific recipe's page.

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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.