Seasonal Sundays (Week 13) Sides for Spring Celebrations

Seven side dishes to consider for Easter and other spring celebrations, mostly featuring spring vegetables like asparagus, artichokes and carrots but with a surprise ingredient or two. I hope you'll find one or two that will grace your own celebration tables ...

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

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hey, all. Thank you for following Kitchen Parade, for checking in on these Sunday recipe collections. It means the world to be welcomed into your InBox and RSS readers and most of all, your kitchens. So thank you, thank you. And if you like this week's recipes, perhaps you'll share them with a friend or social circle?

My inbox is filled with Easter inspiration and a penciled "maybe make this" list grows longer with each passing day while imagining how a new recipe or two might fit in with simple favorites from my own recipe collection.

Our Easter is unencumbered by tradition — except for the Armenian Easter Bread (also called choereg or choreg) on Palm Sunday and Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday.

So it's fun, especially as the seasons change, to return to simple spring dishes that easily fit into an Easter buffet, an Easter lunch, even an Easter brunch.

Here's to exploring a few surprising choices, variations on familiar spring ingredients like asparagus, artichokes, carrots and more. Enjoy!

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: This time last year, I picked up a few mini daffodils and mini hyacinths for small pots for a tray on the kitchen table. Once the blooms began to wilt, I found a sunny spot in the garden for the bulbs, not expecting much, just pushing them into the soft spring-drenched soil. Lo and behold, all six plants bloomed this year, all of three inches tall, small but mighty. There's a life lesson in this, right?

In Praise Of ...

  • ... the "music" of ice, in a Spotify playlist, bringing back memories of the fascinating sounds of the ice breaking up at my cousin's home along the Red River in Winnipeg. Such crashing and roaring ...
  • ... the chance to win a spring-pretty golden yellow Kitchen Aid mixer from the folks at Canada's Crosby's Molasses, see the details for their spring contest, must be Canadian to win the mixer but all molasses lovers can win every week or so with a free subscription to Crosby's newsletter and by reading all the fond stories of molasses on a Facebook post.
  • ... To Kill a Mockingbird (affiliate link) which New York Times' readers concluded is the best book in 125 years. We picked up copies for the birthdays of our 14-year old twins grandsons and are re-reading the book ourselves. I've been reading Mockingbird (before there was MockingJay) my entire life: each time, my age, my circumstance, the world's tenor, illuminates different themes, phrases, fears.

May I Suggest ... a Link?

Let me just presume that if you're reading this, well, you're both a cook and a recipe collector. Don't the two kinda go together? And that means you tuck aside interesting recipes all over the place and then, dang, where is that chicken recipe that looked so good anyway? Here's an idea. Start a folder on your phone, call it "Kitchen Parade" or "Alanna" or whatever makes best sense to you. Then save the recipes you're most interested in right there in one place. Easy Peasy.

SEASONAL INSPIRATION: Sides for Spring Celebrations

Party Asparagus with Aioli ♥ The trick to serving asparagus chilled? Salt. A little effort but definitely worthwhile for perfect chilled asparagus.

Moroccan Onions ♥, sliced, spiced and roasted onions, easy to make for one or two or a crowd. Simple but gorgeous!

Creamy Spinach with Artichokes ♥, spinach artichoke dip meets steakhouse creamed spinach.

Greek Baked Beans (Gigantes Plaki) ♥, healthy beans cooked in the oven until creamy with tomatoes, warm spices. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Greek Spinach-Asparagus-Potato Gratin ♥, layers of potato and delicious creamed spinach and asparagus.

Bourbon-Glazed Roasted Carrots ♥ Pretty spring carrots roasted slowly, then drizzled with a caramel glaze flavored with bourbon or another good-tasting liquor.

Italian Pasta Salad with Garlicky Tomatoes & Collard Greens, another healthy refrigerator salad ♥ Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly.

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.

No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock for the Slow Cooker ♥ Absolutely delicious, just 4 common vegetables, seasoning.

Looking Ahead ...

  • April 5 - Beginning of Passover
  • April 9 - Easter
Easter Ideas & Recipes ♥, from Hot Cross Buns to Twice-Smoked Ham.

Looking Back ...

A Quick Peek Into a Real-Life Kitchen

Just so you know, everything's not all pretty pictures around here, in the background is a pile of dirty dishes. And just like many (all?) of us, come five o'clock, I too draw a blank about what to make for supper, despite so many recipes I so dearly love. Here's a quick peek from the last week.

Cast Iron Meatloaf ♥, my go-to meatloaf recipe, tender, moist and full of flavor thanks to milk-soaked bread crumbs and a pile of chopped vegetables that melt into the meatloaf.
  • THIS WEEK So I'd been scanning this cookbook which claims that men and women and especially boys and girls eat differently, in a fundamental Mars and Venus sort of way. Here, I know that my husband definitely leans more into meat, I lean more into vegetables. So that night? We had meatloaf. My recipe is laced with plants (that night, it was spinach and mushrooms) but he never guessed, just raved about how good the meatloaf tasted. So there, Mars. :-) I have decided I'd like a little more oomph in the topping, at least when using Trader Joe's Marinara. A little BBQ sauce would to it, I think.
  • THE RECIPE Cast Iron Meatloaf My go-to recipe for meatloaf.

(Sloooow) Baked Potatoes, How Long to Bake a Baked Potato ♥, one hour in the oven is not enough! How long to bake baked potatoes for soft, nutty flesh and crisp, crackly skins.
  • THIS WEEK That same night, I put the potatoes in early. One hour is definitely not enough, that night we had two-hour baked potatoes, the skins were nicely chewy but oh, the interior flesh is so good with a longer time in the oven. I baked an extra potato for fried breakfast potatoes the next couple of days.
  • THE RECIPE (Sloooow) Baked Potatoes (How Long to Bake a Baked Potato) One Hour Is Just Not Enough.

Microwave Broccoli, another easy way to cook our very favorite broccoli ♥
  • THIS WEEK Meatloaf + baked potatoes called for another vegetable, yes?
  • THE RECIPE Microwave Broccoli Yes, you really do have time to cook some broccoli.

Reuben Casserole ♥, great for leftover corned beef, quick, easy & very tasty.
  • THIS WEEK Quick make-em-up casseroles are having a moment in my kitchen, nearly always starting with a base recipe, then veering off, some times way off. That night, I used leftover corned beef, some carryout brisket, added pasta and sauerkraut, then used a roasted garlic cream cheese instead of Thousand Island. Tuck this one away for a germ of an idea ...
  • THE RECIPE Reuben Casserole Just five ingredients, wonderful homemade Thousand Island dressing.

Just Updated! (It's a Mini Moment!)

Mini Porcupine Meatballs, another Quick Supper ♥, a retro recipe updated for contemporary tastes. Low Carb. High Protein. Cheap Eats.

Mini Coffee Cookies with Currants ♥, tiny coffee-flavored cookie bites, perfect to dunk into a cup of coffee.

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.