Seasonal Sundays (Week 4) Rediscovering the Lowly Carrot

When was the last time we really raved over carrots, let alone ... noticed them? Carrots are good, sure. They're handy to have on hand. They keep. They're cheap. Even kids will eat the so-called baby carrots. And thus carrots are ubiquitous. Nothin' special. Nothin' extra. Nothin' to notice. But sign me up for the Carrot Campaign. There's gotta be a story behind this, right? Yep.

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

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

As ever, thank you for welcoming me into your InBox and RSS feed reader. It's your kitchens, your lives, I conjure while writing. I do not take your presence for granted.

Today's carrot subject was inspired by a weird-as-heck encounter at Whole Foods. Somebody was busy near the carrots when I was browsing the produce department. Five minutes later, he was still there and i-n-t-e-n-t so I headed into the rest of the store, picked up a dozen other groceries, then headed back to produce. The guy was still there! Two other shoppers were hovering, trying to get in. The guy avoided eye contact, would-not-let-them-get-near.

What was he after? Turns out, Whole Foods had what looked like some beautiful red carrots — not that I got to see those beauties myself because he bought-them-ALL, but not before inspecting each bunch, removing the band, snapping off the greens and lovingly stacking the red batons in his cart. Every other bunch or so, he'd accidentally break a carrot in half, he put these in the garbage!

Now as you might suspect, this guy was a real jerk. It took a produce manager to move him away long enough for two other shoppers and I to grab bags of plain ol' orange carrots and even that, he found a real interruption in his carrot endeavors.

Was he a restaurant owner? A personal chef? Some obnoxious foodie shopping for a dinner party? (Was he carrying?) What entitlement. (We know where he gets his news, don't we? We know how he votes for, right?) All for carrots.

But who needs it, right? I love those appealing bags of multi-colored (white! purple! yellow! hmmm, no red!) carrots as much as the next Trader Joe's shopper but really, those rainbow carrots are, as they say, all hat and no cattle. They look extra-pretty but does flavor match up with appearance? No.

So ever since, I'm fantasizing about all the many ways, from breakfast to dessert, we can take advantage of those inexpensive, healthy carrots that every grocery store in the country keeps in stock.

PS Have a favorite way to cook carrots? Hit me with ideas?! Maybe for red ones cuz you can bet, the next time I hit Whole Foods, I'm checking ...

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Top Image: My old cat loved cantaloupe. My dog loves watermelon. Why wouldn't a golden fetch an orange stick?!

Useful Links This Month

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 recipe ideas 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.

January: Oh, The Oranges, the Plump & Pretty Oranges!

Orange Recipes, a Seasonal Showcase ♥, savory to sweet, simple to sumptous.

January: Reader Favorites

Oven-Baked Brown Rice ♥, one to make again and again, even brown rice turns out moist and almost nutty. Totally easy! Rave reviews!

January: Lost Recipes

Chicken Nachos ♥, quick 'n' easy with rotisserie chicken, black beans, grilled peppers, jalapeños, cheddar and more.

SEASONAL INSPIRATION: Rediscovering the Lowly Carrot

Carrot Buttermilk Pancakes ♥ Light and fluffy with a surprise ingredient, a jar of carrot baby food.

How to Roast Carrots ♥, with simple detailed Instructions for new cooks.

Carrot-Jalapeño Quick Pickle Relish, no canning required ♥

Mashed Potatoes & Carrots ♥, a family favorite recipe, potatoes and carrots mashed together, requiring virtually no added fat.

Carrot & Chickpea Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing, another healthy vegan salad ♥ Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. Gluten Free.

Healthy Carrot Soup ♥, my cousin's famous carrot soup recipe, creamy even though it's made with skim milk, not cream. Weight Watchers Friendly. Budget Friendly. Low Carb. Rave Reviews!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes ♥, a cupcake adaptation of Cook's Illustrated's carrot cake recipe. It's made in the food processor!

A collection of seasonal Carrot Recipes ♥, Breakfast, Sides, Casseroles, Pickles, Soups, Salads, Suppers, Desserts and More.

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.

Chillin: Favorite Chili & Chowder Recipes with a Side of Cornbread, cold-weather, football-friendly favorites in another recipe collection ♥ Kitchen Parade.

The Kitchen Parade Almanac: Looking Ahead ...

  • February 2nd (Friday) - Groundhog Day
  • February 10th (Wednesday) - Lunar New Year
  • February 11th (duh, Sunday) - Superbowl Sunday
  • February 13th (Tuesday) - Mardi Gras / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Night
  • February 14th (Wednesday) - Valentine's
  • February 14th (Wednesday) - Ash Wednesday / Beginning of Lent
  • Fridays During Lent - Friday Fish
  • February 19th (Monday) - President's Day
  • February 29th (Thursday) - Leap Day 2024
  • March 1st - Alanna's Unofficial First Day of Spring
  • March 10th - "spring forward" time change
  • March 14th (Thursday) - Pi Day
  • March 16th (Saturday) - St. Urho's Day
  • March 17th (Sunday) - St. Patrick's Day
  • March 19th (Tuesday) - First Official Day of Spring
  • March 28th (Thursday) - Baseball Opening Day!
  • March 31st - Easter (yikes! soooo early!)

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.

Easy Spinach Nests ♥ An egg cooked in a 'nest' of fresh spinach, onion and a touch of cream.
  • THIS WEEK And so it goes, cooking with what we already have on hand this month and three times this week, this was lunch. So so good!
  • THE RECIPE Easy Spinach Nests Eggs cooked in nests of spinach.

Easy Everyday Bread for the Stand Mixer ♥ Keeps for Days. Adaptable & Budget Friendly.
  • THIS WEEK Our grandniece wants to learn how to make bread, our scheduled lesson had a weather delay but oh, the batch I'd started early for her didn't go to waste. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Easy Everyday Bread for the Stand Mixer Better bread, no kneading by hand! (PIN This)

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.

  • Any ideas for Seasonal Sundays? Share away!
  • Who's kinda happy for a deep freeze? It's so good for the earth, the plants ...
  • Who's on Team Resolution? Word of the Year? Just carrying on?
  • Who's dieting? Just cutting back? Just staying mindful?
  • Who's still writing 2023 on checks? LOL who's still writing checks?
  • Anything else? Chime in, chat away.

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.