Seasonal Sundays: Easy Dinners for a Busy Week (Week 13)

This week's "Seasonal Seven" recipe collection includes Quick Suppers, ones to make an extra-busy week (whatever the reason) just a little bit easier. Fingers crossed that one or more become "keepers" in your own supper-saver favorites.

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 this newsletter with a friend or social circle? If you forward this message, others may subscribe for free right here. Thank you!

How many big balls in your air? Me, I'm counting five and each one begs for attention N O W now. The lists are long, likely to be abbreviated of all but the necessities even as I long for and still hope for the niceties. [Hmmm, that's how you spell nice - ities? So says the dictionary. And see how easily I get distracted by distract-i-ties?]

Anyway. Busy weeks. I know some have busy weeks every week, it's just life.

But me, I know we'll eat braunschweiger sandwiches all week unless I have a plan/groceries for a few easy dinners. Or worse, my husband will be on the hunt for pricey carry-out every night.

Hence ... while other recipe sites will throw Easter after Easter after more Easter inspiration your way, me, I'm worried about getting dinner on the table for all the days before and even a few afterward. Hence today's featured recipes, "Easy Dinners for a Busy Week". Bookmark this, for your own extra-busy weeks?

Easter Ideas & Recipes ♥, from Hot Cross Buns to Twice-Smoked Ham.

PS For anyone looking for actual Easter inspiration, check out Easter Recipe Ideas, Sides for Spring Celebrations and Celebration Breads & Cakes for sweet endings (bonus: scroll down for our Easter menu in 2023).

PPS For anyone cooking a ham, buy some beans, carrots and celery when shopping for Easter and save that bone for Ham & Beans on Easter Monday or Tuesday. Soooo good. Might be the best part about cooking a ham!

PPPS I may take a short break from Seasonal Sundays, one and possibly two weeks. By next Sunday, four of those five balls will still be in the air.

In Praise Of ... Rugs (Rugs? Yes, Rugs)

  • ... this throw rug (affiliate link), it's soft, comes in a bunch of colors, washes well and ... this is the BIG thing, the thing that's so HARD TO FIND ... it actually sticks to the floor, no slipping. We've had a small rug for 18 months, it's been through the washer at least that often and still looks (and sticks!) as good as new.

  • ... this inexpensive area rug (affiliate link), comes in various sizes/colors, looks more expensive than it is, our is actually right at our front door which doesn't get a ton of traffic but still, can go from pristine to muddy in one step

  • ... so who knew I'd be hyping up rugs from Amazon? certainly not me but these really work and I know it took me awhile to talk myself into buying rugs online since my experience with big rugs (the 8x10s and 9x12s) is that it's hard enough to visualize how they're going to look at home flat on the floor vs hanging vertically in a store. I've returned a LOT of rugs, there's even one waiting to return right (nagging) in front of me. But for these small rugs? Online works, at least it does for me.

The Words of Wise Women

  • "Here’s to no seat uncontested. Here’s to more farmers finding political alliances on the left out in the sticks. Here’s to not leaving rural America behind." ~ Jess Piper, the "Dirt Road Democrat" and Missouri activist who ran for office (and lost) in Deep Red Missouri on her Substack newsletter, Lost Dogs, Rural Progressives, and Political Alliances where dogs on the run brought her face to face with a neighbor and most unexpectedly, fellow progressive.

Made Me Think ...

  • Steve Schmidt was John McCain's campaign chairman and has been anti-Trump (and anti those from the GOP who support Trump) from the get go. He's whip smart and a real wordsmith but can be a cranky old curmudgeon. This piece really hit me ...
  • READ Trump is a bully, and like all bullies, he is weak
  • TAKEAWAY "Donald Trump is a disgrace of staggering dimensions, but if there were to be a single quality in his Mount Everest of character deficits that render him utterly unfit to be president of the United States it is his cruelty. Cruelty and power are a terrible combination. When they combine, terrible things happen. It is why I write so often about the most momentous event in human history — World War II — which remains humanity’s last and final warning."

Are There Decent Non-Alcoholic Wines?

I keep hearing no-alcohol wines are uniformly bad but maybe others have a better experience?

NA beer and so-called "mocktails" can be really good so why not wine?

I'm on the hunt right now because we'll soon be spending time with friends who don't drink. That's actually zero problem for us, we're hardly big drinkers, but I also have the idea that I'd like to have a really nice option when we have friends for dinner and one/more are the designated drivers ... or to finish the evening when we're all just hanging out at the table not quite ready to leave but have had enough to drink.

THE SEASONAL SEVEN: Easy Dinners for a Busy Week

For this week's recipes, I aimed for Quick Supper recipes that ...

  • ... make up in minutes without creating a sinkful of dishes
  • ... a mix of hot and cold, depending on the weather and the mood
  • ... a few meaty mains, a few vegetarian meals
  • ... a blend of eat-it-all now and plan for leftovers
  • ... all-around healthy, hearty fare with lots of versatility so no extra shopping
  • ... all from my Quick Suppers Recipes, easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher.
Very Very Green Green-Pea Soup ♥, quick and easy with frozen peas. Beautiful color.

Easy Margarita Chicken ♥, a quick supper, sautéed chicken breasts topped with salsa and cheese, served with delicious doctored black beans.

Twenty-Minute Taco Bar, another Quick Supper ♥ Just four steps, then feast.

Italian Sausage with Grapes & Greens, another Quick Supper for summer ♥, sausages cooked with grapes and spinach.

Broccoli Rigatoni with Chickpeas & Lemon ♥, an easy vegetarian supper recipe, lemony, garlicky, cheesy, broccoli good.

Simple Lentil Salad with Seasonal Vegetables ♥, a concept recipe, a supper salad that starts with meaty lentils and whatever vegetables are on hand or appeal.

A collection of seasonal Quick Supper recipes, a specialty ♥ Easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher.
  • THE COLLECTION Quick Suppers, a Kitchen Parade specialty where dinner is easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher.
  • QUICK SUPPERS ARE JUST ONE CATEGORY IN Recipes by Course, super-organized, of course.

What's Brand-Spankin' New?!

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

Smoked Salmon Quiche ♥ Just a crust plus 20 minutes, perfect for brunch or a simple supper.


Last-Minute Pantry Pie ♥, just five ingredients, all from the pantry, excellent with both canned fruit and fresh fruit. Just Five Ingredients Plus a Crust. Fresh & Flexible. Crowd Pleaser. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.
  • BIRTHDAY CAKE PIE! My sister mentioned making this easy-easy pie with mandarin oranges for my brother-in-law's birthday this week, just as they were about ready to enjoy another slice. She really loves orange flavor so says next time, she'll add a bunch of orange zest for, um, well, extra zest.
  • THE RECIPE Last-Minute Pantry Pie Just five pantry ingredients. No bake!

March: Reader Favorites

Light 'n' Easy Chocolate Pudding ♥, just five ingredients so perfect for weeknights or late-night chocolate attacks.

March: Lost Recipes

Easy Turkey Chili ♥, zero points for Weight Watchers, extra-easy with frozen vegetables and canned beans.

The Kitchen Parade Almanac: Looking Ahead ...

  • March 28th (this Thursday) - Baseball Opening Day!
  • March 31st (next Sunday) - Easter (yikes! soooo early!)
  • April 1 (Monday) - April Fool's Day
  • April 8 (Monday) - Solar Eclipse
  • April 22 - 24th - Beginning of Passover
  • April 22 (Monday) - Earth Day
  • May 1 (Wednesday) - May Day (Vappu in Finland)
  • May 4 (Saturday) - Derby Day
  • May 5 (Sunday) - Cinco de Mayo
  • May 12 (Sunday) - Mother's Day & Wear the Hat, Dammit: A Mother's Day Essay
  • May 27 (Monday) - Memorial Day
  • June 1 (Saturday) - Alanna's Unofficial First Day of Summer

Looking Back ...

Soups & Salads Especially for March

March is such a funny month for cooking, some wintry days (yo, soups!), some spring-like days (hey, salads!) and so many days neither one nor the other, just smack in the middle. So what grabs us depends on the day, yes? 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. Here's a sample!

Cream of Celery Soup, another healthy soup ♥ A Veggie Venture, a simple homemade celery soup, all about the celery and way more than the sum of its parts. Rave reviews!

Good to Know!

Hot Cross Buns, an Easter tradition ♥, spiced sweet buns topped with icing crosses.

Whole Foods Test Kitchen

When I did a last run of this week's brand-new recipe, Smoked Salmon Quiche, I kinda quaked at the prices for smoked salmon at Whole Foods, $9 for four ounces, the equivalent (ouch) of $36 per pound. (Trader Joe's prices are slightly less, but still.) I did buy two pieces, one labeled "hot-smoked" and another labeled "roasted". And then when I made the quiche, I used just the first piece and learned, happily, that four ounces does indeed make for a very nice quiche, even though I prefer eight.

Anyway. That left me with the "roasted" piece, this Classic Norwegian Roasted Salmon (affiliate link) which was absolutely delicious. It would be great for Charcuterie for Two but I used it as the dinner protein, four ounces was plenty given the vegetables I served with it. So so good.

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.

Swedish Red Cabbage & Apples ♥ A Veggie Venture, savory not sweet, a tradition at Christmas, adding welcome color and texture to a plate. Recipe, cooking tips, nutrition, WW Weight Watchers points included.
  • THIS WEEK I actually cooked a lot this week, kinda proud of myself, yes ma'am, I am. My very favorite way to create a sort of warm supper salad is to cook a starch (or on this night, grab a small container of cooked White Rice from the freezer, it heats in the microwave in 3 minutes or so); add a big portion of vegetables (that night, from a sleepy head of cabbage and cooked not until soft but cooked/still crisp); and then put a little protein on top (that night, a piece of roasted salmon). We both totally gobbled up this dinner and I did make the full big batch so we nibbled on cabbage for another couple of days. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Swedish Red Cabbage & Apples Savory not sweet.

Beef & Mushroom Stew ♥, a classic recipe with flavorful gravy and great texture.
  • THIS WEEK We had a guy scheduled to work inside the house, he has the reputation for starting late and staying long so I wanted to have a ready-made dinner. He ended up not coming but boy oh boy was I happy to have dinner in the over. The recipe is written for the stovetop but this day, I slow-cooked it in the oven for about 10 hours at 225F. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Beef & Mushroom Stew On the table and flavorful within an hour.

Smitten Kitchen's Avocado-Cucumber Salad ♥, addictively good, so many variations. Low Carb. Gluten Free.
  • THIS WEEK I threw in a bunch of raw, thin asparagus. So good! I also learned the importance of a ripe but firm avocado. That mushy one? Not so good! 🙁
  • THE RECIPE Smitten Kitchen's Avocado-Cucumber Salad Addictively good, so many variations.

Tender Pork Tenderloin with Cumin Carrot Fries, another Quick Supper ♥, quick-seared pork finished in oven with addictively good roasted carrots.
  • THIS WEEK I probably need to give the Cumin Carrot Fries their own page because I don't make the tenderloin very often (all that fish and beef in the freezer) but those fries? A definite regular. So good!
  • THE RECIPE Tender Pork Tenderloin with Cumin Carrot Fries A Quick Supper, fast and easy.

Just Updated!

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread ♥, traditional Irish soda bread recipe except with whole wheat flour. No yeast!

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!
  • What's the first sign of spring in your neck of the woods?
  • Who else is fascinated by the slow-then-super-fast and now again-slow progression of spring?
  • I'm Team Deviled Eggs. You?
  • Who's hearing spring peepers? The dawn chorus?
  • 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.

© 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.