Seasonal Sundays: Plant-Based Recipes for Earth Day (Week 17)

Grab a coffee (or a cocktail?!) because this week's all veg(etari)an recipes are offered to mark the 55th Earth Day that falls tomorrow, April 22nd, many (most?) of the recipes have never before been featured in almost five years of Seasonal Sundays. Let's sit down and compare notes, shall we?

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 of us are old enough to remember the first day in 19-freaking-70? I am and I do. But back then, at least in a pre-teen's memory, environmental action meant not littering, maybe listening Smoky the Bear's admonitions about preventing forest fires.

Now, of course, we all live with the consequences of climate change and deforestation even while litter still lines our roadsides and whoah, my Minnesota hometown is under fire warnings today. TODAY. In April. Years ago, the ice was barely out by now and when walleye season opened on Mother's Day weekend (such an in-your-face move, right?), we put lines in the water while wearing winter parkas.

What can a single household do? I have no glib answers but do think that Earth Day is a good reminder to take stock of "what" we already do and "what new moves" we will prioritize in the coming year.

On a grand scale, our votes in November matter. Check how the Biden administration is tackling climate change. Then recall former President's threat promise to "drill, baby, drill" -- more fossil fuel, more greenhouse gases,

But until November, our food decisions can make a difference. Where we shop. What we buy. How it's packaged. How we cook it. Even -- gasp -- how much we eat.

People in the know say that the current food system accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gasses, nearly all of it from animal agriculture, see

Even small moves can make a difference. If a recipe calls for a pound of chicken, use 3/4 pound. If your family is all about beef, cook a single steak family-style, then slice it like roast beef. Make a big, hearty salad with whole grains, roasted vegetables and just a couple of ounces of animal protein. Think about a "vegan before dinner" regimen. Join the Meatless Monday movement, just that reduces meat consumption by 1/7th, do it twice a week and it's 2/7, that's a personal reduction of more than 25%.

See? Small changes.

Democracy Matters

Every so often, I like to share my favorite sources of information and activism. Hmmm. I just this minute realized that all my favorites are ... women.

  • My Pick One choice will ever and always be the brilliant Heather Cox Richardson who has been writing Letters from an American nearly every single day since September 2019. For me, "Heather" (as we refer to her in this house) is a must-read. She cuts through the day's news and presents an interpretation in a calm, history-grounded voice, with an eye/ear for what will matter to historians in future. Facebook people, she also does twice-weekly talks/lectures: she's whip-smart, speaks in plain language without drama. Yes, I'm a big fan.

  • Joyce Vance writes another Substack newsletter called Civil Discourse. She's a law professor, a 25-year veteran of the Department of Justice, a former U.S. Attorney, a legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC – also a knitter and chicken keeper! Baby chicks and chickens show up every so often. I have increasing appreciation for her intellect and encouragement. "We're in this together," she signs off.

  • Jessica Craven's Chop Wood, Carry Water comes 5x a week with encouragement (so important!) plus a meaty list of very specific actions individuals can make, from 2 minutes to maybe an hour. But for anyone who's feeling discouraged, her Sunday "good news" newsletter is a must-read. Prepare to feel re-inspired!

  • Jess Piper is my latest newsletter crush, she calls herself the "Dirt Road Democrat" and is an activist who ran for office (and lost) in Deep Red Missouri. She's a great writer and storyteller and while The View from Rural Missouri covers Missouri, well, those threads are woven into the fabric of this country.

  • Podcast people, you'll appreciate the rich language and extemporary eloquence in Dahlia Lithwick's podcast covering the Supreme Court and the law called Amicus. Isn't that such a great name?! (Amicus is an individual or organization that is not a party to an action but who volunteers or is court-invited to advise on a matter before the court.)

THE SEASONAL SEVEN: Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes for Earth Day & Beyond

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

  • ... call for the pretty eggplant, zucchini, asparagus and other spring vegetables we find in grocery stores this time of year
  • ... are simple enough for weeknights but special enough for casual weekends
  • ... a mix of vegetarian and vegan (or easily converted to vegan)
Baba Ganoush (Middle Eastern Eggplant Spread), another easy vegan appetizer ♥

Mighty Perfect Cabbage & Broccoli Coleslaw, another easy slaw ♥, colorful fresh cabbage and broccoli, cooked a little - just a little - in the microwave before adding a low-calorie vinaigrette. Cook's Illustrated Recipe. Pretty Color. Great for Meal Prep. Vegan. Gluten Free.

Yellow Squash Coconut Soup, a riff on Julia Child's master soup recipe ♥ Concept Recipe. Beautiful Color. Vegan. Great for Meal Prep.

Tofu-Salad Sandwiches ♥, a vegan 'egg' salad.

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

Lemon Asparagus Pasta ♥, a classic for spring, fresh asparagus and bowties in a simple lemon cream sauce.

Sweet Potato Curry with Red Lentils, Roasted Peppers & Spinach, another healthy vegetable recipe ♥, stovetop or slow cooker. Vegan!

A collection of seasonal Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes, a specialty ♥ Plant-based meals from breakfast, lunch and dinner to soups, salads and sweets.


Much work goes into these recipes, tips, photos and posts so I'm always glad to hear from readers via comments and email. Truth is, I miss the back 'n' forth with readers from those early days of blogging when there were maybe a few hundred of us. Of course, it's not your job to buff a food blogger's ego -- but, there's always a but, right? -- it helps me keep motivated and inspired and some times to laugh out loud or turn a little teary. It's a solitary life, this, and when my only source of feedback comes from Google Almighty, well, I miss "seeing" your faces and your kitchens and tables.

Make-Ahead Bran Muffin Batter ♥, mix now, bake in small batches later, including a single microwave bran muffin in a mug.
  • MORE THAN RECIPES "Alanna, I love your recipes and have been following you for years. Thank you for sharing your political thoughts. I’m so worried about our country. Agree with you 100%." ~ Anonymous
  • THE RECIPE Make-Ahead Bran Muffin Batter Mix now, bake later in small batches including a single mug in the microwave. (PIN This)

Finnish Fruit Tart (RahkaPiirakka) ♥, here with blueberries, also try golden raisins, cherries, rhubarb and more. One Bowl. Press-in Crust. Super Easy.
  • SHE LIKES IT! "Easy and delicious! I used blueberries. Will definitely make again." ~PJ
  • THE RECIPE Finnish Fruit Tart For blueberries, raisins, lingonberries, sweet & sour cherries, rhubarb and more ... (PIN This)
  • THE BITE-SIZE VERSION Mini Blueberry Tarts With a "pop" of fresh blueberry right in the middle.

April: Reader Favorites

Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole ♥, a Master Recipe, layers of roasted vegetables, salsa verde, corn tortillas and fresh spinach with a little cheese. One for dinner, one for the freezer.

April: Lost Recipes

Mojito Strawberries ♥, a quick and simple strawberry dessert inspired by the Cuban cocktail called the mojito.

The Kitchen Parade Almanac: Looking Ahead ...

A collection of Mexican recipes for Cinco de Mayo ♥

Looking Back ...

Soups & Salads When It Feels Like Spring But ...

April is such a frustrating month, vegetable-wise! Many days are so warm and almost summer-like but of course, gardens may not even be planted yet, let alone producing food for the table. 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.

Greek Rice Salad with Artichokes & Feta, another easy salad ♥ Fresh & Seasonal. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Gluten Free.

Good to Know!

How to Remove the Woody Ends from Asparagus, another useful video ♥ Bend, Bend, Snap! Bend, Bend, Snap!

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 this week.

Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ Just three ingredients, including Trader Joe's Cracked Olive Salad.
  • THIS WEEK I've been cooking all week but mostly, just making up something at quarter past dinner. This day, I actually allowed an hour to thaw a couple of salmon filets. So fast, so good!
  • THE RECIPE Easy-Easy Broiled Salmon with Olive Salad Just three ingredients, on the table in 20 minutes. (PIN This)

Something to Read

Last week, I sang the praises of The Light Pirate (affiliate link), Lily Brooks-Dalton's second book and now I'm back to talk up her first, Good Morning, Midnight. You might actually know its Netflix film name, The Midnight Sky.

Who else is fascinated by looking forward in time? It never strikes me as "science fiction" anymore, instead imaginings of a future world, not so far in the future. Both these books might suit you.

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 advice for Seasonal Sundays? Just one thing that would make it more useful for you? Share away!
  • If April showers bring May flowers ... what's popping out in your garden right now? Here, honeysuckle, peonies, hostas, summer daisies, nothing blooming yet, just reaching sunward.
  • It's soooo weird, Easter being long over. April just isn't the same without it. What to do, what to do?
  • 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.