I am officially on sabbatical from RAN as of February 6th!!! What a dream! It feels so spacious and nurturing, I am full of gratitude. Despite all the sickness this season, it’s been such a beautiful winter, the most rain and cold we’ve had in years. Just loving it being cozy by the fire with my little family, cooking up a storm and escaping for the occasional rainy adventure.

waldorf_winter

Winter altar at Berkeley Rose Waldorf

So, my almost 4 year old toddler has become so incredibly particular about the food he eats these past few months, and I’m having to get more creative. I recently concocted a few recipes that were a big hit for the mamas, papas, toddlers and babies alike so wanted to share:

chickpea-stew

Warming Coconut Chickpea Stew

  1. Saute an onion, about 7 cloves of garlic and 1 leek (only the white part of course) in a bunch of olive oil. Generously add salt, garlic salt, black pepper, cumin, tumeric, and a dash of yellow mustard seeds.
  2. Add 3 carrots and 1 celery stalk, chopped thinly.
  3. Add 1 can diced tomatoes in sauce, simmer
  4. Add 2 zucchini & a handful of crimini mushrooms
  5. When those are getting mostly cooked, add 8-10 steamed potatoes (medium sized creamer potatoes) cut into small pieces and about 3 cups of cooked garbanzo beans (I had soaked them overnight and cooked them the day before for this yummy Spinach and Chickpeas dish; the leftovers I added to this stew)
  6. Cover in a heaping portion of nutritional yeast (I probably used 1/2 cup)
  7. Add 1 can of coconut milk
  8. Cover with enough water & better than bouillon vegetable stock to make a nice broth
  9. Let simmer on low until everything is cooked & the right consistency
  10. Optional: top with parsley or other fresh herbs

I served with warm toast smothered in olive oil and salt. Delish! If I had had more time I would have blended half of it in the VitaMix to give it an extra nice consistency.

Desperate to prepare a dinner that my toddler would scarf on his own at the table (yes, it’s a challenge to get him to stay put and eat himself), I made this simple yet super delicious couscous dish.

couscous

Toddler Couscous

  1. Roast a head of cauliflower (cut into bit size florets), a red bell pepper (cut into slices) and green beans in the oven with salt, pepper and olive oil at 425 until soft.
  2. Boil 3 cups of water with a dash of salt. Throw in 2 cups of couscous (for every 1 cup of couscous use 1.5 cups water), turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 min. Remove lid and fluff with a bunch of quality olive oil and some salt.
  3. Meanwhile chop organic plum tomatoes, kalamata olives, and cucumbers. Throw them in with some frozen corn (or fresh!).
  4. Top with the roasted veggies and voila!
  5. If your kids are less picky, this would be yummy with a bit of red onion and parsley.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Finally, we had a little super bowl party last weekend, and I made this delish spinach artichoke dip inspired by Pioneer Woman’s blog. Note: I usually post vegan recipes. This one has dairy (most of which you can sub out) – sorry about that!

spinachartichokedip

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons Garlic, Minced
  • 1 bag Spinach
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 jars or cans Artichoke Hearts, Rinsed And Drained
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (additional)
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1-1/2 cup plain, unsweetened oat, soy or almond milk
  • 1 package (8 Ounce) Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
  • Pita Wedges, Tortilla Chips, Crackers

Instructions:

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Crank up the heat a bit and throw in the spinach. Stir around and cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach wilts. Remove the spinach from the skillet and put it in a small strainer. Squeeze the excess juice back into the skillet. Set the spinach aside.

Throw in the artichokes and cook over medium high heat for several minutes, until liquid is cooked off and artichokes start to get a little color. Remove the artichokes.

In the same skillet or a different pot, melt 3 additional tablespoons of butter and whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour until it makes a paste. Cook over medium-low heat for a minute or two, then pour in milk. Stir and cook until slightly thickened; splash in more milk if needed.

Add cream cheese, Parmesan, and cayenne and stir until cheese are melted and sauce is smooth. Chop artichokes and spinach and add to the sauce. Stir to combine.

Pour into buttered baking dish. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with pita wedges, chips, or crackers!

Enjoy!

Parenting Resources

On a final note, I want to give a huge plug for Kim John Payne’s Simplicity Parenting. I just heard him speak at the Marin Waldorf school and it was completely AMAZING and life changing! We’ve been in a difficult phase with Jules – not listening, saying “no” to everything, not wanting to eat at the table/asking us to feed him, acting aggressive, etc. Since I heard Kim’s lecture, and immediately started implementing his systems, it’s been smooth sailing. No more power struggles, asking Jules to do the same thing over and over, etc. Hallelujah! Check out some Simplicity Parenting resources here.

The other books I just ordered, which many friends and teachers from the Waldorf community highly recommend:

You Are your Child’s First Teacher

Heaven On Earth

The Awakened Family, A Revolution in Parenting

To a blissful and connected parenthood,

Mama Ashlita

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