Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Soup to Soothe

Soup is magical.  Seriously.  In our house a big pot of fragrant, steamy soup transforms everyone.  It's like wrapping yourself up in your favorite blanket.  Warm soup fosters calm and comfort.  So as winter winds down, this simple Split Pea Soup is the perfect way to ease into a new season!

This recipe comes from Many Paths, One Journey to Health, a cookbook published by the Holistic Moms Network based upon member-submitted, kid-tested recipes.  These are simple, real food recipes for real people!


Split Pea Soup (From our Traditional Diets Section)

2 T. olive oil
3/4 c. finely diced pancetta (about 3 oz.)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 small carrots, diced
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. dried split peas (green or yellow)
3 c. chicken or vegetable broth
3 1/2 c. water
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 c. cooked diced ham (and ham bone if you have it)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
4 T. sherry
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat olive oil and add pancetta, stirring until browned.  Add onion, celery, carrots, and bay leaf.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Add garlic.  Then add split peas, stock, water and ham bone, if available.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Add thyme, cooked diced ham, and salt.  Cook for another 30 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and ham bone.  Remove from heat and add vinegar and sherry.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with parsley.

Order your own cookbooks from the Holistic Moms Network here and enjoy all of our recipes, all year long!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Parenting poses us with a wide array of challenges, some expected, most completely unanticipated.  
Being a conscious or mindful parent is its own evolution, a journey into a world of transformation.  Conscious parenting, very simply, rocks your world.  In a good way.

For me, one of the biggest steps into conscious parenting was acceptance.  Acceptance that my to-be vegetarian, creative, Waldorf-style baby was, in reality, a complete carnivore with an engineering mind and penchant for technology.  The acceptance was found in the fact that his uber-Type A personality was how he came into this world, with a wildly curious mind that raced through conversations, books, and general learning at epic speeds.  His insatiable appetite for information was exhausting and yet immensely admirable.  And then along came his brother with multiple disabilities and a personality that could light up an entire room.  His challenges were not to be overcome, but only served to shine his own light more clearly.

I learned quickly that my role as a parent was not to mold my children, but instead to allow them to bloom into the beings that they already were.  Their tastes and preferences, their personalities and quirks, were all their own.  And whether I embraced them or not, it was my role to cultivate and nurture, feed and protect, as a gardener to a garden.  Doing so successfully required both acceptance and letting go.  Letting go of any thoughts, visions, and expectations that I had for my children and embracing the present moment, delighting in where it could lead.  

The greatest conflicts I have encountered in my own parenting journey have always been about acceptance at their core.  My expectations run up against walls of reality.  No, bathtime should not be a mess that I spend the rest of the evening cleaning up.  Mealtimes should be calm and easily received.  Tantrums should be easily resolved.  Expectation versus acceptance.  Where what is just is, the conflict dissipates.  There is acceptance.  And then there is growth.  Certainly there is resistance in parenting where danger is involved, but acceptance allows us growth by freeing us from the need to control. 

Therein lies the start of a beautiful journey in conscious parenting.  We accept, we embrace, and then we grow.  Together, with our children, we bloom as parents alongside them on the same journey.

Contributed by Nancy Massotto, Founder and Director of the Holistic Moms Network, and mother to two amazing boys. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Going Green in March!

Have a picky eater?

Looking for an easy, kid-friendly way to get more greens into your kids?

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, here is a simple, tasty green smoothie recipe that your kids will love (and you will, too!).

This Green Smoothie recipe comes from Many Paths, One Journey to Health, a cookbook published by the Holistic Moms Network based upon member-submitted, kid-tested recipes.

For a healthy morning or snack, this smoothie delivers a great nutritional punch.  Enjoy!

Green Smoothie (From our Juices and Smoothies Section)

Fresh spinach leaves (1-2 cups)
Orange or apple juice (about 4-5 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen pineapple
2 fresh or frozen bananas
1/2 cup yogurt (or try coconut milk for a dairy-free version)
Ice cubes

Fill blender with spinach leaves and mash down.  Add juice, pineapple, bananas, and yogurt (or coconut milk).  Blend until smooth.  Add ice cubes to thicken and chill, blend again and serve!

Order your own cookbook from the Holistic Moms Network here and enjoy all of our recipes, all year long!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cold Weather Comfort Food

Beating the winter chill can be as simple as real food and a hot oven.  This week, we bring you a recipe from Many Paths, One Journey to Health, a cookbook published by the Holistic Moms Network based upon member-submitted, kid-tested recipes.

This simple side dish can be used alongside eggs for breakfast or with your favorite lunch or dinner meal.


Baked Rosemary Potato Wedges (From our Farm to Table Section)

2 tsp. dried or fresh rosemary
2 tsp. dried or fresh basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
3 potatoes, cut into wedges
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Combine spices in a small bowl.  Toss potatoes with olive oil sprinkle the spice mixture over the potatoes.  Bake at 375 degrees F. until crispy and lightly browned.

Order your own cookbooks from the Holistic Moms Network here and enjoy all of our recipes, all year long!