How to Make Simple Moong Daal

In this blog post I’m going to lean heavily on the fact that this blog is “realistic”…as in A) my kitchen is not large, commercial or perfect, B) my videographer is a 6 year old using my iPad (no fancy equipment or lighting here!) and C) I often have to cook with my kids because I’m the only adult at home with them and they have recently decided that they want to be a part of everything I do and can’t play by themselves anymore šŸ˜•. Although, I am happy when they are interested in cooking with me, it just adds an extra element or two. So, if you are possibly thinking that you can’t cook with kids, think again! It might be a little bit slower, messier and require a bit of prep beforehand but you will also be giving your children the gift of “real food awareness”. That cooking real food can be fun, yummy and healthy. They may not eat everything you cook at first….or much of anything, but the skills and memories they observe and acquire in the kitchen will stay with them forever. (Thanks for that Mom!) 

Ok, on to the reason you opened this blog post. If you don’t know what moong daal is (also known as mung daal), then it’s time I introduce you. Moong beans are legumes and are rich in fiber and folate. They also contain high amounts of protein, iron, magnesium, and Vitamin K. (1)  Moong daal is easily digested and therefore a great food for people recovering from illness.

Where to find moong beans? I shop at a local Indian market. Many “health food” stores and co-ops also carry moong (or mung) beans. This recipe uses the yellow kind (not the green ones). Often grocery stores can special order it for you as well. 

The Ingredients

1 Cup uncooked yellow Moong beans (also known as mung beans)

3 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock 

1 tsp sea salt

1/2-1 Onion – chopped finely

4 Garlic Cloves

2 tsp Turmeric

2-3 tsp Cumin seeds, toasted (toast in pan lightly on stovetop)

2 tomatoes chopped finely

Chili – totally optional (I leave it out when making this for my kids)

1/2 cup – 1 Cup Cilantro – chopped (more or less per your taste)

Ghee, or butter for frying


Soak the moons beans for 1-2 hours covered in room temp water with a spoonful of salt. If you are doubling or tripling the recipe, remember how much moong beans you started with because it will expand! 

Drain and rinse soaked beans. Based on how much moong daal you started with, triple the vegetable or chicken broth, add this and the turmeric and the sea salt with soaked moong beans to a large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. 

—Here is a video – totally “realistic” of this step.  3min 58sec long

While the broth/bean mixture is heating up, pan fry the onion, garlic, and cumin seeds for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and fry a little more (3-4 minutes). 

—Here is a video – again, I’m in my post-yoga workout clothes šŸ˜³ – of this step. 4min 37sec long

Add this pan fried mixture to pot and let it all simmer together partially covered for about 45-60 minutes.

—Here is a short video of this step – the kids are almost over it at this point…are you?  1min 08sec long 

When daal has achieved the desired consistency (which is tough to describe exactly but the beans will be starting to get “mushy” but still retain some of their shape) remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro. 
Now you can enjoy the daal by itself or over rice to make it a complete vegetarian protein (assuming you used the vegetarian broth). Serve with naan or paratha (optional). This dish is also great as a side dish to compliment other Indian dishes.  


*This dish is gluten-free, dairy-free (if you use ghee most people with diary allergies are fine with this but if you have an extreme allergy use coconut oil), nut-free, and vegetarian (if you use the vegetable broth).

**In the videos we quadrupled the recipe and froze most of the leftovers in 16oz freezer safe mason jars (great for an individual serving!) This is a great way to cook once for many, MANY meals. 

***If you are cooking with kids, remember to SOAK the beans 1-2 hours before you want to start cooking them, PREP EVERYTHING, and make sure your kitchen workspace is clear and clean. This will make it a much more enoyable experience!

****Video Credit to Tejus Vachani, age 6 and the Sous Chef is Kai Vachani, age 3




KITK: Apricot Banana Muffins


Seriously, it CAN happen. If you want your kids to eat healthy and appreciate good food, one way to help is to incorporate them into what goes on in the kitchen. It doesn’t have to be everyday or every meal. Start with once a week. The secret to a successful experience is preparation. Make sure the kitchen is clean and dishes aren’t piled up across the counters (wait – is this only at my house maybe?), prepare some or all of the ingredients (like if you know it’s something that requires chopping that you don’t want a 3 year old doing) and use a recipe that you have made before and feel comfortable with. I also wouldn’t advise trying to make a 5 course elaborate meal with your preschooler. Save that for when they are in grade school.

I wish I could take credit for this recipe because it is SO delish, but I found it on It’s super easy to make, pretty darn healthy, it can easily be gluten and dairy free for those with food sensitivities and it is packed with protein – which is one of the leading concerns for parents of toddlers and preschoolers, “how can I get more protein in my child?!?”. Well, this is one way…there is a whopping 9 grams of protein in each muffin!!!Ā 


Banana Apricot Muffins

–Annotations in bold are adaptations I’ve made to this recipe–
Makes 12 muffins
Thanks to a reader for these delicious gluten-free muffins sweetened with honey. Even those not used to alternative flours will love the extremely moist and tender crumb, thanks to the bananas and dried apricots, which almost melt into the background. Almond flour and honey add richness of flavor. A darker honey, such as buckwheat or chestnut, works nicely in this recipe.
**I double all ingredients to make 2 dozen muffins**
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed with a forkĀ (I use 3 bananas for 1 dozen, or 6 bananas for 2 dozen)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups almond flourĀ (When I double the recipe I use 4 Cups almond flour, which is one bag of Bob’s Red Mill almond meal, and 1.5-2 Cups whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
NOTE: the reason I use whole wheat flour is because our family doesn’t have any gluten sensitivities and almond flour is very expensive so this offsets the cost a bit.
Preheat the oven to 325Ā°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or butter the muffin tin thoroughly. Mix butter, honey, eggs and bananas together in a large bowl. Stir in baking soda and salt. Stir in almond flour, walnuts and apricots (and flaxseed, cinnamon, and nutmeg)Ā until just combined. Spoon batter into the muffin cups. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
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To make this recipe dairy free, substitute coconut oil for butter.

To make this recipe gluten free, do not add any whole wheat flour. Only use almond meal.

“Everybody likes these muffins” says my 3 year old.

Springtime Butterfly

I was in a hurry to get lunch on the table after a chaotic morning (trying to accomplish WAY too much with a 3 year old and a 3 month old and with a huge case of sleep deprivation) when my preschooler said ‘Mommy, can I have a picture lunch?’ How can I say no to that?!? So I scrounged around in the fridge and found some leftover smoked beef, cheese and tortillas. I decided to make a beef quesadilla and was wondering what to do with it when I cut it in half and instantly knew it was going to be a butterfly. The rest was fun. The grass and flower stems are cucumbers, the flowers are cherry tomatoes and baby carrot slices (as are the spots on the butterfly) and the body and antennae of the butterfly is red bell pepper (organic of course!)

photo (2)


Edible Heart Art

Today’s post is in celebration of Valentines Day with food ideas to get your little one to try something new (?) and eat fantastically fun (healthy) food. I could have made hundreds of more “heart art” but I forced myself to cap it…it was just so much fun! When I was trying to come up with a theme for this blog post I was at a loss for a while, but then I remembered one of my son’s favorite books when he was younger and this book was the seed of my inspiration. Every animal is constructed using only hearts! It is truly an amazing children’s book.

DSC_0466Here are some of the ingredients I used: cucumber, carrot, ham, cheese, soft shell sprouted wheat tortilla, strawberries, egg and raisins.


To make the egg in a heart shaped I treated myself to this from Amazon:


I also thinly sliced some sweet potatoes, cut out heart shapes and baked them (about 15-20 minutes at 425F).



What better way to introduce your child to beautiful, healthy red beets than to present them as food art? I steamed these beets for about half an hour, thinly sliced then and cut out various heart shapes.



The balloon stems are from a dried fruit “leather” snack that I thinly sliced. (the valentines are homemade by my 3 year old šŸ˜‰


or for a more adult presentation…


I then got creative with the book and my cut out hearts and here is what I came up with. My 3 year old son helped.









And OF COURSE, my sous chef got to sample and enjoy…


Happy Valentines Day!

Muffin Tin Lunch

This is going to be short and sweet.

Sometimes it’s hard to get toddlers to eat what you want them to eat (i.e. healthy foods!) but you can’t force them to eat anything. In fact, encouraging them usually backfires, so I took another approach. Change up the presentation! It’s a pretty simple solution to a chronic problem. I’m not saying it will work every time, but your toddler will think it’s really fun to have a “new” lunch.

All you need is a half-dozen size muffin tin and some imagination.


You can fill the cups with just about anything. Pictured here is turkey, clementine, carrots, hummus, crackers and cucumber. Have fun with it!

5 Ways to Make Your Toddler’s Lunch Healthier (and more fun!)

Tired of playing “Just One More Bite” or “Eat This and Then You Can (fill in the blank)” games with your picky eating toddler? Here a couple of ideas to get more nutrients into your toddler’s little tummy and pack a little fun into lunchtime, whether at home or daycare.

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Pick-Me-Up Pregnancy Smoothie

Kale, Spinach & Pear Smoothie pics fromĀ Sterling Style blog

As we women age we begin to become more conscious about the way we look. I’m not talking about the teenage angst of being “too fat” or “too thin” (although I still occasionally wrestle with those social media images) but I’m talking about the first time you notice a grey hair or start to see little wrinkles around your eyes. Well, I started to notice those things too, and like most women, I’m not going down without a fight! But in addition to vanity, I also want to keep my body in optimal health for longevity and (what I hope will be) a future pregnancy.Ā  Continue reading

Energy Balls

OK, so the name doesn’t exactly convey how yummy these round deliciousĀ bite-sizeĀ morsels really are! Packed with nutrition (and energy), these healthy portable snacks are enjoyed by toddlers and adults alike.Ā These incredibly delicious balls are now pretty much a permanent feature in theĀ fridge at home. They are incredibly rich and chocolaty and taste suspiciously likeĀ they are naughtier than they actually are. They are also easy to make! Make a bigĀ batch and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge to grab on the go.

Energy Balls

Adapted from and originally found on the Haelan Centre website (the recipe is not posted anymore).

Energy Balls

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Toddler Approved Healthy Cookies

I was on a mission yesterday to find a cookie that met 2 serious requirements: They had to be healthy, and they had to be something I could make WITH my 22 month old toddler. I found the recipe at Yesterday I made the quinoa and stored it in the fridge overnight. Today my little guy and I made the cookies and it was such a great experience! Here is the recipe:

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