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


Directions

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. https://youtu.be/Uh9_JYIGZ1g  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. https://youtu.be/PEEraokdXLU. 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? https://youtu.be/qnwmkQjgvuM  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.  




NOTES

*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


Sources

1 NutritionData.com


What’s For Dinner? Quick & Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

Yup, it’s the timeless question heard throughout every home on a daily basis. And by timeless, I mean that there is always LESS TIME than you need in a day to accomplish everything you need to/want to and THEN you have to make dinner too? Jeez. Why do the kids have to eat every day…multiple times?!?!

I have come to really appreciate the time I USED to have in the kitchen. Now that I have two young children, I’m having to change my ways and figure out new methods of survival on a day-to-day basis. Here’s a no fail, easy, relatively quick and HEALTHY meal you can throw together on a weeknight. Even better, you can keep most of theĀ ingredients in the freezer and the rest in your pantry so you don’t even have to go to the grocery store (with kids…this can be a challenge in itself at the end of a long day – or anytime of day). Winning!

Ingredients: broccoli, chicken thigh meat, Maya Kamal simmer sauce, brown basmati rice, coconut oil (or ghee for browning the meat).

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All three ingredients pictured above can be stored in the freezer to have readily on hand. They also thaw pretty quickly in a bowl of warm water if you forget to take them out in the morning. You can find Maya Kamal at variousĀ Whole Foods markets and variousĀ Costco warehouses (in a 3 flavor pack). I’m sure it’s found elsewhere as well. I love this simmer sauce because it has really great authentic flavor and really healthy, all natural ingredients.

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I highly recommend investing in a rice cooker if you plan on making a fair amount of meals at home. I can get the rice ready and set the timer in the morning and forget about it until it’s dinner time.

 

Method: If you don’t have a rice cooker, make sure you start the brown rice about an hour before you wan to eat. This only takes a few minutes and you don’t have to tend to it after it’s simmering. Cut the chicken into bite size or slightly larger pieces, brown in a pan with coconut oil before adding the simmer sauce. I usually let simmer about 15 minutes. Just make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked. While the chicken is simmering, steam your broccoli (I find 6-7 minutes depending on how you cut it is perfect). That’s it. Serve and enjoy.

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and yes….it is enjoyed by all ages.

DSC_0525**This meal is gluten-free

 

 

Day 1 Sugar-free

I’m back. I’ve taken quite the hiatus from my blog for many reasons. I’m not yet ready to talk about all of the personal reasons, the time for that will come. But other reasons include the holidays. Why is it that this time of year causes so many of us to fall back on bad habits and experience a regression in pursuing our goals? I guess taking a break from our normal patterns of life is not entirely a bad thing but in my case, it was. I started to slip on my dietary goals and just a bite or just oneĀ pieceĀ of dessert turned Ā into everyday. Yikes! Before I knew it I was having sugary desserts or treats every day and sometimes more than once a day. Enough! It’s about time I get back on track, so here I am on Day 1 of going sugar free. I have no intention of cutting out all the vices in my life (at least not at this moment) so I’m just focusing on sugar, which some say could be the worst evil of all.

Here is my healthy eating plan for today:

Breakfast: whole milk yogurt + sprouted grains granola, raisins, nuts, a dash of honey (not a refined sugar and healthy in moderation) and my coffee (I said I wasn’t cutting out all vices!)

Lunch: Green Smoothie + 2 fried eggs

Snack: green tea + wasabi flavored seaweed + pistachios + mandarin

Dinner: Homemade chicken noodle soup with kale

What are you doing for your health today?