My mother brought me to an orphanage in the Philippines when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I wanted to donate my old clothes and toys to children who were in need. It just so happened that we arrived around lunch time. Although the kids were excited to see me, their eyes sparkled even more at the sight of their food. This particular orphanage was for handicap children and I saw how some ate with their feet or directly with their mouths to the plates. It didn’t matter what their handicap was, they ate heartily and happily.
“What are they eating?” I asked my mother, “It looks so masarap (delicious)!”
“Monggo Guisado. It is delicious. The best part is that it doesn’t cost a lot for the orphanage to give the children a nutritious meal.” she replied.
That night, I asked for Monggo Guisado for dinner and remembered the children at the orphanage as I relished each spoonful. I had thought that I would make a big difference in their lives as a deliverer of special, albeit second hand, gifts. Instead, it was I who came away with a lesson in the joy of the simple things in life.
Everytime I eat Monggo Guisado, I think of that day at the orphanage, the happiness each bite brought to the children, and the nutritious meal I have in memory of them. It is a simple meal that comforts my body and mind.
Instant Pot Monggo Guisado or Mung Bean Stew
Saute in an Instant Pot:
- 1/2 c water
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
Turn off saute and add into the Instant Pot:
- 1 1/2 c whole green mung beans, not soaked but rinsed
- 3 c water
Cover lid and set for Bean for 15 minutes. Allow pressure to come down naturally when done. Take off lid, press saute and add in:
- 4 big handfuls of chopped greens (I had kale)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbs Bragg’s Amino or low-sodium soy sauce
Stir for a few minutes until greens are cooked well. Turn off Instant Pot. Serve with rice, lime wedges and more Bragg’s Amino.