Black Bean and Yellow Rice Salad
One of my family’s favorite lunch spots on the weekend is a little neighborhood Cuban place. They have the most amazing Cuban sandwiches, and the pork, well, it’s to die for. But what my son loves most is the black beans and yellow rice. He could honestly eat his weight in it. So for lunch this week, I decided to help him make his own version of his beloved black beans and rice with a few added vegetables, just to make me feel better about feeding it to him.
We started by making some Uncle Ben’s white rice with some added turmeric and paprika, for a punch of flavor and color. Then after the rice had cooled, we added some rinsed and drained black beans, a little corn, chopped tomato and onion, and fresh cilantro. After adding a few more spices, or dish was ready!
I love cooking with my son in the kitchen, and love that he’s learning at a young age how easy it is to cook healthy and nutritious meals at home. According to University of Michigan’s Project EAT, kids who prepare meals with their parents are more likely to eat healthier as adults while those who are not taught cooking skills resort to quick fixes like fast food. In other words, teaching them how to cook teaches them how to stay healthy later on.
In celebration of cooking with your kids, Uncle Ben’s is sponsoring the Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest, which is a nationwide cooking video competition for kids that brings families together to cook a healthy rice based meal.
It’s easy to enter! Just make a short video of you and your child cooking an original recipe together that incorporates Uncle Ben’s Rice. Be sure to check out these videos that were submitted last year for inspiration. The grand prize is $15,000 for your family and a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for your school! The contest starts today, so be sure to head over to Uncle Ben’s for all the details about how to create your video so you can enter the contest!
You can watch cute little Claire in the video below. She was last year’s grand prize winner!
Now you might be thinking, how do I create an original kid-friendly recipe? Well that’s easy! I’ve got 10 great tips below that can help you get started on that perfect recipe that just might help you win the grand prize!
Tips to Creating Kid -Friendly Recipes
- Keep it Simple – Easy kid recipes usually stick to 5 – 10 ingredients, or less if possible.
- Use Frozen Vegetables – Using already prepared frozen veggies is great for kids. It makes things much easier, and cuts down on prep work for you.
- Add Cheese – Kids love cheesy, gooey anything.
- Use pre-prepared meats. You can find pre-cooked, recipe ready chicken and beef in your grocer’s meat department. This simplifies recipes even more and prevents the fear of cross-contamination.
- Use kid friendly vegetables – things like sweet bell peppers, carrots and peas are loved by most kids, just be sure to steer clear of any bitter type of veggie like brussels sprouts
- Add sweet fruits – kids love sweetness, and moms love when kids eat fruit. Adding a fruit to a savory dish is a great way to add flavor and uniqueness to your recipe.
- Don’t forget the spices – be sure to season your recipe with more than just salt and pepper. Search through your spice rack and add a spice that enhances your dish.
- Add Herbs – fresh herbs add a wonderful freshness and beautiful color to recipes. Pick out an herb that compliments your recipe. If you’re unsure, just add Italian parsley.
- Use Uncle Ben’s Rice – Uncle Ben’s has a wide variety of ready to cook and ready rice that will not only make your recipe kid-friendly, but also delicious!
- Have Fun! This is the most important tip. Be sure to have fun with whatever recipe you chose to create!
1 cup uncooked white rice Combine rice, water or broth, turmeric and paprika in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. REDUCE HEAT (medium, medium-low) and simmer covered 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand covered 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with fork. Combine cooked rice, cilantro, black beans, green onions and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Serve room temperature.
Black Bean and Yellow Rice Salad
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon paprika
2 1/4 cups water or chicken broth
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup copped green onions
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
the juice of two limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup uncooked white rice
Combine rice, water or broth, turmeric and paprika in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. REDUCE HEAT (medium, medium-low) and simmer covered 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand covered 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
Combine cooked rice, cilantro, black beans, green onions and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Serve room temperature.
Cooking with your children makes for a great beginning! Visit
www.unclebens.com and click on The Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest page to learn more!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Uncle Ben’s. The opinions and text are all mine.