Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What We Learned at Uncle Ben's Cook and Learn Event & CONTEST!

The Kids in an Uncle Ben's Video with Amanda Riva
This past weekend my family attended "Ben's Beginners" Cook and Learn event in Toronto, hosted by Uncle Ben's Canada.  The kids had the opportunity to help cook two recipes that used Uncle Ben's rice, created by professional chef Amanda Riva of The Hot Plate.    
Snacking Heart Healthy
When the kids arrived at the Ben's Beginners Cook and Learn event, they first enjoyed healthy snacks of veggies in pots of hummus or ranch dressing.  What a great idea to serve kid's hors d'oeuvres in individual jars with the dip placed inside!  It's easy to recreate this snack by using baby food jars: just fill the bottom of the jars with hummus or another healthy dip, and thinly slice veggies like cucumbers, celery, carrots, peppers, zucchini, broccoli or cauliflower--and stand the veggies up in dip.
Chefs Hats & Aprons for the Kids
Dressed for the Kitchen & Ready to Cook!
Next, the kids got suited up right away in chef's hats and aprons, and were pretty excited to get started cooking with Amanda Riva in the kitchen!  Needless to say, there was more than sufficient enthusiasm in the room among the children!
My Kids Love to Help Out in the Kitchen
Each of my children had a chance to help out Amanda in the kitchen, and learn how to prepare one of her fantastic recipes.  Seeing fresh, nutritious food being prepared by a professional chef, reinforced my own teachings to my kids about the importance of healthy eating. 
Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia Recipe!
The first dish that the kids created with Amanda's help and supervision, was Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia fish on a bed of Uncle Ben's rice!  My kids took turns grating the block of parmesan cheese, and my mouth was watering as I watched them create this healthful and delicious dish!

Hoisin Beef With Vegetables Recipe
The second recipe that the kid's created, was Amanda's Hoisin Beef With Vegetables recipe on a bed of Uncle Ben's rice.  I liked that Amanda's recipe prominently featured snap peas, carrots and red peppers, again emphasizing the importance of vegetables as part of a well-balanced diet.  (See beneath for the finished recipe.)  
Amanda and My Kids With The Completed Recipes
When the fish and beef dishes were finished, the kids were impatient to sink their teeth into their own creations.  Okay, I admit that my husband and I were also pacing the room waiting to sample this fine cuisine!  The aroma in the room was sweet candy to our noses!
Bon Appetit - Now We Eat!
Amanda's Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia and Hoisin Beef With Vegetables on Uncle Ben's rice was incredible!  I was very pleased with the amount of nutrition and flavour that was in the meal, and my kids ate their dinner with gusto!  Needless to say, we "licked our platters clean"! 
There's Never Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen!
I'm really lacking quick fish dishes, so I'd definitely cook Amanda's Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia on Uncle Ben's rice again in the future.  Frankly, the dish was so simple to replicate and I'm crazy for parmesan cheese paired with parsley, oregano, and paprika!  My kids were also great helps to Amanda, and I know that they would be able to help me with this recipe at home too.

Once Amanda's recipe is published on Uncle Ben's website, I'll be sure to link to it here.

CONTEST (CANADA)
Enter Uncle Ben's Canada "Ben's Beginners" Facebook contest!  You could win 1 of 3 grand prizes of $20,000 ($15,000 cheque for a family vacation, and $5000 to your child's school for healthy initiatives)!  Secondary prize is a trip to Toronto for 4 (2 adults, 2 children) to a "Celebrity Chef Experience" with Corbin Tomaszeski. Simply prepare 1 of 36 of the featured recipes using Uncle Ben's rice, snap a photo (including the Uncle Ben's product that was used), and provide a photo description.  GOOD LUCK!


Follow Uncle Ben's on Social Media!

Which recipe would you like to try the most, Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia or Hoisin Beef with Vegetables?  What is your absolutely favourite recipe to create with rice, either as a main or a side?

35 comments:

  1. Nice. I like how they are encouraging children to cook more often. Of my two little ones. I have one who loves to cook and another who hates it.

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  2. What a great experience. My kids tend to eat things they wouldn't normally eat (aka vegetables) if they help prepare them themselves!! We love Uncle Ben's rice in our house!! What a great day!

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  3. Such a great experience and the food choices were all so healthy!

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  4. that is awesome! What a fun looking time you all had! My daughter is big into cooking whenever she can, or we let her! She took a few classes last December and cant wait to go back.

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  5. What a fun thing for your kids! It's really great they had the experience to cook and get excited about it. Healthy eating can be fun and easy.

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  6. What a terrific experience! I'm so glad your kids had the opportunity to experience cooking in a fun learning environment. Looks like a good time was had by all.

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  7. So cute! I love their hats and the food looks delicious! I personally eat a lot of Tillapia, so thanks for showing me a new way to prepare it!

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  8. Those are healthy snacks. The chefs look adorable.

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  9. Looks like the kids had a lot of fun. The food looks good and healthy too.

    Michelle F.

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  10. They look adorable in their chef hats and the food looks amazing! I buy the Uncle Ben's brand all the time.

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  11. how fun! We love uncle bens rice! I use it for meals several time a week!

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  12. Aww, that does look like a fun event, and the chef hats are really cute. My fave dish w/rice? Probably soup! But hubby would say Beef Tips over rice. ;)

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  13. What a fun experience for the kids! Those recipes look awesome. Thanks for sharing :)

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  14. Children love being involved in cooking! This is great.

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  15. I would never be able to get kaelyn to eat any of those dises. Shes beyond picky! But I would love to try that fish dish. Looks super yummy

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  16. WOW, how fun is that and you m'dere are looking fabulous. But, seriously, your kids must have loved that experience. Oh how I love Uncle Ben rice too.

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  17. Looks like so much fun! I wish I could've went!

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  18. Looks like they had lots of fun in the kitchen :) The Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia will be something I make first! We like to use rice as side dish and main dish, favourite recipe to make is Japanese curry with chicken and rice.

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  19. I am so envious right now. Your kids eat veggies and enjoy it! Mine says they're yuk :)
    The fish looks delicious and very easy to make so I'll give it a chance soon. That's a dish Ellie loves.
    You guys seem to have had lots of fun, your kids are so adorable, Jenna :)

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  20. Very sweet! My son would love this. He likes to help in the kitchen and this looks like you and the kids had so much fun! The fish looks delish

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  21. My seven year old loves to cook and would have been all over this campaign. I love your pictures so bright and vibrant and the kids and you looked like you had such a great time!

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  22. The food looks delicious! The kids also look like they had an absolute blast. I need to get my kids to cook more.

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  23. I would like to try the Tilapia. Looks like so much fun.

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  24. What a great way to cultivate the love for healthy cooking! Looks like the kids had loads of fun too! And I really need to check on hummus, I've been hearing about it but have not tried it ever!

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  25. This is such a fantastic way to get kids to eat veggies - have them get involved!

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  26. I love this...having our kids in the kitchen is key to their success for a healthy lifestyle. I love the pic of the veggies in cups, we actually did that same thing a few weekends ago for a party we had.
    Your children are darling and it looks like one of them is wiped out from a long day :) {photo on the bottom}

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  27. What an awesome opportunity for you and your family! The parmesan encrusted tilipia looks fantastic! Love the veggie appetizers too! It's great to teach kids how to cook and eat healthy foods at a young age! Dropping by from SITS :)

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  28. I always involved my children in cooking. It is a great live skill to learn.

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  29. The tilapia sounds so delicious. That's one of our favorite fishes cook because it's inexpensive, tasty, and easy to work with :)

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  30. That is so cool! What a fantastic experience for you and your children! It's always a good idea to get them cooking and letting them be hands on. It looks like you had a lot of fun!

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