When I was a kid, money was tight. My mom was supporting four kids, and we didn’t have enough to go around. We wore our clothes until they were tight and three inches too short, and we wore out our shoes before we bought new ones. There was a lot we went without, but when it came to food, we always had enough. Thanks to one particular pantry staple, we even had a wide variety of foods to choose from!
My mom knew that rice was inexpensive and extremely versatile. So she bought it in bulk and taught us numerous ways to make it amazing. Breakfasts were often bowls of rice with milk and a sprinkling of sugar. Lunch might have been a delicious bit of rice fried up with an egg and some herbs. Dinners were gourmet stir-fries with canned shrimp or chicken in them. It seemed that rice meals were inexhaustible.
Now that I’m a mom with kids of my own, I continue on with the tradition of rice-based meals. My mom had taught me to use my imagination, and I certainly do my best. While I’m very thankful that money isn’t as tight for us as it was when I was growing up, I still do my best to keep costs down and teach my kids how to make amazing meals with what they have on hand. My pantry is nearly always stocked with boxes of UNCLE BEN’S® Rice, and I’ve recently started buying UNCLE BEN’S® READY RICE®, which offers a wide variety of white, whole grain brown, specialty and flavored rice products that cook in just 90 seconds. It’s available in grocery stores nationwide, so you should have no trouble finding it!
Once a week, we pick a day to make a meal together, and my two older boys learn how to cook something delicious. This week, we made some gorgeous lettuce cups filled with stir-fried rice.
We first went through each ingredient so they would know what they were, and we discussed how the meal would be made. For this recipe, you’ll need:
2 pouches Roasted Chicken UNCLE BEN’S® READY RICE®
1 package frozen mixed veggies
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
3/4 C stir fry sauce
1 head of green leaf lettuce
First, we fried up the veggies in a tiny bit of oil. The boys LOVE to stir the food around, and they couldn’t wait to see what happened when the frozen veggies thawed.
Then we added the chicken to warm it through before dumping in our UNCLE BEN’S® READY RICE®.
Once we stirred it through and made sure it was well combined, I let Dan dump in the sauce.
We grabbed up our rice mix and headed over to put together our dinner.
It turned out so delicious, and the sense of pride my kids felt was second to none. You could see by the big smiles on their faces that they were excited to have created a masterpiece.
And the best thing is that this took only ten minutes to make, and it was very inexpensive: a perfect dinner for any night of the week.
The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand is passionate about encouraging parents and kids to cook together, because families that eat and cook together have children who make healthier meal choices. Because of this, the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand is hosting the fifth annual Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest to encourage children to get interested in cooking. Ben’s Beginners™ provides a platform for parents to connect with their children one meal at a time, and makes cooking an enjoyable activity for every member of the family.
Need some more ideas? Try this yummy rice pudding we made for dessert!
We took some whole grain brown rice, a small can of sweetened condensed milk, some pineapple chunks, chopped dates, golden raisins, flaked coconut and cherries and mixed them all together to create a decadent dessert that the whole family loved!
This post is sponsored by The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand. Although I received compensation in exchange for this post, all opinions are my own.
The “hardest” part was placing the rice in the microwave to cook for 90 seconds! Then it was dump and mix. What could be better than that?
To enter the Ben’s Beginners™ Cooking Contest, parents with children in Kindergarten through eighth grade can submit photos of their families’ preparing a rice-based together. More information about Ben’s Beginners™ is located at unclebens.com. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!
What do you enjoy cooking with your kids?