A recent survey commissioned by the makers of UNCLE BEN’S demonstrates that while 77 per cent of Canadian families eat home-cooked dinners five or more nights a week, only 12 per cent let their kids help cook these dinners.
Uncle Ben’s is working to change this with the creation of their #BensBeginners campaign. Easy recipes, cooking tips, and of course some patience from parents all combine to help get kids in the kitchen (#GetKidsCooking) to learn basic (and sometimes advanced!) skills.
Last week we shared our experience making Stuffed Pepper Soup with all three of our kids (11, 7 and 4). The soup was delicious, and the kids were proud knowing that they contributed to our dinner.
Looking at the Ben’s Beginners recipes, we found an interesting one for Beefed Up Lasagna and Rice. Using that as our inspiration, this week my 11 year old son took the lead and made a Cheesy Beef Tomato Casserole start to finish (with mom and dad assisting when needed, which wasn’t much!)
The survey revealed that 90 per cent of parents actively believe that teaching kids to cook is an important part of helping them live healthier lives, yet we’re not actually doing that teaching. Let’s work to change that! Here’s our recipe creation for Cheesy Beef Tomato Casserole:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 cups Long grain rice
- 3 Tbsp. Margarine
- 3 cups water
- 20 Cherry Tomatoes cut in halves
- 1 tsp. Minced dried onion
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Dried basil (crushed)
- ¼ cup Sharp Cheddar cheese (shredded)
- ¼ oz. Mozarella cheese (shredded)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a saucepan, cook ground beef and add minced garlic on low-medium heat for 10-15 min. Drain fat, let sit.
- Add dried onion, salt and basil.
- In another saucepan, cook uncooked rice in margarine until golden brown, stirring frequently.
- Add water, bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 min.
- Mix the meat, cherry tomatoes, and rice together and pour into casserole dish. Cover and bake for 45 min.
- Uncover, add both cheeses to top of dish and bake for an additional 5-10min.
This recipe was more than enough for our family of 5, with leftovers for lunch the next day. So, you could always cut the recipe in half if needed.
Remember, by participating in the weekly challenge at GetKidsCooking.ca each week, and sharing your image on the site, YOU could win 1 of 3 prizes of a $10,000 RESP! The contest submissions I’m seeing so far look yummy!
We’re hosting our own giveaway to celebrate getting kids in the kitchen – I’m positive that the winner will have no problem getting started with this great price package!