(NewsUSA) - Some of my earliest memories are of being in the kitchen with my grandma. While listening to her stories, I didn't even realize I was learning. I started to make connections between feeling good and eating well and have found incredible joy in the kitchen ever since.
I believe time spent in the kitchen together helps children develop healthy habits, and families create deep bonds. Which is why I'm excited to be a part of the Uncle Ben's Ben's Beginners Cooking Contest, which encourages parents to cook with their children and help establish healthy eating habits from a young age.
Ben's Beginners is inviting parents with children in grades K-8 to submit home videos of their family preparing a rice-based dish and discussing their experience of cooking together for the chance to win $15,000 cash, a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their child's school and more. Families can enter the contest and sign the Cooking Together pledge through October 6, 2013 at www.unclebens.com.
Nearly every day, in my restaurants and in my home, I am reminded of the unique power of good food to bring people together. Join me in teaching the next generation to respect what we put in our bodies and celebrating healthy food together!
Fully Loaded Summer Spiced Rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup fresh corn cut from the cob
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Uncle Ben's Rice
2 chopped tomatoes
1 scallion chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 avocado diced
Juice from 1 lemon
Canned coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, corn, coriander, paprika and rice, toasting for about 3 minutes.
Replace half of the water recommended by the Uncle Ben's packaging with canned coconut milk, and add both to the skillet, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit. Fold in the tomato, cilantro, scallion, avocado and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with grilled shrimp or chicken.
Marcus Samuelsson is an Ethiopian born, Swedish-raised chef, a bestselling author and has appeared on Top Chef, Iron Chef America, The Next Iron Chef and Chopped.