The warm days of summertime have a way of making you forget about how busy life can get when school’s in session. But, as we round the corner at the end of summer vacation, it’s all coming back. Soon, there will be homework every night. There will be tests and essays and projects.There will be soccer practices and games, chorus rehearsals and play auditions.
And it will all happen simultaneously and in concert with work and other commitments. Can we fit swim classes in too? What about ballet and voice lessons? Which clubs and teams will fit into the jigsaw puzzle of our days?
Don’t think I am complaining. I love how summer is the counterpoint to the busy, active days of fall, winter and spring. We need that breather, that break from the super-busy times.
Of course, with the busier days also comes the need for quick dinners. After all, dinner can be the toughest part of the day on busy nights. What pocket of time does it fit in? And how quickly can you make it?
That’s when you need easy, crowd-pleasing meals like this. One skillet. About 30 minutes. That’s all you need to make this flavorful dinner. And it’s easy enough that you and the kids can make it together.
This Easy Garlicky Chicken and Green Beans Skillet recipe begins with boneless skinless chicken — actually chicken tenders, which are a part of the breast (not the breaded ones — these are in the raw meat section of the supermarket). Because they come in a long, narrow shape, it takes less time to chop them into 1-inch pieces. Time savers like this are key to quick and easy dinners.
Once the chicken is cut, add to a mixing bowl.
The chicken is seasoned with a spice (and herb) mix featuring smoked paprika, tumeric, salt, pepper and thyme. This measuring and mixing is great for kids to do. So is what comes next: Tossing the chicken with the seasoning.
What comes next is for older kids or adults to do: Heat a little oil in a nonstick skillet, and then cook the chicken until it’s browned on all sides.
Finally, you add the garlic and green beans. Garlic adds even more flavor to the dish, and the green beans round it out.
A few more minutes in the skillet, covered, and it’s ready to enjoy over rice.
But not just any rice: Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, which comes in a variety of white, whole grain brown, specialty and flavored rice products. These packages of rice are truly an awesome timesaver since they cook in just 90 seconds. My daughter loves doing this part, since you just tear open the pouches and microwave it. Like magic, it comes our super light and fluffy.
This rice cooks in 90 seconds! Can you believe that?
While it’s cooking, have the kids make a salad. Or you make the salad and have them set the table. However you divvy up the responsibilities, this is valuable time for you and the kids. It offers a chance to connect, to work together and to have a little time where you are all focused on one singular task: cooking.
Plus, it’s pretty fun to eat a dinner that you made together.
The Uncle Ben’s brand is passionate about getting parents and their kids in the kitchen together, and that’s a mission I wholeheartedly support. They like it because when families cook and eat together, kids learn to make healthier choices. I like that too, but I also like the time together, and how much important, practical knowledge a parent can pass along to their child while mixing up dinner.
UNCLE BEN’S® 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.
If you haven’t cooked with your kids recently, I highly recommend getting back in the kitchen with them. It’s worth it.
Easy Garlicky Chicken and Green Beans Skillet
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb raw chicken tenders (sometimes called tenderloins)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp tumeric
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 12 oz bag frozen green beans (don't defrost)
- 2 pouches Uncle Ben's Ready Rice , variety of your choice
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- While it's heating cut the chicken tenders into 1-inch pieces and place in a medium mixing bowl. Stir together the salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and tumeric. Pour over the chicken and stir to combine. It should coat all the pieces.
- Place the chicken in the hot skillet and cook, turning once, until just browned on both sides (about 10-12 minutes total). Add the garlic and the green beans to the skillet, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the green beans are cooked
- Meanwhile, prepare the rice according to package directions. Serve the chicken and green beans over the rice
This post is sponsored by The UNCLE BEN’S® Brand. Although I received compensation in exchange for this post, all opinions are my own.
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.
What do you enjoy cooking with your kids?
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.