Angie Harmon. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for UNICEF)"Rizzoli & Isles" star Angie Harmon may be a busy mom of three, but the 39-year-old actress still makes time to give back. She's currently serving as an ambassador for the Ben's Beginners contest, a program focused on getting kids and parents in the kitchen to cook healthy meals, and as part of her role, Harmon has been traveling the country to educate children and families on the perks of cooking together. Self.com caught up with the actress to talk about how she gets her daughters involved in cooking, her tips for beginner foodies, and her yummy (and healthy!) smoothie recipe.
What got you interested in partnering with Uncle Ben's Rice for the Ben's Beginners Contest?
As a mother of three, it's extremely important to me that my children are in the kitchen with me to understand where their food comes from and how it's prepared. Plus, I'm always looking for new ways to connect with my girls and teach them about healthy eating, so I was thrilled to team up with Uncle Ben's to help encourage parents and children to spend time together in the kitchen and develop a healthy relationship with food and each other.
As a mom of three, why do you think family meals and involvement in the kitchen is important to children? How do you get your children involved?
Like most families, I know firsthand how hard it can be to commit to making family meals and even harder to take the time to involve kids in the cooking, but I think it's extremely important. Most of the time, my girls just want to help and love to get their hands dirty so I have them do things like setting the table, measuring ingredients, breaking eggs, or rinsing produce for the night's salad.
What three tips would you give beginning foodies looking to be more involved in cooking and more mindful of what they eat and their health?
1. Just give it a shot! Don't worry about things not coming out perfect. The more you try, the more confidence you will get.
2. Keep it simple, from the type of food, to the recipe you choose. I like to cook balanced meals but they are so uncomplicated. My favorite is a teriyaki salmon with a pineapple salsa on top, easy 90-second rice from Uncle Ben's on the side and finished off with some roasted broccoli. There are maybe six ingredients in the whole thing and it tastes great.
3. Tear out recipes from magazines that sound good and try to make them. I have a gigantic binder with recipes I've found all over the place - I try them out on my family and if we like them it goes in the binder for use again. If we don't, in the trash. Trying new things keeps me inspired to get in the kitchen and cook.
If you only had 15 minutes to work out a day, what would be the one thing you'd be sure to sneak in?
Fifteen minutes for me would mean 50 jumping jacks and a holding a plank for as long as I could. It's surprising how much just that can pick your energy up!
One of Angie's favorite snacks is her own version of a smoothie. Try the recipe for yourself!
Angie's Power Smoothie
1/4 to 1/2 avocado
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 to 1 cup frozen organic berries
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1 scoop Catie's Organic Greens powder
1 scoop Catie's Vitamin C Plus
1-2 tablespoons of ground flax or chia seeds
Cup of ice
1 cup coconut water
Dash of cinnamon or spice of choice for added flavor and nutrition
Blend with hand blender or smoothie blender, pop in a straw and enjoy an energy filled morning!
To learn more about Uncle Ben's Beginners contest, visit www.bensbeginnerscontest.com
More Celebrity Features on Yahoo!: