The heat index may be spiking at 101, but the school bells are ringing everywhere beckoning students back to the classroom. In my town, classes begin in one week, and as busy parents are scrambling through aisles in big department stores for those essentials their children need, its east to forget how important a decent meal can be in a hectic lifestyle.
Maybe not everyone loves potatoes as much as I do, (my heritage is part Irish), but the simple spuds are staples in the American diet and versatile for many dishes.
The American Tater Tot is probably thought of as a food fit for toddlers and small children, but with a little imagination, these quick finger foods can transform into a hearty dish filled with vegetables in as little as an hour. This casserole is so simple to make and will be perfect for evenings when you are in hurry and leftovers are a cinch. Add a pre-mixed salad and you have your meal ready for everyone.
Many recipes for tater tots in casseroles exist, perhaps due to their simplicity. I have adapted my own version into something similar to a Shepherd’s Pie. of course, you can add in your own favorites to suit your family’s needs and likes, however, this is so simple and easy to make, you might even save yourself some work by asking your kids to help out. The only real hard work consists of browning ground beef, or for a healthier alternative, use ground turkey instead.
Here is a list of what you will need:
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of milk
1 can of mixed vegetables
1 small bag of tater tots
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
a dash of salt and pepper
Directions for Easy As Tater Tot Pie
Brown ground beef or turkey in a saucepan. Drain the meat once browned and no longer pink.
Add the meat to a casserole dish and cover with the mixed vegetables. combine the milk and cream of mushroom soup. Pour over the vegetable layer.
Arrange tater tots over the soups layer and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.
Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to set for five minutes.
You can always adapt this recipe for your family. If they prefer other vegetables, of course, try those. Your kids can help in layering vegetables, tater tots, soup, and cheese. This helps you out and gives them a responsibility in helping out at meal time without the dangers of knives and heating elements. If you would like to supervise them browning meat, just make sure you are close by and never allow small children to take out the casserole, or place it in a hot oven!