May 2, 2012

A little hidden veggies

I started this post yesterday when I had a few minutes but 99% of Tuesday was spent in preparing for and attending my Cub Scout Pack's Blue and Gold Banquet.  B&G is normally in February but due to a variety of factors, our's kept getting postponed so we turned it into a Picnic.  I'm wondering if we can keep that as a tradition - with maybe a decrease in the wind speed that we had yesterday although the wind did help the cub scouts with flying their kites.  I can't wait to look at the pictures!

Printable Recipe for Tator Tot Casserole

I love it when life falls together (with a little help from above)!  I was trying to figure out how to serve Tator Tot Casserole at the soccer field when I got an email that soccer practice was canceled!  Yeah!

I thought I'd share this simple way that I added a few veggies into our dinner and no one noticed!

Here are the ingredients:

First, I made my cream of chicken substitute I learned about years ago on Food Storage Made Easy (for less sodium and a little healthier alternative).  I used white bean flour which I had in the refrigerator.   I made it by putting 4 T of white navy beans through my wheat grinder to make 5 T of bean flour (and because I use my wheat grinder for wheat also, the bean flour can not be considered gluten free - but if I used a grinder that had not been used on wheat, it would be).  Add 4 chicken bouillon cubes, or 4 t of chicken bouillon and 1 3/4 cup of water. 
Bring to a boil and stir until the soup has thickened up.
Brown 1 lb of ground beef in skillet.  (I defrosted some I had in the freezer but you can also use the THRIVE FD Ground Beef like I did last week for the Tacos.)  As the meat is cooking, add in 2 T (or more) each of   FD Celery, FD broccoli and dried onion.  I'm using up dried onion I purchased previously but SOON I will be using the THRIVE FD Chopped Onions!

Apparently, I missed pictures of mixing the browned ground beef with the soups and spices.  But I did it.  I did use a can of cream of mushroom as I haven't researched an alternative for that.  If someone has one, I'd love for you to share it with me, especially once I restock my mushrooms.
After mixing the meat mixture, place it in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Place frozen tator tots on top.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.  The meat will be bubbly so you'll want to let it cool a few minutes before serving.

The verdict:  all four of us chowed down on the casserole.  The girls did NOT notice the veggies at all but they still got the nutrients from them.  Next time I'll add even more.  And don't judge my plate - I normally try to have sides of fruit and vegetables but it didn't happen on Monday.  BUT we did eat strawberries for dessert/FHE Treat.

Tator Tot Casserole
Printable Recipe
  • 1 can Cream Of Mushroom Soup (10 1/2 Oz)
  • 1 can Cream Of Chicken (10 1/2 Oz) Or 1 Recipe Cream Of Chicken Soup
  • 2 Tablespoons Freeze-dried Celery
  • 2 Tablespoons Freeze Dried Or Dehydrated Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Freeze Dried Broccoli
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, Ground
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 bag Tator Tots (16 Oz Bag)

Brown ground beef in skillet with celery, onion and broccoli. Season with black pepper. After beef is cooked, mix with cream of chicken and cream of mushroom. Pour into 9×13 pan. Place tator tots on top of meat mixture. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.

One option I've seen with Tator Tot Casserole is to add some green beans into the meat mixture.  You can use plain ole canned green beans - or you could THRIVE with FD Green Beans :)  My girls required a little more subtlety this time around.