Friday, February 18, 2011

Tator Tot Hotdish

So while perusing some of my favorite blogs I came across a post about tator tot hotdish. Now this is a dish that I L.O.V.E, but have never made. That's right, NEVER. So i figured if The Mothership's Galley can serve up some of this not so healthy fare, then I could too! So I was off to the internet in search of recipes, but couldn't really find any that seemed to suit my tastes, so I took the original recipe from The Mothership's Galley and made a few changes (which is something I love about hotdishes/casseroles - you can easily adjust them to suit your tastes or needs).

What I used:
1 lb 10 oz ground turkey
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 packet onion soup mix
3/4 cup fat free milk
2 cups frozen mixed veggies
1 bag (32 oz) tator tots
Non-stick cooking spray

before baking
How I made it:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (or whatever your tator
    tots require). Spray 9x13 casserole with non-stick
    cooking spray.

2. Brown ground turkey in skillet then mix in onion
    soup mix.

3. Mix remaining ingredients (except tator tots) with browned turkey.

4. Spread evenly in casserole dish and cover with tator tots.

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until tator tots are golden brown.

The Verdict: While both I and TheHusband enjoyed a delicious meal, we both thought it seemed a little salty even though I didn't add any extra salt.

What I'd do different: First, I'd use less meat and more veggies (even though TheHusband rather enjoyed the high meat to low veggie ratio). I have to admit the only reason I used so much meat was because I wanted to use it up before it went bad. At least it was ground turkey and not ground beef.

Second, even though I checked the product labels to specifically pick the lower sodium versions of the ingredients, I think I'll make further adjustments in future versions of this recipe. For instance, instead of using the onion soup mix I'll just use real chopped onions. And, I'll be looking for even lower sodium cream of celery soup.

Finally, I'd leave it in the oven a little bit longer so the tator tots can get even crunchier. While they were completely cooked through, I would have preferred a more crunchy texture. I just couldn't wait though, it smelled sooooo delicious I just had to have some.

So, what are your favorite comfort foods? Got any recipes you think I should try? Let me know, TheHusband  and I are always looking for new things to try.


Beth said...

Hey Miss Dora! Miss yer face chica. So, I don't know if you'd call this comfort food as much as yummy, fast & staple. I started doing it when I was dieting years ago & counting calories, & we've tweaked it a little bit since.

1.5 lb ground turkey (Costco pkg)
1 cup or so Salsa/Picante sauce
2 pkg frozen brown rice cooked (about 2 cups cooked rice)
1 can low sodium black or kidney beans drained (optional)
Shredded cheese to taste
Thinly slice bell peppers for topping

Cook the ground turkey in a frying pan and drain liquid. Add beans if using them. Add rice. Stir while cooking for about two minutes then add the salsa to taste. (We use Pace Picante sauce because it is nice and chunky.) Stir well, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Top with cheese to taste (we use a mexican shredded mix). When cheese is melted, serve. Garnish with the bell peppers.

I started with just the ground turkey, rice & salsa originally. It's definitely flexible, fairly easy, and awesome for leftovers. We usually get at least 2 complete servings of leftovers with that amount.

Dora said...

Thanks for the comment Beth! Miss your face to! You are the first to comment directly on the blog since I re-started it. I don't have a prize for you, but I am sending you a big virtual hug. =) Hopefully others will feel like you've broken the ice and start commenting too!

Also, thanks for the recipe. Sounds yummy and simple. I'll have to run it by M to see if it's something he'll eat. As long as I use mild salsa he'll probably be okay with it.

MIchelle Bingham said...

Hey Dora-
Tator tot hotdish always goes over big here too although I only use green beans (how we always ate it growing up and I don't like mixed veggies.) The past few years I've started adding rice as well. You can blame Shawn for that one, it is kind of a long story. :-)
I'm not real big on hotdish, but also really like cheesy chicken and rice casserole and lasagna is a favorite too.
As for the saltiness, buy the healthy request cream soups. The are lower in sodium.
I just found your blog because of FB and have enjoyed it so far.

Dora said...

So glad you found the blog Michelle, and that you're enjoying it so far. I'm trying to get back to writing and the blog has been a great motivator.

I wonder if the rice in Tator Tot Hotdish is a northern MN thing. That's how I remember it growing up, but I couldn't find any recipes with it. I'm thinking that using brown rice might make a good addition. I'll definitely take a look at the healthy requests soups though. =)

Michelle Bingham said...

I had never heard of it w/ rice, but Shawn remembers his former sister-in-law making it that way. He found a recipe for it so now I make it a combination of both our ways so neither of us whine. :-)

Michelle Bingham said...

Just had to tell you I made this last night. All the talk on your blog made me hungry for it. :-)

Dora said...

LOL. Hope it was delicious Michelle! I actually do want to make it again, I just need to add the ingredients to the grocery list.

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