Photo: Erik Putz
Want to make dinner more fun? Swap out boring mashed potatoes for Tater Tots! Your kids will love the taste and you'll love the minimal prep time.
2 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp tomato paste
450 g lean ground beef
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup frozen corn kernels
4 cups frozen tater tots
Line a 9 x 13-in. baking dish with 2 sheets of heavy-duty foil, leaving a 5-in. overhang on all sides. Spray bottom, sides and overhang with cooking spray and set aside.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium. Add onion, celery, carrots, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 10 min. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 min.
Add beef, increase heat to medium-high and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 min. Add flour and cook for 1 min. Pour in broth and Worcestershire, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened slightly, about 4 min. Stir in corn.
Transfer to prepared pan. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hr. Top with Tater Tots. Wrap tightly with overhanging foil. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Remove foil packet from pan. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Label and date, then return packet to freezer for up to 3 months.
To bake from frozen: Preheat oven to 375F. Remove plastic wrap. Return foil packet to baking dish. Bake in centre of oven for 40 min. Increase heat to 400F. Unwrap foil and cut away overhang with scissors. Continue baking until Tater Tots are golden brown and filling is hot (it should reach 165F with an instant-read thermometer), about 20 min.
Protein 14g, Carbohydrates 27g, Fat 17g, Fibre 2g, Sodium 589mg.
Avoid letting your frozen meals go in the freezer to die. Be diligent about creating labels that indicate what each dish is and when you made it. Position meals in the freezer with the newest items in the back and oldest in the front so nothing gets forgotten.
Originally published in the Today’s Parent January/February 2019 issue. Photo by Erik Putz.