All of you moms and dads out there know exactly what I meant when you read that title. There are certain foods that you sneak into your kids' diets whenever and wherever you can. You don't feel bad about being just a little deceitful because let's face it, when it comes to those veggies or other things they turn their noses up at every single time, you will get sneak them in no matter what.
In our house, there aren't many things my big or little boy won't eat. Yes, I know how lucky I am. And for those hating me right now, believe me I feel your pain. I watch parents and spouses struggle with the notion of having to not cook certain things because they will not go over well. So for me, it's more sneaking in substitutes trying to make things a little healthier here and there.
One way I do this is by using ground turkey in place of ground beef in many of my recipes. If you have never tried this, I highly recommend it. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was probably 2 years of me doing this before my husband ever caught on; and to this day I don't know if they boy has. Ground turkey works fabulously in tacos, sloppy joes, casseroles...really for the most part any place ground beef is called for.
This recipe was one I had been thinking of trying for a while, and with our freezer beef running low, I knew it would be a great place to perform my magical trick. If you have made traditional tater tot casserole before, this will be a tasty twist on it. If you haven't, then it's a great place to start.
It makes a fantastic weeknight meal, especially on those nights when the family is starving and dinner is something you're just ready to put a lot of effort into. Plus, you can sneak something a little more healthy onto the dinner table without them even suspecting. All they will know is it's delicious!
Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole
32 oz. bag frozen tater tots
1.5 lbs. ground turkey
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
3 TBS brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, finely chopped, reserve some for garnish
Salt and Pepper to taste
Finely chopped dill pickle, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9x13 pan. Place tater tots in pan. Bake for 12 minutes. While cooking, in a large skillet, sprayed with cooking spray, brown ground turkey until no longer pink. When almost done, add onion and saute together. In a medium bowl whisk together tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic powder, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Add to ground turkey. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove tater tots from oven. Add ground turkey mixture to pan. Top with cheese. Bake for 15 additional minutes until heated through and cheese melted. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with extra onion and chopped pickle, if desired.
Shared on The Country Cook April 25, 2014