Tater Tots and Salad

It was a tater tots and salad kind of day for all three of “my boys” though they made different recipes of each. Micah and Asher made loaded tater tots and an avocado, black bean and corn salad, Avocado, Black Bean and Corn Salad while big brother Noah used tater tots in a different recipe and made yet another salad.

We started off by making a cowboy casserole with tater tots, since that had to cook for about 30 minutes. Noah LOVED this recipe. It was a HUGE hit with him. I think he is proud of the end results. 🙂

Cowboy Casserole

1-1 /2 lbs lean ground beef

1/2 onion, diced fine

1 TBSP garlic

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

2 cups frozen corn, thawed

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

4-5 tomatoes, diced or 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes

1/3 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar chesse, divided

salt & pepper to taste

2 cups tater tots

olive oil for cooking

Preheat oven to to 375* F or 190* C

Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine all the ingredients together, with the exceptions of the tater tots, cheese and sour cream. Cook until the meat is completely cooked and the onions are translucent and tender.

Mix in the sour cream and half the cheese and combine well. Continue to cook until the cheese is melted. Once everything is cooked and the cheese is melted, spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking pan.

Layer the top with the tater tots, covering the whole pan. Add another layer of cheese on top of the tater tots if you like it nice and cheesy. Noah is not a big cheese fan, just like I am not, so he did not add another layer of cheese on top.

Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes, or until the tater tots are golden brown.

While the cowboy casserole was baking, Noah and I made a salad to go with it. I like to help him with simple and complete meals. Our salad du jour was a simple green and orange salad.

Green & Orange Salad

3-4 Mandarin oranges or 2 large oranges, cut into sections – save the juice for the dressing

2/3 cup olive oil

3 TBSP white balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dry mustard

salt to taste

4 tsp sugar

dash white pepper

1 head butter lettuce, rough chop

1 small head Romaine lettuce, rough chop

1/4 red onion, sliced very thin

1 avocado, chopped

1 cucumber, sliced thin

green onions, chopped fine

Whisk the oil, vinegar, orange juice and seasonings together and set aside.

Combine all the remaining ingredients and carefully toss together. Add as much dressing as needed without drowning the salad and toss again. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to eat. I used Mandarin oranges for this salad as they are sweeter than navel oranges, and the sections are smaller, which I prefer for salads. But this is just a personal preference. You can use whatever type of oranges you like. Cara-Cara or blood oranges would be very good too.

You can see Noah is having a good time tossing his salad.

Another fun and successful day of cooking, with more delicious recipes. Smiles were abundant. As the teacher, this is always the most rewarding part of the day. 🙂

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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