When my great-grandmother was growing up in the Outer Lumbago Republic she’d often …
Just kidding. Here’s the recipe without twenty paragraphs of irrelevant SEO-optimizing blather:
- Olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- 1 bag of vegan ground beef (Gardein, Beyond, you choose)
- Some spices you like
- 16-24 ounces of frozen carrots, corn, and peas
- 1 tub of vegan cream cheese of your choice
- 12 ounces of cream of something soup (I like Imagine Foods Creamy Broccoli)
- 1 big ol’ bag of tater tots (Ore-Ida Extra Crispy are good)
- 1 package of vegan cheese shreds (Parmela and Daiya both work)
Chop the two onions and sautee them in olive oil until they are browned. Remove and put aside for now.
Cook the vegan ground beef in the same pan with some more oil. Add any sort of spices. (I’ve made this with Italian style spices (rosemary, basil, etc.) as well as with chili powder and cumin. I suspect Indian-style with garam masala and cilantro would also be good.) Cook until the vegan ground beef is browned, which is longer than the bag tells you, but wtf do they know.
You can also add a tablespoon of soy sauce or (gasp) a pinch of MSG to add some umami flavor (and if you comment to tell me you’re allergic to MSG I will be sad – there is no such thing as an MSG allergy, there’s glutamate in many foods you eat every day). But don’t add a lot of MSG, that makes things taste kind of too umami, which is weird. A pinch is enough.
Add in the onions, all the frozen veggies, the cream cheese, and the creamy soup. If it’s really thick with no visible liquid add some more soup and/or plain soy milk to thin it out a little bit. Cook this all together over a medium flame until it thickens (again), stirring regularly.
Put it in a large casserole dish. I used a 9×13 pan but whatever. Cover the top with the vegan cheese shreds, then line up the tater tots in rows on top. Don’t be a Sloppy Sam like I am when I do this. Line them up neatly so your parents are proud of your work. I’ve made this with bags of Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Tots I got from Target and there were exactly enough tots to cover the entire top with none left over. That’s amazing! If this happens to you, reflect on what a miraculous world we live in for a minute.
Put the whole thing in the oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. It’s done when the tots are crispy on top.
You could probably use other frozen veggies. You could even put in green beans if you’re the kind of sick m*therf*cker who likes to eat those nasty things.
While I said “cream cheese of your choice” if you choose something like strawberry cream cheese that’d be a really bad choice. But something like chive might be nice.
My wife thinks making the cheese sauce from this mac and cheese recipe would be better than the sauce described here, but I haven’t tried it yet. It sounds good though. She might be right, but don’t tell her I said that.
Sorry, I don’t have a picture of the recipe. I don’t take pictures of all my food like some sort of food- or self-obsessed weirdo, except when I’m in Taiwan, where I take pictures of all of my food like some sort of food- or self-obsessed weirdo.