I learned something new about Babyface this past weekend. I found out that growing up, he never had school lunch as we know it. Neither of us are sure if it’s a typical Canadian thing or just a Thunder Bay thing or just the schools he went to, but he never experienced lunch ladies, pale green plastic trays or greasy, droopy pizza. Weird, right? They just brought their lunches from home. It’s such a crazy concept to me. School lunch is a serious rite of passage, as far as I’m concerned.
Anyway, this came up because I made tater tots!
I’m not sure there are many foods out there that are more synonymous with school lunch than tater tots. I actually think the vast majority of my lunches during my sophomore year of high school consisted of a bag of tater tots, a Mountain Dew, and an Oatmeal Cream Pie. Or maybe a Star Crunch, if I was feeling a little crazy.
Nowadays, my diet has expanded a bit past deep-fried potatoes and Little Debbies. But sometimes, it’s fun to step back in time and try to make a classic junk food into something that fits better into a healthy eating style. Instead of deep-frying potatoes, I baked up a flavorful sweet potato mixture.
These guys were so incredibly good. I honestly wasn’t expecting much, but the Panko outside gets all crunchy and crispy and the inside is soft, fluffy and sweet. The parmesan adds a really nice contrast to the sweet, earthy potatoes. We are big fans of these tots.
Do you think you could freeze these and then pop them in the oven as needed? Or do you think they would need to be pre-baked and then frozen?
I think you could probably get away with doing them either way! Let me know if you try it out.
These sound great and I cannot wait to try them. You didn’t say if you partially cooked the sweet potato before shredding them. If you did partially cook them, did you boil them and for how long. Thanks.
These look delish! My daughter is allergic to egg 🙁 What could I do about that? She LOVES sweet potatoes, so I’m sure she’d love these.
I’d say a chia or flax egg would probably work (although, I haven’t tried it). Just mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons hot water. Let sit for about 10 minutes, or until gelled, and then use like a regular egg.
Tater tots are delicious ! Cheese and potatoes are always great together !
These look amazing, I will have to try them soon.
Glad you mentioned Little Debbie Star Crunch Cookies in your post or I may never have found you. I came across these (and your blog) accidently by doing a google search for [homemade] Little Debbie Star Crunch Cookies.
I had sweet potato tots for the first time this summer at a brewery in Colorado. And man- they were good (though I’m sure they were deep-fried, which usually doesn’t agree with my stomach). I’ll have to try your recipe out!
I pretty much always bought lunch in school (guh!!) but I would usually spend my $2 my mom gave me on Tastycake doughnuts (the 6 pack of chocolate frosted ones) and a chocolate milk. Unless it was taco day- then I’d buy that. Makes me SHUDDER now to think of crappy I ate as a teen! In my 8 years of teaching public school I never ONCE bought cafeteria food. I knew better as an adult!
Wow these look so good 🙂 I need to try these! As for the school lunch thing, I think that’s normal for small towns. There’s no school lunch here at all. In Vancouver where I grew up we didn’t have a cafeteria in elementary school, only in middle school and high school and most kids still brought their own lunch anyways. Then again, in high school we could leave school property so there were way better places to eat available to us too 🙂
Another Canadian here! I grew up about an hour north of Toronto and we didn’t have a cafeteria until high school, where, as other people have said, people mainly just bought fries, if that. I started going home for lunch when I was in 6th grade, so I never brought my lunch either! I always thought it was weird in US TV shows when everyone ate in the cafeteria. Or when there was tension around picking where to sit in the cafeteria, I was always like, “just go home for lunch!” (Not that everyone lives close enough to do that…)
Haha! We weren’t even allow to leave the cafeteria at lunch. No going to the library, no eating outside, and definitely no leaving school property! That’s where the anxiety came from. Being forced with all of your classmates to sit and have a meal together in a little room. 😛
Yeah, I think I needed a hall pass just to go to the bathroom during lunch. How embarassing is that!?!
Yup! We had that, too. There were actually monitors at the doors going into the hallway that wouldn’t let you out, and the only set of outdoor doors in the cafeteria were locked. Fire hazard, what?