Our friend Lori recently asked if we had some kid-friendly veg recipes that were healthful, included vegetables and even a finicky 8 year-old might like. We put our heads together and tried to recall what we both liked as 8 year-olds. Like anything sweet. Gooey cheese. Hot dogs. And no veggies at all, except maybe carrots. Which are sweet, too.
I can recall adoring the night each week my Mom made franks and beans. Those sweet, mushy canned beans. Heaven to a child’s palate. And July happens to be National Veggie Hot Dog month. So we concocted a recipe incorporating the best of those elements, and hid some vegetables in the mix.
Kid-Friendly Veggie Dog Casserole
1 cup carrots, chopped into small half-moons
1 cup sweet onion, like Vidalia, diced fine
1 cup broccoli, chopped small
1 28-oz. can vegetarian baked beans (we used Bush’s Fat Free Vegetarian)
4 whole wheat tortillas, sliced in half (we used Trader Joe’s)
1 8-pack of veggie wieners (we like Lightlife SmartDogs)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Using a non-stick pan, saute carrots, onions and broccoli over medium-low heat in about 1/2 cup of water until tender. If the carrots aren’t soft by the time the water cooks off, add a splash more. When the veggies are ready, the onions will be translucent and the carrots and broccoli will be fork-tender.
In a 8×8 oven-safe casserole, combine the cooked veggies and entire can of baked beans. Stir well to coat the vegetables in the sweet baked bean sauce.
Roll each veggie wiener in 1/2 of a wheat tortilla and stack them, seam side down, on the bean/veggie mixture. When done with all 8 wieners, top the casserole evenly with Daiya shreds and cover in aluminum foil.
Bake covered at 400 degrees about 15 minutes until bubbly and warmed through. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes to toast the tops of the tortillas and brown the Daiya.
This recipe is really versatile. If your little ones prefer green beans, switch those in for the broccoli. Or use a can of diced tomatoes. Whatever veggies your child will eat in a sweet baked bean sauce will likely work. Oh – and my mom used to add molasses and mustard to our baked beans – you can try that too to mix it up.
Lori, this is for your boys. We hope they like it!