Friday, April 27, 2012

D is for: Doodle Noodle Tuna Casserole {Recipe Remake}

No, I did not make up the name of this recipe just so it would coincide with "D" week. This is actually the name of a dish my dear Grandma Joyce used to cook on the farm for all the hungry workers during wheat harvest. It was never one of my favorites as a kid because it called for bell peppers and pimiento. Some years ago, I decided to make it with broccoli and mushrooms instead and suddenly I loved it!

However, I don't tend to make casseroles too often these days. Like...hardly ever. For one, they usually call for some sort of condensed "cream of [insert ingredient] soup." Have you ever looked at the labels of one of those things? Way too many ingredients that end in "ate." Casseroles also generally call for other fatty ingredients (mayo, cheese, etc)...which aren't the best idea if you are trying to eat healthy.

But recently I was inspired when one of my Twitter followers asked if I had any good, healthy casserole recipes. Who says casseroles can't be healthy? I took on the challenge to remake this classic farmhouse recipe. (Thanks Brooke!)

First order of business...ditch the canned soup. This part was actually easy because I just used the same technique I used when I made condensed cream of mushroom soup for green bean casserole at Thanksgiving. Chop up a bunch of celery (leaves are OK too)...I used about 1.5 cups. Saute the celery with a little onion and garlic until soft. Stir in milk and a pinch of white pepper. Then thicken it up with a mixture of cornstarch and chicken broth. Season with salt...and voila! Copycat condensed cream of celery soup without all the preservatives.

Next part of the makeover: the noodles. The original recipe calls for egg noodles. No bueno. Substitute with something healthier like whole wheat pasta, quinoa pasta, or brown rice pasta. I wanted to try kamut pasta, but Mollie Stones didn't have any. I used this whole package, which made a really big serving of the casserole. I would definitely cut the recipe in half unless you want to be eating it all week.

The last part of this recipe remake is just substituting low fat ingredients. I used a reduced-fat sharp white cheddar cheese by Cabot (instead of regular cheddar). I went with a smaller amount of Lemonaise Light (instead of mayo). And I used low-fat milk instead of whole milk. As I mentioned above, I also used lots of veggies like broccoli and mushrooms to help fill everything out. And canned tuna packed in water instead of oil is a good way to go as well.

Once everything is mixed up, you top it with some almonds and bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes. I thought the almonds would toast up on their own in the oven, but they didn't really so next time I would toast them first before adding them. Overall...I thought it was a very tasty (and lightened up) rendition of an old favorite. So if you are having a casserole craving or just need something quick and easy...this one will do the trick and only cost you about 300 calories per serving!

Doodle Noodle Tuna Casserole {Recipe Remake}

by Jaymee Sire
Keywords: bake entree low-fat tuna broccoli mushroom almond

Ingredients (8 servings)
  • 1.5 cups diced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch white pepper
  • 2 cups reduced-fat milk, divided use
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup broth
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package whole wheat or quinoa noodles
  • 2 cans white albacore tuna (in water), drained
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise or Lemonaise
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds (lightly toasted)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Saute celery, onion and garlic until tender. Sprinkle with white pepper and stir in milk.
  3. Mix about broth and cornstarch to make a slurry. Pour into the mushroom mixture and stir until thickened (you may not need all of the slurry). Cook until it has the consistency of canned soup. Season with salt.
  4. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain. Return to pot.
  5. Over medium heat on the stove, mix together the pasta, tuna, cream of celery soup, the remaining cup of milk, mayo, and veggies. Add the cheese and stir until it melts.
  6. Spoon into greased casserole dish and top with almonds. Bake for about 30 minutes.
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Calories: 300
Fat: 11 g
Protein: 22 g
Carbs: 27 g

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog!! The St.Louis Wedding story was great!! Keep it up...


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