Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Healthy(er) Tuna Noodle Casserole

Early in my marriage my husband and I ate a lot of tuna. Not because we loved it, but because we was po. Not poor, not economically challenged, but po. Cambpell's mushroom soup on macaroni noodles and calling it alfredo po - and if you added canned tuna to the mix, people, that stuff was good!

But as my husband and I paid off our student loans and moved forward into gainful employment, tuna noodle casserole slowly became a thing of the past. And you know how it is with memories, the more time passes, the sweeter everything becomes. At least, that's how it is with tuna (and reminiscing about grandpa passed out under the Christmas tree).

So in a bout of nostalgia, I made a tuna casserole this year over the Christmas holidays and hoping to invoke warm feelings from the past, I used a recipe from a church cook book that included cream of mushroom soup, powdered french onion soup, tuna, peas, cheddar cheese, egg noodles, and crushed potato chips on top - and people, I won't lie to you, it was tasty. Except I felt like I'd sucked on a salt lick about 15 minutes after dinner. Not to mention the bloating.

Not to be daunted, I decided tuna noodle casserole would be the perfect Kitchen Witch recipe to make healthy(er) in the New Year. So I set to lightening it up, increasing the nutrients, upping the fiber, and lowering the fat and sodium - and what resulted was this:

A delicious, flavour filled, old fashioned casserole with crunch, texture, and unctuous creaminess in every bite!

So if you're a hibernating bear like me and like the comfort of old fashioned food in the winter (but don't want to get your ass stuck in the cave door on the way out come spring) give this recipe a try because it really is Just. That. Fabulous.

If you try this recipe, please let me know! I love hearing from people who have tried my food!

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Visit the printable recipe here: Healthy(er) Tuna Noodle Casserole
Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!

Healthy(er) Tuna Noodle Casserole

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

  • 8 sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 diced white onion 
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced 
  • 1 stalk diced celery
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 bundle of mixed herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups no sodium added chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 tins chunk albacore tuna packed in water
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup light parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 cups whole wheat egg noodles 
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  1. Saute the mushrooms, peppers, celery and onions in a non stick pan misted with olive oil or cooking spray until the onions grow soft and the mushrooms release their water and begin to brown. 
  2. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and continue to saute for an additional minute stirring frequently. 
  3. Add the chicken stock, herb bundle, lemon zest, lemon juice, spinach and peas. Bring to the boil, cover, and let simmer 10 minutes until the peas are cooked through. Stir in the tuna, sour cream, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
  4.  Cook the egg noodles in boiling water for 3 minutes (just until al dente), and drain
  5. Mix everything but the breadcrumbs together in a 3 quart casserole treated with cooking spray, top with the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbling.
  6. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. 
  7. Serve with a tossed green salad.  
Nutritional Information per 294 gram serving

Calories: 232 per serving
Total Fat: 5.4 grams
Cholesterol: 37 mg
Sodium: 218 mg
Potassium: 203 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 35.4 grams
Dietary Fiber: 5.1 grams
Sugars: 2.4 grams
Protein: 11.9 grams

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

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