I'm a sucker for tuna casserole. Yes, I know, not your most highbrow food, but I love it. Mom used to make it with left over Kraft deluxe mac and cheese (had to be deluxe not the powdered crap - we had our standards - and don't even get me started that today a box won't give you any leftovers), a can of Campbells cream of mushroom soup and a can (or two) of drained tuna. If I remember correctly she'd sprinkle a bit of paprika on the top. When I got older and moved 1000 miles away, I added peas to mine because I liked the color and the peas.
Well, as you can imagine, that's not the best meal to eat when you're trying to eat healthy (can you say overly processed) or when you're trying to lose weight (even if you use the 2% mac and cheese and the healthy request soup), so I was quite excited when I found a recipe in Cooking Light this past January for a tuna casserole that looked rich enough (others I've tried have been week) but not totally outrageous that I could make this as an occasional meal (much to the girls' chagrin). The only thing I might do different next time is add a bit of chopped mushrooms (I do so miss that cream of mushroom soup from Mom's version).
Tuna Noodle Casserole
The original recipe used egg noodles but I use no-yolk and you could even use a short pasta of some sort.
8 ounces wide no yolk noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 3/4 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 (5-ounce) cans tuna in water, drained and flaked
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and carrot; cook 6 minutes or until carrot is almost tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in milk; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk until slightly thick. Stir in cream cheese, mustard, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Remove pan from heat. Stir in noodles, peas, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and tuna. Spoon mixture into a shallow broiler-safe 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)
CALORIES 422 ; FAT 16.5g (sat 7.1g,mono 6.3g,poly 1.8g); CHOLESTEROL 88mg; CALCIUM 293mg; CARBOHYDRATE 40.6g; SODIUM 756mg; PROTEIN 27.4g; FIBER 3g; IRON 2.4mg