Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rewind: Tuna Noodle Casserole

As kids, my sisters and I would actually look forward to tuna noodle casserole at our house. In the few years that we had with Mom, this one still stands out as a favorite. Despite my efforts, I haven't been able to get it to taste 100% like Mom's did but I suppose that is something to say for "Mom's Home Cooking." Often duplicated...never to perfection. I've had the itch to try this again and when I saw Gina at Skinnytaste had posted her own version I figured I would make an attempt to mesh up Mom's recipe with Gina's and see how it went. I have to say, it turned out quite fantastically and reminded me a whole lot of my youth. This is a classic comfort dish! Perfect for these cold Winter days.

This recipe is very similar to Gina's with just a few of Mom's hints. One big difference with Mom's was the use of condensed cream of mushroom soup. Now, I have found a brand of mushroom soup that could work here but I decided to try the fresh mushrooms and it turned out so well I don't think I'd use the condensed in this recipe ever again.  Mom's also had crushed cornflakes or potato chips on top, but the breadcrumbs did the job for me on this one.  Here you go! If you try it, let me know what you think :)


Tuna Noodle Casserole

6 oz. no-yolk noodles (I like the extra wide)
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, minced fine
1 cup chopped celery
3 tbsp flour
1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup 1% milk
10 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
2 packs of albacore tuna or 2 5oz cans of tuna in water, drained
4 oz. reduced fat sharp cheddar
1 tbsp olive oil mayo
1 tbsp sour cream or 0% Fage greek yogurt
dash dry mustard
dash onion salt
dash celery salt
butter flavored cooking spray
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
2 tbsp whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs (If you are local to Michigan I like Fishtown Crumbs

Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside. 

Melt the butter in a large deep skillet. Add onions and celery and cook on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and a dash of dry mustard, onion salt and celery salt, then stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray 9 x 12 casserole with butter flavored cooking spray.

Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined, increasing heat to medium and whisking well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil. When boiling, add mushrooms and peas, adjust salt and pepper to taste, and simmer on medium, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 7 to 9 minutes). Add drained tuna, stirring another minute.

Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp sour cream and mix well until it melts. Add the noodles to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated. Pour into casserole and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
Spray a little more cooking spray and top and bake for about 25 minutes. Place under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp (careful not to burn).


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sloppy Lentils...oh and HI :)

It's been awhile since I've blogged but I'm here with a new recipe to share!! I'm trying to keep better track of all of the recipes that I try for my #foodprepSunday and this is the best collection I've got going. Might as well keep it going... So, here I am. 

Okay, so Sloppy Lentils! I have this wonderful group of women that I interact with on Facebook and we're always sharing our favorite recipes along with all sorts of other fun fitness chatter. My dear friend Maggie shared this recipe and I finally prepped it this past Sunday. It's a crockpot recipe which = an immediately smitten Em.  I love my crockpot more than any other gadget in my kitchen! It's just so useful and so EASY.  Perfect!

So, lentils...I love em'. They are technically a legume and grow in a pod like a pea does.  I like red and brown lentils the best. This recipe calls for brown lentils which are the most common kind. You'll find these in the grocery store with the other bagged beans and peas.  With about 30% of their calories from protein, lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut, after soybeans and hemp. (1) So, they are high in protein, fiber and they are just so darn good for you!! 

This is definitely a new favorite for EVERYONE in this house. The kids loved it too!! I like to top a baked potato, sweet potato or some rice with this wonderful dish. Add a little side salad and VOILA! It's a perfect vegetarian meal. If you wanted to un-vegetarian-ize (uh, that's a word, right?) this recipe you could add in a little ground beef or turkey too.


Sloppy Lentils

1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1 small red or green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
2 tablespoons tamari or other soy sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon light brown sugar or a natural sweetener
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a medium-sized non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, cover, and cook until softened, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, stirring to coat.

Transfer the onion mixture to a 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water, tamari, mustard, brown sugar, salt, and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours.

Serves: 4 to 6

(1) Callaway JC (2004). Hempseed as a nutritional resource: an overview. Euphytica 140:65–72.