Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dinner Is Served

Everyone has got their childhood food favorites. For me that was my mother's Tuna Noodle Casserole. I love it so much I could eat it cold out of the fridge in the middle of the night. Yum. I have changed the recipe very little. The only thing I have changed is the main ingredient. I use canned (well I use it from a pouch) boneless skinless wild pink salmon. You know I'm a little nutty about things like heavy metals in my food so I changed it out for a much healthier fish... you actually can't taste the difference. I've been reluctant to post this recipe despite its near constant presence at our fall and winter table because I've been embarrassed to admit that I make something so... well... cream of mushroom soup reliant. But here it is. It is a cinch to make and is infintely flexible. I make it with just an ounce of pasta per serving so it is fairly low carb, low fat, and high in protein. You can get it ready in a few minutes the night before or in the morning and bake it when you are ready to eat. It reheats well in the microwave or eat it cold... it really is good that way! I have the recipe worked out for 4 servings but you can stir in an extra ounce or two of pasta and stretch it for a couple more servings. I stir peas into ours but you can leave them out if your family doesn't do peas. This is not rocket science... it is a casserole... and it is delicious.

Salmon Noodle Casserole

4 oz shaped pasta (elbow, rotini, etc)
7-8 oz canned salmon (no bones or skin), such as Chicken of The Sea in a 7.1 oz pouch
1 can cream of mushroom soup, Campbell's Healthy Request
1/4 c light mayo
2 T milk (2%)
1t mustard (dijon)
salt and pepper
1 c frozen peas

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
Bring a pot of water to boil.
Stir in pasta, salt the cooking water, and return to a boil following package directions. When there is 7 minutes remaining on the pasta stir in the frozen peas if using and return to a boil.
Meanwhile in a casserole dish combine salmon, soup, milk, and mustard and mash with a fork to break up the fish.
When the pasta is finished drain the pot of pasta and peas and add to the casserole dish. Stir ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. At this point you could refrigerate the casserole until ready to use or pop it right into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

4 servings at 315 calories a piece (including peas)
add 2 ounces of pasta to filling to make 6 servings at 245 calories a piece

Cooking notes:
I use light mayo because it stays creamy even after baking and it keeps both the fat and calories down. You can use regular mayo and any type of milk for this. My calorie calculation is based on the light mayo, the 2 %, and the peas so adjust accordingly when you make your changes.
And yes you can make this the old fashioned way... with Tuna!

Mrs F Food TV... you can watch me make it!


Kelly O said...

That looks SO YUMMY. Also a long time favorite meal of mine since childhood. Here's a question ~ since I am now (annoyingly) lactose sensitive, I can't do things like Cream of Mushroom soup; any suggestions? ;-)

Torey said...

Yum. My mom never made this, but an ex-boyfriend's mom did and I loved it. We sometimes put black olives or water chestnuts in it!

katieo said...

My favorite as a kid was Tuna Noodle Casserole too! MY FAVORITE. My mom used to crush potato chips over the top.

I had never thought to use the chicken and or salmon.

...wheels are turning...

MommyTime said...

This is an old favorite of ours too. We like it with small niblets of carrot (not quite chunks, not quite slices). I put them into the pan with minced onion and sautee briefly, and then add the rest of the ingredients. The slight crunch of the carrots is a nice contrast to the creaminess of the rest.

Kelly O, you might try using broth (we do chicken broth) for most of the base, thickening slightly with a roux or Wondra, and then adding a good splash of Lactaid milk to make it creamier. We do this at least half the time b/c we sometimes want this dish but don't have cream of mushroom in the pantry. If you can't even do the Lactaid milk, perhaps you have some kind of milk substitute to try. And if you want the mushroomy goodness, then do it in this order: saute some mushrooms in a pan first, sprinkle them with a bit of wondra, deglaze pan with broth, when flour is all incorporated add more broth, let thicken slighly, add whatever milk-ish product you choose.

Shirls said...

I love tuna casserole and often make it for myself, divide it up and take it to work (seafood is one of hubby's allergies so we don't have it for din-din) I have a WW recipe that I follow works out to 6 points per serving, not bad at all..

your plate looks super yum-o!

emmyjw said...

I am going to try it with salmon,don't know why I never though of it and I haven't made it in ages because of the mercury in tuna issue.YAY Mrs F! I loved tuna noodle as a kid too, and ditto the potato chips,which is funny because she never let us have chips otherwise,my mom is silly.Anyways,looks good:)and I like your cooking show way better than food network;)

Amy said...

While I don't mind TNC a always reminds me of this huge family fiasco we had camping several years back. Too long to get into, but I can't think of TNC without thinking of *that* trip.

Who knew a tuna casserole could be so conflictual (is that even a word?)?

Kiki said...

Okay this sounds delish...its on the menu for tomorrow, I have never made it before but it sounds like the kind of thing that I couldn't manage to mess up too badly, plus it kind of cooks itself.
My mom makes a chicken casserole that I ask her to make for my birthday every year that is so good, she makes one alteration for me though, she uses cream of celery soup because I will pick out every mushroom in my serving if she uses cream of mushroom. So, can I use cream of celery, does it matter??
Thanks for sharing Mrs. F.

Mrs. Furious said...

Kelly O,
hmmm... I guess try MommyTime's suggestion. I'd just go heavier on the mayo and leave out the extra milk. Saute some mushrooms in a little stock and thicken the stock with a roux and then stir it into the mayo.

Black olives or water chestnuts?!? Mr F won't go for that. ;)

it must be a MI thing.

thank you.... I do try ;)
and yeah the salmon tastes the same in this... I've also made salmon salad... which does not taste the same!

I kind of need to ask.... what happened?

Sure thing... go ahead and use the Cream of Celery.

Mrs. Furious said...

thanks for the points all the WWers out there will appreciate that.

thanks for the Kelly O answers.

katieo said...

emmyjw, and ditto the potato chips,which is funny because she never let us have chips otherwise,my mom is silly

my mom didn't let us have'em either. lol!

(and ha! I'm not sure why I was so surprised about it being my favorite food too. I'm sure it was a popular ting to make back in the day. I just saw it sitting there on the plate and got a little crazy reminiscent)

Smoochiefrog said...

Chicken huh?

Might have to try that soon!

moley said...

Pasta - good grief the British didn't eat pasta in the 70s. Much too foreign and exotic for my dad. We had potatoes with every meal. The only pasta the British ate was Heinz tinned spaghetti hoops - yuk!

I must be honest, I still don't really like it. Unfortunately the rest of the family love it so we have it once or twice a week. I do prefer it baked so the sauce soaks in. Mr Mole and Hetty would live on vegetarian spag bol.

Mrs. Furious said...

I am baffled people.... who said to use chicken? I don't see it anywhere! But I can't see why not... it would taste completely different though.
Did this come about because I use "chicken of the sea" brand salmon? OR does someone really make it with chicken?
I am a wee bit tired and don't even know why I'm up right now.... maybe in the morning (real morning) it will make total sense....

Nutmeg said...

Wouldn't TV cooking shows be so much more cool if the people where cooking with a baby and a kid in the room, like most people are doing in real life.


Even better if they were doing it with Baby and Kid.

Robin said...

I love tuna noodle casserole, but we make ours with egg noodles, and I make my sauce from scratch. Don't be too impressed, it is about the only thing I make from scratch.

I agree that there should be a cooking show called The One Armed Chef. Mom cooks with baby on her hip. You could star, Mrs. F!

katieo said...

oh yeah, I think it was the Chicken of the Sea brand that threw me off...

emmyjw said...

lol katieo,no worse than me and Mrs F "seeing" full spectrum on lightbulbs only to find out we just wanted it to be there :) The really funny thing about the casserole with ptoato chips is my parents were major health food nuts, food co-op,made all of our bread, no fast food or junk food ever, so the chips on the casserole were a huge deal to me and my bro.

Danielle said...

YUM! Two of my faves. Salmon is my all time fave amd tuna noodle casserole was ALWAYS a hit in my home growing up. I'll have to try that...for MYSELF!?!
Seriously, you should have heard the whining and complaining that ensued when I tried making tuna noodle casserole the other night. I'm so frustrated with my family and their picky eating (husband included). I lose my cool during mealtime.

Preppy Mama said...

I love tuna noodle casserole, however my husband has a psychological issue with tuna, salmon or any fish for that matter. Could you substitute the fish for canned chicken? I know it sounds gross, but it was his suggestion. DO you think it would taste gross?

BTW, love the videos. I could watch you cook all day.

Oh, where did you get your kitchen scale?


Mrs. Furious said...

Okay I'm back up... actually got to sleep in two hours and hopefully that will start to help offset the sleep deprivation!

I'm just glad it was you and not me... after the light bulbs I was starting to wonder if the sleep deprivation REALLY was getting to me! ;)
And there is no reason why you couldn't use chicken.

could you tell us how you make your sauce? Kelly O might be able to use that or alter that.
And egg noodles would be good.

no pasta until the 70s?!? Crazy.

Mrs. Furious said...

that would be awesome...
I should send The Food Network my videos!

I can't believe your parents made it at all. Although I guess our house wasn't much different... especially when my step-dad went through his vegan phase.... scrambled tofu anyone?

I guess I'm lucky both Kid and Mr F love it. Kid does pick out all the peas though...

You could definitely sub out the fish for the chicken. I did use canned chicken for something once... its fine and it will mash up like the fish does. It will be good you'll probably need to add more salt since the chicken is a little less flavorful then the fish.

eurydice said...

what is on the side of the plate? or did you mention that and my crazy tired brain skipped it?

moley said...

The typical British diet in the 70s was very limited. We were unusual in eating curry (not my dad mind you), since my mum's granddad was a merchant seaman and he brought all kinds of exotic stuff back from his travels and cooked it (very unusual for a man!).

I suppose it wasn't that long since the war and the ensuing rationing - which didn't finish till the 50s for some things.

Lots of stuff I eat now, I only discovered when I left home for university.

Smoochiefrog said...

See, I blame Katie! It's all her fault!

I'm not a fan of Salmon. I don't think chicken would be too bad though. Toss it with Cream of Chicken soup. Might be yummy, might make me barf. Who knows. Maybe I'll try it and letcha know.

Mrs. Furious said...

if you can watch the second video you'll see me make it. It is just a2 pples steamed and then mixed with 1 cup applesauce, 1 T brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger.

Julie said...

I loved tuna casserole growing up! Yup, my mom did the potato chips thing, too. Sadly, if I were to make it today for my family, I would be the only one to eat it. And believe me, I would...all 4 servings. Hence, I do not make it ever.

I do love the videos, too, but I have not been able to watch them the last couple of days due to those pesky kids and my husband being away.

Robin said...

I just use a recipe for basic white sauce and add the tuna to it. I use the recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook.

2 Tblsp butter
2 Tblsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup of milk

Heat the butter in a saucepan until melted, stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth and bubbly (about a minute.) Stir in the milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Stir and boil for one minute. Then I mix in the tuna and then serve it over egg noodles. I don't put it in the oven but you could certainly do that if you wanted to. We called it Tuna Wiggle growing up. :)

I saw an episode of Rachael Ray and she made a lower fat version of it that I have made and really like. I actually make it like this now. But I leave out the tarragon (because I don't like it) and it is very tasty and fewer calories.

Robin said...

Oh, when I make the Rachael Ray recipe, I only use four ounces of egg noodles, not 12. But I use the same amount of sauce and tuna. It tastes great and is higher in protein per serving that way. She is crazy making 12 oz of noodles for four servings!!

eurydice said...

ah, and now i've watched the videos. :) yum yum.

so that casserole dish is four servings - they look like pretty large/filling servings. i think i'll try it - i love any kind of baked pasta.

Mrs. Furious said...

You should make it and put it right into four containers and freeze them for yourself.


Kelly O,
You can follow Robin's recipe and use chicken broth in place of the milk... should work.

They are about 1.5 c portions. It is totally satisfying.


Daniela said...

I freaking ran to the grocery store today to buy salmon and egg noodles to make this. Water is boiling now.

Mrs. Furious said...

Yum... I hope you enjoy it!

Daniela said...

Since I posted that last comment, I have made this badboy once a week. The daughter said that it is the best "tuna" casserole she's ever had, which is very much like you winning the Oscar for casseroles. She even asked that it be in her cookbook for "when I'm an adult."

I'm making it tomorrow night too. :D

Mrs. Furious said...

Oh I'm so glad !!! :)

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