Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Superfoods Casserole for Comfort

Noodle Casserole for Warm Comfort
It’s time. Autumn comfort food casseroles can be easy to make, fast to bake, and oh-so good to eat on a rainy day. Welcome to the 20th century Classic Tuna-Noodle Casserole. When I was a kid my mom made this with egg noodles, canned peas, canned tuna, milk, and canned condensed mushroom soup. For a crunch on top it was potato chips. Okay, this dish was a favorite one on a week night but hey, times change.
Back in the day when I was at daycare (they called it nursery school), the warden dished up canned pea soup and spam sandwiches on white bread. I was the last child at the table and the first one to go on a protest. No way was I going to eat the green goo and nondescript sandwiches with mystery meat. So, I was told to sit at the table until I finished the pea stuff. Hours later I won the food war and didn’t eat the sad lunch.
Now, if this woman who wasn't kid food friendly or wise would have put peas in a yummy dish like the Classic Tuna-Noodle Casserole she would have won the battle. But in hindsight, live and learn. Welcome to the New Age Tuna-Noodle Casserole. I’m talking healthy food, including whole grain pasta, organic milk, frozen peas, seasoned bread crumbs, real butter, and fresh herbs.

NEW AGE Tuna-Noodle Casserole
2 cups organic half and half
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ cup Parmesan or Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons fresh or dried Italian herbs
2 cups hot cooked whole grain Rotini, drained (colored is nice for fall with the orange, green, off white)
1 cup green peas, frozen, thawed
1-2 (3.5 ounce) can albacore tuna, water-packed, drained (I used one can)
Cheese, pasta and fish are superfoods
in this New Age book coming
Dec. 18--ready for pre-orders
½ cup panko seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons European-style butter, melted
Fresh chives for garnish
In a saucepan mix half and half, flour, and cheese. Cook until it just comes to a boil. Remove from the stovetop. Pour into a bowl with cooked pasta, peas, and tuna. Add herbs. Put into a 8” by 8” square baking dish. Top with cheese, panko, and drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Take out and top with a mixture of panko cheese, and melted butter. Bake several minutes until golden brown and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with chives. Makes 6-8 servings.

This casserole re-do is great as is or paired with a kale and spinach salad, whole grain rolls, and fresh fruit, such as grapes for dessert. Is it tastier than green soup? Well, my desire for it hasn’t changed but peas in a casserole work for me and can for you, too. No promises, but the odds are this dish won’t cause any food fasts and more than likely someone will ask for a second helping. Enjoy the comfort of this wholesome casserole with a fresh flair.

1 comment:

  1. Better than what I remember. Will try this recipe.