Thursday, January 21, 2010

Clean Eating's Tuna Noodle Casserole

Now, I typically avoid casseroles because you never really know what's in them, but in general I think it's safe to say that whatever it is is not healthy! Obviously some are better than others, and I am not saying they taste bad- just generally not good for you. I came across a recipe for a tuna noodle casserole when I was reading Clean Eating Magazine (my favorite!) and thought i would like to try it because it was cheap to make, looked good, and I was kind of craving "comfort food." I really liked it for a change (and it was nice to have leftovers to take to class). I can't say that Nick liked it as much as me, but he still thought it was pretty good.  I don't think he appreciated the "healthiness" factor as much as I did!

I halved the recipe that is below, which provided 4 generous servings.

Healthy Tuna Casserole
Clean Eating, Sept/Oct 2009
(Serves 8)

6 slices whole-wheat bread
8 oz whole-wheat macaroni pasta
olive oil cooking spray
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp whole-wheat flour
2 cups skim milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 carrots, peeled, cooked and diced
2 6-oz cans tuna packed in water, drained
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely minced
1 Tbsp low-fat Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast bread in oven for 15 minutes or until just browned and crisp. Leave oven on at same temperature after removing bread. In a food processor fitted with a standard cutting blade, grind bread into breadcrumbs. Remove 1/2 cup for use and reserve remainder for another recipe.

Bring a large stockpot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat another large stockpot over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Mist with cooking spray and add celery and onion. Saute for 2 minutes or until onions become translucent.

Add oil and flour and whisk briskly. Add milk whisking in 1/4 cup at a time (this will create a roux or thickener, for your soup). Reduce heat to medium. Whisk in Dijon. Then stir in drained pasta, carrots, tuna and peas. Add dill. Remove from heat.

Pour tuna pasta mixture into a large 8-to 10-cup casserole dish. Top with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned on top.

Nutrients per 1 cup serving: Cal 230, Total Fat 3g, Sat Fat 0.5g, Carbs 32g, Fiber 6g, Sugars 9g, Protein 20g, Sodium 250mg, Cholesterol 15mg.

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