Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Do you ever do a little cleaning of your kitchen cupboards and find something in the back you totally forgot you had and really aren’t sure what to do with?

I do it all the time and I hate wasting food so I need to be pretty creative. A while ago I found a bag of goldfish crackers. My kids love them but this bag was a little salty so I put it in the cupboard and well that’s where it stayed. Until I needed a topping for my tuna casserole recipe.

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I’ll be honest this is not a recipe I ever thought I would be working on. I had a traumatizing incident with tuna and noodles as a child (sorry dad) and until last year I had never actually tried it again. But being budget concious and having a hubby who grew up with comfort food like this, made me want to give it a try again.

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Lets call it an exercise in moving forward and letting go of the past:)

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I used a white sauce with lots of veggies to make a tasty and canned soup free casserole that comes together pretty quick. The goldfish crackers make a great crust but if you are short on time you could skip the baking step and it would still be great.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

1 package of broad noodles

1 Tbsp canola or olive oil
1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 cup of diced carrots (about 1 large carrot)
1 cup of diced celery (about 2 stalks celery)
1 cup of frozen peas
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp mustard powder (grainy mustard would work too)
1 bayleaf
2 cups of milk
2 cans of chunk tuna

preheat the oven to 350

Prepare the noodles to the package instructions.

In a large saucepan heat the canola to medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook until the onion becomes translucent. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking for about 30 seconds. Melt in the butter and stir in the flour. Add the mustard powder and the bay leaf.

Heat the milk until  luke warm (I use my microwave and it’s about 45-60 seconds), slowly add it to the veggies and flour, stirring constantly.

Once it’s all mixed together add the peas and simmer the sauce until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon then remove the bay leaf

In a large casserole dish spread out the noodles and pour over the sauce. Fold in the tuna and top with the goldfish crust

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Goldfish crust

1 1/2 cups crushed gold fish crackers
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 Tbsps melted butter
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Bake the casserole for about 45 minutes

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My sister decorated this plate almost thirty years ago. It was one of those ones you colour and than bake. I think it’s one of my most treasured dishes.

Well there’s my version of a meal I’m sure most of us have eaten at some point. I just happen to think mine’s awesome. Hope it makes your family and friends as happy as mine. Let me know what you think

I also post nightly meals on my Facebook page if you’re looking for inspiration www.facebook.com/myweeklydish

Green Bean and Ham Casserole

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A good casserole is something everyone needs to have in their cooking arsenal. It can be an easy meal for a big crowd, a meal for a family that can’t think about cooking or a week night dinner that can be used for lunches. I’ve loaded it with green beans and used yogurt in the sauce so it’s healthier then many casseroles while still being rich and creamy.

Finished casserole in dish

I made this recipe for the first time years ago. It was for a close friend who had a new baby and one of my gifts to them was dinners that they could just heat and serve. If I remember right, her and her husband finished it off immediately and were both super happy not to have to think about cooking. I still make this regularly, sometimes reducing the recipe so we aren’t up to our armpits in casserole.

1 450g box of farfalle pasta

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup yogurt
1/3 cup softened cream cheese
1 cup milk
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 clove crushed garlic
1.5 cup grated extra old cheddar cheese
3 cups sliced green beans (I used frozen, fresh works too)
2 cups cubed ham
pepper to taste

Cook the pasta al dente (still a little bone to it) and set aside. Whisk together the first six ingredients. Mix in the cheese and then combine with all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together well and pour into a large casserole dish. Top with bread crumb mix and bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour.

Panko topping

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle over your casserole before baking.

Casserole with Dinosaur

I hope you find lots of use for this casserole and your friends and families enjoy it as much as mine have.

If you want to see how this dinner fits into my weekly meal plan check out my post, Weekly Meal Plan – Meals That Bring a Little Love to the Table

Creamy Vegetable and Chicken Tortilla Lasagna

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I love the Joy of Cooking. In fact, I have actually read it from cover to cover and had it beside my bed until I was finished. Food geek you say? Why yes I am, completely and totally. I learned a lot from this book and use it all the time as a foundation for cooking. When I have a new idea I turn to this wonderful book and can often find a starting place, the waffles and pancakes I make weekly are Joy of Cooking recipes. But sometimes my holy book lets me down and when I had an idea for a chicken and tortilla casserole the one I found, the King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe was not a recipe I would make. It has almost no vegetables, no spices or yummy seasoning and sounds like it would be cheesy, gloppy chicken. So, I set out to create my own healthier version.

Chicken Tortilla Bake

I like to think I do the book proud with my version and I had a friend test the recipe to make sure it was tasty. She loved that it came together quickly and that she could use a rotisserie chicken.

I’ve used lots of vegetables and cumin, chili powder, garlic and cilantro to add flavour and freshness to this casserole.

Chicken Tortilla Bake

1 tbsp. canola oil
1 diced onion
1 clove garlic
2/3 cup diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 diced red pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup diced zucchini
2 cups cooked chicken

1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup greek yogurt or sour cream
1.5 cups shredded cheese
½ cup sliced black olives
¼ cup cilantro
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Salt

About 7 Corn tortillas cut in half

Over medium heat sauté the onion in canola oil until they are translucent. Stir in garlic, spices and tomato. Cook for a few minutes until the tomato has softened and the mixture smells delicious. Add the red peppers corn, and zucchini, cook for a few more minutes, then stir in chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

Casserole without cheeseIn a largish bowl whisk together the mushroom soup and yogurt. Mix in the remaining ingredients except for the tortillas and season to taste with the hot sauce and salt.

In a casserole dish place a single layer of corn tortillas then a layer of the sauce mixture. I find two and a half tortillas fit perfectly. Continue layering, alternating between corn tortillas and sauce, finish with sauce mixture and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350F

My girlfriend added a diced Jalapeño in while cooking the vegetables and I think that would add a wonderful flavour and heat if your family and friends approve. Here’s how this dinner fits into my families weekly meal plan, Weekly Meal Plan