The challenge this week for Operation Fat Blaster was to take a recipe from one of my favorite comfort foods and make it over into a healthier version.
I was excited about this challenge because I love to take recipes and tweak them. The only problem I had was deciding which recipe to do. I could have taken the easy way out and just posted one I had done in the past, but that would have taken all the fun out of the project. So, I narrowed it down between two casserole dishes I really enjoy - Chicken Tetrazini and Tuna Casserole. I laid both recipes out side-by-side on the kitchen table and stared at them. Then I asked myself, "Which one of these is truly a comfort food for me?" The answer to that question made my choice very easy. Chicken Tetrazini is not a dish that I make often. It is a bit time consuming, so I tend to make it when we have company or for a special occasion. Tuna casserole, on the other hand, is fast and easy to make, plus it totally satisfies me. In fact, I usually have trouble stopping at just one serving. And, isn't that the definition of a comfort food? A dish that you just have to have and can't get enough of.
Here are the changes I made to the original recipe:
*I halved the pasta and changed it to whole wheat.
*I also halved the mozzarella and changed it to 2%.
*I added 2 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese.
*I halved the mayo and changed it to low fat.
*I added mushrooms and celery which weren't in the original recipe.
*I sauteed the veggies in olive oil.
*I switched the cream of chicken soup to 98% fat free cream of celery soup.
*I changed the tuna from 9 oz to 12 oz.
*I omitted the salt and bread crumbs.
Original Tuna Casserole
12 oz. macaroni, cooked & drained
9 oz. can tuna, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup 2 % milk
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped onions
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 oz. bread crumbs
salt & pepper to taste
Mix soup, milk, mayo, onions, tuna, and cheese together in a large bowl. Stir in macaroni. Pour in to a casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
Makes 6 servings.
Tuna Casserole Redone
6 oz. Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Penne Rigate, cooked & drained
98% Campbell's Fat Free Cream of Celery soup
2 wedges Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss
1/4 cup Best Foods Low Fat Mayonnaise
1/2 cup fat free milk
4 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
4 oz. chopped celery
4 oz. chopped onion
1 TBS olive oil
2 - 6 oz. cans light tuna, drained
1 cup 2% shredded mozzarella
fresh ground pepper
Saute veggies in olive oil till crisp tender. In a large bowl mix soup, mayo, milk, and tuna. Add cheeses, veggies, then pasta; stir. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Pour into a casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
Makes 6 - 1 cup servings
Nutritional Values: Original/New
Total Fat: 28 g/9 g
Cholesterol: 57 mg/33 mg
Sodium: 836 mg/749 mg
Carbohydrates: 54 g/31 g
Fiber: 3 g/1 g
Sugars: 3 g/ 4 g
Protein: 29 g/18 g
The verdict is in. Tuna Casserole Redone is a keeper! Dare I say that I even liked the taste of it better than the original. Hubby even said that it was good, and he isn't a fan of pasta dishes.