Dear Jeanne: My kids love this, and so do I, but it is so full of fat. Can you adjust it to reduce the fat a bit? Thanks
— Carol, Minneapolis
Dear Carol: There are many options for a whole-grain noodle — just choose your favorite. Many tuna casserole recipes have peas, so I added that vegetable, but you can add any vegetable you have in your refrigerator or freezer, as long as you cut it small and pre-steam it, or just thaw it if it's frozen.
Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her website, jeannejones.com.
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8 ounces noodles
1/2 cup diced celery
1 stick butter, divided use
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cans (6 ounces) tuna
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup butter crackers, crumbled
Cook the noodles. Saute the celery in half of the butter until soft. In a large bowl, mix together the soup, milk and mayonnaise. Add the tuna, cheese, onion and celery, and combine with the noodles. Pour the noodle mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Melt the other half of the butter and pour it over the cracker crumbles. Spread the buttered cracker crumbles over the top of the casserole. Bake at 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until heated through.
Makes 6 servings.
REDUCED-FAT TUNA CASSEROLE
8 ounces whole-wheat noodles
1 cup diced celery
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) reduced-fat-and-sodium cream of mushroom soup
1 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cans (6 ounces each) water-packed tuna, drained
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish or a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Boil the noodles al dente; drain and set aside.
3. Place the celery in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes and cook until crisp-tender. Add the peas and cook to thaw.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the soup, milk, sour cream and Parmesan cheese. Add the tuna, green onions, celery and peas, and combine with the noodles.
5. Place the noodle mixture in the prepared dish, and sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs. Spray the top with nonstick cooking spray and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until heated through and browned on top.
Makes 6 servings.
Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 732 calories; 50 gm fat; 130 mg cholesterol; 799 mg sodium; 47 gm carbohydrates; 28 gm protein; 3 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 321 calories; 5 gm fat; 27 mg cholesterol; 564 mg sodium; 43 gm carbohydrates; 27 gm protein; 5 gm fiber.