Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Now I admit, this dish is not even remotely healthy.  It is a dish that comes from simpler culinary times.  A time of creamed soup, processed cheese, and anything that comes from a can.  Ah, hello 80's, I love you.  Ok, maybe the 60's and 70's were like that too, but I wasn't alive to witness it.  I do know that those things are not really looked upon with the highest regard these days. 

There is an aire about the food blogging, recipe loving, free range, dairy free, gluten free, organic only culture that we currently live in that says "if you don't eat the same way I eat, I am better than you".  It really makes me sad especially when I am thrown under the bus just by being who I am when I am talking to others and the subject of food comes into the conversation.  

Not too long ago a set of co-workers came into my office and as it often does the fact that one woman went to some fabulous restaurant or another came up (it's a widely known fact that I cook 7 nights a week and eat at a restaurant maybe 1-2 times a year).  Then the conversation winded down the road of the spectacular dinners her husbands makes on a nightly basis.  She let me know that her husband fails to plan ahead so he's at the grocery store nearly every night of the week dropping $60 to make these regular culinary sensations.  I let it slip (I admit with an aire of WTF? about it) that I drop about the same amount, if not a little more, on a weekly basis for my family.  The silence could be cut with a knife, the looks were ones I had hoped these otherwise wonderful ladies would have never given me, and then the question finally came. "What do you eat?!?!?", ya know as if I ate macaroni and cheese every night from the box. 

Well, let me answer that.  I eat really well, but I don't eat fancy.  I plan my meals a week in advance, I shop sales on meat and stock up when I can (sales usually run on a bi-monthly basis in my area), I buy most of my food in bulk only, and I load up on  fruits and vegetables.  Still, every once in a while I eat macaroni and cheese from the box.  The blue box, not Annie's organic.  Yes, I have been known to use creamed soups, and blocks of cheese that wiggle if you shake 'em, and yes you will see those recipes here.  Gosh, I feel a teeny bit better now. 

The original for this recipe came out of some Campbell's Soup cookbook, date unknown,that has been on my mom's shelf for as long as I can remember.  I changed up the recipe considerably to match my family's tastes.

Tuna Noodle Casserole
8 oz medium noodles
6 oz tuna
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup mayonnaise
10 1/2 oz cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cook noodles and drain. In a 2 quart casserole dish combine noodles, tuna, and celery.

In a medium sauce pan combine salt, onion powder, mayo, soup, milk, and cheese; stirring until cheese has melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over noodles and stir to combine.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Servings: 6
Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

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