Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tuna Noodle Casserole With Alternative to Using Condensed Soup

Looks are deceiving...It is PACKED with flavor!
Tonight I made a family favorite, Tuna Noodle Casserole.  I made it a little different this time, though.  I didn't use any Cream of Mushroom Soup or Milk in the base, which saves a ton on calories and stuff.  I used the new recipe I found for Cream of "Something" Soup Mix (click to go to the recipe) instead of canned soup.  The result was it had way more flavor than canned soup.  So much so, that from now on when I make it I am going to leave out the fried onions I always put in my tuna noodle (you know the kind in a can from Durkee?)  The Cream of "Something" Soup Mix has dried onions in it, and I think that would be plenty enough in the onion department.  No need to pack on more pounds when you don't need to!  So if you think you see some Durkee fried onions in the pic, you do.  But we are going to forget about those.
Also, I normally love peas in my tuna noodle.  But I don't add them in to the whole thing because not everyone in my family likes them.  I just heat some up and leave them on the side for those who want to add them in.  But tonight I didn't have any peas in my cupboard.  It was just fine without them, though.

My family always loved my "old" recipe for tuna noodle, but I always had leftovers that I threw out.  Tonight, every bit of it was eaten up. 

And the best change of all in this new recipe?  THERE IS NO BAKING!!!!  Nope, you cook the soup and the noodles and mix it all together and it's done!  A whole casserole in about 15 minutes.  You CANNOT beat that for a second!

Here's the easiest and most flavorful tuna noodle casserole you will ever have...

3 small cans tuna packed in water
1 C Cream of "Something" Soup Mix
3 3/4 C water
2 C shredded cheese.  (I used "pizza blend" that had a mixture of white and yellow cheese.  Use whatever flavor of shredded cheese you like the best.  The "pizza blend", though, I think is my favorite.)
1 16oz package of medium width egg noodles.  (For an even healthier version, use some whole wheat pasta noodles.)

1.  Get a large pot of water on to boil.  When it starts to boil, add noodles and set time according to the package directions.
2.  Put 1 C Cream of "Something" Soup Mix in a smaller pot with 3 3/4 C water and put over medium heat.  Stir occasionally while it comes up to a bubble and gets thick.
3.  Drain and flake the tuna in a large bowl.
4.  Measure out 2 C of shredded cheese and put in the bowl.
5.  When the noodles are done, drain them in a colander and then put them in the bowl.
6.  After it gets thick, dump the soup mixture into the bowl.
7.  Stir it all up and serve.

How incredibly easy is that?!?  The soup mix is pretty peppery, and there is plenty of salt from the bouillon, so you won't even need to add extra of those.

This recipe will serve 8 people with a 1 1/4 C serving.  The nutritional values are:
358 calories, 8.6g fat, 1g sat fat, 1g polyunsaturated fat, 2g monounsaturated fat, 98.8mg cholesterol, 869 mg sodium, 260mg potassium, 46.6g carbs, 2g fiber, 22.8g protein.  9 Points Plus.

This would also be great served with a nice crisp side salad.

I really hope you enjoy this recipe.  My family devoured it!
All the best,

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How to Make Cream of "Something" Mix and Green Bean Chicken Casserole

First of all, what do you think of the new look of my blog?  I got rid of that nasty hover bar on the side of the page.  Please check to make sure everything is working for me, and if it's not can you please let me know?  Thanks!

I first saw this mix for Cream of "Something" on Pinterest here.  Many of the recipes I make for my family start with a large can of condensed something soup, but they are always so high in calories and everything that I either don't make them anymore or I don't have any when I do and watch everyone else eat my yummy stuff.

I usually use about 2/3 of a large 26 oz can of Cream of Mushroom soup, then I add tons of milk to thin it out.  Both of those together add up to LOTS of calories!!!  The base for a dish I used to make would carry about 3 times the number of calories per serving as this new mix I found.  Oh!  Also, it is way cheaper to make this mix than it is to buy cans of soup, so it's very economical.

Here's how to make Cream of "Something" Soup Mix.  If you use the quantities I give you, it will just fill up a pint mason jar.  I taped the recipe to the jar so I wouldn't have to hunt for it when I run out.

2 c non-fat dried milk powder
1 1/2 c cornstarch
1/2 c bouillon (you can use any kind you want.  If you buy the cubes, you can pulverize them in the food processor or blender.  I used 1 jar of Wyler's chicken bouillon cubes.)
1/2 c dried minced onions
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp either parsley or thyme
2 tsp pepper

Mix it all together.  When you need it, to make a single serving you mix 1/3 c of the magic mix with 1 1/4 c of water.  Cook over a medium high heat until it thickens. 


When I tasted the soup all mixed up and cooked, it tasted way too peppery for me.  You can cut the amount of pepper in the recipe to 1 tsp if you want.  But once I got it in the final dish, it tasted perfect.  So it's your call.

Now here's a recipe to use it in (that's right...a double bonus recipe day. lol)...

Chicken and Green Bean Casserole

2/3 c Cream of "Something" Soup Mix
2 1/2 c water
4 cans green beans
24 oz chicken, cooked, cubed into bite sized pieces
6 oz fried onions (like French's)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F
2.  Mix water and soup mix together into a small pot and cook over medium heat until thickened.
3.  Drain green beans.
4.  Mix cooked soup, cooked chicken pieces, green beans and fried onions together in a bowl until it's well mixed.
5.  Pour into a casserole pan or a 9x13 cake pan that has been lightly sprayed with pan spray.
6.  Cook for about 30 minutes or until everything is heated through and soup is bubbly.

If it's a little too thick, you can always add a little bit of milk to thin it out a little.
This has always been a favorite in my house.  I've been making it for many, many years.  One day at the holidays I was thinking, why do we only have green bean casserole at Thanksgiving?  So I added chicken to the recipe and made it a regular dinner in our rotating menu.

When I made it with the Cream of "Something" Soup Mix, nobody hesitated for one second and ate it up like crazy.  They all loved it just as much.  Yes, it tasted a little bit different, but it was better in my opinion.  Because it's made with cornstarch, it is not a solid color like regular cream soup.  It is more translucent.  It's also not as thick, but that's just me taking out all those calories! :)

Here are the nutritional stats for 1/6 of casserole:  420 calories, 14g fat, 96mg cholesterol, 1643mg sodium, 292.7mg potassium, 27g carbs, 4.7g fiber, 39.5g protein.  9 Points Plus.

I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine does!!!