I grew up on this stuff…
And survived. Boy did I love when my mother said she was making Tuna Helper. Remember those dehydrated squashed peas?? Or pea-like green things? (I assume they were peas.)
Although I know how horrible the stuff is now (for health), I still kind of miss it. Nostalgia food?
Miss it, yes, but it doesn’t mean I am running through Walmart to buy it. Let’s healthify this instead.
Impeccable timing too because I made this recipe during teacher appreciation week at my 13 year old’s school. Her middle school needed 100 casseroles so that each teacher had one to bring home, so they asked parents to step up and contribute a casserole.
Guess what? Some
poor soul lucky teacher got my healthy tuna noodle casserole.
Hopefully they were pleasantly surprised.
Check this out.
Start by cooking up some veggies. My recipe does not have the mystery green pea-ish things like Tuna Helper. Figured I’d up the antioxidant content of this dish. Peppers, celery and onions it is.
Add your flour, nutritional yeast, milk, mustard..(the creamy factor in this casserole) Give it a good stir, don’t be shy. Then incorporate your noodles.
Next add tuna and parmesan. Stir, stir.
Spread evenly into prepared pan.
Top, bake, serve.
The recipe below was enough for two casseroles. We had one for our family, and I made one for one lucky teacher. :/. I really could have piled it all into one 9×13 pan and cooked it a tad longer, but chose to split it up.
We ate our whole casserole that night, but you could keep the recipe as is and have leftovers for work.
Healthy, Whole Wheat Tuna Noodle Casserole
• 3 cups whole wheat egg noodles
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 medium onions, diced
• 2 red peppers, finely diced
• 3-4 stalks celery, finely diced
• 1/4 cup whole wheat flour with (optional) 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
• 2 cups almond milk
• 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, to taste
• 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
• 2 cans chunk light tuna, drained
• 2 cups breadcrumbs (Make your own crumbs by pulsing old pieces of bread in your food processor)
• 4 tablespoons grape seed oil
• 4 cloves minced garlic
1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees.
2. Cook egg noodles according to package instructions.
3. Heat a large pan over medium heat.
4. Add your butter to the pan.
5. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and saute for 5-6 minutes to soften.
6. Mix in the flour and nutritional yeast and stir to coat the vegetables evenly.
7. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and mustard.
8. Pour into the vegetables, stirring to blend.
9. Cook and stir for another 5 minutes (or until the mixture is thick) and turn off the heat.
10. Add the salt and the parmesan cheese.
10. Stir in the noodles and the tuna and mix to blend.
11. Pour into a pre-sprayed 9”x13” pan.
12. Topping: Mix together the breadcrumbs, oil, and minced garlic and sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole.
13. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
14. Switch oven to Lo broil. Broil for another 5 minutes creating a crisper topping.
Try it and let me know what you think!