Friday, March 2, 2018

Mixing Up Meatless: Grandma's Tuna and Noodles

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Lent that is bringing them closer to God as we prepare for Easter! Today I learned that the word lent comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "spring." This really made my day as I'm currently reading The Secret Garden with my 6th graders which uses winter turning to spring as a symbol for Mary and Colin's closed off hearts coming to life. I love it when little things in your life fit together like this. What a great new Lenten lens to look at the novel with!

For some of you a good old fashioned tuna-noodle casserole might not seem like "mixing things up," for your meatless Lenten meals, but it sure was for me! My husband doesn't like tuna, and while I hoped the kids would love it, they didn't like that all the ingredients were together and touching each other. Sigh. We'll just call it a Lenten sacrifice for them, though my husband did say it was really good, "for having tuna in it." I on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed myself. Bright green peas and meaty savory mushrooms mixed in with creamy noodles and tuna, yum! My favorite part are the mushrooms, so much so I think I would be willing to ramp up the amount of 'shrooms, leave out and the tuna, and just have mushroom noodle casserole - a great vegetarian option.

Once again I am pulling from my greatest culinary resource, grandma's recipes in the family cookbook.  To be specific, the second edition. In the first edition the cream of mushroom soup and cheddar cheese were accidentally left off the ingredients list. Needless to say when my uncle tried making the recipe it turned out a little dry!  The recipe in the book doesn't have exact measurements for everything, namely the vegetables, but I'll put the amounts I used.

Tuna and Noodles

1 bag egg noodles
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1/2 a green pepper, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 Tablespoons mayo
A few drops hot sauce
1  can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2   6 oz cans of tuna
1/2 bag frozen peas
breadcrumbs or crushed crackers

Cook noodles in boiling water.

While the noodles are boiling, saute the onions, celery, and pepper in butter, be generous! Add the fresh sliced mushrooms and continue to saute until the vegetables are partially cooked.

When the noodles are done, drain them and mix in the cooked vegetables, mayo, hot sauce, cream of mushroom soup, grated cheese, tuna, and peas.

Put in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover with buttered bread crumbs and bake at 325 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes. Enjoy!

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