January 8, 1997 in Food

Come On, Tuna Casserole’s Not That Bad

Merri Lou Dobler Correspondent
 

I can hear it already: Oh, no, not a tuna casserole! Few foods bring such an immediate response. You either love it or hate it.

As a tuna lover, I just don’t get it. How can a perfectly sane, well-rounded family love tuna fish sandwiches but despise that same food in a casserole dish? Of course, they’ll begrudgingly try it and attempt to eat more than one bite, but their heart is just not into cooked tuna.

So I approached this recipe with both anticipation and trepidation. The thought of a pasta-cheese casserole made with tuna fish filled me with a wonderful, warm feeling. My family, on the other hand, would probably have a lukewarm response.

Scan the recipe and you’ll see what the attraction is. Simply cook the pasta shells, drain them and stir in the other ingredients. It’s all in one pan. It’s low-fat. It’s flavorful.

Then take the Charley-the-Tuna test. Will the family eat it? My family suspiciously sampled it, resigned that this was dinner. They took another bite. They sat up and smiled. Hey, this is OK!

You may not win over everyone with Cheesy Tuna Casserole, but you might convert some family members to quasi-tuna casserole likers. It’s worth a try.

And for tuna lovers, it’s a dish worth diving into.

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

Adapted from “Down Home Cookin’ Without The Down Home Fat” (Cozy Homestead Publishing).

16 ounces large pasta shells

18 ounces fat-free shredded Cheddar cheese

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated skim milk

1 (6-ounce) can tuna packed in water, drained

1 (4-ounce) can mushroom pieces, drained

1/2 teaspoon lite salt, optional

Cook and drain pasta as directed on box. Return to pan. Add cheese and evaporated milk over low heat on stove and cook until cheese melts. Add tuna, mushrooms and salt, if using. Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 347 calories, 1.1 grams fat (3 percent fat calories).

, DataTimes MEMO: The goal of Five and Fifteen is to find recipes where you can do the shopping in five minutes and the cooking in 15. Merri Lou Dobler, a registered dietitian and Spokane resident, welcomes ideas from readers. Write to Five and Fifteen, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - Five and Fifteen

The goal of Five and Fifteen is to find recipes where you can do the shopping in five minutes and the cooking in 15. Merri Lou Dobler, a registered dietitian and Spokane resident, welcomes ideas from readers. Write to Five and Fifteen, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - Five and Fifteen

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