Tuna Casserole…Revised and Healthified.

February 8th, 2009

This weekend I had to do a recipe assignment for my nutrition class that I am taking. We basically had to take a recipe that we have made before, and then make it healthier by reducing the fat, cholesterol and sodium, and also try to bring in more vitamins and minerals.

I chose a tuna noodle casserole recipe because it seemed like something I could make the greatest improvement on from the original recipe.

Essentially, by making some simple substitutions and a couple minor additions, I made radical changes to the nutritional values of the dish. I reduced the total calories from 471 to 247 per serving. I also reduced the total fat by 70%, the saturated fat by 78%, the cholesterol by 65% and the sodium by 70%. I also was able to increase the potassium (which helps lower risk of stroke by lowering blood pressure), and increase magnesium which aids in the absorption of calcium and strengthens bones and teeth as well. I increased the Vitamin C in the dish which is an important antioxidant, and the Vitamin A which aids the immune system and helps improve eye health.

Here are the substitutions I made in the recipe:

ORIGINAL RECIPE

6 TB salted butter
3 cups whole milk
3 cups cheddar cheese
2 cups potato chips
9oz egg noodles
3 cans tuna
1/4 cup white flour
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup onion
1/4 cup celery
1 tsp salt

NEW RECIPE (makes 10 servings)

5 Tbsp mashed cooked sweet potato (replaces butter)
1 Tbsp olive oil (replaces butter)
2 cups skim milk (replaces whole milk)
1 cup low-fat cheddar (replaces whole fat cheese)
1 cup low-sodium parmesan (replaces whole fat cheese)
1 cup 100% whole wheat low-fat reduced sodium crackers (replaces potato chips)
6 cups spaghetti squash, roasted (replaces egg noodles)
3 cans low-sodium tuna (replaces high sodium canned tuna)
1/8 cup whole wheat flour (replaces white flour)
1 cup frozen peas (no change)
1/2 cup onion (no change)
1/4 cup celery (no change)
deleted the salt
1 cup mushrooms (addition)
1/2 carrots (addition)

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Roast your spaghetti squash in a 375º oven for 45 minutes, let set for 15 minutes, then scrape out with a fork to get out the “spaghetti”
  • Saute over medium heat in large saucepan celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms, mashed sweet potato in one tablespoon of olive oil til tender (about 4 minutes)
  • Add 1/8 cup whole wheat flour to veggies and stir to coat
  • Add 2 cups skim milk and simmer until thickened (about 2 minutes)
  • Remove pan from heat, and add cheeses and peas, stir until all cheese is melted
  • Add spaghetti squash, and make sure it’s fully coated
  • Pour mixture into 9×13 baking dish (sprayed with Pam Olive Oil)
  • Cover with cup of crushed whole wheat crackers
  • Bake at 350º for 20 minutes

Enjoy your healthier (and VERY TASTY i might add!) version of tuna casserole!

Entry Filed under: comfort foods,experimental recipes,healthy,main dishes

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