Monday, August 26, 2013

Cheesy Tuna "Noodle" Casserole: Low Carb, Gluten Free

A few days ago, I ordered a vegetable slicer on Amazon (I got this one). I've been wanting to order one for a long time, and it was on sale for less than $24, so I finally gave in.

This is the first dish I made with the spiraler. Well, the first "real" dish anyway: I made zoodles with marinara yesterday. It's not the prettiest dish, but it's soooo good.


I was looking for something that could be considered comfort food. I entertained a mac and cheese recipe, but I found myself craving tuna for some reason. Enter Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole.


I decided to add in broccoli and cauliflower to the mix as I wanted to add in more veggies. If I could allow more carbs, I would have also included some chopped carrots and sweet peas. If you can afford the carbs from those, feel free to add them in.

How would I describe this dish? Decadent. Cheerful. Comforting. Nostalgic. Yummy. Creamy. Those are just some of the adjectives I can think of. It's seriously good. Full of beneficial fats, ample amounts of protein and Omega 3 fats from the fish, it's as nutritious as it is delicious.

Cheesy Tuna "Noodle" Casserole

Ingredients:



  • 3 cans of chunk light or albacore tuna in water (15 oz.)
  • 2 medium zucchini, spiraled or sliced into pasta-sized shapes (I used a spiraler)
  • 2 C broccoli florets, chopped relatively small and microwaved or steamed for about 5 minutes. 
  • 2 C cauliflower florets, chopped relatively small and microwaved or steamed for about 5 minutes.
  • 2 C + 1/4 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 a small onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/3 C almond milk, unsweetened 
  • 1 T arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 T olive or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. chopped parsley (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in chopped onions and sautee for just one or two minutes, then add in arrowroot powder. Use a spatula to create an onion-containing roux until the rue is a nice golden brown.

3. Pour in the cream and almond milk into the pan and whisk until well mixed. Allow mixture to get hot and begin to bubble along the sides of the pan. Once that happens, turn heat to low. 

4. Stir in garlic powder, red pepper flakes, parsley and salt, then add in 2 C shredded cheese. Use your spatula and stir the mixture constantly until a thick sauce is created. You shouldn't see any shredded cheese in the sauce and the sauce shouldn't stick too much to your whisk--that's how you'll know it's done. Set the sauce aside (I moved my pan toward the back of my stove top to the oven vent to keep it warm). 

5. In a large pan, sauté the spriraled or sliced zucchini in olive or coconut oil over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the zucchini becomes more tender. Remove from heat. 

6. Drain tuna cans. Combine zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower and tuna in a large casserole dish and stir until everything is evenly mixed. 

7. Pour cheese sauce over the top of the vegetable and fish mixture. Stir lightly to assure that everything is evenly coated. 

8. Top the casserole with 1/4 C shredded cheese and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly and cheese on top is golden. 

9. Let casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving. 


Makes about 6 servings. 

NUTRITION: (1/6th recipe): 335 calories, 7 g carbs, 3 g fiber (4 g net carbs), 24 g fat, 24 g protein 





2 comments:

  1. What purpose does the arrowroot powder serve? I have all of the ingredients but that, so I'm wondering if I really need to make a special trip to the store. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. It basically just serves to thicken it a bit. You could use xanthan, or you could leave it out. It might just be a tad runny, but if you let it stand, that should take care of it. :)

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