So, this is embarrassing. I fully expected to have a picture for you. A long-shot, for sure, so you could see all that retro cheesiness in its full glory. But at least one close-up, once the first serving had been removed, so you could see all the individual layers of noodles and French fried onions and, yes, more cheese. And probably a very close shot of a forkful of all that deliciousness heading toward my iPhone camera lens.
But somebody put it on the potluck table before I could get the long-shot. And by the time I’d wrapped up my conversation and made my way to the line and reached the spot reserved for retro-casserole-goodness, IT WAS GONE.
The irony is, I wasn’t going to eat a bite. (I’m just that dedicated to my new way of eating :)) All I wanted was a picture.
So there you go. That’s the reason you’re looking at nothing but an empty casserole pan. I’ll make it again, probably for next month’s potluck (we like to eat at Calvary Chapel Marysville). And I’ll return to this post and upload a picture. But for now, just let the ingredients paint the picture for you.
I am tempted to rename this “It Must Be Good If It Disappears In 10 Minutes” Casserole, but that’s not going to show up in any search engine. So let’s stick to this:
Retro Tuna Noodle Casserole With a Twist
- 1 16 ounce package of tri-colored noodles (any shape, but rotini is always nice)
- 3 cans cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cans tuna, drained
- 1 can corn
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 3-4 cups cheddar cheese
- about 1 1/2 cups French’s fried onions
Cook the pasta just until al dente — maybe 8 minutes. There’s nothing worse than mushy noodles. Drain and move to a large bowl.
Add the soup, tuna, corn, garlic, salt and pepper, and about 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Mix well and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Top with the remaining cheese (be generous here) and then crumble up the French’s fried onions and sprinkle over the top. Bake 30-35 minutes @ 375 till bubbly.
THE TWIST: As you may remember from your youth, most tuna casserole is made with peas. I adore peas, but not everyone shares my passion. So in the name of unity, I substitute corn for peas when I’m making this for a crowd. Also, I like the addition of the fried onions. So I guess you get a two-fer twist on this one.
There you go! You should probably wear a little half apron, pearls and heels while you make this dish so you can really feel the part.
And just so that I don’t leave you picture-deprived, here’s what I ate when I came home hungry from our church potluck (the only offerings on the table that met with my new way of eating were a tiny portion of no-dressing salad, two baby carrots, and a spoonful of olives. And that, in a sea of casseroles and chocolate pies. Man, but I’m dedicated! Don’t you think?)
And the expected forkful pic (a little blurry, but you get the idea):
I didn’t think to add the pignolia nuts to the mix until after I’d taken these pictures, so that’s why you don’t see them.
I’m prettttty sure this is Paleo-approved, but I need to get a nod to the mayo before I can truly say that. Mayo is not much more than oil and eggs, and both of those are Paleo-approved, so I think I’m good. But for now, let’s just call this:
Simple, Very-Likely-Paleo-But-I’m-Not-100%, Shrimp Salad
- About 1 cup of salad shrimp
- About 1/4 cup pignolia (pine) nuts (but this is optional. I love them. Maybe you do not.)
- About 1/3 of a large cucumber, peeled and diced
- About 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
- About 1 TBSP mayo
- Many, many glugs of lemon juice straight out of the bottle
- A bed of lettuce
Just mix up everything but the lettuce, season with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder, and arrange nicely. Very yummy.
UPDATE! I found that this is only Paleo-approved if you make the mayo yourself. Which I will be doing. Watch for that recipe 🙂