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Square Meals [May. 3rd, 2011|09:26 pm]
Just before Charlotte came home, I had a few days to do prep work around the house. One of the things I did was bake a roasting pan full of tuna noodle casserole. Cut into squares and frozen in storage containers, these become easy meals for those days/nights when we're tired, didn't get much sleep, and just need "one food unit". Pop in the microwave and they're ready in two minutes.

There's something odd but also obsessive-pleasing about seeing your food neatly stacked like that. (Ever seen rats hoard their lab blocks in little piles?)

Dead simple casserole that I've been making since college. In case you're curious, ingredients are:
- rotini pasta
- canned tuna, fully drained
- frozen peas
- shredded Tillamook cheddar (LOTS)
- shredded jack (half as much as of the cheddar)
- breadcrumbs (for a thin layer on top)
- spices (in decreasing amounts): salt, celery seed, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, sage, onion powder

[User Picture]From: loranskunky
2011-05-04 04:30 am (UTC)
Oh! This is how I do lunch sometimes.
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[User Picture]From: twigmouse
2011-05-04 07:10 am (UTC)
Mmmm, I used to make that all the time, nearly the same way, but since I discovered canned salmon, I've used it exclusively. Delicious. I really need to make it again sometime.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2011-05-04 07:20 am (UTC)
Ooh, also good!
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[User Picture]From: thump
2011-05-04 04:28 pm (UTC)
This sounds oddly familiar! *pokes twig*
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[User Picture]From: melchar
2011-05-04 07:40 am (UTC)
I like this cooking method too. Gil_liant doesn't eat casseroles, so if I want one, I need to plan ahead either for guests - or to portion up a casserole for eating now; left-over next and some frozen. A recipe I learned from my aunt is very wimple - and very tasty:

Chicken supreme
in an oven-safe casserole dish, warm up
1 can cream of chicken soup,
1 can of cream of mushroom soup,
1 can of cream of celery soup,
1 cup of milk -
warm enough to melt 1/2 cube of butter [1/4c.] in the soups
When butter melts, stir in 1 1/2 cup minute rice
then bury about a pound of any kind of chicken in the mix
and cook in oven for 2 hours at 350 degrees

This serves 3-4
To increase the dish - per serving add:
1 can of soup,
1/2 c. minute rice,
1 pat of butter
and more chicken ->
in a larger casserole dish. Add 15 minutes to cooking time per extra serving
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2011-05-04 04:15 pm (UTC)
Very nice! Another classic.
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[User Picture]From: murakozi
2011-05-04 01:41 pm (UTC)
That's exactly the sort of thing I like to keep on hand in my freezer. I'm tempted to try making it (haven't had tuna casserole in years), but what sort of cooking time and temperature should one use?
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2011-05-04 04:13 pm (UTC)
It's flexible, since the tuna is pre-cooked and you boil the pasta before assembling. So I'd say any time after the cheese has properly melted is "done". I think I tend to do something like 300˚F for 30-45 min, followed by a brief pass under the broiler to color the top.
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[User Picture]From: kj_roo
2011-05-04 02:04 pm (UTC)
om nom nom nom!
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[User Picture]From: sabercat
2011-05-04 04:58 pm (UTC)


shredded Tillamook cheddar (LOTS)
- shredded jack (half as much as of the cheddar)

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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2011-05-04 08:46 pm (UTC)

Re: Healthy!

Hey, I don't think I made any grandiose claims about these being health food. :)

Besides... psychological health counts too.
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[User Picture]From: orv
2011-05-04 05:13 pm (UTC)
Sounds tasty, and a little classier than my version, which involves boxed "deluxe" mac and cheese doctored up with canned salmon, cream of mushroom soup, and cheddar. ;)
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2011-05-05 03:01 am (UTC)
I'm not sure how much "class" is possible in a noodle casserole but I'll take your compliment in the spirit it was intended. :D
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[User Picture]From: orv
2011-05-05 04:32 pm (UTC)
Hey now, you're dissing my Midwestern cultural heritage, there. ;)
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