You’ll Thank Me For This

Three snow days. I went shopping in the middle of the day today. It was glorious. No pressure to hurry up and get home, no need to run “in and out” of the store…just me, my list, and a pep in my step!

My serenity was a little sickening. I mean, I was humming and whistling along to the music. To be fair, the selection was on point. Backstreet Boys, Nelly Furtado, Michael Buble, I knew ’em all. I’m trying to think of a movie where there’s one character blissfully unaware of all that’s going around, and smiling and singing with everyone as they pass by. That was me today.

Not only did The Chad and I need some sustenance after the blizzard, but I decided to shock the pants off The Chad and make a proper dinner two days in a row. Nothing thrown together, reheated, or picked up…legit housewife-type meal.

Enter Google search for “healthy tuna noodle casserole”. The Chad has casually mentioned this now and again as an old favorite that he hasn’t had in many moons. THIS ONE from hummusapien (don’t you love the name?) fit the bill. Cheese, noodles, tuna. A little extra greenery. Check, check, and check. I’m in it to win it.

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The gang’s all here.

Anyone else see that horrific ad for Weight Watchers with Oprah Winfrey proclaiming her love for bread as if she were possessed? Watch it now. While I don’t feel compelled to drop my voice a few octaves to express my love, I can understand the appeal of bread and pastas. But, I found chickpea pasta through the Ibotta app, and took a leap of faith in trying it out. Sometimes, the bean pastas aren’t all that great. But geez, 25 grams of protein in a box! Worth a shot! I also found a gluten free cream of mushroom soup, and tried to use all organic, natural ingredients. The original recipe suggested grinding up Wasa crackers for the breadcrumb topping, but I happened to have panko crumbs on hand. Also, the tuna was a great find. Wegman’s had the brand Wild Planet, which features sustainably caught seafood with no additional packing liquid. The tuna looked so much better than Starkist tuna, and I could taste a difference in the casserole. More of a meaty than fishy taste.

So, here was my revised recipe:

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 box Banza
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 2 – 5oz cans tuna, drained
  • 1 – 14.5oz can ready-to-serve cream of mushroom soup (not condensed)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp King Arthur’s organic all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese
  • ¼ cup panko crumbs
  • 2 tbsp shredded cheese
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 7in x 11in baking dish (I like using butter).
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, then set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and spinach. Sautee for about seven minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add in peas and tuna, stir to combine.
  5. Add soup, garlic powder and salt and bring to a light boil.
  6. Add flour, whisking constantly until throughly combined. Mixture will begin to thicken.
  7. Remove mixture from heat. Stir in pasta and ¼ cup cheese.
  8. Pour mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with panko crumbs and 2 tbsp cheese.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

The unofficial serving size is 4. You could certainly get more than that, but 1/4 of this bad boy was a little under 550 calories. After teaching Sweatcamp and taking LeBarre, my body needed the extra boost and I ate a full fourth! This made The Chad and I both extremely happy – comfort food at its finest! Though, I wish I had recorded his reaction when I told him about the chickpea pasta (muahahaha).

Photo credit: The Chad suggested a photo of Homer Simpson in order to properly capture the essence of the casserole.

Now, I must also share the playlist I used for Pedal Power yesterday. It is awesome. The mix with old and new…divine. My riders were rockin’ out and feeling motivated with the tunes.

Blizzard Beat Down

Ah, now to figure out what workout to do tomorrow. Something at home, or head to the gym? At least there will be leftovers awaiting my mouth!

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