September 17, 2010

Hey Mom, What's for Supper?

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Margaret's Morsels | Microwave Tuna and Noodle Parmesan

I have days when my well laid plans fall apart faster than an ice cube in boiling water.  I've got a deadline for work, my son needs to be picked up at school, the repairman that was supposed to be here between 10:00 and 2:00 hasn't show up at 4:00.  I'm ready to yell, "Calgon, take me away," but am snapped back into reality by five little words:  "Hey Mom, what's for supper?"

On days like this, I forget about cooking whatever was on that night's menu.  Instead, I fix Microwave Tuna and Noodle Parmesan using a recipe I found in a magazine 20 years ago.  Not only is it quick and easy -- two of my favorite things -- it uses ingredients I always have on hand.

Margaret's Morsels | Microwave Tuna and Noodle Parmesan

The original recipe called for a five ounce package of noodles.  I can't find this size so I buy a 12 ounce package and use not quite half the noodles.  I only use 1 tablespoon of chopped onion, but you can add more to taste. The recipe calls for two teaspoons lemon juice.  I highly recommend adding it because lemon juice enhances the flavor of food without adding a lot of calories.

When I make this casserole, I substitute healthier versions of three of the canned items.  I use 98% fat-free soup, fat-free evaporated milk and chunk light tuna in water.  When mixed with all the other ingredients, you can't taste the difference.

To speed up the cooking process, I put a pot of water on the stove to boil before I do anything else.  While the water comes to a boil, I chop the onion, drain the mushrooms, open the cans and measure the remaining ingredients.  By the time the noodles are in the boiling water, I'm ready to start cooking the first two ingredients in the microwave.  If everything goes as planned, the noodles are done right before I'm ready to add them to the casserole.  Once the casserole is assembled, it takes just nine minutes to cook in an 1100 watt microwave.  This gives me enough time to steam fresh broccoli as a side dish.

If you keep a well stocked pantry, you can make this dish when you need something quick, have unexpected company or can't let Calgon take you away until the family has been fed.

Margaret's Morsels | Microwave Tuna and Noodle Parmesan

Microwave Tuna and Noodle Parmesan
4 to 5 Servings

1 (5 oz.) pkg. medium noodles
1 Tbsp. chopped onion or to taste
2 Tbsp. water
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 (5 oz.) can tuna, drained and flaked
1 (4 oz.) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a 1 1/2-quart microwave-safe casserole, combine onion and water.  Cook in microwave, covered, on High for 3 minutes.  Stir soup, milk, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice into onion mixture.  Fold tuna, mushrooms and drained noodles into soup mixture.  Cook, uncovered, on High for 9 minutes, stirring every 4 minutes.  Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese before serving, if desired.

© Margaret's Morsels

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