Haute Dish

Here in Minnesota, hotdish is an institution like the South and fried chicken, New England and clam chowder, and (my favorite) Northern California and wine. I mean, there’s even a super successful and delish restaurant in Minneapolis named after our beloved state dish. My mom makes a mean tuna noodle hotdish (or casserole, for all you non-don’tcha knowers). And while I’ve done a pretty good job lightening it up, the lack of nutritional value and absurd calorie content of pasta has always bummed me out.

Then my life was changed when I heard about Shirataki noodles. They’re a Japanese tofu noodle and they come in all sorts of traditional pasta shapes–spaghetti, fettucini, and macaroni. At only 40 calories and 1 gram of fat per bag, these things are a gold mine for pasta lovers. While the texture is a bit–ahem–different (read: bouncy, chewy),it’s not that off putting and I mostly got over it. I’ll continue to enjoy my occasional bowl of real pasta, but these little beauties are definitely a great alternative.

Here’s the recipe for my mom’s tuna noodle hotdish, with my slight modifications to lighten things up a bit…

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Yields 6 servings

3 packages Shirataki macaroni tofu noodles
1 wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss spreadable cheese
2 5 oz. cans tuna in water
1 can Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 C frozen peas
salt, pepper, and garlic powder (optional) to taste

  • Preheat oven to 375º
  • Drain and thoroughly rinse the Shirataki noodles. Lay them on a paper towel and pat dry (this is important!).
  • Place the noodles and the cheese wedge in a bowl and microwave for 1 min. Thoroughly mix the noddles with the cheese and place the mixture in a casserole dish.
  • Drain the tuna and stir it in to the noodle mixture.
  • Stir in the mushroom soup and peas, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
  • Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until heated through, and bubbly and golden brown on top. You can add a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp. of grated parmesan to the top before baking, if you wish.

Do you guys like casseroles? Does anyone outside of Minnesota call it hotdish?
What’s your favorite combo of ingredients in a casserole?

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