We are big time tuna noodle casserole fans in my house. More specifically, my husband is a tuna noodle casserole nut. If he’s making a dinner request, that’s invariably it. And I’m more than happy to oblige, because it’s such an easy dish. And something else I love about it – I can toss almost any veggie inside and it fits right in. So it’s super handy when I’ve got leftover vegetables and no plan for them. This week was spinach, but in the past I’ve done asparagus, peas, corn, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and others I’m sure.
However. I’m not big on all the noodles. I mean, they taste good, but they pack quite a caloric punch. Plus I’m doing my best to get us eating as grain-free as possible.
As most of my recipes are, this was a total experiment. I substituted zucchini “noodles” for grain ones, and I think I somehow (hooray!) hit it just right. My proof: I made this last week and we’re having it again tonight, by request. Yessss.
What you’ll need:
• 2 small zucchinis
• 12 oz tuna
• 8 mushrooms, sliced (I like thick slices in this – does something nice for the texture)
• Couple handfuls of spinach
• 1/2 cup mozzarella
• 1 teaspoon minced onion
• 3 tablespoons smart balance mayonnaise
• 1/2 cup almond meal
• 1 teaspoon butter
First up, slice the zucchinis into thin noodle-esque strips. You can use a mandolin to do that (careful with your fingers!) or just do what I do and slice with a knife (again, careful with the digits). Don’t worry too much about uniformity – no biggee, just do your best.
Place them in a colander and coat with salt to draw out some excess water. This makes them a little more noodley.
Let the zucchini sit for about 20 minutes. While it’s sitting mix up your tuna, mushrooms, spinach, mozzarella, onions, and mayo.
When my zucchini was done giving off excess water, I stuck it in a salad spinner to whisk it away. Very handy. If you don’t have one, no worries, just pat it down with a couple paper towels.
I feel so satisfied when I see all the water the salt pulls out. So I’ll show you too :).
Nice and noodley.
I build the casserole somewhat similar to lasagna, with layers. But you could do whatever you like at this point; mix it right in or layer it, it’ll be yummy either way.
Now, in these next few pics I used sprouted grain bread crumbs (I crumbed Ezekiel bread), which I feel okay about eating because it’s sprouted. But in the ingredient list I subbed it with almond meal. Either is delicious. And really, when I made this with almonds instead of bread crumbs, my husband didn’t notice until I told him. Do what you feel most comfortable with, but it’s good to know you have a grain-free option.
I easily make my own almond meal by pulverizing whole raw almonds (with the skins on). Just grind them to a med-fine meal in your food processor or heavy duty blender.
Toss crumbs or almond meal with a teaspoon of melted butter and mix to coat them. Sprinkle on evenly.
Bake it at 350 degrees F, for 20-25 minutes, or until the almond meal/bread crumbs are getting nice and toasty brown.
And you’re done! This is a surprisingly filling meal you’re bound to have repeat requests for. It really is that good.