Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sacre' Bleu! It's Tuna Helper Night at the Snowball House!

After devoting so much time to filling my diet with fresh fruits and vegetables from juicing it's really disheartening to put processed foods back in to my body.  :(   For now frugal living reigns.  Waste not, want not.

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It's time, Tuna Helper, it's time.  Operation Pantry Clean Out is in need of a higher power...  

Help me, Betty!
Betty Crocker (1972) via General Mills

Oh, who am I kidding?  Help me, technology!

via
After doing a little research I came up with a couple of options for our convenience dinner.

Creamy garlic tuna helper hotdish... or Curried tuna helper...

creamy garlic tuna... or curried tuna...

garlic and tuna.. or curry and tuna...

*stomach churning*

I guess we could just eat it plain???

*stomach churning*

I honestly couldn't decide which sounded less lethal, so I decided to surprise Sig. O with both. heh heh heh  :)  

And if you've read more than 2 posts you should know that I am always up for a challenge!



Iron Chef:  Tuna Helper!




Creamy Garlic Tuna Helper
Adapted from ehow.com and the contents of my fridge.


   1 box "Tuna Melt" Tuna Helper

   4 Garlic Cloves minced

1/2 an Onion sliced
1/2 Broccoli Crown broken into florets
   1 Celery Stalk diced
      Handful of Kale shredded

      Parmesan Cheese
       Bread Crumbs
      Italian Seasoning

Prepare Tuna Helper according to package directions while noodle mixture is simmering prepare the other ingredients.  In a skillet melt butter and saute the garlic until fragrant.  Add the onions and celery.  When onions and celery begin to soften add the broccoli.  As the broccoli is turning bright add the kale.  Remove from heat when kale begins to wilt.  


Hopefully everything magically finished at the same time.  Combine the Tuna Helper with the veggies and place the mixture into a greased baking dish.  Spread parmesan, breadcrumbs and italian seasonings over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and the top is browning.
(I covered mine for 15 minutes - not sure if this was necessary)  



**Note - My box of Tuna Melt came with an extra pouch of cheese sauce topping.  Since I wasn't making it according to the package directions I exercised zero judgement and threw half the contents into the noodle mixture when it was finished cooking.   


Curried Tuna Helper
adapted from Southernfood.about.com 






   1 box "Tuna Melt" Tuna Helper

 1/2 an Onion sliced

   1 Apple diced
      Handful of Sliced Almonds
1-2 Tablespoons Curry Powder
      Cayenne to Taste

      Bread Crumbs

      
Prepare Tuna Helper according to package directions while noodle mixture is simmering prepare the other ingredients.  In a skillet melt butter and saute the onions on medium until they begin to turn translucent.  Add the apples and continue heating the mixture until the apples begin to soften.


When the Tuna Helper has finished cooking combine the noodles with the apple and onion mixture.  Spread evenly in a greased baking dish.  Dust the top with curry powder and bread crumbs.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling and the top is browning.    


**Note - My box of Tuna Melt came with an extra pouch of cheese sauce topping.  Since I wasn't making it according to the package directions I exercised zero judgement and threw half the contents into the noodle mixture when it was finished cooking.

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I have to say that I completely shocked myself with the results.  I could not believe how amazing my house smelled as these two not-so-complimentary dishes were baking.  Both dishes turned out better than I could have ever imagined.  The creamy garlic was hands down the winner for both Sig. O and I.  In fact, Sig. O liked it so much he asked if I would be able to make it again sometime!  Who knew I could disguise Tuna Helper so well!!  The curry was good in it's own right, but I just naturally wouldn't choose to put tuna and curry together.  The apples and curry were slightly sweet and it had an interesting/different contrast with the fish.  I think if there were more sweet things like golden raisins the flavors would meld together a little more... maybe?  Overall, this was a really fun challenge and I look forward to what the pantry offers next!


Tuna Helper = Owned

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