Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mock Tuna Casserole

I travel far too much on business.  When I have to be away for more than a couple of days I like to make some things that the family can eat for dinner while I am gone.  Mr. Meat and Potatoes always requests tuna casserole.  You know, the kind that your Mom made when you were a kid- the recipe from the back of a soup can.  He likes it without anything but noodles, cream of mushroom soup, milk and tuna fish with some breadcrumb topping. God forbid, don't put the peas that most recipes call for in there!  Easy enough.
















This has had me thinking for some time about a vegan version of this American classic.  And, as usual, when I think about faux meat my thoughts are centered around the ever versatile and protein packed chickpea.  I swear, you can turn a chickpea into just about anything.  In fact, recently I was asked by someone if I were stranded on a desert island what five foods would I take. My number one (way ahead of anything else)  was chickpeas.  There is literally nothing you cannot make out of chickpeas!
















Since the traditional version is made with broad egg noodles I scoured the grocery store shelves to find a vegan pasta that mirrored the shape of an egg noodle.  This one is called Sagnarelli and I think it comes pretty close!















I added some shelled green peas to my version (which, from what I can tell, is more consistent with the original soup can recipe).  I also used my own version of a condensed cream of mushroom soup; the same version as in my Potato and Mushroom Casserole.  I loved the results and Mr. Meat and Potatoes tried and it said it would be good, but without the peas.  He is nothing if not consistent.

This is pretty quick and easy and could easily be whipped up after work or on a Sunday for a meals during the week.

Mock Tuna Casserole

2 cups cooked pasta
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
1 cup nondairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
8 oz cremini mushrooms chopped
1 16 ox can chickpeas rinsed, drained and pulsed in food processor (do not puree)
1./2 cup shelled green peas
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook and drain the noodles according to package directions. Set aside.

Prepare the condensed cream of mushroom soup by heating butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Slowly stir in the flour and whisk until a thick paste is formed. Remove from the heat and add the vegetable stock and the nondairy milk.  Whisk until smooth. Return to the heat and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until it is the consistency of a condensed cream soup.  Remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl put the chickpeas, peas, condensed soup mixture, noodles, salt and pepper.  Stir until incorporated.  Re-season with salt and pepper as needed.

Place the mixture into a casserole dish.

Melt the other tablespoon of  Earth Balance and pour into the bread crumbs. Mix until incorporated and spread on the top of the casserole.  Sprinkle with paprika if desired.

Bake at 400 degrees until warmed through and bubbly, about 20 minutes.

23 comments:

  1. Great idea! I would totally dig this (and feel a little nostalgic for the old days of tuna casserole too....)!

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  2. It looks and sounds yummy!

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  3. Hi Lee! Wow! This looks so delicious! You've made this vegan girl very happy, as I don't have to even think about what I'm making for dinner tomorrow night! Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes you create with So Delicious Dairy Free products. As always, I'm excited to share this one with all of our Facebook and Twitter fans!

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  4. Gail- I hope you enjoy it and thank YOU for making such a great product! I love to cook with the Unsweetened Coconut Milk (as you know) and I also LOVE your coconut millk ice cream products too!

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  5. Hi Lee! I made a spin on your version, adding some extras, and I never remember to buy coconut milk, so I used almond (my favorite) instead. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! It definitely inspired me to make more casseroles!
    Meg
    @megveglibrarian

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  6. I made this exactly as per your recipe for dinner the other night, and it was wonderful! (Although I had to use bow-tie pasta, as I couldn't find sagnarelli.) It was super delicious, and we enjoyed having it for lunch the next day, too!

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  7. I can't wait 2 try this! After going 2 my whole foods place & finding that Tuno had been discontinued (in Mich. at least)I've been fiending 4 a tuna-like dish 4 over a yr now. Thx 4 providing the option!

    http://thenomeatingplace.wordpress.com/

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  8. Question... What makes it taste like tuna? I have been vegetarian for 28 years now (out of 50 - more than half a lifetime - woohoo!), and the one dish I truly miss from childhood is my mom's classic tuna casserole, yes, off the back of the soup can! I'm going to try this recipe this weekend. Just wondering what makes it "tuna-ey?" Or is it?

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    1. That is a good question... I am not sure it tastes as much like tuna itself, but the dish is very similar to the tuna casserole I grew up with, and I think the chickpeas stand in nicely for the tuna. There is/was a product on the market called TuNo which I have never tried (not sure if it is still made or not) that is supposed to taste like tuna. You may want to try to use that if it is the tuna you are really craving.

      And, that is awesome to be vegetarian for that long! I have spent most of my adult life as a vegetarian (vegan since 2009) and I am sure I will remain vegan- for my health, the animals and the planet! Plant power!

      If you do try this I would love to know what you think about it.

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  9. Making this right now can't wait to try it! Thanks for the recipe :)

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  10. Hi! I have been a Vegan for six weeks after been 99.9% vegetarian for a long time. I love my new journey and saw my support group on Facebook talk about Mock Tuna. Went to Google and found you...!! So glad I did. I am going to make it pretty soon and after tasting it, will comment. on it. :)))

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    1. I am glad you found the site too! I hope you enjoy the casserole. I have made this one several times, I really enjoy it!

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  11. Hi! I would like to print your amazing recipe. Plse advise how it is done :))

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    1. Hello! Hmmm.... I think if you just highlight the recipe and directions you can then right click and select print. I do not have an embedded "recipe card" on the site like some recipe sites do, I think I shall have to look into how to do that. Thanks for inquiring!

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  12. ours was macaroni and cheese (Kraft), peas, cream of mushroom, can of milk, peas, tuna. This looks delicious

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    1. That is a really interesting combo and one I bet my non vegan husband would love :)

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  13. Yum! I made this recipe last night, and the only thigh I changed was adding some vegan cheddar to the mix as well as on top. It was delicious!

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  14. I am going to try this recipe tonight. I think I will saute about 1/2 cup chopped onion (because onion is good in almost everything LOL) to the soup mixture as well as some kelp powder to make it taste more "tuna-y". I do that with my mock tuna salad and it's yummy. Thanks for the recipe! One question tho, in your ingredient list you call for 1 cup non-dairy milk but then in the directions it only says 1/2 milk...typo?

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    1. I agree, onion is good in everything! Thanks for the catch. Use the 1 cup of dairy milk. I will update the post!

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