Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, the food

Today was a day for leftovers, not that there's anything wrong with that. I'd originally thought to make corn muffins for breakfast, but since I had this banana bread, I pushed corn muffins to another day. Perishables before mixes, except after sickness, that's what I always say! Or what I always will say, since I thought of it just now. M had banana bread as well, and the last of the spaghetti from Monday. For lunch, we each had a leftover pasty. They reheated very well! 

A brief sidebar to the food for today: One of my big challenges in this plan so far has been to actually account for all the food that comes and goes. M. has bought into the plan by now, but in the first week, I wasn't really accounting for what a hungry guy he is. I have no idea where he puts it, since he's borderline underweight, but that's just the way it is. In the first week, he would eat the meal scheduled, if he liked it, then eat whatever else he could find in the house. It caused... friction, especially when the extra food was on the menu another day. We've worked that out pretty well by now, though. I've bought extra snacking foods, apples, bananas, pretzels, generic potato chips, and don't budget pretty much any dish to feed us more than twice. After the meal of leftovers, he gets what's left as a snack. That's worked much better for us so far. 

Tonight for supper, we're having tuna casserole and the leftover apple crisp from last night. Tuna casserole is very popular here, because I have an excellent recipe, which I will share with you. This was handed down from my grandmother to my mother and then to me, so the quantities are approximate. This recipe will feed the two of us each a dinner and a lunch. 

Grandma J's Tuna Casserole 
1 big or 2 small cans tuna (I use chunk light, but chunk or solid white is traditional)
1 cup rice, cooked (that means 2 cups prepared, you can use any kind)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1.5 cups thawed frozen peas or corn
1.5 cups grated Velveeta (approximate, my mom's instruction was "till it looks cheesy enough")
1.5 tsp Worcestershire Sauce 
McCormick's Salt and Spice (salt, black and sweet bell pepper, onion, garlic, MSG, celery seed)
Minced Onion

Cook the rice. While it's cooking, drain the tuna and put it in a mixing bowl, mix it with the soup and the thawed veggies. Dump the cooked rice on top and stir it up, then, while it's all hot from the rice, add the grated Velveeta. You can add more or less, till it looks cheesy enough. Add the Worcestershire sauce, and again you can add a little more if you like that sort of thing, then a couple pinches of minced onion and be liberal with the salt and spice. Put it all in a baking dish and cook it at 350 until it's a nice golden brown at the top, usually 25-30 minutes. It cooks faster if you put foil over it, but it's crunchier on top if you don't. 

It's not exactly a low-fat dish, but it is cheap, and delicious! I took a little of the fat out of mine by using low fat cream of mushroom and 2% milk Velveeta, and it's still very nice. Frozen peas were cheaper than frozen corn this week, plus they'll do double duty in a fried rice later. The rice was a bit mushy thanks to my rice cooker hubris, but the casserole turned out just fine anyway. 

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