Home Cooking Assignment: A Nutritious Meal

Tuna Casserole

This recipe is taken from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-tuna-casserole/

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked macaroni

1 (6 ounce) can tuna, drained (used low sodium)

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (changed to mozzarella)

1 cup French fried onions

1 cup canned green beans (added vegetables to make it a well-balanced meal)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a 9×13-inch baking dish, combine the macaroni, tuna, and soup. Mix well, and then top with cheese.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 25 minutes, or until bubbly. Sprinkle with fried onions, and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 8 servings

My Final Product!

Featured image

Recipe Evaluation:

This is the third time I made a casserole this semester and I think I’m getting better at it! After baking it in the oven and topping it off with onions, the casserole came out fragrant with the smell of melted cheese and crispy onions. I used ingredients from all the food groups to ensure the meal provided all the essential vitamins and nutrients.  Although this wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing dish I made, it still looked very delicious. The melted cheese and onions gave the top of the casserole a nice golden colour. Since I used a glass dish, I could see the layers of the casserole. The soup had settled to the bottom of the dish and I could just barely see the green beans and pasta that was soaked in the creamy white liquid. When spooning out the food, I could tell that the top was lot drier than the bottom. The casserole did not hold its shape as the pasta fell apart due to the thin consistency of the sauce. However, after tasting it, I knew my recipe was a success! The casserole had many different tastes and textures from the ingredients. The top was very crispy and crunchy from the fried onion and melted cheese, which paired nicely with the softness and chewiness of the pasta beneath. The savoury taste of the cheese, onions, and soup also complimented the slight sweetness of the green beans and tuna. Usually I find canned tuna to be very dry; however I think the soup made it very moist in this recipe. I also found my choice of seashell pasta to have worked well with the casserole. The liquids from the soup were able to go into the little crevices of the pasta so when I bit into it, I was able to get a pocket of creamy soup which made the pasta more flavourful.

This recipe was very easy to follow because the only cooking I had to do was boil the pasta, mix water with the can of soup and put the dish into the oven. Also, preparation was very simple because many of my ingredients were already pre-packaged in cans or containers. Since I only used six ingredients, it saved me a lot of time when shopping and preparing everything. Adding green beans was a good idea because it not only ensured I had foods from all the different food groups, but also provided a different texture to the dish. If I had more cans of green beans, I think I would’ve added more of it! The hardest part of the recipe was deciding on how much water to add to the can of soup to achieve the perfect consistency. I didn’t want to add too much or else it would be bland and watery, but adding too little would make it dry and too salty. In the end, I think I added too much water because all the liquids went to the bottom and made the bottom pasta too soggy. In the future, I will try to make sure my recipe instructions are more specific. I also think I made the mistake of boiling the pasta too long. Personally, I like my pasta to be al dente and have a slight chewiness to them. I didn’t take into consideration that the pasta would soak in the soup, becoming softer as it baked in the oven. Another thing that I would change is to add flavouring, like salt or pepper. The dish had a lot of flavouring, but I think the low sodium tuna I used and the excessive water I added diluted the flavouring in my dish. Overall, I enjoyed this recipe and would definitely try this again, experimenting with different types of cheese, pasta, soups, and vegetables. It was a very simple and easy dish to make that didn’t require a lot of time or ingredients. It took me only 30 minutes to make and it served enough for everyone in my family!

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