Monday, November 21

Tuna Casserole - Solar Comfort Food - Variation 89

When it's the busiest time of the year for holiday baking, gift buying, crafting, and craft fairs, nothing keeps the old motor going like fast and easy comfort foods. Tuna casseroles have done the job for centuries and solar cooking means you can focus on what has to be done, while the sun takes care of business.  I prefer the canned tuna in water, rather than the oil, but will still rinse it in a colander before adding to my casserole. (I'm not looking for a tuna taste so much as a fast meal!) The variation number comes from the many times we cook casseroles and do our best to make them distinguishable down through the years. (Maybe I should write a cookbook of just my tuna casseroles?!?! Hmm?)

Using egg noodles meant no pre-cooking and so I could play with my fresh herbs and spices to make it special. Even though we've been experiencing some very cold days with a lower sun trajectory, there has been little change in how long it takes to cook a dish. After just a little over an hour, I was able to add the cheesy topping, pop the casserole back into the solar oven, and dinner was ready in just another twenty minutes. I'm embarrassed to say that there was much uuummphin', rollin' eyes, and little table conversation with this variation.

Solar Tuna Casserole - Variation 89

2 tbspns olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, grated
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large stalk celery, cut in 3 lengthwise, then finely chopped
  (if there are some celery leaves, chop and add them, too)
2 reg. cans tuna in water
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 12oz can chicken stock/water
1/2 tsp ground anise
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp chopped fresh chervil
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 package egg noodles
1 tsp chopped fresh stevia
Panko crumbs (or half a sleeve of crushed saltines)
8 oz of mixed grated cheeses

Preheat solar oven and use a four-quart covered casserole dish.

Over medium heat, in a heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then saute onions, pepper, garlic, carrot, and celery, until onions are translucent. Add rest of ingredients (except crumbs and cheeses) and stir to blend thoroughly. Pour into casserole dish and add additional liquid, if necessary, so that it looks like this:
Cover and bake in solar oven for approximately an hour or until liquid is absorbed and noodles are al dente. (You can steal one to taste, because it will all be covered with the cheeses!)

Remove from oven and distribute crumbs evenly over top, then evenly distribute the grated cheeses.

Return to solar oven and bake until cheeses are melted and lightly browned. Sprinkle paprika for an added touch or taste and color.

Plop you some of this on a plate, add a glass of your favorite beverage, thank the cook, and get back to your holiday preparations!

Saturday was our last vendor day at the North Hills Midtown Market and I just want to thank everyone for making it a great success. Even though we were dealing with cold weather, the sun gave us some warmth and business was good. We plan on re-opening full time around the 1st of April, 2012, but will be available for receiving and delivering orders on Saturdays from 10am until 11am during the winter. Y'all come back now, hear!


  1. I love tuna casserole! My mom used to make it all the time when I was growing up. I never make it though, oddly enough. Glad to hear that your vending went well. Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving! : )

    1. Same to you, Lisa! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too! It has become so busy, here, that I'm just now going back over old posts, looking for those remarks I've missed. Please forgive the lateness. Hope all is well.

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