To adapt to my wheat, egg, and nut allergies, my mother resorted to a very simple cooking style. No marinades, no sauces, no spices. In a time without allergy warnings or clear ingredients on labels, it was just the safest and easiest way to go. This is drastically different from my husband’s youth. His mother is an excellent cook, and most of her adult working life has been in kitchens. It took us a few years, but we’ve started to find ways to adapt my allergies to the recipes he has been longing for from childhood.
One dish we’ve adapted is tuna casserole. A couple years ago, we tried a boxed mix, and we loved it. But, it disappeared from shelves. Wheat free mixes are already in low demand, and this one just didn’t make the profits to stay in stores.
Finally, we decided to adapt a recipe to meet our needs. We needed to have no wheat, egg, or nuts. But, we also needed to have no onions or mushrooms via my husband’s taste. What it did need is to be cheesy. And nothing super fancy where we had to buy white wine or sherry.
After looking at many recipes, here is what we came up with!
8 oz brown rice noodles (We used Tikiyada spirals)
5 oz can of tuna, drained
15 oz cream of chicken soup
6 oz shredded sharp cheddar
2.5 tbs breadcrumbs. (We used unseasoned by Gillian’s)
2.5 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
butter (to grease dish)
- Cook your rice noodles following the package ingredients. This took about 15 minutes. Rice noodles tend to come out better if you drain and rinse them in cold water, and then drain again. Its okay that they cool down because they will be reheated in the sauce.
- Preheat oven to 375. Grease casserole dish.
- Warm the cream of chicken soup in a pan on the stove.
- Break tuna up with a fork, and then mix into the soup. Let cook a minute or two.
- Mix in cheddar. Stir until it is fully melted.
- Mix in rice noodles. Stir until they are fully coated.
- Pour coated noodles into a greased casserole dish.
- Mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the whole top of the casserole.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- If you’d like an extra crunch on the top, you can broil it for an additional minute or two.
Peas are traditional in a tuna casserole, but I am allergic to those as well. If you wanted to add them, you should add them with/after the tuna. Instead, my family ate them on the side and had the option to stir them in on their plates.
We loved this tuna casserole. It tasted the same as the boxed mix, but felt so much more wholesome making it ourselves. We ate about half, but it was just my husband and I, since my kids are currently afraid to try casserole-y things. We froze the second half. Next time we plan to make a double batch so we can have more to freeze for easier use during the week.