Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mrs. Leeper's Creamy Tuna dinner

One of the things I miss about my pre-Celiac days was having all the quick meal options. I mean just because I've got Celiac Disease doesn't mean my super busy days suddenly disappear. Right?

My local health food store had Mrs. Leeper's Creamy Tuna on sale and since it looked vaguely like Tuna Helper (which my family loved) I thought I'd get some to try it out. Worse case scenario would be that it tasted awful and we'd have hot dogs or pb&j instead. Best case I find a new boxed dinner to keep in my cupboard for busy days.

The box comes with the noodles and the sauce packet. I had to add 2 1/2 cups of hot water, 1 cup of milk, and 1 tablespoon of butter per box plus the tuna. I made two boxes and it fed our family of five quite well. I also added two cans of tuna for each box instead of just one. What can I say, my family likes meat!

The instructions are super easy. Drain the tuna and dump everything but the noodles into a pot. Bring that to a boil and then add the noodles and lower the heat. Cook it for 10 minutes, then let it set for a few minutes more. Easy peasy. It is important to let it set for awhile though, the sauce thickens up as it cools. The box says to let it set for three minutes, I let it set for five.

Okay, I know it looks kinda gross. It really doesn't photograph well at all. Trust me though, it tastes amazing.

The noodles have a really nice texture, not at all gritty. The sauce is just awesome. The flavor is rich without being too strong, and really very creamy. I don't really know how to describe it, so I'll just say that there was silence around the dinner table. My incredibly chatty kids were too busy eating to talk. Even my meat and potatoes loving husband liked this. He went back for seconds.

I think that this could be really good with a can of sweet corn or a can of peas added in. I also think it would be good with some crushed potato chips on top to add some crunch. I'll have to try that next time.

Overall I really liked the Creamy Tuna dinner. Preparation was easy, it tasted really good, and everyone in my family loved it. The only downside is that it was quite pricey. It cost about $5 for each box (on sale), so $10+ for a meal. That's about average for gluten free convenience foods, so it isn't overly expensive. It's just pricey for somebody on a budget, but I will be getting more the next time they go on sale. It's worth it for a quick meal on a tough day.

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