- 4 oz extra wide noodles (I used whole wheat; but regular or “egg” noodles would also work just fine)
- 1 c raw cauliflower, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 c evaporated milk (I used fat free) [Don’t forget to shake the can before opening]
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp kelp powder
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Optional: 4 oz can mushrooms, drained and roughly chopped
- 8 oz sietan (1 standard size box), diced small. (If you are not vegetarian, you could use canned tuna in place of the sietan. If using canned tuna, omit the kelp powder from the recipe.)
- 1 c (4 oz) shredded low fat cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray a 9×7” pan with non-stick spray; set aside.
- Boil the noodles until cooked al dente; drain. Set aside.
- Steam or boil the cauliflower until soft; then drain, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Smash the cooked cauliflower pieces with a fork until the cauliflower is broken down into very small bits.
- Add the evaporated milk, onion powder, kelp powder, Worcestershire sauce, and mushrooms (if using) to the cauliflower. Mix to thoroughly combine.
- Add the noodles, sietan, and 1/2 c cheese to cauliflower mixture. Mix well.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan; then top with the remaining 1/2 c cheese.
- Cover the pan with tin foil that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, and bake for 15 min.
- Remove the foil, and bake for another 10 min, or until brown and bubbly.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional information per serving (approximates): 195 calories, 4.5 g fat, 21.5 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 19 g protein.
- Kelp powder can be found at most natural foods stores. I usually find it in the bins that have the bulk spices.
- I cooked my cauliflower in the microwave: I put the cauliflower in a microwave-safe dish, added about an inch of water, and microwaved on high for 2:30 minutes.
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Medium
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Medium-Low
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Medium
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Medium
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): A solid 3. (But could probably move up to a 4 with a few tweaks to the recipe [see my comments below].)
The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?
I think this dish has some good potential. I really like that the dish got me close to tuna noodle casserole – a meal that I really like, but haven’t eaten since I transitioned to a vegetarian diet (over a year-and-a-half ago). I think the noodle-sietan-cheese ratio was really good, and I love that this dish has many different healthy components overall. (I particularly adore that this recipe didn’t use any cream-of-craziness canned soup.) :)
All that being said, the dish was a little dry. And a little bland. So I might make the recipe again, but if I did, I would definitely make some changes. I would double the amount of onion powder and evaporated milk; and I might even use some liquid from the mushrooms. I would also increase the kelp powder and Worcestershire to 1.5 tsp. And I would probably season individual servings with salt & fresh ground black pepper. Once I make all of those adjustments, I would re-assess the dish; and I suspect it would be a keeper.