Slow Days: (Improved) Tuna Casserole

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the Fast Diet Forum which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

Dear Husband, growing up in a Catholic household, ate his mom’s tuna casserole a lot as a child. On Fridays, of course. I, growing up in a household with a father who avoided fish, never ate tuna casserole. A few years after we married, Dear Husband said, “Let’s have tuna casserole this Friday!” Since I had no idea what he meant by that, he prepared it. Out came a can of cream of mushroom soup, out came a can of tuna, out came the macaroni noodle box, and soon the meal was done.

He loved it — I thought it was awful: salty, stodgy, boring. Years later, Dear Husband suggested that we try it again — but with improvements. #1: instead of canned mushroom soup, homemade Béchamel Sauce with added wild mushrooms. #2: instead of canned tuna, fresh tuna from the fish market. #3: instead of simple-carb-refined-flour noodles, homemade or purchased whole wheat noodles. Now we were cooking!

Every year, we prepare this dish for the first Friday in Lent. Since the sauce makes enough for four servings, we bake half of the recipe with noodles and freeze the remaining sauce-tuna to prepare two weeks later, with the addition of freshly-boiled noodles.

Serves 4Serves 2
2 cups milk, fat-free or 1% ½” slice onion
½ tsp mace
¼ tsp salt
Follow directions and amounts for serving 4 – cutting recipe would be silly.Add these ingredients to milk in a sauce pan. Simmer on low 20 mins. Take off heat and grind in some pepper. Strain into a glass measure.
2 Tbsp butter 4 Tbsp white whole wheat flourdittoMelt butter over low. Off heat, whisk in flour. Cook over low a few minutes while whisking.
Warm milk, strained Warm milk, strainedAdd milk, ½ cup at a time to butter/ flour, whisking all the while. Cook on low until bechamel thickens.
2/3 c. mushrooms 2-3 shakes Old Bay Seasoning sameSaute and chop mushrooms. Add to sauce along with Old Bay.
5-6 oz fresh tuna, cubedsameSaute briefly in a bit of oil, stir into sauce. Divide sauce in 2 portions.
6 oz whole wheat pasta3 oz whole wheat pastaCook pasta until almost done. Drain.
If serving 4, combine all pasta and sauce. Put into oiled baking dish.If serving 2, freeze other ½ of tuna-mushroom-cream sauce for a later use. If serving 2, combine ½ of sauce with pasta and put in oiled baking dish.
¼ c bread crumbs ¼ c grated Parmesan2 Tbsp bread crumbs 2 Tbsp grated ParmesanSprinkle crumbs and cheese on the casserole. Bake at 350F until bubbly.
Green peas or saladGreen peas or saladServe with one or both of these.

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