Mom’s Tuna Casserole

Apr 26, 2010 by Kristi Rimkus

My mother is a fantastic cook, but her recipe for tuna casserole needed an overhaul.

It was one of those casseroles with noodles, a creamy white sauce, chunks of tuna fish, and potato chips crushed on top. I can still feel those dry chunks of tuna stuck in my throat as I tried to swallow a single bite. That experience ruined my taste for seafood for a very long time.

It’s a good thing that we get past those childhood hang-ups, because as soon as a friend served me a fillet of freshly grilled salmon my childhood hang-ups about seafood were gone. After that, the path was clear–I figured that if the salmon was edible, I could also give the cod a try. Soon I was eating tilapia and shellfish. You can’t beat a really good shrimp curry.

These days, seafood is on my menu at least once a week, with Wild Alaskan salmon, tilapia and cod as the star attractions of the dinner.

Tonight it was Bobby Flay’s Jicama Slaw served with chunky fillets of cod, grilled to perfection. Shredded crunchy jicama, cabbage, and carrots are tossed with a sweet and spicy dressing that works equally as well as a marinade for my cod–for which I double the dressing, and let the cod marinate until it’s ready to grill.

To keep my meal on the lighter side, I have to make a few changes to Bobby Flay’s original recipe. Sorry, Bobby, but ½ cup of oil is way too much for me. The pantry was missing the ancho chili powder, so I improvised with the chili seasoning I had on hand–next time I’ll hunt down the ancho chili powder, just to see what I’m was missing.

I’m certainly grateful I got over my distaste for seafood. And even better, I wouldn’t want to miss this meal!

Light and Flaky Grilled Cod Fillets with Jicama Slaw

4 each, 4 ounce cod fillets

Salad:

1 medium jicama, shredded
½ large cabbage, shredded
2 cups carrot, shredded
½ cup cilantro

Dressing and Marinade:

¾ cup lime juice
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons chili seasoning
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 pinches cayenne pepper

Servings: Makes 4 main dish servings.

Directions:

1. Combine the lime juice, rice vinegar, honey, chili seasoning, canola oil and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

2. Marinade the cod in 1/4 cup of the dressing for 30 minutes.

3. Combine jicama, cabbage, carrots and cilantro in a large bowl with the remaining dressing.

4. Grill the cod over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes per side until fish just flakes. Do not over cook the fish or it will be dry.

5. Serve the cod with the slaw on the side.

What’s good for me in this dish?

Cod is low in saturated fat, and a good source of vitamin D, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and potassium. It’d also a source of protein, phosphorus, and selenium. Blood-thinning omega-3 fatty acids support cardiovascular health.

Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, and potassium which is beneficial to prevent cardiovascular disease and some types of cancers.

Amount per serving: Calories: 404, Total Fat: 14.20g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 114mg, Total Carbs: 47.16g, Dietary Fiber: 12.23g, Sugars: 26.64g, Protein: 23.50g, Weight Watchers Points 8

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay’s Jicama Slaw.

Nutrition details obtained from whfoods.org, nutritiondata.com, about.com, and abouthomecooking.com.

Currently, Kristi Rimkus authors her own blog over at Mother Rimmy’s Cooking Light Done Right.

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