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Casual cooking with Kris

January 13, 2011

Welcoming readers to my world where I enjoy simple, sometimes quick, but always delicious meals.

This week's recipe comes from the oh-I-haven't-had-a-chance-to-get-to-the-store section. I was pantry searching and revving up that thing called a thinking cap, which wore me out. I had no meat thawed out and takeout budget was empty, so after surveying the damage and lack of choices I discovered a twist on an old dish.

This takes less then 45 minutes, still uses convenience items. The hardest part is frying the bacon. It provides protein, veggies and calcium. Sounds sort of balanced to me. Serve this with salad and bread, and dinner is ready. Enjoy!

Upgrade To Grandma's Tuna Casserole

2 boxes of mac & cheese with cheese pouches - velveeta or deluxe
1 large can tuna
2 cups of frozen chopped broccoli or mixed veggies
1 can of cream mushroom or celery soup
4-6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 can of chopped green chilies
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
1 cup of shredded cheddar
1 cup of heavy cream
non-stick spray

Fill large pot with water and cook pasta according to directions. While the water is coming to a boil, cook the bacon crisp and let it cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, open the cheese pouches and combine their incredients with the soup, green chilies, heavy cream and bacon. When water is boiling, add salt and cook the pasta. When the pasta is about a minute or so from being ready, turn off the heat and add your veggies and remove one cup of the pasta water and add that to the bowl to help break down the cheese pouches. Stir well. Drain the pasta and veggies and add to the large bowl, mixing everything well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, spray non-stick in a large baking dish and place pasta mixture in to it. Spread it out, but do not compact the pasta down. Sprinkle both type of cheeses across the top and place in oven for about 20 minutes until cheese is melty and bubbly.

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