Saturday, April 7, 2012

"My Grandpa Makes the Tuna..." (Tuna Casserole with Spinach)

I am not a snob.  Ask those who know me and I am pretty sure *fingers crossed* they would say that "snobby" is not an adjective that describes me.  Basically, it is like this: I don't care if my clothes come from Target or some fancy-pants store, as long as they fit well and are cute.  I don't care if my friends are quote-unquote "popular" or the average Joe, as long as they are kind and not too annoying (because face it, we all have some annoying characteristics).  I don't care if I drive a BMW or a Toyota, as long as it is reliable and safe.  Shoot -- my first car was an '88 Dodge Colt Hatchback, ripped vinyl seating and rusty top included.  I drove it with pride.

Like I said, I am not a snob.

Unless it comes to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or tuna casserole.  Then you better have the right stuff.  AKA Skippy Creamy and Strawberry Smuckers (for the PB&J) or this stuff:

Yes, that's right.  Campbell's all the way, Baby.  None of that store-brand junk they try to pass off as Cream of Mushroom Soup.  And don't even think about trying to sneak in some "low-fat" goo, I will tell the difference in a heartbeat. 

There are some things in life you are allowed to be snobby about.

Mayo is another one of those things.

Bring out the Best Foods, and you bring out the best, right?

And tuna, well... there is only one kind that sits on my shelf:

But for the tuna I have a really good excuse, other than just pure snobbiness.  See, my grandpa was an engineer for Starkist before he retired (and don't ask me what an engineer might do at a tuna company, I have yet to figure that out...)  As a kid I watched the movie Annie and it inspired many things in me.  For one, I knew that I had to work in an orphanage some day.  Actually, I knew I had to buy Daddy Warbuck's house and move all the orphans there so they could have a happy life.  This is still something I have on my life's to-do list.

Something else this movie inspired in me was the need to burst out in song to express myself.  Annie did it, why couldn't I?  This is why I would sing to my cats, my dogs, and my friends, until they ran away and hid.  But my poor mother, she couldn't run and hide, now could she?  (She could regret her idea of renting Annie, however.)  This would be how the Grandpa song came about.  I remember sitting there in the little seat in the shopping carts, cruising the aisles of the supermarket, singing at the top of my lungs --

My grandpa makes the tuna,
my grandpa makes the tuna,
so if you love tuna

Ya know what?  I don't think I have ever purchased a different brand of tuna in my life, except when I was living overseas and Starkist was not an option.  The seed was planted early on, and nothing has uprooted it.  So, yes, I am a tuna snob.  I admit it.

I was making tuna casserole the other night, with my perfect ingredients, and I realized I didn't have peas.  But I did have spinach, and I thought, "Why not?"  Then, as it was cooking, I flipped through Everyday Food by Martha Stuart and I saw a recipe for, you guessed it, tuna casserole with spinach.  I'm one step ahead of you, Martha... Anyway, it turned out great.  I like peas, but I like spinach.  I think this will get another chance in the spotlight, as long as I have my Campbell's, Best Foods, and Starkist of course!

  • 1 pack egg noodles
  • 2 cans tuna
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach leaves
  • Mrs. Dash or other seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Bring water to boil in large pot and add egg noodles.  Cook for 7-8 min.
  2. Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl add the rest of the ingredients except the bread crumbs.  Stir in egg noodles after they are cooked and drained.
  3. In large casserole dish, dump contents in and sprinkle bread crumbs on top.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.  (Remove the tin foil for the last 5-7 minutes to give it a golden crispiness on the top.)

Cost: $6.70                   Cost Per Serving (6) $1.12

Plus bread w/ butter and salad = $1.60 per serving


  1. Haha! Love this post for so many reasons. First off, you totally don't seem like a snob at all (which is why I love you and your blog!) And LOL at your comment about your friends being cool as long as they aren't "too annoying." That is the truth!
    And FINALLY...someone who shares my affinity for Best Foods Mayo! I am such a mayo freak (it is one of my few vices) and will only eat Best Foods. One of my friends tried to get me to eat Miracle Whip...and I still have horrible flashbacks. Yuck!
    Delicious looking recipe!
    XO - Marion

  2. I love love love Tuna Casserole. It was a staple in our house growing up. I've never used spinach in mine however... great add in! I sometimes do broccoli or peas.

  3. I am not partial to peas but LOVE spinach and also love runs casserole so feel this will be an awesome combination. Can't wait to try it. Thank you.

  4. I never add mayo but I do add cheddar cheese.


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