While I was working yesterday morning I suddenly had an insatiable craving for tuna casserole. On the surface that may seem fairly normal but for me it’s not for two reasons: (1) I have been virtually grain free for almost 8 years now and (2) I limit the amount of dairy I consume on any given day. Actually there is one more reason: I honestly cannot remember the last time I ate tuna casserole and I have been racking my well nourished (thanks to the Keto diet and all the good fats I eat on a daily basis) brain for the past 24 hours trying to remember. Speaking of my brain did you know your brain is the fattest organ in your body consisting of up to 60% fat? I guess the next time someone calls me a “fat-head” I’ll thank them. Did you also know that your brain contains 25% of the cholesterol (a waxy, fat like substance mostly produced in our liver) in our bodies and that it is an essential part of maintaining our health? It is because without it we are not able to produce the cortisol (fight or flight, metabolism and immune response), estrogen (ladies), testosterone (gentlemen), progesterone (sex drive) and the ability to take that sunshine beaming down on your face and synthesize it into Vitamin D. And, yet, statin drugs are still one of the most prescribed medications on the market to lower cholesterol. However, it seems they lower the total cholesterol in the body and not just the LDL (“bad”) type. Which might be why one of the side effects of taking this drug is confusion or memory problems. Is it any wonder that the rate of dementia and Alzheimer’s is at an all time high and that exorbitant amounts of money are being spent to find a “cure” yet there is very little talk of diet. When will the medical establishment learn?
I digress. Back to this high in glorious saturated fats casserole. It is gluten free as in there are no grains (no wheat, no rice, no corn, nada) in this dish at all. It is packed full of protein, very low in carbohydrates and contains all of the Vitamin B12 you need in a day. Now some may argue that it is high in calories because of the fat but it comes in at just under 400 calories per serving. The thing is if you are getting your calories from nutrient dense, high quality foods calories don’t really matter. I can’t remember the last time I counted how many calories I eat in a day and yet here I am still lean and getting leaner every day (no joke). It’s really that simple. Really.
What else is really simple is this casserole and it will literally take you 40 minutes from start to on your plate and exclaiming “YUM” over and over again.
Author: Cassie Elliott
Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes
Gluten Free Tuna Casserole:
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 red (orange, yellow) bell pepper
- 1 cup yellow onion
- 1 cup (approximately 3 stalks) celery
- 3 cans of light tuna packed in water (try and buy the line and pole caught)
- 1 cup 18% fat cream
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 150 g Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chili flakes to garnish
- Preheat oven to 400F with rack in the middle of the oven.
- Drain the tuna in a colander. Press down on it to remove as much of the moisture as possible.
- Chop the celery, onions and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil in skillet over medium heat.
- Add the vegetables, season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally until they become translucent.
- Meanwhile add the cream to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir now and then to keep from burning.
- Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk to incorporate.
- Add 1/2 of the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
- Grease a 3 quart casserole dish with butter.
- Add the tuna and the vegetables to the casserole dish and fold together.
- Add the cheese sauce to the casserole dish and mix to incorporate well.
- Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
- Cover the casserole dish, place in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Turn the oven to broil, remove the lid and cook 2 – 3 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly brown.
I like to sprinkle a few hot chile pepper flakes on the top for a little “heat”. Serve with a small spinach salad to banish any guilt you might be feeling for eating something so damn good you can’t help but think it’s not good for you. But it is. It really is.