Cheesy Tuna, Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

When I was a kid, one of my favorite dishes my mom would often make was tuna noodle casserole. It consisted of noodles, canned tuna, and a couple of cans of cream of mushroom soup. It was creamy and salty and truly comfort food.

This keto-friendly recipe, packed with nutrient-dense veggies, was inspired by this recipe by Catherine Jarret on Butter + Brie that matched ingredients I had on hand. I tweaked it a bit and it turned out to remind me of that childhood favorite.

Cheesy Tuna, Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole
Cheesy Tuna, Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

Ingredients

6 ounces (168 g) cream cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

4 cups (300 g) broccoli florets

3 cups (300 g) cauliflower florets

4 cans tuna, packed in water, drained

2 cups (112 g) shredded cheddar cheese

2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, mayo, Parmesan, cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder together.
  3. In  a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, and tuna. Pour in the cream sauce and stir well to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Place into preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly on the sides and the broccoli is tender (pierce with a fork to test).
  5. Remove from oven and set broiler to high. Sprinkle the cheddar on top of the casserole and top with bacon. Return to oven for 2 – 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before servings.

 

Time: 40 – 45 minutes

Servings: 8

Nutrition info per serving: 388 calories, 24 g protein, 30 g fat, 7 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5 net carbs.

Rich sources of (select RDA info): B12 31%, Niacin 32%, vit C 86%, vit K 64%, calcium 32%, selenium 72%

 

Month 2 of My Ketogenic Diet Experiment

My next 90 Day Keto Challenge starts soon. Would you like to join me? It includes weekly webinars, meal plans and shopping list, a workbook, and private online support group. For more info, click here.


This is part of a series on my Ketogenic Diet: Month 1, Month 3, Month 4, Month 5, Month 6, Month 7, Month 8, Month 9, Month 10, Month 11


Last month I wrote about my ketogenic diet experiment and I’m back again today to tell you how my second month went. Short answer: Even better than month one!

Om nom nom
Eat more fat! Oh, but be sure to reduce carbs, too.

More Improvements

Last month I reported a whole long list of improvements to my health, so I wasn’t sure it would get any better. But the second month I saw even more improvements in a variety of categories.

Energy

  • Steady energy and improved stamina. Due to injuries sustained in a car accident last year, I hadn’t been able to walk far without experiencing severe hypoglycemia, fatigue, and pain and swelling in my legs. I’ve been walking 30 – 40 minutes every day, plus I was able to complete a 7 mile hike (no elevation gain – but that will come later!).
  • LOTS of energy and motivation. I used to watch TV and movies online for hours everyday because of lack of energy, but now I don’t want to. I have so much energy and my mind is so clear that I’ve begun reading books for pleasure, for the first time in forever. As stated above, I’m also walking daily and overall, being very active. This fits with Gary Taubes’ (and others) theory of weight gain causing lack of energy and activity and as opposed to the other way around. Once I supplied my body with adequate energy (FAT), I want to be active. I need to be active. It makes me think about the hamster in the cage running on the wheel… I’m active now because it feels good, not because someone tells me I should.

Cardiovascular Health

  • Blood pressure continues to be normal; and it’s now the lowest of my life
  • Reduced heart rate. My resting heart rate was always in the 80s, but now it’s in the high 60s.

Skin

  • Very soft skin, clear skin. I did have a few break outs early on, but this is a normal part of weight loss (as is temporarily elevated triglycerides and cholesterol) as your body detoxifies all the stuff that has been trapped inside your fat cells.
  • Athlete’s foot fungus cleared up. I’ve had athlete’s foot on my left foot for almost 10 years. It is all gone now. My feet and heels are soft now.

Emotional Regulation

  • In touch with feelings and learning healthy emotional regulation skills. While I thought I was in touch with my feelings in the past, I now recognize that I often turned to food, sugar, and carby foods to numb out or comfort myself. Now I’m learning how to experience feelings in a healthy way. I’m choosing alternative activities, like reading, walking, etc.
  • Calm, peaceful feeling. As part of learning to experience emotions in a healthy way, I’m being more mindful of each moment. I’m not in a hurry any more and just enjoy what I’m doing in the moment.

Weight Loss

  • Weight loss of 29.5 lbs (18.5 lbs lost month one, 11 lbs lost month two)
  • 6 inches total off my waist

Sample menus – What do you eat?

One of the first things anyone asks when I tell them I’m eating very low carb, high fat, is, “What do you eat?” I still keep things simple, like I did last month. For each meal, I start with about 20-25 grams of protein (meat, eggs, fish, etc.), add 1-2 cups of “above ground” veggies, plus 1-2 tablespoons (or ounces) of fat (butter, cheese, cream, etc.). Here is a sample day’s menu from month 2:

  • Cold brewed coffee with heavy cream, 2 scrambled eggs, 1 cup spinach, 4 strips of bacon
  • “Sandwich” made with sliced turkey, provolone, mayo, mustard, and sliced bell pepper
  • Grilled steak with loaded mashed cauliflower (butter, cream cheese, cheddar and bacon crumbles)
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and a side of Bacon
Scrambled Eggs with Spinach and a side of Bacon
Cold-brewed Coffee with Heavy Cream
Cold-brewed Coffee with Heavy Cream

 

What Next?

I originally committed to myself that I would try this for at least 3 months, so I’m 2/3rds there. However, with all these improvements, I really don’t see myself quitting after 3 months. I see myself continuing to eat similarly, perhaps beginning to incorporate and experiment with a few recipes (which I will begin posting here).

See you again next month for another update. I wonder what improvements are still to come?


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