The Origins (and Recipe) of MacTunaPea
OR… as some people call it, TunaMacPea
by Jeff Salter
I should probably explain that I’m not handy in the kitchen and I’m loathe to prepare dishes with multiple, complicated steps. My basic rule for meals is two steps: (1) open container and (2) nuke in microwave. I’m willing to stir contents or rotate the package – whatever – but no further ministrations.
So, with that explanation, you may well imagine a meal involving THREE containers and a total of FOUR steps… is already stretching the limits of my skill-set.
I can’t claim to have invented the combination of macaroni and tuna fish… in fact, it may be printed right on the box somewhere. But I know for a fact that I originated the addition of green peas to the mix. It was some time in the mid-1980s as best I can recall. [Note: I’ve since seen instructions for some sort of casserole which uses my primary ingredients – plus something else – and I’m certain they stole that idea from me.]
* 1 (12 oz.) box of Kraft macaroni shells with the cheese ‘sauce’ in a pouch [do NOT try to use the powered cheese substance — it’s nasty]
* 1 (12 oz.) can of white albacore tuna [I prefer StarKist, but any major brand will do as long as it’s packed in water and NOT in slimy oil] Note: you don’t really need 12 full ounces, but it needs to be quite a bit more than the standard 6 oz cans.
* 1 small (8.5 oz.) can of green peas [the peas are mainly for color… and to keep my wife from eating it — ha]
* Boil water in medium-size pot
* Add macaroni
* Boil for 10-12 mins. (or whatever the box says)
* Drain off water
* Squeeze ALL the cheese goop from the pouch… and mix well
* Dump in tuna… and mix well
If your spouse is willing to eat MacTuna but despises Peas… this is the time to scoop out a bowlful and set that aside.
* At the very last minute, add the peas… but do not mix-in too vigorously (because it breaks the peas open and they get mushy).
* Serve in a large bowl and enjoy.
Note: MacTunaPea also tastes very good the next day (assuming you properly refrigerate the leftovers). Just add a teeny bit of water to the leftovers before you nuke it.
* Nuke for about 45 seconds
* Stir and nuke again until it reaches desired temperature
CAUTION: bowl will be hot!
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Important Note: I can no longer eat this version of MacTunaPea because I learned, in late 2011, that I’m allergic to GLUTEN. Substituting the G-F pasta for the Kraft macaroni makes for a fairly nasty blend. I do still eat it occasionally, but it’s a far cry from the REAL Stuff.
I’d be one to omit the peas,Jeff and it has too many carbs for me now, as much as I do like the ‘extra-fancy’ versions of mac&cheese. Looks like it’s off the menu for us, but I would have loved it! I am pleased with your effort,though!
oh, the peas make this dish
I don’t care for peas; I make tuna casserole with cut green beans. I woman knew told me that she, also, made tuna casserole with green beans.She made it with peas when she first got married and her husband told her that he hated peas, so please leave them out. At the time they had been married for twenty years and she made the casserole several times a year, but each and every time her husband would tell her, “Don’t put peas in it!”.
Sounds like something my kids would like. I think I will be making it for them.
let us know how it turns out
So…I’ve never been much of a cook. Just doesn’t appeal to me, much to the chagrin of my kids. Way back in the day, I used to make this goulash. It consisted of egg noodles, a can of beef vegetable stew and frozen green beans. I got really frisky by adding garlic powder, salt and pepper. It was wholesome and somewhat healthy. But no one liked it. So much so that when I made it, my roommate and my boyfriend (these two despised one another) would head to the nearest fast food joint…together…without me…
Wow, Jenn. Must’ve been quite a dish if it united two enemies and ran both away.
My daughter has a “goulash” recipe which I love, but it does not resemble the concept I had formed of goulash as a heavy Russian stew.
Yep…just random ingredients thrown together. And for what it’s worth, my goulash was good. At least I thought so. LOL!
I love macaroni/cheese/tuna casseroles., Jeff! But your recipe looks a little too processed for me. GRIN Back in the day, though, I had a recipe for a tuna casserole that everybody LOVED. (can’t find it now) Since I’ve gotten more conscious about the evils of processed foods I now have a recipe I make completely from scratch (don’t know where it is, either) But I’ll find it if I ever have reason for the inclination to make it again. You just made me hungry; I might have to go find it. (don’t hold your breath)
Oh, I’m sure it would taste even better if “homemade”. But with my limited kitchen skills, this was the best I could do.
LOL! Sounds like a man…
This sounds a lot like the first meal I ever cooked for hubby – back before he took over the kitchen – except I made it from scratch. And I can’t eat it now, either. It does terrible things to my waistline.
surely did taste good though