When I read the Amateur Gourmet’s post on Tuna Noodle Casserole, which included a challenge to reinvent it, I thought “ick” why bother! It had been years since I had made it. I remember it being annoyingly crunchy on the side, or too sour, or too dry, or too mushy, or too tuna-y. It is not something the peaks excitement around my house as an answer to “what’s for dinner?” either. A few days later I went to one of my favorite restaurants, Lucia’s. Picking up something from the takeout side of Lucia’s restaurant is one of my favorite lunches to have. I chose a container of Lori Callister Free Range Chicken Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette. It was mixed with wide slices of celery, cherry tomatoes, and fresh cilantro. It was delish. Strangely, though it made me think of the Tuna Fish Casserole challenge. Now that’s just wrong. Apparently, the challenge of reinventing Tuna Fish casserole lingered with me. After all, I grew up in the midwest, and I should be able to rise to the occasion of a hot-dish-challenge. Lucia’s chicken salad brought some “what if’s” to mind. Like, what if I switched out the chicken for tuna? And, what if I tried to nearly copy her spices and ingredients? I say nearly, because I am so certain that a James Beard winning restaurant has some secrets that aren’t revealed. Also, what if I topped it with potato chips so hot, they were named after Death Valley? So, here is my recipe inspired by Lucia’s and as imagined and concocted in my kitchen. This is not your childhood favorite, but might be worth trying at least once! 1 package spiral noodles 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup 2 cans of tuna 1/4 cup mayo sliced celery chopped red and yellow bell peppers Fresh cilantro Cumin Bake 350 degrees for 35 minutes Add topping: Bake another 10 minutes. Grated Cheddar Cheese Lime Zest Crunched potato chips, Kettle Brand in flavor Death Valley Chipotle “Revolutionize” your casserole? Tell us how!