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Pregnancy

      Sesame-crusted tuna steaks with quinoa

      Quinoa is a gluten-free tasty alternative to rice and potatoes, and is easy to cook. Adding mango and spinach delivers a range of colourful nutrients, while protein from the tuna can help to satisfy a rumbling tummy1 and omega-3 oil supports your baby’s neural development4.

      Prep time: 10 minutes
      Cook time: 20 minutes
      Serves: 4

      This dish is: dairy free ◦ high in protein ◦ full of vitamins C, D, B12 and K

      Allergens: fish ◦ sesame seeds ◦ soya ◦ gluten (in some soy sauces and vinegars)

      Ingredients

      Salad

      • 225g quinoa
      • 150g ripe mango pieces, cut into small cubes
      • 100g baby spinach
      • Freshly ground pepper

      Dressing

      • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
      • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or balsamic will work)
      • 2 tsp reduced salt, soy sauce
      • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
      • Freshly ground black pepper

      Tuna steaks

      • 50g Chia or Black sesame seeds
      • 4x120g frozen tuna steaks, about 1.5-2cm thick, defrosted
      • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
      • Freshly ground black pepper

      Method

      1. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions.
      2. To make the salad dressing, put the ingredients, with some salt and pepper, in a container you can secure, then shake vigorously.
      3. Scatter the sesame seeds on a large plate, along with a fair amount of pepper. Then dip the tuna steaks in, ensuring they’re evenly coated.
      4. Divide the oil between two large frying pans over a medium heat. If you only have one large pan, then cook the tuna in two batches rather than squishing in all four.
      5. For a medium-rare finish, cook the tuna steaks for around 2-3 minutes each side, depending on their thickness. (It’s fine to eat partly-cooked tuna while pregnant as long as it’s been frozen and fully defrosted first2. You can always cook your tuna steaks for longer. Once cooked, remove and set the tuna aside.
      6. Rinse the cooked quinoa under cold running water and leave it to cool down completely. Once cooled, toss it in a large serving bowl with the mango and spinach and season to taste.
      7. Divide the salad among four serving plates (or four lunch boxes). Place a piece of fish over each salad, then drizzle the dressing over.

      If you haven't already tried quinoa (pronounced 'keenwa'), it's delicious.

      Lorraine Pascale

      Nutritionist's tip

      There are some types of fish you should definitely avoid in pregnancy2, but tuna can be eaten in moderation. As tune contains naturally high levels of mercury, you shouldn’t eat more than two tuna steaks, or four medium-sized cans of tuna, a week when pregnant. For most people, the amount of mercury in our food isn’t harmful, but it may affect your baby’s developing nervous system if you have too much while pregnant2.

      Nutritional benefits

      • Quinoa contains iron which helps ensure your baby receive oxygen and nutrients during pregnancy3
      • Tuna steaks are a good source of protein and DHA, an omega-3 oil that’s essential for your baby’s brain development4
      • Ginger can help ease pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting5
      Nutrition value Amount % Reference nutrient intake
      Energy 568kcal 28%
      Fat 23g
      33%
      Saturates 3.4g
      17%
      Sugars 9.3g 10%
      Salt 0.59g
      10%
      Nutritional claims are based on single-portion analysis.

      Free 'Eating for 2' recipe e-book

      Healthy, tasty recipes by chef Lorraine Pascale and our team of nutritionists

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      1. NHS. The truth about carbs [Online] 2016 Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/why-we-need-to-eat-carbs [Accessed July 2018].
      2.  NHS. Is it safe to eat sushi during pregnancy? [Online] 2018
      3. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/is-it-safe-to-eat-sushi-during-pregnancy.aspx
        Accessed June 2018].
      4. British Nutrition Foundation. Nutrition and supplements during pregnancy [Online]. 2015. Available at: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/nutritionforpregnancy/nutrition-and-supplements-during-pregnancy.html?start=2[Accessed July 2018].
      5. National Centre for Biotechnology Information. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Pregnancy [Online] 2010 Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3046737/pdf/RIOG003004_0163.pdf [Accessed July 2018].
      6. NHS. Vomiting and morning sickness in pregnancy [Online] 2018 Available at:https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/morning-sickness-nausea/ [Accessed June 2018].

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