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Pregnancy

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

      Sesame-crusted tuna steaks with quinoa

      Quinoa is a gluten-free, easy to cook and tasty alternative to rice or potatoes. Mango and spinach add colourful nutrients, while the protein in tuna can help to satisfy a rumbling tummy1.

      This dish: Dairy free • provides protein • vitamin C • rich in vitamins D, B12 and K

      Each portion contains:

      Nutrition value Amount % Reference nutrient intake
      Energy 568kcal 28%
      Fat 23g
      33%
      Saturates 3.4g
      17%
      Sugars 9.3g 10%
      Salt 0.59g
      10%

      Nutritionist's tip

      While there's some types of fish you should definitely avoid in pregnancy2, tuna can be eaten in moderation. However, since tuna contains more mercury than other types of fish, you should limit the amount of tuna you eat to no more than two tuna steaks a week or four medium-sized cans of tuna a week when pregnant. The amount of mercury we get from food isn't harmful to most people but it could affect your baby's developing nervous system if you have too much in pregnancy2.

      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

      Recipe contains the following allergens: fish, sesame seeds, soya, gluten (in some soy sauces and vinegars). All nutritional claims based on analysis of one portion.

      Nutritional benefits

      * Quinoa: Contains iron which can help ensure your baby receives the necessary oxygen and nutrients in pregnancy3

      * Mango: Contains vitamin C which can help protect your cells and help keep them healthy4

      * Spinach: Contains protein which provides the building blocks for your baby to grow5

      * Ginger: Some mums-to-be find that ginger can help to ease pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting6

      * Sesame seeds: Provides calcium which is vital for making your baby's bones and teeth7

      * Tuna steaks: If you like your tuna pink you are safe to eat it if it’s been pre-frozen. Contains DHA which is important for fetal brain development9

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      Method

      1. Put the quinoa on to cook according to the packet instructions.
      2. To prepare the salad dressing, simply put the ingredients along with a little salt and pepper in a screw top jar, secure the lid and shake vigorously.
      3. Scatter the sesame seeds on a large plate along with a fair amount of pepper and then dip the tuna steaks in so that they are evenly coated all over.
      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 squish all four in and stew them!
      5. Cook the tuna steaks for around 2-3 minutes per side for a medium-rare finish, depending on the thickness of your steaks (it’s fine to eat partly cooked tuna in pregnancy if it’s been frozen and fully defrosted first8). Of course, you can cook your tuna steaks for longer if you prefer. Remove and set aside.
      6. Once cooked, rinse the quinoa under cold running water and set aside 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 box containers). Place a piece of fish over each salad and then drizzle over the dressing.

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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. Foods to avoid in pregnancy [Online] 2016 Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/foods-to-avoid-pregnant/#fish-and-shellfish [Accessed July 2018].
      3. 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].
      4. NHS. Vitamin C in pregnancy [Online] 2017 Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vitamins-minerals-supplements-pregnant/#vitamin-c-in-pregnancy[Accessed July 2018].
      5. NHS. Healthy Eating Pregnancy [Online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/healthy-eating-pregnancy/ [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].
      7. NHS. Vitamins and minerals: Calcium [Online] 2018 Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/vitamins-minerals-supplements-pregnant/#calcium-in-pregnancy [Accessed June 2018].
      8. NHS. Is it safe to eat sushi during pregnancy? [Online] 2018 Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/is-it-safe-to-eat-sushi-during-pregnancy.aspx
        Accessed June 2018].
      9. National Center 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].

      Last reviewed: 7th September 2018

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