Garlic Tuna with Wilted Baby Spinach and Roasted Red Peppers

      Our family loves Tuna.  Whether from the can, cooked, or even sashimi (okay, the last one is just for me), it is one of our go to protein at home. So when the news about each child’s food allergies came out, we were so  thankful that FISH was not in the list.
       This easy to prepare dish is one of our favorites and goes perfectly with steamed white or brown rice.  Surprisingly, our household has been enjoying this gluten, egg, dairy, soy free recipe way before the diagnosis came out.

Ingredients:
4 Fresh Tuna Steaks (about 1 1/2 lbs total weight)
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
6 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs. fresh garlic sliced thinly
1/4 cup roasted bell peppers *
2 bags of baby spinach
1/8 tsp. chili flakes (add more if you like it a little spicy)
2 lemons

*Roasted Red Bell Peppers
I often have a homemade version ready and I provided the recipe at the end of this post.  Just in case you don’t have the time to make your own, feel free to substitute a store bought one.  I prefer the one that is packed in oil.

1. At medium low heat, saute sliced 1tbs sliced garlic in 4 tbs of olive oil until golden brown. Make sure you don’t burn it. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Increase heat to medium and keep the pan hot.
2. Combine 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
3. Pat dry tuna and rub both sides with the salt, pepper and garlic powder mix.
4. Pan fry tuna. Wait at least 2 minutes before flipping.  Cook according to your desired texture and transfer to a platter.  We always have ours well done.
5. Add the remaining oil to the pan.
6. Saute sliced garlic and chili flakes until garlic turns golden brown.
7. Add the roasted bell peppers and spinach.
8. Season with remaining salt and black pepper.
9. Cook until the spinach are slightly wilted.
10. Turn off heat and drizzle with juice from 1 lemon. Mix.
11. Transfer veggies to a serving platter.  Top with seared tuna and sauteed garlic.
12. Serve with rice and lemon slices.

Tips:
* Make sure the pan and oil is hot (medium to medium high) before putting the fish. This will help prevent the fish from sticking to the pan.

* When it comes to texture, some likes the tuna just browned on both sides while the inside is still pink or red.  For my family (since we have young children), the fish is cooked through. Depending on the thickness, it’s about 3-5 minutes on each side. Use your fingers to check for the desired firmness. It is always better to go a little under cooked.

* Homemade Roasted Peppers
– Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
– Wash and dry the bell peppers.
– Place bell peppers on a foil lined cookie sheet.
– Bake in the oven for about 14-20 minutes  Turn the peppers every 4 mins. to make sure all the sides get roasted and to avoid burning one side.
– Transfer to a glass bowl and cover with a plate for 5 minutes. The trapped steam will help loosen the skin,
– While still warm, remove the skin and the seeds.
– Add some extra virgin olive oil.  Mix well.  You can add some spices or seasonings at this point.
– Once cooled, transfer to storage containers.  Refrigerate for 3 days or freeze.

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