Covadonga, Spain

While I’m in Northern Spain I get to enjoy fresh tuna fillets right out of the ocean. At this time of the year small towns like Luanco, located on the Green Coast, sell and serve tuna (bonito) in every fish market and every restaurant.

It is prepared in many forms, but my favorite is the simplest: with potatoes.

Ingredients for Tuna and Potatoes

1 lb of fresh tuna fillets
4 medium potatoes
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
½ green pepper
½ red pepper
Sun dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon of Spanish Pimenton
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Spanish saffron

Preparation:

Cut the tuna fillets in small cubes. In a saucepan heat up 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, minced, and the green and red pepper, cut in small pieces. Cook for 10 minutes.

Cut the potatoes in small pieces and add to the saucepan, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the Pimenton and sun dried tomatoes.

Now you can include the cubes of tuna and cold water until the potatoes and tuna mixture is slightly covered. Add saffron. Cook in very low heat for about 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Simple enough? It is also delicious and nutritious.

With only 31 calories per ounce, fresh tuna is a good source of lean protein and other nutrients such as Selenium, Niacin and B vitamins.

It contains some of the Omega 3 fatty acids involved in lowering the bad cholesterol such as EPA ( eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA ( docosahexaenoic acid), both involved in brain development, making tuna an ideal source of protein for children.

But tuna also aids in maintaining brain function in people of all ages. Certain studies involving middle-aged citizens of certain coastal towns, consuming large amounts of tuna and other fatty fish showed higher scores in cognitive tests when compared with the general population.

It is good for the heart and good for the brain.

Fatty fish contains niacin, which helps in lowering blood pressure. It also helps in reducing the inflammatory process in patients with arthritis.

Fresh is better that canned, when it comes to tuna; the fresh version contains less sodium.

It is available in most fish markets in the United States and all over the world. Here in Luanco we are going to eat tuna for a while, as long as the brave men and women of the sea continue to bring them to shore.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.