Flavor-Packed Gluten Free Tuna Steaks with Cilantro and Avocado

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Flavor-Packed Gluten Free Tuna Steaks with Cilantro and Avocado

These gluten free tuna steaks with cilantro and avocado are packed full of flavor, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium. This is another family favorite, and I am so glad the flavor profile didn’t change when I converted the recipe to be gluten free. 

Gluten Free Tuna

Tuna steaks are naturally gluten free!  You can use fresh or frozen tuna steaks for this recipe with equally good results. This is another dinner that makes my dietitian mom heart happy because it is just so full of good stuff!

High-Quality Protein 

These gluten free tuna steaks are an amazing source of protein. They provide all of the essential amino acids that our bodies need for muscle growth, repair, and maintenance. I know it can be a challenge to get some kiddos to eat fish, but these gluten free tuna steaks are so meaty that some kids may think it’s chicken! 

It’s important for growing children and adolescents to eat enough high-quality protein for several reasons:

High-Quality Protein
  • Growth and Development: During childhood and adolescence, the body is growing at a fast pace! Protein is essential for the growth and repair of tissues, including muscles, bones, skin, and organs. It provides the building blocks ( in the form of amino acids) necessary for cell production and development.
  • Fueling Young Athletes: Protein is crucial for muscle growth, strength, and recovery. Adequate protein intake helps ensure that your kiddo is not only developing strong muscles, but able to recover after a bout of intense physical activity in their sport or any injuries. They should be eating a good source of protein at every meal and any after-practice snacks.
  • Hormone Production: Many hormones, including growth hormone and insulin, are protein-based. These hormones play a critical role in regulating growth, metabolism, and other bodily functions. Adequate protein intake supports the production and balance of these hormones.
  • Immune Function: Protein is involved in the production of antibodies and other immune system components. A sufficient protein intake helps maintain a strong immune system, which is essential for fighting off infections and diseases.
  • Brain Development: Don’t forget that brain development continues until the early 20s! Certain amino acids, such as tryptophan, are precursors to neurotransmitters like serotonin. These neurotransmitters play a role in mood regulation, learning, and memory. Adequate protein can support cognitive development and emotional well-being.
  • Bone Health: Protein is involved in maintaining bone health. It helps with calcium absorption and the formation of collagen, which is an important component of bones. Getting enough protein helps with stronger, healthier bones. This can reduce the risk of bone-related issues later in life, such as osteoporosis.
  • Metabolic Health: Protein is known to increase satiety, helping children and adolescents feel fuller for longer periods. This can help prevent overeating and promote balanced eating patterns, which contributes to overall metabolic health.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Gluten free tuna steaks with cilantro and avocado are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. This is important for heart health, brain health, and eye health … all of which are crucial for our growing kiddos! 

Are you searching for other great dinner recipes that are high in omega-3’s? Check out our Lemony Salmon with Kale and Cabbage!

Magnesium in Gluten Free Tuna with Cilantro and Avocado

Sources of Magnesium

If your kiddo has celiac disease like mine, you may be watching to ensure that they get in enough magnesium. This mineral is vital for energy production and muscle function. If your child gets constant muscle cramps or fatigues easily, that may be a sign their diet is low in magnesium.

The good news is that this gluten free tuna is topped with avocado, which is an excellent source of magnesium! If your kiddo is anything like mine and eats half an avocado, at minimum, they are getting in about ¼ of their daily requirement! 

Of course, magnesium needs increase with age so you need to be sure to include other sources of magnesium like nuts and seeds, whole gluten-free grains, dairy products, bananas, and leafy green veggies, too! 

But I Heard I Need to Limit Tuna?

While it is true that we need to watch our intake of gluten free tuna due to mercury levels, we don’t need to avoid it completely! 

What is mercury? 

Mercury is a heavy metal that can accumulate in fish. When consumed in excess, it can be harmful to humans, especially to developing nervous systems in children and babies.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests limiting tuna consumption for children and pregnant women. Generally, light canned tuna has lower mercury levels compared to albacore tuna and/or tuna steaks. The recommended guidelines for children and adolescents are:

  • Toddlers, 1-3 years old: No more than 1 ounce per week
  • Children, 4-7 years old: No more than 2 ounces per week
  • Children, 8-10 years old: No more than 3 ounces per week
  • Adolescents, aged 11 and older: No more than 4 ounces per week
  • Pregnant women should also limit their consumption of high-mercury fish to 4 ounces or less to ensure the safety of their developing baby

It’s All About Balance!

While this gluten free tuna with cilantro and avocado can be an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and magnesium, it’s essential to balance it with a varied diet. Be sure to include other sources of seafood and high-quality protein like chicken, beans, tofu, and dairy products.

Balanced Diet

Recipe

Gluten Free Tuna Steaks with Cilantro and Avocado

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: gluten free tuna
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • rice cooker
  • sauté pan
  • 9×9 glass baking dish
  • food thermometer (optional, but good to have)
  • measuring cup, solid
  • measuring spoons
  • spatula
  • bowl or measuring cup (to mix sauce)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice (I like to do ½ brown rice and ½ white rice)
  • 1 cup water (for rice; if you are using any brown rice, add ⅔ cup extra water)
  • 4 tuna steaks
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped (about 2 big handfuls)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated or chopped
  • 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 limes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt, to taste (I like to use a course ground sea salt for this recipe)
  • pepper, to taste (I like to use freshly ground pepper for this recipe)
  • ¼ cup sesame oil (2 tbsp will be used for cooking and 2 for sauce)
  • 2 avocados, sliced (our family LOVES avocado so we always need 2-3!)
  • 1 bunch asparagus (you can use any veggie that your family loves as a side!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • garlic salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425℉.
  • Preheat your sauté pan.
  • Put your rice and water in the rice cooker and hit start.
  • Cut the asparagus and toss with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper in your 9X9 baking pan. Cook in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
  • Drizzle 2 tbsp sesame oil in sauté pan. When the oil is hot, carefully place tuna steaks in the pan. Coat with salt and pepper.
  • While one side of the tuna steaks are cooking, prepare the sauce. Combine 2 tbsp sesame oil, ginger, garlic, lime juice, gluten free soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and cilantro.
  • Flip your tuna steaks when the first side is well seared and has a slight golden brown crust. Season the second side with salt and pepper and pour ½ of the sauce mixture over the tuna.
  • When the second side has seared, remove your tuna steaks from the pan and top with avocado slices and a drizzle of the sauce mixture. Serve with your finished rice and asparagus.

Notes

If your family likes tuna, you can utilize any leftovers and make the most flavorful tuna! Just add in any extra sauce, a little mayo and/or avocado, and mix with a fork. We love to eat this with crackers for lunch the next day.
Tips for picky eaters:
  • You can always serve the sauce and avocado on the side. 
  • You can easily swap out olive oil for the sesame oil. 

About the Author

Dru Rosales

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