Sue Bedford MSc Nutritional Therapy
Enjoy this nutritious and delicious Mediterranean tray bake and get a great dose of ‘vitamin sea’ along with many other key nutrients to help supercharge your health and fertility. Here is the low down on just a few of the main ingredients in this tasty dish.
Are you partial to prawns? good news if you are as they are a great source of protein and are low in fat, making them an excellent health and fertility food. Prawns are high in omega 3 fatty acids, iodine, selenium, zinc, vitamin D, and A, as well as significant amounts of vitamin B12, B6, and niacin. They’re also rich in iron, which aids in the production of red blood cells.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant that has many important functions in the body, from immune support, to skin health- the list is long! But when it comes to fertility, alongside the vitamin C (which helps to protect the egg and sperm from oxidative stress caused by free radical damage) tomatoes contain Lycopene. Lycopene is a naturally occurring carotenoid. The main food source of lycopene for many being the tomato. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants, and provide red, yellow and orange colour to fruit and vegetables. They have an important role in that they protect the cells of the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Courgettes are packed with nutrients such as folate, vitamin C, zinc, iron, various B vitamins, fibre and magnesium. They contain anti-inflammatory properties and are also linked to helping regulate blood sugar levels – both of which are important in relation to fertility.
Who loves red peppers? Do you know that a cup of chopped red bell pepper contains more than 3 times more vitamin c than an orange? They are also a great source of beta carotene -the plant precursor to vitamin A.
Mediterranean Vitamin Sea Prawn Tray Bake (makes 4 portions)
400g King Prawns
8 garlic cloves, whole
2 large onions, quatered
1 courgette, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
225g baby plum tomatoes, halved or 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp of fresh parsley chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
100g feta, crumbled
How to make:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and gently cook for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more, then stir in the tomatoes, courgette, red pepper and vinegar. Season, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened.
Stir in the parsley, then transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish. Scatter over the prawns and feta. Bake for around 8-9 minutes, until the prawns are cooked through. Serve with some quinoa, a piece of sourdough or why not make some cauliflower rice? Enjoy!