Monday, March 8, 2010

Mussel Power

By Brianne Harrison

When I need to do a quick, lean, satisfying meal at any time of the year, I find myself grabbing a bag of mussels. Mussels are rather brilliant creatures. They’re inexpensive, cook in minutes, and practically create their own sauce. They can be eaten on their own, in a white wine sauce, or with chopped tomatoes and herbs. Like chicken, the possibilities are nearly endless, but this is my favorite preparation:

Steamed Mussels
1 lb mussels, cleaned and debearded
½ yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
a few sprigs of thyme

Pick over the mussels and discard any that are open and don’t close when lightly tapped.

In a large pot with a lid, heat just enough olive oil to cover the bottom over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for a minute, until the onion starts to take on a creamy color.

Add the mussels, white wine, and thyme. Cover the pot and let steam for about 5-7 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally. Check the mussels; if they’re open, they’re done.

I usually serve this over whole-wheat spaghetti, with some garlic bread to sop up the juices. If you want a slightly more robust sauce, remove the mussels from the pot after they’re done and whisk a knob of butter into the juices.

Healthy Roundup
Mussels are fairly low fat and are good sources of protein, vitamin C, Thiamin, riboflavin, folate, potassium, zinc, vitamin B12, iron, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.

Garlic has been said to reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins B6 and c and a good source of selenium

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