Another new year and another round of resolutions are upon us. If you’re like most people, you reflect back on the last year, or years before, and think of the resolutions that somehow you didn’t quite achieve. In fact statistics show that less than ten per cent of us actually achieve our resolutions year over year. And after six months, less than half of us are still sticking to our resolutions. So knowing the odds are against us, how do we possibly stick to our plan? Well if your resolutions involve health and nutrition, Registered Dietitian Lois Ferguson offers some tips. “Planning your meals a week at a time is a great way to ensure you’re sticking to your program,” she says. “This way you can ensure you’re working in healthy options and good nutrition for every meal.” Ferguson also suggests adding foods high in nutrients to your meal plan, such as fresh blue cultured mussels. “Fresh mussels are such a great option for healthy meals,” she says. “They are packed with vitamins and nutrients while being low in saturated fat. They are also fun and easy to prepare – a nice bonus for the busy cook at home.” “By planning your meals in advance you’ll know what food you need to purchase, like picking up fresh mussels a day or so before you’re ready to serve them. So having a plan will also save you time at the supermarket.” Ferguson suggests adding Mussel Soup a La Chummie to your meal plan this winter.
- 4 lb fresh cultured blue mussels
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine (chicken, vegetable, or fish stock may be substituted)
- 1 can chopped or crushed tomatoes (28 oz undrained)
- 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 pinch pepper, to taste
- 1 pinch parsley for garnish, chopped
- Rinse the fresh blue mussels fresh blue mussels in tap water, scrubbing and removing the beard. Discard any mussels that do not close when tapped. Set aside remaining mussels. In a heavy soup pot or dutch oven heat the butter and olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion; cook until the onions have softened, about 4 minutes. Add the wine (or stock), tomatoes, lemon juice, basil, and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add fresh blue mussels, cover, and then cook for about 7 minutes longer, or until mussels have opened. Throw away any mussels that did not open. Check seasoning and adjust as required. Serve in warm soup bowls, with a sprinkle of chopped parsley in each bowl.
“Farmed mussels are a fun and easy-to-prepare addition to any meal plan,” says Linda Duncan, Executive Director of the Mussel Industry Council. “Making a weekly meal of fresh mussels routine is a great step towards sticking to a healthy plan for 2011. Our mussels are a green seafood – another reason to be guilt free.” The Mussel Industry Council website (www.discovermussels.com) is home to great tips on how to cook and prepare mussels, and plenty of fantastic recipes to add to your meal plan. Also featured on the website is a chance to win a trip for two to San Francisco.