Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mussels with Rice

This is a really easy one-pot meal - the kind we all love - that is simply delicious and very nutritious.

WHY ARE MUSSELS GOOD FOR YOU?

"Mussels are an inexpensive, sustainable shellfish that gives a boost to your immune system and your brain"

  • Mussels have the most impressive nutritional content of ALL shellfish containing high levels of B12, iron, zinc and calcium; ALL of the things that can be lacking from meatless diets.  They are also a good source of protein.
  • They contain high levels of long chain fatty acids EPA and DHA that have many beneficial effects, including improving brain function and reducing inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.
NOTE: It seemed timely to include a recipe like this today as new advice from the World Health Organisation is in the news for announcing the results of its findings into the correlation between cured meats/red meat and colo/rectal cancers. What did the research show; well, if you eat 50grams of processed meat (bacon, salami, frankfurters etc) every day or a total of 350 grams per week - your risk of colon cancer goes up by 18% - which is a lot! Too much red meat is not good either and we should be having less than 500 grams per week of beef/pork/lamb.  

All not good - so put away the bacon and get yourself some mussels because somehow you need to be getting all of the essential food elements in your diet from other sources if you don't want your health to suffer.  Deficiencies in B12, iron, zinc and calcium can be a concern for vegetarians; particularly B12 and iron - vital vitamins and minerals for the health of blood cells and nervous system; this can be a particular problem for pregnant and menstruating women - anaemia being all too common a problem for many women friends of mine.

Mussels with Rice (to serve two people)

1 kilo fresh mussels - fortunately these now come cleaned and de-bearded in vacuum packed bags that keep for a few days and are grown in environmentally sustainable and clean environment.  Discard any opened mussels.
3 tbsp olive oil 
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red capsicum, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 long red chilli, chopped
2 cups long grain rice
750 ml fish stock
Handful fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1.  Heat oil in large pan and sauté onion
2.  Add chopped capsicum, chilli and tomatoes and cook for few minutes
3.  Add rice and stir around until rice becomes slightly glassy.
4.  Add stock and let simmer for 5 minutes.
5.  Add washed mussels and cook for further 10 minutes with lid on until rice is cooked and mussels are open.  By this time all of the liquid should have been absorbed.
NOTE:  You may have to stir it a few times to prevent it burning but a bit of golden crust on the bottom is quite desirable - I believe there is a special name for this in Spanish cuisine, which is the inspiration for this dish.
6.  Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and a simple salad.



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