Some of you might have guessed I’m a bit of a control freak. Fine, not just a bit. Maybe like, a lot a of a control freak. I take lots of care and pride and making sure that my nutritional calculations are accurate for both my own sake and yours (which is why I’m obsessed with my food scale.)
I am happy to say, however, that I found some great recipes for mussels over at Eating Well, and these folks do a great job with providing nutritional content. I chose a recipe for Thai Red Curry Mussels that involved a garlicky coconut milk-based broth, and seeing how low in calories and carbs it was, I decided to add a serving of rice noodles to each portion. The recipe calls for garnishing with Thai basil. I knew there wasn’t a glimmer of hope that I’d find that in my regular grocery stores, so I intended to substitute cilantro – unfortunately, they were all out of that too. And so I went with mint, a bit begrudgingly, but it actually turned out fantastically. The only changes I made were to add some grated fresh ginger and a cup of chicken broth in order to create more sauce for the noodles, but next time I would also go heavier on the curry paste.
Thai Red Curry Mussels
Slightly adapted from Eating Well, changes shown in purple text
2 teaspoons peanut oil, or canola oil (I used olive oil)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (I used two, even for half the recipe)
2 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste (I used one heaping teaspoon for half the recipe, but would definitely use more next time)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce, (see Note)
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
6 cups trimmed watercress, (1-2 bunches) or trimmed spinach (I used spinach)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish (mint works fabulously!)
Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallion whites, lime zest, ginger, and curry paste to taste; cook until fragrant and the paste is sizzling, 1 to 3 minutes. Add lime juice, coconut milk, brown sugar, fish sauce, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes.
Add mussels, return to a simmer, cover and cook for 6 minutes. Spread watercress (or spinach) over the mussels, cover and cook until slightly wilted, about 4 minutes; stir into the mussels. (Discard any mussels which haven't opened.) Serve garnished with scallion greens and basil.
Nutrition Per serving (original recipe, with additions of ginger, broth, and noodles):
273 calories; 13 g fat (6 g sat, 2 g mono); 48 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 1 g fiber; 582 mg sodium; 438 mg potassium.