Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

This recipe is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

This is NOT a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.


"The only thing I've done that I wasn't proud of doing was Slim Fast."
-Lauren Hutton, Actress (speaking about advertising she has done)

The refrigerator light goes on...

I love mussels and they are so great for you. You can add them to almost anything and this quinoa is a great example. Steam them and add them to the broth at the last minute.


Most mussels that are available now are grown on mussel farms. They are cultivated on long ropes along coastlines and in tidal pools or bays. The most common variety is the blue mussel. These are dark blue with the shells ranging sometimes to almost black. They are usually 2 – 3 inches long but I like to purchase smaller mussels. I think they are sweeter than the larger ones.

Greenshell New Zealand mussels are now widely available in America. They are slightly larger and have a striking emerald green shell. The flesh is softer and the flavor soft and subtle.

Mussels, like all live shellfish, are best kept as cold as possible. I buy mussels only at fish counters where the other fish appears fresh and is kept well chilled. Look for clean mussels with tightly closed shells – open shells indicate that the mussel is dead. Don't buy mussels with chipped or broken shells.

Cook mussels the day that you buy them. They can be stored overnight or longer in the bottom of the refrigerator inside strainer set over a bowl. Place some ice on top of the mussels and change it frequently to keep them as cold as possible.

Because most of the mussels are now farm raised on ropes they are not as likely to be gritty and don't need cleaning like clams (see Give up the grit). They will often still have a “beard.” These are the “byssal threads” that mussels use to anchor themselves to rocks and such (or the rope when they are farm raised). Remove it by pulling toward the hinge not the open end of the mussel.

4 ounces mussels = 97 calories, 2g fat, <1g sat fat, <1g mono fat, 13g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 324mg sodium, 32mg cholesterol



Mussels with Quinoa and Olives

Servings = 1 | Serving size =1 lb. mussels with quinoa and sauce

Cooking Time = 30 Minutes

This recipe can be multiplied by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

This recipe does not make very good leftovers.

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 large onion (diced)
4 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
6 small black olives (quartered lengthwise)
1/4 cup quinoa
3 1/2 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 lb mussels (cleaned and scrubbed)
1 tsp unsalted butter

Place the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and olives. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the quinoa, stir and add 2 1/2 cups of water, salt, pepper and marjoram. Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a simmer. Stir occasionally.

After the quinoa has cooked for about 20 minutes, place the remaining cup of water in a medium sauce pan over high heat, bringing it to a boil. Add the mussels and steam until open. Remove from the heat.

Add the butter to the quinoa mixture, then remove the mussels from the shell and add to the quinoa. Add 1/4 cup of the mussel broth. Stir and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size = 1 lb. mussels with quinoa and sauce

Servings = 1


Amount Per Serving

Calories 394 Calories from Fat 135
  % Daily Value
Total Fat 15g 24%
    Saturated Fat 4g 20%
    Monounsaturated Fat 7g  
    Trans Fat 0g  
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 740mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
    Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
    Sugars 7g  
Protein 20g  
Vitamin A 26% Vitamin C 49%
Calcium 10% Iron 40%
Vitamin K 14 mcg Potassium 968 mg
Magnesium 141 mg