These mussels are a great way to start a meal. Mussels are also a surprisingly good source of vitamin C.
2 thick slices of whole grain bread, dried out overnight or well toasted
1 garlic clove, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 tsp (5 mL) capers, drained, rinsed, and chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup (80 mL) white wine
2 lbs (1 kg) mussels (about 30 mussels), scrubbed and debearded
1 lemon, cut into wedges
In food processor, pulse whole grain bread, garlic, and pepper until coarse crumbs form. Stir in cheese and set aside.
In bowl, stir together tomatoes, capers, parsley, lemon zest, and oil until well combined. Set aside.
In large pot, bring white wine to a boil over high heat. Add mussels, cover, and steam, shaking pot occasionally, until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard any mussels that have not opened. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard top half of each mussel shell. Discard wine and mussel broth, or freeze to add to soups or sauces. Arrange remaining half shells containing mussel on baking sheet or in large ovenproof serving dish in single layer.
Top mussels with tomato mixture then sprinkle with bread crumb mixture. Broil mussels, watching closely, until bread crumbs are golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges alongside for diners to add a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.
Each serving contains: 168 calories; 20 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 11 g carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 1 g fibre); 492 mg sodium
source: "Shellfish", alive #364, February 2013
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.
Treat yourself to a steak dinner, using tofu instead of meat. The tangy chili-spiked marinade does double-duty as a finishing sauce and transforms otherwise bland tofu into a dish that’ll sound your taste buds’ fire alarm. Bird’s eye pepper would be a good substitute for habanero if needed. Dousing the fire If you find yourself with a mouth on fire after taking a bite of a chili-infused dish, don’t try to douse it with water. Instead, reach for a glass of milk. The protein casein in dairy is known to help subdue the flame. Water won’t help nearly as much.