B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds.
Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment.
Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately.
Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag.
Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
In small bowl or glass, place saffron threads and hot water. Allow saffron “tea” to steep for 20 minutes.
In large stock pot, heat olive oil, shallots, and garlic on medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes, until shallots are soft. Add sliced fennel and salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more on medium. Turn heat up to medium-high, while stirring fennel constantly, and add wine. Reduce heat to medium and add saffron tea, vegetable stock, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low if contents of pot begin to boil. After 20 to 25 minutes, broth will be rich and aromatic. With heat on medium, add mussels, cover, and allow to steam for 2 minutes, or until mussel shells open.
Pour broth into large serving bowl and, using slotted spoon, place mussels on top. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and parsley and serve with crusty bread and lemon wedges.
A satisfying plant-based dinner or packed lunch, quinoa and beans add filling protein, while greens, cucumbers, roasted veggies, and a probiotic-rich dressing bring texture and flavour. Try it with a creamy plant-based cheese on top, or goat cheese for non-plant-based eaters. Mix and match Use this recipe as a guideline. Add in your go-tos such as chopped walnuts or hemp hearts, pitted sliced dates, roasted cauliflower, and crumbled feta (plant-based, if desired).
Brown rice and two varieties of lentils cook in one pot with broth, coconut milk, and simple spices. Nourishing spinach and sweet green peas bring this meal to life. It’s true sunshine in a bowl for those cold winter nights. Main grains White basmati rice, short-grain brown rice, quinoa, or millet can be used in place of the brown basmati rice. Try a mixture of grains for added nutrition and taste (e.g., millet and basmati rice, quinoa and millet, and so on).
Sprouted tofu and mushrooms soak up a delicious tamari marinade before being baked along with prepared vegan potstickers and bok choy. A tasty sauce, sesame seeds, and a bed of whole grains to serve tie everything together. Adjust the heat level of this dish in the sauce or at the table so kids can partake. Salad swap Once cool, the tofu mixture can be served on a bed of crunchy romaine for a packable lunch that’ll spark office envy. Keep the sauce on the side and dress right before serving.
Canned beans are braised with cherry tomatoes, fennel, and health-boosting spices, making for a satisfying topping for whole grains, sprouted wheat pasta, or sourdough bread. A refreshing side of creamy cucumber salad makes this meal feel whole. This is a great excuse to experiment with a new-to-you spice. What is berbere? Berbere is a spice blend from Ethiopia that can include warming ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, along with fruity coriander and cardamom, black pepper, chili peppers, garlic, paprika, cumin, and fenugreek. Grocery stores now carry the spice blend, but it’s also readily available online.