Got moules? (And other healthy meal ideas.)

In this post: (1) Coconut and Basil Steamed Mussels (2) Champagne-Browned Butter Chicken (3) Apple and Rosemary Pork Roulade (4) Tuna Scaloppine with Onion, Mint, and Almond Topping

Moules (French for “mussels”) have got to be one of my absolute favorite weeknight meals.  Not only are they a light meal, but there are an infinite number of ways to make the broth that you steam them in.  Pair a tasty broth with some nice, crusty bread and you’ve got yourself a beautiful, simple meal. (Dare I call it comfort food? It is in my house, at least!)

Anyhow, I found this tasty recipe in one of my old Cooking Light issues:

Coconut and Basil Steamed Mussels

Yield: 2 servings

Cooking Light Magazine, June 2009


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
  • 24 mussels (about 1 pound), scrubbed and de-bearded
  • Thinly sliced basil (optional)


  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in coconut milk and next 7 ingredients (through Sriracha); bring to a boil. Add mussels to pan; cover and cook 5 minutes or until shells open. Discard any unopened shells.
  2. Remove mussels from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving broth mixture. Divide mussels between 2 serving bowls; keep warm. Bring broth mixture to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Pour 1 cup sauce over each bowl. Sprinkle with sliced basil, if desired.

The recipe says you can pair it with some steamed spinach and scallion rice.  To make the scallion rice: Combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup jasmine rice, 1 teaspoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 thinly sliced green onion in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 308
  • Fat: 15.1g
  • Saturated fat: 6.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 3.2g
  • Protein: 25.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 19.4g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 54mg
  • Iron: 8.8mg
  • Sodium: 996mg
  • Calcium: 75mg

Moules aside, here is some other deliciousness to try for dinner this week (also courtesy of Cooking Light magazine, my dietary bible):

Champagne-Browned Butter Chicken

Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 1 drumstick, 1 thigh, 2 carrots, about 2/3 cup mushroom mixture, and about 2 tablespoons sauce)

Cooking Light Magazine, October 2012


  • 2 slices center-cut bacon
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs, skinned (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 6 bone-in chicken drumsticks, skinned (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, halved
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 4 shallots, halved
  • 3/4 cup no-salt-added chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 12 baby carrots with tops
  • 1 cup Champagne
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp; remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Reserve bacon for another use. Place 2/3 cup flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dredge chicken lightly in flour; shake off excess flour. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon oil to drippings in pan; swirl to coat. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken.
  3. Add potatoes to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in brandy. Cook until liquid almost evaporates (about 30 seconds), stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan. Add shallots and stock; bring to a boil. Place peppercorns and next 3 ingredients (through parsley) on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges; tie with butcher’s twine. Add bundle to pan. Bake, uncovered, at 300° for 15 minutes.
  4. Trim carrot tops to 1-inch; scrub carrots. Add the carrots to pan. Bake an additional 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is done. Remove chicken and vegetables from pan; keep warm. Discard herb bundle. Place pan over medium-high heat. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook until mixture reduces to 2/3 cup (about 11 minutes).
  5. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook butter 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add butter mixture to reduced wine mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve with chicken and vegetables. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and thyme.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 464
  • Fat: 16.9g
  • Saturated fat: 5.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 3.1g
  • Protein: 35.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 39.2g
  • Fiber: 3.1g
  • Cholesterol: 123mg
  • Iron: 4.2mg
  • Sodium: 658mg
  • Calcium: 40mg

Apple and Rosemary Pork Roulade

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 3 ounces pork and 2 tablespoons sauce)

Cooking Light Magazine, October 2012


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup prechopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped Fuji apple
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup no-salt-added chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 3 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, apple, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add vinegar and rosemary; cook 1 minute. Place apple mixture in a small bowl. Wipe pan clean.
  3. Slice pork lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying pork flat. Starting from the center, slice each half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side; open so pork is flat. Place plastic wrap over pork; pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle evenly with 3/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spread apple mixture on pork. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion.
  4. Return pan to medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork, seam side down; cook 4 minutes or until browned, carefully turning occasionally. Place pan in oven. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 145°. Remove pork from pan; let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
  5. Return pan to medium-high heat; add stock, cider, mustard, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Serve over pork.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 181
  • Fat: 4.1g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g
  • Protein: 24.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.6g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 74mg
  • Iron: 1.3mg
  • Sodium: 343mg
  • Calcium: 17mg

My two cents:  Feel free to change up this stuffing any way you see fit.  (Maybe apple and rosemary isn’t your thing.)  I’ve made this with Stouffer’s stovetop stuffing in the middle before.  You can stuff it with spinach and cheese, broccoli and cheese, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs – the roulade is quite customizable.  Not every option is low-cal but hey – “cheat days” are part of every successful diet. 🙂 

Tuna Scaloppine with Onion, Mint, and Almond Topping

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 fish slices and 2 tablespoons almond mixture)

Cooking Light Magazine, July 2010


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 (6-ounce) sushi-grade Shiro/Magura Yellowfin tuna steaks, each split in half horizontally
  • Cooking spray


  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Sprinkle fish evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 4 fish slices; cook 1 minute on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Repeat procedure with remaining fish. Serve with almond mixture.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 277
  • Fat: 9.7g
  • Saturated fat: 1.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2g
  • Protein: 42g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.2g
  • Fiber: 1.3g
  • Cholesterol: 77mg
  • Iron: 1.8mg
  • Sodium: 354mg
  • Calcium: 58mg

5 thoughts on “Got moules? (And other healthy meal ideas.)

  1. Pingback: Mini Mussels; Mighty Meal | I dream of poutine

  2. Pingback: Mini Mussels; Mighty Meal | I Dream of PoutineI Dream of Poutine

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