Photo courtesy of Good Food

Welcome to 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet, our new blog series! It’s no secret that eating the Mediterranean way helps with heart health and weight loss. But fast-paced modern living makes it hard to stick to any diet, which is why each 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet post will feature a healthy Mediterranean recipe.

I’ll be honest: I’ve never been a huge fan of mussels, but this recipe made me change my tune. It’s spicy with the right level of umami and depth. Plus, as you know, mussels are mollusks, a type of shellfish that is incredibly popular in coastal areas of the Mediterranean. And for good reason.

Mussels contain lots of vitamins and minerals while remaining naturally low in fat and calories. Omega-3, omega-6, amino acids, iron, manganese, zinc* – and the list goes on and on. Take a star ingredient like mussels and add the spicy, smoky flavors in this recipe and you’ve got a home run.

Mussels with Tomatoes & Chili
From BBC Good Food
Makes 2 servings


2 ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic glove, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 red or green chili, deseeded and finely chopped
Small glass dry white wine
1 tsp tomato paste
Pinch of sugar
1kg cleaned mussels
Handful of basil leaves

Prep & Cook

  1. Put the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water, leave for 3 mins, then drain and peel.
  2. Quarter the tomatoes and scoop out and discard the seeds using a teaspoon. Roughly chop the tomato flesh.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the garlic, shallot and chili, then gently fry for 2-3 mins until softened.
  4. Pour in the wine and add the tomatoes, paste, sugar and seasoning (mussels are naturally salty so take care with the salt). Stir well and simmer for 2 mins.
  5. Tip in the mussels and give them a stir. Cover tightly and steam for 3-4 mins, shaking the pan halfway through, until the shells have opened.
  6. Discard any shells that remain shut, then divide the mussels between two bowls and add the basil leaves. Provide a large bowl for the empty shells.

* Saba. 19 Amazing Health Benefits of Mussels. Stylecraze.