Healthy and Sane

Coconut and basil steamed mussels

January 5th, 2012 · 27 Comments · 20 minute meals, Cooking Light, favorite recipes, mussels

It’s January 5, 2012. While I hear the gyms are packed (like they are every year in January) and every show on the Food Network seems to be about healthy recipes (btw, although olive oil is deemed a healthy fat, its use still appears to be a little too liberal in those healthy recipes), for me – 2012 so far has just been a number I’m not used to typing Smile I’m still on track with my P90X workouts (at home, away from crowds – LOVE) and I am no stranger to healthy cooking. Those chocolate cravings, which need constant “attending to” (read: feeding)? Yup those are still there too.

I wonder how many people really wake up on January 1 and find themselves with a list of resolutions that require immediate action. Do they have a clear plan? Are they overwhelmed? Do they have a good support system to help them? I hope so!


I’m the kind of person that attacks goals with intensity. I research, I plan, I write out mile-long to-do lists and schedules and then I go at it. This is how I’m approaching my new business (I promise to share the details with you – very soon!) and it’s been exhilarating (so exhilarating in fact that I am having trouble falling asleep thinking of a million different things I could offer and cute little touches that would make me unique). The best part? I get to eat my “research.” Open-mouthed smile [Ok some of it, unfortunately my extensive research in the logo design process has been inedible, and more expensive than originally anticipated. If only I could pay designers in cookies… or mussels. Ha!]

Coconut and basil steamed mussels is a Cooking Light recipe I’ve had bookmarked since June 2009. Mussels are such a fun protein to make and healthy to boot! It’s high in protein, low in fat and calories and when made right – so juicy, plump and delicious. I also love how these little guys absorb whatever broth you cook them in. They turn into little sponges of flavor. Yum!!


I doubled the amount of mussels the recipe called for (they normally come in 2lb bags – why not cook the whole thing?) and added a few good handfuls of fresh baby spinach (together with the basil) for good measure. Adding baby spinach to pretty much everything is one of my favorite ways to sneak extra veggies in! The spinach soaked up some of the yummy broth as well. Awesome!

This broth was creamy and slightly spicy and had a bit of Thai flare. We loved it with big hunks of bread to soak up more broth. A quick, restaurant-worthy, healthy meal right at home! Red heart


Those white dots, by the way, are salt. I guess I got really up close and personal with the mussels Winking smile

Do you feel the effects of the new year? Are you overwhelmed, excited or just indifferent?

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27 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Megan

    I love throwing baby spinach in everything too. It’s so easy and cooks so quickly. This mussel dish sounds tasty!

    Contrary to what might be on my blog, I have actually been eating pretty healthfully since the start of the new year. I have some small goals for myself, but I know I’m not good with resolutions so I slowly plod along and try not to make too big of a deal out of it.

  • #2 - Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    I vowed to lose weight in November. By New Year’s, I was about 40-50% there, so I actually find the “be healthy” vihe everywhere helpful for me to stay the course.

    • #3 - Elina

      I just wish it wasn’t limited to January… we should strive to be healthy all year long :)

  • #4 - Michelle

    I’m not really into resolutions but being healthy is something I’m mindful of all year long.

    BTW, LOVE these mussels!

  • #5 - Jess

    OMG, I loooooove mussels but have always been scared to death to try them at home – this looks so good and not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. You’ve inspired me to give it a shot, yum!

    PS. Can’t wait to hear what this new business is all about! SO COOL!

  • #6 - Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    Exciting news abo9ut your new ventures! These mussels look great, and I often turn to them at restaurants when I feel snacky. You get to keep going back for more, but they’re still (relatively )good for you!

  • #7 - Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

    The mussels look fabulous, and I’m more excited than ever to hear about you new business venture!

  • #8 - Rachel @Healthy_Chicks

    mmmm I love mussels! The new year hasn’t really hit me yet…I don’t really know WHAT to think. But as each new year comes, I can’t help but think: what are my goals? What did I get done this past year? What do I want to achieve this year?

    I’m not happy or sad this year… just determined to make this year even better than the last I suppose.

  • #9 - Asmita

    I have yet to work with mussels but my daughter really wants me to make them. These look so yummy!

  • #10 - shannon

    not a fan of mussels, but the pictures sure are pretty :)

  • #11 - Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    Your mussels look fantastic! Isn’t food-related research fun? :-)

  • #13 - inna

    while this really isn’t my kind of thing, your photos are seriously mouthwatering. and beautiful ( good job sista).

    how are you liking the P90x? would i die if i tried it?

    • #14 - Elina

      I like it a lot (I’ll blog about it when I’m done). You wouldn’t at all. Some things are quite challenging at first (like abs, omg) but they do get easier… although maybe phase 2 + 3 are killer. We’ll see.

  • #15 - Kelly

    I adore mussels. I only wish the bags they came in were smaller because unless I am making them for friends there is no way I can eat them all in one go.

    I personally LOVE new year’s resolutions. For the past few years I’ve been making a habit of spending time writing them out and giving myself an action plan. I too like to attack them with enthusiasm, but I try not to go overboard and burn out.

  • #17 - Marina

    If you want a cheaper logo, go to 99design, it’s a crowd sourcing website for anything design related. Good luck with your new adventure!

    • #18 - Elina

      Have you ever used them? They are actually one of my top contenders!

      • #19 - Marina

        I am a designer myself, but I recommend that site to the clients who look for cheaper alternatives. You will have options to choose from and you get to name your own price. You can also post this as a project on craigslist- payment could be in cookies, money or for free (portfolio piece for designer).

  • #21 - Emily A.

    This post makes me wish with all my heart that I wasn’t allergic to seafood! Do you have any ideas on what I could use in place of mussels?

    • #22 - Elina

      This broth could go well with lots of veggies or even chicken or tofu. Just make sure to cook your proteins first!

  • #23 - Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic

    Happy New Year, Elina! Looking forward to hearing more about your business :)

    I’m not big on resolutions, but I am pretty excited to see what 2012 will bring!

  • #24 - Linda

    This is a bowl full of love! I love mussels and this broth sounds fabulous! I like the spinach and basil combination. I’m definitely excited to start a new year which is pretty much how I feel every new year!!

  • #25 - Kerstin

    I love mussels! What a great idea to add spinach. Can’t wait to hear all about your business plans!! :)

  • #26 - Kristy

    I can’t even begin to describe how good this looks. Mussels are a family favorite around here and these look phenomenal. Yum!