Brain Food Recipe: Steamed Mussels

Image courtesy Flickr/Jeff Kubina

This simple dish can be prepared in minutes. Mussels boast one of the highest concentrations of B12 in nearly any food. Mussels are also a great source of trace nutrients like zinc, iodine, and selenium—all of which are needed for a smooth-running brain. This preparation works great with clams.

Serves 12 per person.
Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes.


12 mussels per person
2 cups white wine
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion, diced


Thoroughly rinse clams or mussels in cold water to remove any sand. Then rinse them once more for good measure, as there often seems to be a little sand leftover no matter how well you rinsed. Discard cracked or opened mussels. Remove the “beards” with your fingers. Place the mussels in a large pot. Cover with wine, water, butter, onion and seasonings or flavoring (see below) of your choice. Liquids in the pot should not completely cover clams or mussels, but rather come up to about the halfway mark. Cover the pot and cook over high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until all clams or mussels are open. Discard any closed shells, as they may not be cooked well enough inside to eat them safely.


2 jalapeno peppers or other favorite chile peppers, finely diced (wear plastic gloves when handling)


1 handful parsley, finely diced
2 links, chorizo sausage, cut coarsely


2 tablespoons tarragon
3 Thai chile peppers, finely diced

As seen in The Happiness Diet

Drew Ramsey, MD

Drew Ramsey, M.D. is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is a clear voice in the mental health conversation and one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using nutritional interventions. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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