Belgian cuisine can be a bit hit-and-miss if you’re trying to add lean muscle. Carbonnade? Fantastic. Chips with mayonnaise? Not so much. But one dish of Belgian origin you should most definitely add to your bulk-building eating regime is moules marinière. In addition to offering high levels of muscle-building protein, these crustaceans are also rich in bone-strengthening manganese and sleep-improving selenium.
The MF-enhanced recipe below – provided by Michelin-starred chef Adam Gray – also swaps the traditional cream for vitamin B12-rich natural yogurt to give you an extra energy boost. Adam Gray is executive chef at Skylon in London.
Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (serves 1)
1.5kg mussels in shells, cleaned and beards removed / 1 bay leaf / 100ml dry white wine / 4 shallots, peeled and sliced / 20g unsalted butter / 2tbsp natural yogurt / 25g curly parsley, roughly chopped
Wash the mussels in a pot under cold running water. If any of the mussels float, discard them. Press the shells of any open mussels together with your fingers and if they don’t close, discard them.
Heat the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and bay leaf and soften for one minute.
Add the mussels and wine cover the pan tightly with a lid and cook for four to five minutes until the mussels have all opened. Stir in the yogurt and parsley and serve.
Add these extra ingredients to your moules for bonus health benefits
Artichoke hearts provide fibre, which improves digestion, says functional medicine consultant and personal trainer Aaron Deere kxlife.co.uk
Celery provides B vitamins, which help to boost immunity, says sports scientist Laurent Bannock guruperformance.com
Garlic provides sulphuric compounds that reduce inflammation, says performance nutritionist Nick Morgan awordonnutrition.com
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Between 2010 and 2016, Ben was the deputy editor of Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Ben also contributed exclusive features to Coach on topics such as football drills, triathlon training plans and healthy eating.