By Linda Gassenheimer McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Barbecued, skewered lamb, called souvlaki, is sold as a quick meal on many street corners in Athens. A simple Greek marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic flavors the meat. The best cut of lamb for kabobs comes from the leg. If not on display, ask for them at the meat counter.
Lentils in the lentil and rice pilaf don’t need to be soaked and contain more protein then dried beans. If pressed for time, serve a side dish of microwaved brown rice with the lamb instead of the pilaf.
This meal contains 545 calories per serving with 12 percent of calories from fat.
Souvlaki (lamb kabobs)
1/2 pound lamb cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
8 cherry tomatoes
2 metal or wooden skewers
Preheat broiler or stove top grill. Remove visible fat from lamb. Mix lemon juice, oil, oregano and garlic together. Add lamb and marinate 15 minutes. Remove lamb from marinade and discard marinade. Thread onto skewers alternating with the green bell pepper and tomatoes. If using a broiler, line a baking tray with foil and place kabobs on tray. Or, place on preheated stove-top grill. Broil or grill 5 minutes. Turn and cook 5 more minutes. A meat thermometer should read 145 for medium-rare. Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 179 calories (32 percent from fat), 6.3 g fat (2.2 g saturated, 2.5 g monounsaturated), 72 mg cholesterol, 24.1 g protein, 6.0 g carbohydrates, 2.0 g fiber, 78 mg sodium.
Lentils and rice pilaf
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup lentils
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine chicken broth and water in a skillet. Bring to a boil. Add rice and onion. Bring back to a boil. Rinse lentils and slowly add to the boiling liquid so that it continues to boil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. If liquid runs dry, add more water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Makes 2 servings.
Per serving: 367 calories (2 percent from fat), 0.9 g fat (0.2 g saturated, 0.2 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 18.8 g protein, 71.7 g carbohydrates, 16.3 g fiber, 83 mg sodium.
(Linda Gassenheimer is the author, most recently, of “Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table” and “The Flavors of the Florida Keys.” Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter lgassenheimer. lindadinnerinminutes.com)