“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” - Walt Disney

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

February Flashback: Cooking Part 2

Tuesday night's dish was another one from the Weight Watchers Points Plus Cookbook - this time a lamb dish: Lamb Chops with Fruited Couscous Salad.  I'm a big fan of couscous and actually use it quite frequently in my cooking because it's so easy, and I love love love lamb!  I was so excited to see this slightly middle eastern slant on chops in a Weight Watchers cookbook!

Lamb Chops with Fruited Couscous Salad (serves 4) 
1 c whole wheat couscous

3 fresh apricots, pitted and chopped (when apricots are out of season, substitute a Gala or Honeycrisp apple, cored and chopped - I had to use the apple)

3 tbs fresh or dried currants (I substituted reduced-sugar-Craisins b/c my store was out of dried currants)
2 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbs fresh mint, chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs honey
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
4 (4oz) bone-in loin lamb chops, about 3/4 in thick, trimmed 

1. Prepare coucous according to package directions, omitting fat and salt (omit salt if desired).  Fluff with fork and let cool completely.

2. Combine lemon zest and juice, honey, oil, 1/4 tsp of the salt, cilantro, and mint in a small bowl.  Transfer couscous to a medium bowl and add apricots/apple, currants/craisins, and herb dressing mixture.  Toss to combine.

3. Sprinkle lamb chops with remaining 1/4 tsp salt.  Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat.  Add lamb chops and cook, turning once, until interior of chop registers 145 on a thermometer for medium (about 8 minutes).  Serve lamb with couscous. 

Per Serving (1 chop with generous 3/4 c couscous): 255 calories, 7g fat, 32g carbs, 5g fiber, 19g protein.

I'll admit that I'm not a fan of cilantro, so I was a little hesitant to use it and briefly contemplated leaving it out - but wanted to maintain the integrity of the recipe - so I put it in.  And I'm so glad I did!  There was no overwhelming cilantro flavor and it mingled well with the mint and lemon in the dressing and counterbalanced the sweetness in the fruit!  As noted in the recipe above, I had to substitute a honeycrisp apple for the apricot this time of year, and my store was out of dried currants so I had to grab a package of reduced sugar Craisins and use those instead.  I was not disappointed in my substitutions at all - in fact, I LOVE this salad and will definitely be making it again!  I threw in a mixed green salad with fat free balsalmic vinegrette and another glass of nonfat milk (yup, we're a house of milk drinkers!) ... and ... voila!  Healthy yumminess!!!

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