Dietician's Tip: To turn this into an appetizer, shape the mix into meatballs, saute lightly and serve with cocktail picks.
- 2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups fine-grind bulgur
- 1 1/2 pounds very lean ground (minced) beef
- 1/4 cup very finely chopped pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 16 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes, or metal skewers
For the sauce:
- 2 cups fat-free plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
In a blender or food processor, puree the onions. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-cup measuring pitcher, pressing firmly with a rubber spatula or the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juice. Discard the solids. To the onion juice, add the lemon juice and enough water to measure 1 1/2 cups liquid. In a large bowl, combine the onion juice mixture and the bulgur and soak for 10 minutes. Add the beef, pine nuts, garlic, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and pepper to the bulgur and stir to mix well.
Using a little less than 1/3 cup for each kebab, form the beef mixture into 16 sausage links, each about 4 inches long and 3/4 inch in diameter. Thread onto the skewers. If the mixture is too crumbly, add water 1 tablespoon at a time, just until it holds together. Cover the prepared skewers and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler (grill). Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lemon zest and mustard. Cover and refrigerate.
Place the kebabs on the grill rack or broiler pan. Grill or broil the kebabs, turning as needed, until evenly browned, about 8 minutes. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce and garnish with the cilantro.
Nutritional analysis per serving
Serving size: 2 kebabs
- Calories 371
- Cholesterol 5 g
- Monounsaturated fat 3 g
- Saturated fat 2 g
- Sodium 5 g
- Total carbohydrate 4 g
- Dietary fiber 8 g
- Protein 31 g
- Serving size 2 kebabs
- Total fat 11 g
- Dairy foods (low-fat or fat-free) 1
- Grains and grain products 2
- Meats, poultry and fish 3
- Vegetables 1
- Carbohydrates 1
- Protein and dairy 2 1/2
- Vegetables 1
- Meat and meat substitutes 3
- Nonstarchy vegetables 1
- Starches 2