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Celebrate the start of spring with sauteed lamb

By Linda Gassenheimer • Mar 29, 2018 at 7:00 AM

With thoughts of spring, tender lamb gently sauteed and served with fresh mint rice is a perfect quick dinner.

Cubes of lamb cut from the leg are best for this recipe. You may have to ask the meat department to cut the lamb for you. To save time, go to the meat department first and ask for lamb cut from the leg or for shish kabob lamb.

You can do the rest of your shopping while they prepare your order.

This dish works best with a light tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes. Ripe plum tomatoes are the best type to use at this time of year.

Fresh mint with cool cucumbers gives the rice a bright flavor and crunchy texture.

Helpful Hints:

— To save washing an extra bowl, mix the yogurt sauce for the rice in a serving bowl. Then simply toss cooked rice right in the same bowl.

— A quick way to chop mint, is to wash, dry and snip the leaves with a scissors right off the stem.

Countdown:

— Prepare rice.

— While rice boils, prepare other ingredients.

— Complete rice dish and then sauté lamb.

Shopping List:

To buy: 3/4 pound defatted, lamb cubes (cut from leg), 6 to 8 ripe plum tomatoes, 1 bottle dried rosemary, 1 package microwave brown rice 1 cucumber, 1 bunch fresh mint and 1 carton nonfat, plain yogurt.

Staples: olive oil, garlic, salt and black peppercorns.

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SPRING LAMB SAUTE

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

3/4 pound defatted, lamb cubes (cut from leg)

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 to 8 ripe plum tomatoes, diced (2 cups)

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary

Remove visible fat from lamb and cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes. Heat oil in a medium, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb pieces. Brown on all sides for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste to the browned lamb. Lower heat to medium and add tomatoes, garlic and rosemary. Sauté 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 312 calories (41 percent from fat), 14.3 g fat (4.1 g saturated, 5.9 g monounsaturated), 108 cholesterol, 36.3 g protein, 9.6 g carbohydrates, 3.4 g fiber, 120 mg sodium.

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CUCUMBER RICE

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 package microwave brown rice (1 1/2 cups cooked)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 medium cucumber diced, (1 cup)

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup nonfat, plain yogurt

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Microwave rice according to package instructions. Measure 1 1/2-cups rice and reserve remaining rice for another time.

Meanwhile, mix cucumber, mint and yogurt together in a serving bowl. Add the cooked rice and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 262 calories (21 percent from fat), 6.3 g fat (0.8 g saturated, 3.4 g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 7.1 g protein, 45.3 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, 43 mg sodium.

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(Linda Gassenheimer is the author, most recently, of “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook,” “Delicious One-Pot Dishes” and “Quick and Easy Chicken.” Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer)

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©2018 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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