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Kebabs: Healthy Food on a Stick

Corn dogs, ice cream, and lollipops aren’t the only foods you can eat on a stick. There are also kebabs, a Middle Eastern import. In the US, kebabs are food (usually meat) cooked over a grill or in the oven on a stick or skewer made of wood, bamboo, metal, or, in some cases, a branch of rosemary, lemongrass, or other woody, flavorful herb.  Our Chef Laurie Wolf has even put veggies and dessert on skewers to go with the delicious lemongrass chicken and shrimp-asparagus main dish recipes presented here.

Lemongrass Chicken Kebabs

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

8 stalks lemongrass, or 8 metal or wooden skewers
3 large boneless chicken breasts cut in 1- to 1½-inch chunks
2 lemons, sliced
8–12 whole mini peppers, poked through with a skewer if using lemongrass stalks  1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon finely chopped bell pepper 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon fresh, minced Pinch of salt 8–12 lettuce leaves (romaine, Boston, or red or green leaf)

Directions

1. Preheat the grill.

2. Place the chicken, lemons, and mini peppers on 8 lemongrass stalks or metal or wooden skewers, alternating to your liking.

3. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, and salt. Stir well.

4. Grill the kebabs until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Wrap the chicken and peppers in the lettuce leaves and serve the sauce on the side. (Eating the lemon slice is optional.)

Serves 4. Per serving (2 kebabs): 275 calories, 15 g fat, 25 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 36 g protein
Curves Complete: Enjoy 1 serving for lunch or dinner on Phase 1 or 2  2 tablespoons of avocado & 2 tablespoons of hummus on 1/4 pita bread

Shrimp and Asparagus Kebabs

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

40 large shrimp (about 2 pounds), peeled and cleaned
20 spears asparagus, sliced in 1- to 2-inch pieces
16 scallions, cut in pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
4teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup salsa

Directions

1. Preheat the grill.

2. Arrange the shrimp, asparagus, and scallions on 16 skewers. Brush with the oil and drizzle with the lemon juice. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

3. Grill the kebabs until the shrimp are cooked and the asparagus are just tender. Serve with the salsa.

Serves 4. Per serving (4 kebabs): 275 calories, 9 g fat, 14 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 33g protein
Curves Complete: Enjoy 1 serving over 1/2 cup cooked quinoa or lunch or dinner on Phases 1 and 2

Note: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.

Grilled Eggplant and Plum Tomatoes

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes

1 medium eggplant, cut into chunks
8 plum tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
Pinch of salt
8 basil leaves, shredded

Directions

1. Preheat the grill.

2. Thread the eggplant and tomatoes on 8 skewers. Brush with the oil and sprinkle with the oregano and salt.

3. Grill the kebabs until the eggplant is cooked and tender and the tomatoes are soft and browning. Top with the basil.

Serves 2. Per serving (2 kebabs): 224 calories, 14 g fat, 24 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 5 g protein
Curves Complete: Enjoy for lunch or dinner on Phase 1 or 2 with bruschetta; one slice whole wheat toast topped with 1 oz. mozzarella cheese, (part-skim).

Note: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.

Grilled Skewered Fruit

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large banana, sliced and brushed with lemon juice
1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
4 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
4 teaspoons light agave syrup
2 tablespoons fresh mint, shredded

Directions

1. Preheat the grill.

2. Place the pineapple, banana, and mango on 8 skewers. Brush with the oil and sprinkle with the cinnamon. 

3. Grill the kebabs until golden brown and tender. 

3. Sprinkle with the coconut, drizzle with the agave syrup, and top with the mint.

Serves 4. Per serving (2 kebabs): 154 calories, 5.5 g fat, 28 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein
Curves Nutrition Program: Enjoy 1 serving as a 200 calorie snack with 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt. Or, enjoy 1 kebab with 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt as a 100-calorie snack on any phase.

Note: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.  

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