Mediterranean Pocket Sandwiches * Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
1/2 pound ground American lamb
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
2 Tbsp. bottled Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
3 large pita bread rounds, split crosswise and heated

In a small bowl combine tomato, cucumber, and Italian salad dressing. Cover and chill. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook lamb and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and lemon pepper; mix well. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until heated through; stir occasionally. Stir in feta cheese. To serve, spoon some of the lamb filling and tomato mixture into each pita pocket. Makes 3 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 249 calories 10 g total fat 42 mg cholesterol 542 mg sodium

Southwestern Lamb Stir-Fry * Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes

12 ounces boneless American lamb (leg or shoulder), cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium green pepper, cut into thin strips (1cup)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings (1 cup)
1 can (8 3/4 ounces) whole baby sweet corn, drained
1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup green chili salsa
2 Tbsp. dry taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded lettuce
4 flour tortillas, warmed
Toppings: shredded cheese, sliced black olives, sour cream, or guacamole

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. (Add more oil as needed during stir-frying.) Add garlic; stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add onion; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until pepper is crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from the wok.
Add lamb; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or to desired doneness. Return vegetable mixture to wok. Stir in tomatoes, salsa, and taco seasoning mix. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until heated through.
To serve, place shredded lettuce over warm tortillas. Top with lamb mixture and desired toppings. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 345 calories 11 g total fat 57 mg cholesterol 967 mg sodium

South-of-the-Border Lamb Shanks * Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time 1 1/2 hours
4 American lamb shanks (3 to 3 1/2 pounds total)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 package (1.25 ounces) dry taco seasoning mix
1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, drained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add lamb shanks, onion, and garlic. Cook in hot oil until meat is brown on all sides and onion is tender. Stir in water, undrained tomatoes, celery, and taco seasoning mix. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until shanks are tender. Stir in kidney beans, pinto beans, and cilantro or parsley. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes more. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving; 551 calories 21.1 g total fat 105 mg cholesterol 802 mg sodium

Patrick's Irish Lamb Soup * Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking time: 60 to 65 min.
1 1/2 pounds stew meat, trimmed of all fat
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer or 3/4 cup water
1 tsp. seasoned pepper
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) beef broth
1 package (.93 ounces) brown gravy mix
3 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley, optional

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add lamb cubes and onion. Cook and stir in hot oil until lamb is brown. Drain off fat. Stir in beer or water and seasoned pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Stir in beef broth and gravy mix. Add potatoes and carrots. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in cabbage; cook just until cabbage turns bright green. Ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 264 calories 11 g total fat 58 mg cholesterol 422 mg sodium

Carbonnades (Belgian beer stew)

3 pounds lean boneless lamb chuck (shoulder) sliced 1/2- by 2-inches
1 tsp. salt (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 pound lean sliced or slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 cups sliced onions (about 1 pound)
1/2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups (16 ounces) beer, preferably dark or full-flavored beer
1 cup beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350º. Season the strips of lamb with pepper, and salt, if desired. In a heavy 4- to 5-quart casserole or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat. Brown the lamb in the hot oil, a handful at a time, turning the strips frequently . As they brown, transfer the pieces of lamb to another dish, and brown the remaining lamb the same way, adding more olive oil if necessary.
Drop the bacon strips into the fat remaining in the casserole and, stirring frequently, cook over moderate heat until the bits are brown and crisp; remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Pour all but about 1/4 cup of bacon fat from the casserole. Add the onions to the casserole. Stirring frequently, cook over moderate heat for about 15 minutes, or until the onions are clear and browned. Add the garlic and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.
When the flour is completely absorbed, pour in the beer and 1/2 cup of the beef stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Add the parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and sugar, and return the beef and any liquid that has accumulated around it to the casserole. Stir in the bacon. The liquid should completely cover the meat; if necessary add up to 1/2 cup more of the stock. Cover tightly and place the casserole in the middle of the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the lamb is tender. Just before serving, stir in the vinegar and taste for seasoning. Serve at once, directly from the casserole or from a large heated bowl. This stew is served with boiled potatoes. Serves 9-12.

Nutrition per serving: N/A

Tunisian Baked Lamb and Cheese with Peppers

1 pound lean boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
3 medium-sized firm ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 medium-sized green bell peppers, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. crushed hot red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
6 eggs, slightly beaten

Toss sliced lamb with the cinnamon, salt and black pepper. in a heavy 2-inch skillet, warm 3 Tbsp. of the oil over high heat. Brown the lamb in the hot oil. Pour in just enough water to cover the lamb (about 2 cups) and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly and scraping in the brown particles that cling to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes. Remove the lamb to a 3-quart baking dish. Skim off the fat from the sauce and set aside.
In a heavy 10-to 12-inch skilled, warm the remaining 3 Tbsp. of oil over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until clear and slightly brown. Stir in the tomatoes, green peppers, red pepper flakes, cumin, cayenne, coriander and the remaining 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and, stirring from time to time, simmer for about 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated.
Preheat the oven to 350º. Add the vegetable mixture to the lamb and stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. When the mixture is well blended, stir in the beaten eggs. Bake uncovered in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Heat the reserved lamb sauce briefly in the skillet and serve separately in a heated bowl or sauceboat.

Nutrition per serving: N/A

Morrocan Lamb and Rice stuffed Zucchini
Serves 4 to 6

6 medium zucchini, 7-to 8-inches in length
1/2 pound lean ground lamb
1 cup finely chopped onions
6 Tbsp. cooked rice
2 eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. finely cut fresh mint leaves, or substitute 1/2 tsp. crumbled dried mint
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/ 8 tsp. ground red pepper
1/8 tsp. ground mace
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
4 medium-sized firm ripe tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Wash the zucchini; cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the the inside of the zucchini with a small melon baller, leaving a 1/2 inch shell. In a deep bowl, combine the lamb, 1/2 of the onions, the rice, eggs, parsley, mint, cumin, pepper, mace and salt. Mix well, until smooth. Stuff the zucchini with the lamb mixture, dividing it evenly among them.
Warm the oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over moderate heat. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of onions and zucchini pulp; cook for about 5 minutes, until they are soft and slightly browned. Stir in the tomatoes, water and pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat. In a 13x9x4 baking dish, arrange the zucchini in one layer on top of the tomatoes, and spoon the liquid over them. Bake in a 350º oven for about 45 minutes, or until the zucchini are tender. To serve, arrange the zucchini attractively on a heated platter and pour the tomato sauce over them.
Nutrition per serving: N/A

Nancy's Lazy Pastisio

2 lbs. lean ground lamb
olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. gr. pepper
1 tsp. gr. cinnamon
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 lb. med. button portobella mushrooms, chopped
1 sm. can sliced black olives
3 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 28. can chunky vegetable spaghetti sauce
16 oz. large shell pasta

1 jar garlic alfredo sauce
1 quart part-skim riccotta cheese
1 8 oz. pkg shredded 5 cheese mix
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

Brown the lamb in small quantites over med. heat, using a small amount of olive oil in the skillet. Pour spaghetti sauce in 8 quart pot, on low heat (simmer). When each batch of lamb is done, transfer to the pot with a slotted spoon. Discard fat. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet and add the onions and mushrooms. Cook in a covered skillet until the volume is reduced to about one-third (well caramelized). Add the onions and mushroom to the meat sauce. Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, oregano, thyme and olives. Simmer while the pasta cooks.

Cook the pasta in 4 qts. rapidly boiling water until al dente, about 12 minutes. Add to sauce pot.

Mix together alfredo sauce, ricotta cheese, and nutmeg in a separate bowl.

Pour the pasta sauce/pasta mixture into a 9 x 12 baking dish. Pour alfredo sauce mixture over the first mixture. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Serves 16.

Nutrition value: N/A

*from ASI

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