Monday, September 6, 2010

Turkey Kofta & Quinoa Tabouli

These kofta kabobs are so flavorful, cheap and healthy! Using ground turkey instead of ground lamb or beef is light on your pocketbook and your waistline! I know, you are probably thinking, "how could turkey replace the delicious lamb?!" Believe it or not, there is so much flavor in these from all of the herbs and spices that you barely even taste the lamb if you use it, so it makes perfect sense to substitute it with the turkey!

I love serving this with tabouli because the lemony salad is so refreshing next to the spiciness of the kabobs. I usually use bulgar (a whole wheat kernel) as the base for my quinoa, but this time I decided to use quinoa instead. Quinoa is a South American grain-like crop and is one of the healthiest things you could ever put in your belly! It is a complete protein, so it has all of the essential amino acids residing within. It is mainly grown for its edible seeds and they are so adorable because when you cook them, they spiral out and look like little sea creatures!

Turkey Kofta Kabobs
2 lbs. ground turkey
6 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons onion, grated
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
1.5 tablespoons ground coriander
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garam masala (use cinnamon if you don't have this spice in your cabinet)
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and fold together. Be careful not to "mash" or "squish" the meat might be tempted to just throw the spatula down and mash it all together with your hands, but your kabobs will be juicier and tastier if you fold all of the ingredients together instead. Grab about two heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture (no need to measure, just eyeball) and form into a ball. Then roll back and forth between your palms to make a log shape. Place on the grates of your pre-oiled grill and grill for about 5 minutes per side. Your kabobs may take shorter or longer depending on your grill, but be careful not to overcook them or they will lost their lovely texture and yummy juices!

Quinoa Tabouli
3 cups water
1.5 cups dry quinoa
pinch of salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
juice from two lemons
1 large tomato, diced
1 medium cucumber, diced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped small
3 cups chopped fresh parsley
ground pepper to taste

Bring water to boil and add pinch of salt. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Fluff quinoa with fork. Add remaining ingredients and stir together. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour before serving to cool down and allow flavors to marry.

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