Beef Kofta Kabobs with Lemon Tahini Dressing

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I’m all about simplifying wherever and whenever possible. That goes in the kitchen and elsewhere. If it’s complicated or upsetting, you won’t do it or at least not for long. Your health and fitness journey should be simple too. Would it surprise you that I have several weight loss clients that don’t weigh themselves? We choose to track progress in other ways like performance during workouts, how clothes fit, energy levels, measurements.

The choice is always up to them, but I often suggest it if I get the strong feeling that they’re a scale watcher or they’ve been dieting for extended periods of time. Because they’re so used to diets involving weigh ins, most times their initial reaction is “What?!” but then I explain my reasoning. I used to have some clients not weigh themselves for the first month. We’d have weekly check ins where they raved about how great they felt, measurements changing.

Some said they were getting compliments from others and they fit into a size they hadn’t worn for a while. Then weigh in day came and they emailed that they had only lost X pounds and they weren’t making progress. All that great stuff that we’d spent weeks going over was out the window because expectations (whatever they were) of a number weren’t met. Everything we had raved about was still there regardless of the number displayed and they were still that same person fitting into new clothes and getting compliments.

If this is a lifelong change and you are learning new habits that you plan to sustain for life, then the scale shouldn’t factor into your self worth or minimize all the progress. There are numerous ways to track progress and the scale is just one of them. If it’s going to mess with your mind, stay off it and use other methods. Even if you are sure you’ve lost weight and are excited to get on, I suggest staying off. Feelings either way shows the power it holds over you.

Keep on fitting new clothes, feeling great and accepting compliments because that means way more in the grand scheme of things than that number blinking at you from between your feet. 🙂

This week I wanted something different than the standard burgers, pasta sauce, or meatballs and I’d already thawed ground beef. I love kefta patties so I decided to whip up a slightly different version of my old recipe. Yes, I don’t even follow my own recipes the next time around. LOL, shameless. Kefta is ground beef mixed with spices and fresh herbs, shaped into balls or cylinders, skewered and grilled.

It’s called kefta, kofta, kafta and a few other variations depending on the language you speak. The ingredients also vary as well as whether you’ve got balls (LOL! I had to.) or cylinder shaped patties, and if you include a starch in them.  These are great with warm pita bread wrapped around them. Have you tried my own homemade pita recipe?

Beef Kofta Kabobs with Lemon Tahini Dressing Beef Kofta Kabobs with Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • 1/2 cup (72g) cooked brown rice
  • 1/3 cup (50g) diced yellow onion
  • Small bunch of fresh mint (approx 4 sprigs)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 16 oz 93/7 ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp (14g) tahini
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp cashew milk (see notes)
  • 1 medium cucumber (approx 200g), sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes (approx 300g)

Preheat your broiler and line a cookie sheet with foil. Combine the rice, onion, mint, water and spices in a food processor or Magic Bullet, and pulse until smooth. Mix with the ground beef and form into 8 meatballs. Press the meatballs around metal skewers to form kabobs. I put two meatballs on each skewer. I recommend pressing them into an oblong shape instead of a ball as you stick them on. This will allow them to cook faster since they aren’t as thick.

Place the skewers on the cookie sheet and broil them approximately 6 inches from the heat for 3 minutes, turn them and broil the other side until they are cooked thoroughly. Remove from oven. In a small bowl, mix the tahini, lemon juice, and cashew milk until well blended. Arrange the cucumbers and tomatoes on a platter, and drizzle with the tahini dressing. Add the kabob skewers and serve.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 250 calories – 26g protein, 14g carbs, and 10g fat.

Notes

  • The recipe I started with this week was from a different culture so it uses skewers and actually had quinoa. Being lazy, I opted for brown rice since that was cooked and in the fridge.
  • The fresh mint was leftover from a seared trout recipe I made. You can also use it in a radish rhubarb spring slaw or in a protein shake.
  • Since The Kid has a dairy allergy, we couldn’t use the traditional greek yogurt in the tahini sauce. I used cashew milk. If you prefer the real thing, use 2 Tbsp of non-fat plain Greek yogurt instead and add just a tiny splash of water to thin it to a dressing.

I post lots of tips, workouts, and recipes on Facebook throughout the week so if you want, stop by and join in the fun and let me know if you learn something new. We can simplify (AKA Quest-ify) together.

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