A rich, succulent cut of lamb with an earthy spice rub and rice maintain a good nutrition profile. The spices add flavor to the lamb with no additional fat and negligible sodium, while the prudent three-ounce serving size of meat keeps fat in check. Serving this entrée with a spiced rice rounds out the meal. One serving of this dish offers about one-fourth of your daily saturated fat allotment. Plate with steamed haricots verts.
1 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (1 1/2-pound) French-cut rack of lamb (8 ribs)
1 teaspoon olive oil
How to Make It
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; cook 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add rice and next 3 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Keep warm.
Combine salt and next 6 ingredients (through pepper). Brush lamb with oil, and rub with salt mixture. Place lamb on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes, turning once or until a thermometer registers 145° (medium-rare) to 160° (medium). Let stand 5 minutes before slicing into chops. Serve lamb with rice.
Wine note: Lamb—even spicy lamb like this—is one of the most flexible meats when it comes to wine. It goes with just about every major red varietal. That said, when spice plays a key role, as it does here, I love to choose a thick, rich, spicy red that will both mirror the spiciness of the dish and act as a soft, thick backdrop. An Australian shiraz is perfect. And since this is a special, fairly expensive cut of meat, I've chosen a wine worthy of it: Penfolds St. Henri 2003 from South Australia, $ —Karen MacNeil