Minty chicken kebabs a summer treat

These chicken kabobs were inspired by the unique cuisine of the island of Cyprus.

Easy to prepare, tasty and full of nutritional goodness, these kebabs are the perfect dish to kick off the summer.

The minty dressing makes these delightful kebabs even more special.They were inspired by the wonderful eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which has long been a crossing point between Europe, Asia and Africa. It's not surprising, then, that Cypriot cuisine is a unique blend of many influences.

Marinating the chicken ensures flavorful and juicy kebabs. The blend of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, oregano, garlic and parsley produces the perfect marinade.

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Pureed mint and peas give the side dressing an attractive pastel green base. Mint is plentiful during summer and has health-protective phytochemicals. Peas, one of summer's first crops, lend a light earthy quality and healthy fiber to the dressing. Protective garlic, a hint of cumin, and refreshing lemon juice round out this summer dressing.

You can get a jumpstart on this great dish by marinating the chicken overnight. Then simply assemble the kebabs the following day and serve with a garden salad dressed with a basic vinaigrette.

To add a side of seasoned black beans, all you have to do is saute some finely chopped green onions and diced tomato along with minced garlic. Mix this with cooked beans and heat through. The result is a healthy, colorful and appetizing meal.

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Cypriot Chicken Kebabs

Marinade ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (spicy brown may be substituted)

• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chicken ingredients:

• 12 ounces chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into 12 even pieces

• 1 zucchini, cut into 8 slices

• 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces

• 8 cherry tomatoes

Dressing ingredients:

• 12 fresh mint leaves

• 1 cup frozen peas, cooked

• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 1/4 teaspoon cumin

• Juice of one lemon


Whisk together marinade ingredients and set aside 1 tablespoon for basting later. In shallow dish, cover chicken with marinade until well coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

Using four kabob skewers, arrange 3 pieces of chicken and 2 pieces each of zucchini, pepper and tomatoes per skewer. For easier grilling, start and end each skewer with chicken. Coat grill lightly with oil to prevent sticking. Place skewers on medium-hot grill. Turn frequently and brush with reserved marinade. Cook for 18 to 25 minutes or until juices run clean. Cooking time will depend on size of chicken pieces and temperature.

An alternative cooking method is to pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place skewers on shallow baking dish on center rack and bake 10 minutes, baste and turn over. Baste and bake for additional 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

For dressing, place ingredients in food processor or blender. Puree and set aside. After removing kabobs from grill, let stand 5 minutes. Serve with dressing on side.

Servings: 4

Nutrition information per serving: 200 calories, 8 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 10 g carbohydrate, 21 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 105 mg sodium.

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