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Bobby Deen goes Mediterranean with portion-controlled lamb kabobs and healthy hummus

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Bobby Deen continued his challenge of remaking mom Paula's classics this week when he decided to makeover her rack of lamb via lamb kabobs and couscous salad on The Cooking Channel's Not My Mama's Meals.

Bobby Deen has found health for himself, and has been a force in challenging his mom, Paula Deen, to get healthy. But, as he admits, he will always love his mother’s food, and issues a challenge for himself each week on The Cooking Channel: Recreate Paula Deen’s classic recipes with healthier versions, getting rid of the fat and calories, but keeping the taste. This week on Not My Mama's Meals: a makeover of his mom’s classic rack of lamb.

Going with a Mediterranean menu to include lamb kabobs and healthy hummus, Bobby visited Chef David Johnson at Café Mogador to learn about making hummus. Together, they made fresh hummus.

“You know, I don’t know why more people don’t make hummus at home fresh,” Bobby said after his lesson. “It’s just a few really simple ingredients and a food processor. And,” he added, “not only is it light and not very fattening, it’s actually good for you.”

Could not agree with him more, although there are some really great ready-made hummus choices out there, typically in the deli section of your area market. But, if you would like to give your own hummus a try—and it really is very simple to do in your own kitchen—here is Chef David Johnson’s recipe from Café Mogador:

YIELD: 4 servings.
LEVEL: Easy.

1 pound dried chickpeas
1/2 cup tahini
4 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more if desired
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
4 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste in a mortar and pestle
1 tablespoon olive oil


Soak the chickpeas in water for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Drain the chickpeas and cook on low heat until they get really soft. Combine the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, pepper and garlic. Put it in a food processor and process until the hummus is creamy. Top with the olive oil.

That’s all there is to fresh hummus!

On to the Main Event

Instead of his mother’s rack of lamb (800cal/55g fat per serving) as his main course, Bobby chose to make lamb kabobs, cutting the fat to 28g and 660 calories per serving. After tossing the lamb in a marinade of olive oil, fresh mint, cumin, salt, coriander, pepper, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice, Bobby started on his favorite couscous salad as a side—cutting the calories and fat from Paula Deen’s couscous salad (360/18g) to 190 calories and 6 grams of fat per serving by cutting the cheese and oil in half and using whole wheat couscous. After grilling the kabobs, Bobby and his guest gave his Mediterranean menu a try, and it was pronounced a complete success, with a dip of cucumber yogurt provided by Café Mogador; a Honey Walnut Custard Pie added to the menu by Bobby’s guest (Rachel McBride, owner of the Blue Stove Bakery); and Bobby’s Frozen Ouzo Daiquiri rounding out the evening.

And Paula?

“This is not baaaaaaaaaaad,” she told her son as she chowed down on the finished product (yes, bad lamb joke, but coming from everybody’s favorite Southern cook, it was funny).

For all of the recipes featured on Not My Mama’s Meals, “Taste of the Mediterranean,” visit The Cooking Channel online.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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