Chicken Pistachio Roll-ups

6 servings.

6 Boneless, skinless half-breasts of chicken
12 ounces Fresh spinach, washed and stems removed
2/3 cup Part skim-milk ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1/3 cup Coarsely chopped, natural American pistachios
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Chopped, fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
Cherry tomatoes for garnish


Heat oven to 375˚F. Loosen the fillet piece from each half-breast; open up like a book so breast lays flat. Flatten each breast to 1/4-inch thickness. Season with pepper. Cover and cook 3 cups spinach until wilted (refrigerate remainder for garnish). Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain again. Pat dry and flatten with paper towels. Place breasts skinned side down. Cover each with an even layer of spinach. Mix remaining ingredients and spread evenly over spinach to within 1/4-inch of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from the shortest end. Arrange in lightly oiled baking dish, seam down. Cover with foil. Bake until chicken is opaque, about 18 to 24 minutes. Refrigerate 3 hours. To serve, cut each roll in 1/2-inch thick slices; arrange on reserved spinach leaves. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!