Pistachio Pesto

2 cups basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 cup pistachio kernels
½ cup olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 grind black pepper

Place basil leaves, garlic cloves and pistachio kernels in a food processor. Process until smooth, leaving just a bit of texture. With the food processor’s motor still running, slowly sprinkle in olive oil through the feed tube. Add Parmesan cheese and a grind of black pepper.  Process to combine. Pesto will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

To store Pesto for a later date or upcoming party, transfer pesto to an ice cube tray. Cover the tray and freeze. When frozen, pop out the cubes into a freezer-safe bag and seal. Store in the freezer until ready for use. Thaw in the refrigerator the night before intended use. Makes 1 cup.

2 Tbps. = 30 grams, 157 calories, 4 g protein, 4 g carbs, 2.9 mg cholesterol, 15 g total fat (2.4 g sat, 2.5 g monounsat, 2.9 g polyunsat)

Pistachio Chicken Salad

3 cups canned chicken chunks (or boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped)
1 cup red seedless grapes, sliced
2 tsp. scallions, minced
2 Tbsp. fat free mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. fat free sour cream
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ cup unsalted pistachios, chopped

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly to evenly distribute. Serve atop your favorite whole grain bread or atop a bed of mixed greens. Makes 6 servings.

½ cup = 94 grams, 179 calories, 10 g protein, 13 g carbs, 10.4 mg cholesterol, 10.8 g total fat (1.5 g sat, 5 g monounsat, 3 g polyunsat)

California Style Pistachio Salad


1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp. orange juice (~ 1 orange, freshly squeezed)


3 cups mixed greens
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and sliced
1 tart apple, quartered and sliced
½ cup blue cheese, crumbled
½ cup shelled pistachios

For the dressing, mix together the ingredients with a wire whisk. Let set to mellow flavors. Wash and dry the mixed greens and divide equally among 4 salad plates. Divide chicken, apple slices, blue cheese, and pistachios over salad. Drizzle dressing over each. Makes 4 servings.

Dressing: 2 Tbsp. = 29 grams, 15 calories, 0.3 g protein, 3.3 g carbs, 0.1 g total fat

Salad: 416 calories, 29.8 grams protein, 24.2 g carbs, 7.4 g dietary fiber, 24.3 g total fat (4.5 g sat, 11.7 g monounsat, 6.5 g polyunsat)