Pecos Pitas with Pistachios

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A recent report on heart health of pistachios prompted us to seek out some great dairy-free pistachio recipes.  For the best results, we went straight to the source … the California Pistachio Commission!

This entree can be made vegan or ominivorous depending upon the filling you choose. 

Ingredients:

VEGETARIAN FILLING:
1 can (11 oz.) Mexicorn, drained
2 medium Zucchini, diced (1/2 pound)
1-2 tablespoons Canned diced green chilies (or jalapenos, if preferred)
1 cup Coarsely chopped California pistachios
Cumin Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Iceberg lettuce leaves
1 large Tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup Canned black beans or red kidney beans
4 Pita pocket breads

CHICKEN FILLING:
2 cups Shredded cooked or canned chicken
½ cup Coarsely chopped California pistachios
Lime Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
4 Pita bread rounds
1 cup Julienne pared jicama or pared, seeded cucumber
1 Avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
½ cup Bottled roasted red pepper or pimiento, cut into strips

Instructions:

VEGETARIAN PITAS:

Toss corn, zucchini, chilies and 3/4 cup pistachios together with half the Cumin Vinaigrette. Warm pita pockets in 350 degrees F. oven for about 3 minutes, then halve and fill each half with lettuce, tomato slices and 1/3 cup corn mixture. Add a spoonful of beans to each. Place on plates; drizzle remaining dressing over filling and sprinkle with remaining pistachios.

Cumin Vinaigrette:

Combine 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cumin seed in measuring cup. Stir vigorously to blend.

CHICKEN PITAS:

Toss chicken with half the pistachios and enough Lime Vinaigrette to moisten. Warm pita pockets in 350 degree F. oven for about 3 minutes, then halve and fill with chicken mixture. Add jicama, avocado and red pepper. Place on plates; drizzle remaining vinaigrette over filling and sprinkle with remaining pistachios.

Makes 8 servings.

Lime Vinaigrette:
Mix 1 cup lowfat or nonfat bottled Italian salad dressing with 1 tablespoon grated lime peel and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Shake to blend.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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