Snack Like a Pro!

Denver Broncos and New England Patriots nutrition experts, give snack tips.



By Chef Robert Del Grande

1 pound

2 cups Pistachio nuts
2 Ripe avocados
¼ White onion: finely diced
1 Serrano chile: stemmed, seeded & minced
½ cup Cilantro sprigs
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon Coarse salt
¼ teaspoon Black pepper


¼ cup Pistachio nuts: crushed or finely chopped
Cilantro sprigs
Lime wedges
Tortilla chips

Lightly toast the pistachio nuts. Finely chop or process in a food processor.

Seed and peel the avocado. Dice the avocado.

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. With a spoon, stir the mixture while lightly mashing the avocado. Do not over process – the mixture should have a slightly coarse texture.

Transfer the PistachiomoléTM to a serving dish. Sprinkle the surface with the crushed Pistachios. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and lime wedges. Serve with tortilla chips.

Antebellum Benne Crackers with Pistachio Hummus & Country Ham

By Chef Sean Brock

Suggested Pairing: Mint Julep, Sauvignon Blanc, Aromatic Belgian Style Beer .

7 to 8 dozen.


Benne Crackers

2 cups Anson Mills French Mediterranean White Bread Flour
1 cup Anson Mills Antebellum Bennecake Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2/3 cup Chilled lard
1 cup Anson Mills Antebellum Benne Seed
2/3 cup Cold milk
Fleur de sel for sprinkling

Pistachio Hummus

2 cups Pistachios, shelled
1/2 cup Water
2 tablespoons Tahini
2 tablespoons Fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Espelette pepper
1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
2 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped rough
3 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Parsley, chiffonade


For the Benne Crackers

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpats™ or parchment paper.

Watching carefully, toast the benne seeds in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until light brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Spread them out on a baking sheet to cool.

Sift the White Bread Flour, Bennecake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cut the lard in with two forks until it is the size of peas. Fold in the benne seed. Stir in the milk.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it comes together, about 3 minutes. Divide it into 3 parts. Working 1 piece of dough at a time and keeping the surface lightly floured, roll the dough out in a paper-thin circle. Prick it all over with a fork and cut out rounds with a 2-inch cutter. Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle them lightly with the fleur de sel.

Bake the wafers about 8 minutes, until golden brown. Halfway through, switch the sheets top to bottom and rotate them front to back them to ensure even baking. Remove the wafers to a wire rack to cool. They will keep for up to five days in an airtight container.

For the Hummus

In a large saucepan over high heat, add the pistachios and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes or until they soften. Drain and reserve on the counter top.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add the pistachios, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, espelette and garlic. Process until smooth, about 4 minutes. Slowly incorporate 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

When ready to serve sprinkle the top of the hummus with the paprika, the remaining olive oil and the parsley. Serve with thinly sliced county ham and the benne crackers.

Crispy Lamb Belly with Pistachio Chimichurri & Butter Braised Asparagus

By Chef Sean Brock

Suggested Pairing: CitronVodka Martini, American IPA, Viognier/Marsanne/Roussane

6 to 8 servings.



1 Lamb belly, about 1.5 pounds
Black pepper


One bunch Fresh asparagus
3 tablespoons Butter
½ Lemon

Pistachio Chimichurri

1 cup Basil leaves, lightly packed
½ cup Parsley leaves lightly packed
½ Oregano leaves, lightly packed
1 cup Extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons Lime juice
1 cup Pistachios, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
½ cup Onion, small dice


For the Lamb

Preheat oven to 300 ˚F. Season the lamb belly with the salt and black pepper on both sides. Place in a roasting pan on a roasting rack. Cook the lamb until it pulls away when pinched with tongs, about 3 hours.

Allow the lamb to come to room temperature on the counter top. Place in the oven and press with something heavy like a cast iron skillet. Allow to press over night.

Portion into 1.5 ounce blocks.

To finish lamb

Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. When pan is hot add one tablespoon canola oil. When oil shimmers, add lamb belly. Do not over crowd the pan. You will need to do this in several batches. Cook the lamb until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Reserve warm in a 200˚ F oven.

For the Asparagus

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When pan is hot add the butter. Allow the butter to melt and add the asparagus. Cook for 3-5 minutes, occasionally turning the asparagus over so it cooks evenly.

For the Pistachio Chimichurri

Place all ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process for 2 minutes. Scraping the sides every so often. Slowly add the olive oil. Reserve at room temperature.

Use as an accompaniment for the Lamb Belly or any other grilled or braised meats.

Fat Free Pistachio Chimichurri

By Chef Tory McPhail

2 cups ice water
8 ounces roasted, salted unshelled pistachios
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 lemons, zested & juiced, about 1/2 cup
3 cups chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon hot sauce

In blender, combine all ingredients; puree on the highest setting until the sauce is smooth and the color is a bright pale green. Adjust the seasoning as needed based on the type of hot sauce and Creole seasonings that you use. The flavor will be bold and robust without being over powering. You can seal the sauce in an air-tight container up to 24 hours ahead and it will be perfect painted on grilled meats, carved beef, crab cakes, fresh shrimp or used in ways similar to how you’d use pesto.


By Chef Robert Del Grande

Roasted pistachios straight from the store will satisfy and nourish, but for a dazzling Game Day DIY snack, try this tasty pistachio snack.

½ cup Fresh lime juice
½ cup Granulated sugar
4 Large chipotle chiles canned in adobo: approximately 3 oz.
2 tablespoons adobo sauce: from the canned chipotle chiles
6 tablespoons silver tequila
½ teaspoon salt
2 pounds Pistachios nuts in the shell
Lime wedges

Combine the lime juice, sugar, chipotle, adobo sauce, tequila and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth.
Place the shell-on pistachios nuts in a mixing bowl. Add the sauce and toss or stir until the sauce is fully incorporated into the nuts.
Transfer the pistachio nuts to a sheet pan. Pre-heat an oven to 350˚F. Toast the pistachio nuts for 5 to 10 minutes or until the nuts are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
To serve, place the pistachio nuts in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the nuts with salt and garnish with lime wedges.

Get Game Day Ready with Pistachios

APG kicked off the football tailgate season with Team Nutrition Manager Bryan Synder of the Denver Broncos who demonstrated the tailgate powers of pistachios.

Ted Harper, the Team Sports Dietitian of the New England Patriots, and Bryan Snyder, the Team Nutrition Manager for the Denver Broncos, may be rivals on the field but when it comes to nutrition, they agree on one thing: pistachios are an ideal snack, whether you’re a professional athlete, or an armchair spectator.

Harper and Snyder meticulously plan the diets of their teams to maximize each player’s performance and recovery. The hard-hitting impact of weekly games and daily practices takes a toll on the players’ bodies and their nutrition plan is designed to help them achieve specific performance and recovery goals. But both agree that, while the “Average Joe or Joann” doesn’t take the same hits as a professional football player, he or she still needs a healthy diet to battle the stresses of everyday life. According to Harper and Snyder, a big part of one’s nutrition plan should be mindful snacking habits—are they helping or hurting his or her everyday performance?

“One very easy way to improve your overall nutrition is to replace some or all (depending on how you want to tackle the situation; gradually or with full force) of your not-so-wise snacks like chips, cheese flavored crackers, sugary ‘fruit snacks’, pre-made snack cakes, cookies, soda, or candy, with something that still tastes good, but is full of healthy nutrients,” says Harper. “Pistachios are one of the best recommendations I can make because they’re packed with many important nutrients and because they are very versatile. They lend themselves to just snack on in a pinch or can be incorporated into the larger scheme of things like adding them into smoothies, topping off oatmeal, or sprinkled over a salad.”

Pistachios contain important nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, which can contribute to a lower risk of heart disease. They’re also a great snack to help with weight management and may help prevent hypertension and lower blood pressure, according to recent studies.

The New England Journal of Medicine (11/20/13) published a study that showed people who eat a handful of nuts (including pistachios) daily had a 20% lower death rate over the course of the 30-year research project, the largest study of its kind. In addition, other supporting studies showed people who eat nuts regularly tend to remain leaner due to an association with reduced waist sizes and less weight gain throughout the course of life compared to individuals who don’t regularly eat nuts.

Snyder adds that pistachios are a great snack for anyone looking to lose a few pounds. “Not only do pistachios contain fiber and protein, but a study showed that people eat 41% less when they snack on in-shell pistachios compared to those who consumed shelled pistachios. Cracking open each nut slows down your consumption, and the empty shells serve as an unconscious visual reminder of how much you’ve eaten.”

“We’re all concerned about our heart health and living a healthy, active lifestyle. It’s important that you make smart choices with your nutrition so you can support these goals,” says Snyder.

Game Day Ready - Appetizers

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Mango Pistachio Slaw

By: Chef Ben Berryhill
See recipe >

Flautas with Creamy Pistachio Filling, Applewood Bacon and Chipotle Buttermilk

By: Chef Ben Berryhill
See recipe >

BBQ Potatoes with Candied Spiced Pistachios, Pistachio Crema and Watercress

By: Chef Ben Berryhill
See recipe >

Sweet or Spicy - Ideas for Game Day Snacking

American Pistachios with Teriyaki and Dijon Mustard

By: Chef Grant MacPherson
See recipe >

Saffron and Vanilla Pistachios

By: Chef Grant MacPherson
See recipe >

Applewood Smoked Pistachios

By: Chef Grant MacPherson
See recipe >

Spiced Maple Glazed Pistachios

By: Art Smith
See recipe >

Creole Black Skillet Pistachios

By: Chef Tory McPhail
See recipe >

American Pistachio Nuts with Texas Pete Hot Sauce

Try this Game Day DIY snack from Chef Grant MacPherson.
See recipe >

Pistachio Fizz

By Chef Tory McPhail

1 serving


For the Pistachio Syrup:

2 ½ cups shelled pistachios
2 ½ cups simple syrup
Pinch of salt (if pistachios are unsalted)

For the Cocktail:

1 ½ ounces gin
1 ounce heavy cream
1 ounce whole milk
4 ounces pistachio syrup
1 squeeze lemon
1 squeeze lime
1 large egg white
1 dash orange flower water


For the Pistachio Syrup:

Blend pistachios and simple syrup until smooth. Then strain out the liquid.

For the Cocktail:

Combine pistachio simple syrup liquid and all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake vigorously until frothy. Rim rocks glass with crushed pistachios (optional). Strain into glass and serve immediately.