Spinach , Basil, and Feta–Stuffed Chicken Rolls with Pignoli
From Dr. Jonny: Pignoli are another name for pine nuts, those small, white, oval-shaped nuts that are actually the edible seeds of pines and are in demand because of the popularity of pesto. Here they add just a touch of flavor, texture, and visual interest to these delicious fetastuffed chicken rolls, which boast a ton of nutrition from the spinach (iron, calcium, magnesium) and the kalamata olives (healthy plant chemicals called polyphenols). The lean chicken and feta cheese make this a high-protein dish. Fun fact: Kalamata olives are named after the city of Kalamata in Greece and are known for being jumbo size with a meaty taste. They enjoy PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin), which is a legal framework in the European Union designed to protect the names of regional foods.
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 8 ounces (225 g) feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 cups (120 g) chopped baby spinach
- 1⁄4 cup (10 g) chopped fresh basil
- 1⁄4 cup (25 g) finely chopped pitted kalamata olives
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 can (14.5 ounces, or 406 g) diced tomatoes with garlic and basil, undrained
- 1⁄4 cup (34 g) toasted pine nuts
Lightly spray the insert of a slow cooker with olive oil and set aside.
Place each chicken breast between two sheets of waxed paper and use a meat mallet to pound them to about 1⁄4-inch (6 mm) thickness; lay them out flat. In a medium-size bowl, combine the feta, spinach, basil, olives, garlic, and olive oil and mix well.
Lightly and evenly sprinkle each chicken breast with salt and pepper. Dividing the spinach and feta mixture by 6, spoon an equal measure onto the wider end of each breast and roll it up. Lay the rolls close together, seam sides down, in the slow cooker insert and pour the diced tomatoes evenly over all. Cover and cook on high for about 4 hours, or on low for 5 to 6 hours, until the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with the pine nuts to serve.
Yield: 6 servings
Per Serving: Calories 327.5; Calories From Fat 149.8; Total Fat 15.8 g; Cholesterol 104.4 mg; Sodium 868.8 mg; Potassium 523 mg; Total Carbohydrates 9.1 g; Fiber 2.1 g; Sugar 2 g; Protein 36.1 g