Dirigo Dish: Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl

egg-157224Here’s a fun and hearty breakfast from the American Heart Association. And it’s easy to add your own twist with black beans, cucumbers and more. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!


4 Servings

  • 1/4 cup raw quinoa
  • 1/2 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup no-salt-added, frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • hot sauce (optional)

Tip: Cooked quinoa stores well in the freezer. Make a big batch and freeze. Add a few teaspoons of water and warm in the microwave. Or, let the frozen quinoa defrost in the refrigerator for a day and stir into a cold salad.


  • Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Remove from heat and let sit.
  • Prepare the remaining ingredients: pit and dice the avocado half; chop the tomatoes; rinse the canned corn; chop the scallions, and chop the cilantro.
  • Divide quinoa between 4 bowls. Arrange the avocado, tomatoes, corn, scallions, and (optional) cilantro between each bowl.
  • Meanwhile, coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Crack each egg into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook until egg whites are set but yolk is still runny, about 3 to 4 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully transfer each sunny-side-up egg into each bowl. Garnish with hot sauce and serve.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!


cat-205757_1920Volunteering is a great way to serve our communities and our souls. Dirigo Pines residents regularly gather funds to help the Alzheimer’s Association, a favorite charity for residents and staff alike. Here are few other ways to volunteer and help out in the Orono and Bangor area. 

  1. Help a furry friend. The Bangor Humane Society is a nonprofit organization serving over 200 communities in northern and eastern Maine. The shelter’s wish list includes canned dog and cat food, new or used blankets, sheets, towels and washcloths, dog and cat treats, paper towels and more. Click here for the full list. Interested in volunteering? They need dog walkers, help cleaning cat kennels, doing laundry, socializing with kitties, and more. Click here for details. 
  2. Enjoy cooking for others? Just dropping a meal to neighbor is a great and simple way to spread some love in your area. There are also lots of soup kitchens in the area that would love your help! Volunteer to cook and/or serve a meal. The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter is a great place to provide a meal – whether it’s just one time or on a regular schedule. Click here to learn more! 
  3. Speaking of donating food – there are lots of food pantries that need supplies. Good Shepherd Food Bank serves residents throughout the state, and accepts donations at their Hampden facility. They are also always looking for volunteers. Click here to learn more. Like driving? Meal on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver food! Find details on volunteermaine.org.
  4. Local hospitals are another great way to find regular volunteer opportunities. Both Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital are always looking for great volunteers. The Ronald McDonald House in Bangor, which provides a home-away-from-home for families of ill or seriously injured children, is another service looking for volunteers right now!

Want more volunteer ideas? Visit volunteermaine.org to find the perfect volunteer opportunity for you! What’s your favorite way to give back? Share your volunteer ideas!

Join Our Cottage Community!

20160615_152042Our Cottage Community is growing every day! One monthly fee includes cable television, internet, grounds keeping, snow plowing, trash removal, building repairs, maintenance and more. You can also access an array of services and facilities in the central Inn, including a beautiful gathering room with a large fireplace, dining rooms, library, hair salon, activity rooms and more. There is even a large private dining room, which you can reserve for your own gatherings with friends and family.

Every duplex style cottage home at Dirigo Pines offers a living room, dining area, fully applianced kitchen, master bedroom with walk-in closet, guest bedroom, two baths, screened-in porch, and attached garage. Some cottages also have a den. There are many interior finish options and upgrades available.

Click here for a virtual tour inside one of our cottages. 

Come see for yourself what retirement at Dirigo Pines looks like. Call 1-866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com for more information or to schedule a tour.

9 Reasons to Fall in Love with Dirigo Pines

There are so many reasons to love Dirigo Pines – let us count the ways!

  1. Putting Green: Take a swing over at Dirigo’s Piney Knoll Putting Green. In 2014, the 40 by 15 foot artificial turf putting green was installed and it’s been a popular attraction ever since! You can spot residents out clearing the snow at the first signs of spring, anxious to get swinging! The green is host to annual putting contests among residents, as well as with other area retirement communities. It’s also a great way for residents to brush up on their short game while preparing for Dirigo’s annual Golf Classic that takes place each August to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. 
  2. Trails: Dirigo’s trails connect in with the Orono Land Trust’s Sklar Park trail system, a 40-acre parcel situated at the west end of Main Street, between Route 2 and I-95. Pick up a  trail brochure – developed by our residents and available at the trail entrance behind the Dirigo Pines Inn – and get walking and discovering! Click here for more information about our trails! 
  3. Fine Dining: Chef Lou Stubbs and his incredible team in the kitchen make mouth-watering meals that leave residents (and visitors) raving. Using locally sourced produce and seafood is important to the team, and ensures high quality, fresh and delicious meals. From grilled salmon to monte cristos to lobster ravioli, the dining at Dirigo can’t be beat. And don’t miss Sunday brunch – it’s an amazing spread you’ll be thinking about all week! Dirigo recently introduced All Day Dining Program, a unique concept designed to provide residents freedom of choice with options like breakfast for dinner or lunch at 2 p.m. rather than noon. 
  4. Location, Location, Location: Orono is centrally located in our great state, and just a short drive to amazing attractions like Acadia National Park, Maine’s rocky coastline, the western mountains, outdoor adventures in the great north woods, or a day of shopping in Freeport. Within Orono itself, great restaurants, museums, and the University of Maine are all easily accessible. At UMaine, enjoy a show at the Collins Center, cheer for the Black Bears hockey team, check out Fogler Library, or enjoy a swim or workout at the New Balance Recreation Center. UMaine also offers tennis courts, cross-country skiing trails, and bike paths. Seminars and lectures are regularly presented on campus, and academic courses offer endless ways to fulfill lifelong desires for learning. Click here for a list of upcoming performances at UMaine’s Collins Center for the Arts.
  5. The People: Dirigo Pines is home to artists, musicians, college professors, outdoor enthusiasts, world travelers – you never know who you might meet while walking the halls or trails, attending an event or enjoying dinner. Dirigo Pines also boasts the friendliest and most professional staff around. There’s always someone to greet you with a warm smile at Dirigo or offer a helping hand. Our nursing staff is available around the clock, our maintenance crew is always ready to help, and our kitchen staff is top notch. 
  6. Beautiful Facility: We know you’ll be impressed the moment you step foot on Dirigo Pines’ campus. From our beautifully maintained grounds, stunning Inn, stone fireplaces, and cozy library, it’s clear that attention to detail is important here. There’s something for every season – from spring fishing in the stocked ponds, to summer meals on the stone patio, to walking the nature trails to enjoy the fall foliage or winter’s wonderland.
  7. Fishing Ponds: Dirigo Pines offers two stocked fishing ponds, available to residents ready to cast a line. The ponds are stocked with small trout each spring, just before we celebrate our annual Fishing Derby for anglers of all skill levels. Residents have been known to hook a monster or two and throw them right on the grill! The ponds are one of the many ways to enjoy nature at Dirigo. They’re surrounded by walking trails and benches, and it’s not uncommon to spot a deer, Canada geese or a heron enjoying the natural beauty.
  8. Healthcare Services When You Need Them: Working with area hospitals, Dirigo Pines offers a depth of medical expertise to all residents. The Inn provides independent and assisted living opportunities, as well as memory care and specialized care. Primary and specialized care practitioners provide on-site geriatric care, podiatry, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy services.
  9. Activities & Events: Dirigo residents and staff know how to have fun! From concerts and play productions, to fun traditions like watching Dirigo Dug come out of his tent each Groundhog Day to predict the beginning of spring, there’s no shortage of entertainment at Dirigo Pines. The Dirigo Pines activity staff plans regular exercise programs, guest speakers, groups for all interests, musical entertainment, outings to local shows and attractions, movies and more. With fulfilling programs and activities every day, it’s easy to meet new people and make new friends.

4 Tips for a Healthy Heart

pillow-1738023_1280February, full of hearts and love, is the perfect time to think about your actual heart – the beating one that keeps you going every day. Here are four simple ways to love your heart and celebrate American Heart Month.

  1. Rein in Stress. Slow down, let it go, get together with friends, write your feelings down, and get organized. So many things contribute to stress in our lives and there are lots of little ways we can reduce it. Change the things that you can and let the rest go. Ahhh! Feeling better already!
  2. Move and Groove. Regular physical activity is not only a good stress reliever, it also lowers your risk of heart disease. Walking, swimming, biking, dancing – all great ways to move and have fun doing it! Click for some great ways to stay active at Dirigo.
  3. Zzzzz. Getting the recommended 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night will do a world of good for your heart, stress levels, mood and more. Reducing stress in your life, as well as reducing things like caffeine, can help get you in a more restful state if you’re having trouble sleeping.
  4. Laugh! LOL – Did you know laughing is good for you? It makes you feel good and reduces stress. So make a joke or watch a funny movie – and have a big laugh!

Healthy Eating Tips

salmon-518032_1920Who doesn’t have eat healthier on their list of New Year’s Resolutions? A healthy diet is one of best ways to take good care of yourself and benefit your heart this February! Keep that old food pyramid in mind as you’re shopping, and focus on adding a wider variety of fruits and veggies and whole grains into your daily menu. We love sharing heart healthy recipes – click here for a list of Dirigo Dish recipes! 

Here are a few other healthy eating tips:

  • Get friendly with fish and work salmon, trout, herring and other fish containing omega-3 fatty acids into you diet at least twice per week
  • Choose low-fat (1%) or fat-free dairy and milk products
  • Need to lower your cholesterol? Try reducing your saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of your total calories. So if you’re eating 2,000 calories per day, that’s about 13 grams of saturated fat.
  • Lose the soda and foods with added sugar
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That’s no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.

Want more great tips and healthy recipes? The American Heart Association website is full of tips and healthy recipes. Click here!

Skiing and Snow Shoeing in Maine

human-93758_1920Winter in Maine means time to hibernate, right? Wrong! It’s time to get outside and enjoy the snow! 

Go skiing! If your knees are up for some downhill skiing, Maine’s got you covered! Close to Dirigo Pines is Hermon Mountain, family-friendly (also friendly to those of us who haven’t strapped on skis in a while) hill with rentals available. They’ve also got a great tubing park – a fun idea for entertaining the grandkids and those of all ages! Click here for more about Hermon Mountain.

Camden Snow Bowl is not to far either and offers amazing ocean views. Of course, Sunday River and Sugarloaf are close enough for a day trip as well and offer some of the best skiing in New England!

If cross-country skiing is more your style, the Penobscot Valley Ski Club offers a great list of nordic trails on its website (click here). PVSC grooms several trail systems that are free and open to the public. And did you know that all PVSC grooming and trail maintenance is done by volunteers! Trails right here in Orono include the Caribou Bog Ski Trail, trails behind the Orono schools, and University of Maine trails (click here for a UMaine trail map).

Check PVSC’s website for a full list and trail conditions!

Ever been snow shoeing? It’s another great and super fun way to enjoy the snow! Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in nearby Alton (about 10 minutes from Orono) offers some amazing snow shoeing opportunities, as well as the University of Maine. Click here for a list of top snow shoeing spots from the Bangor Daily News’ Outdoors reporter Aislinn Sarnacki.

What’s your favorite winter activity? Share it below!

Dirigo Dish – Tuna-Stuffed Avocados with Corn Salsa

appetite-1238257_1920Avocado aren’t just nutritious and delicious – they also make a perfect bowl for serving tuna salad! This tasty recipe is full of veggies and low on calories and saturated fat – perfect for kicking off the New Year right! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!



6 Servings

For the Salsa:

  • 2 ears corn, shucked and kernels cut off
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup chopped tomato (about 1 medium tomato)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped jalapeno
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice, plus more if needed (from 1 lime)

For the Tuna:

  • 1 (12.6-ounce) pouch chunk light tuna in water
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 avocados (halved, pitted)

Tip: 1 cup frozen corn can be substituted for the fresh corn. Just add into the heatproof container with 1 tablespoon water and cook; drain liquid before using. Also, 3 (5-ounce) cans of tuna in water can be substituted for the 12.5-ounce package; just make sure to drain the water.

Avocado Tip: Avocados are a versatile, healthy fruit to have on hand. However, it can be tricky getting them ripe when you want to devour them. When ripening is needed quickly, add avocados into a paper bag with a banana and seal. Let sit overnight to quicken the ripening process.


For the Salsa:

  • Use a knife to slice the kernels off 2 ears of corn. Add corn to a heatproof container with 1 tablespoon water, cover, and heat until cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cool to use in the salsa.
  • Prepare the other ingredients, chopping the tomato, cilantro, red onion, and jalapeno. Add into a bowl, along with the corn and lime juice.
  • Stir together to combine. Taste, adding more lime juice or jalapeno depending on desired taste. Let sit for flavors to mingle.

For the Tuna:

  • In a medium bowl, add the tuna. Chop the celery and add to the tuna.
  • Into the tuna, stir in yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Mix the prepared corn salsa into the tuna.
  • Halve and remove the pit from each avocado. Drizzle a little lemon juice on the top of each avocado half to prevent from browning. Spoon tuna mixture into each avocado half, packing as much tuna into each one as possible. (If the pit doesn’t leave large enough of a “cup” for the tuna, spoon a tiny bit of the avocado out to fill it up with tuna.)
  • Serve immediately or place in the fridge to chill before serving.

The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!

Don’t Miss Out on Dirigo Events and Community Information

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-7-13-32-amDirigo Pines is proud to announce our new Family Informed™ Service! Have the latest events, community information and more delivered right to your email. Never miss a workshop or celebration ever again! Sign up today to stay on top of what’s happening at Dirigo Pines. 

Click here to sign up for our new Family Informed™ Service! 

Living the Life at Dirigo Pines

20160615_152042Curious about building your own cottage at Dirigo Pines, or just wondering how our cottages are laid out? All of our floor plans are available to view online – just click here!

And if you’re ready to start comparing prices, our online interactive Price Comparison Sheet is a great way to get started. We do not always realize what our true, total cost of living is because we never take the time to add up all of the expenses of home ownership. When compared to what Dirigo Pines has to offer, many people are surprised as how affordable it can be to live in luxury. 

Have you added up the total cost of your utilities, including heat, air conditioning, water, electric, telephone, cable TV and internet? Did you know snow plowing, lawn care, trash pick-up and home maintenance are all included at Dirigo Pines? Appliances need maintenance? It’s included! Transportation, exercise room, concierge services and more are all included.  

Click here to compare your costs today!

Ready to schedule a visit? Call 866-344-3400 or email info@dirigopines.com.