Dirigo Dish: Avocado Pesto Dip

Keep visitors happy and snacking with this tasty dip perfect for crunchy bread, pita chips or veggies, from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium ripe avocados (peeled, pitted, cut into pieces)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, process all the ingredients for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy and creamy. 
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!

Holiday Shopping Spree

Ready? Set? The holidays are coming! Come enjoy a Holiday Shopping Spree event at Dirigo Pines! Join us tomorrow, Thursday, November 8 at 2 p.m. in the Kenduskeag Gathering Place in the Dirigo Pines Inn at 9 Alumni Drive in Orono.

Shop local vendors including:

  • Specialty Sweets
  • Valentine Footwear
  • Willie Wags
  • The Not So Empty Nest
  • The Yankee Chef
  • Quality Jewelers
  • Damon’s Beverage and Redemption
  • The Bangor Daily News

Mark your calendar and click here for more details!

Dirigo Dish: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Put that garden harvest to good use with this warm and autumn-perfect recipe for squash soup from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 butternut squash, about 2½ lbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Vidalia onion (peeled, chopped)
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds with a spoon. Season both squash halves with 1 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil and ½ tsp. salt. Wrap in foil and place in baking tray or dish.
  3. Roast squash halves for 1 hour or until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. Remove skin from the squash and set aside.
  4. Place remaining 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil, onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and 1 tsp. of salt in a pot on medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly, until onions are translucent and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1 quart of vegetable stock and roasted squash, and cook on a low simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Remove bay leaf from soup. Place soup mixture into a blender with remaining 1 tsp. of salt, nutmeg, black pepper and ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Portion into 6 bowls, divide 1 cup of yogurt into dollops on top of each soup and serve immediately. 
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!

Dirigo Dish: Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Bisque

Dirigo Pines Chef Lew Stubbs shares a favorite recipe to celebrate autumn…

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium chopped onion

1 cup sherry

½ teaspoon dried thyme

4 apples peeled and chopped

4 cups roasted pumpkin or canned pumpkin

6 cups chicken stock

¾ cup heavy cream

Directions:

In a heavy large sauce pan melt butter over medium heat and add onions. Cook until tender about 5 minutes. Add sherry and let simmer for 5 minutes then add thyme, roasted pumpkin, apples and chicken stock. Simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Add cream, pepper and bring to temperature. Serve with fresh chopped scallions.

To roast pumpkins: Clean out the inside and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350°F skin side up for about 45 minutes.

Dirigo Dish: Blackberry Cobbler

Finding fresh fruit in Maine throughout the summer isn’t hard — though blackberries can be a little tricky. If you’re lucky enough to find some, here’s a tasty recipe from the American Heart Association to put them to good use! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups blackberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar substitute and 1/2 cup sugar substitute, divided use
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice from 1 medium lime
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup canola or corn oil
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, gently stir together the berries, 1/4 cup sugar substitute, the water, lime juice, and ginger. Let the berry mixture stand for at least 15 minutes so the juices can accumulate.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar substitute.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, yogurt, and vanilla.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture, stirring just until no flour is visible. Don’t overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Using a spatula, spread the batter in the pan. (The batter doesn’t have to touch the edge of the pan; it will spread while baking.) Top with the berry mixture.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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!

Dirigo Dish: Pork Tenderloin and Plantains

Never tried cooking plantains before? Now’s a great time to start! Here’s a simple way to enjoy them with a summery Cuban pork tenderloin. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  •  

    8 clove garlic (peeled)
  •  

    2 green onions (roughly chopped)
  •  

    1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  •  

    1/2 cup 100% orange juice (from 1 orange)
  •  

    1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  •  

    1/4 cup lime juice (from 2 to 3 times)
  •  

    1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  

    1 teaspoon dried oregano
  •  

    1 1/4 lb lean pork tenderloin
  •  

    2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced about 1/2-inch thick
  •  

    2 Tbsp canola oil (divided)
  •  

    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (divided)

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, add peeled garlic, chopped scallions, cilantro, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, and oregano. Process until all the ingredients are puréed, about 1 minute. Add pork tenderloin into a large Ziploc bowl or a shallow dish along with marinade. Marinate anywhere from 2 to 24 hours.
  2. To cook, preheat the oven to 450 degrees for the plantains and prepare the grill to medium-high heat for the pork tenderloin.
  3. Trim the ends off each plantain; cut a slit down the middle of each peel and use your hands to remove the peel. Cut the plantains into 1/2-inch thick diagonal slices. Add plantain slices into a bowl with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover 1 large baking sheet or 2 smaller ones with foil and coat with cooking spray. Add plantain slices into one even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the baking sheet and use a spatula to flip each plantain over. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes later until plantains are crisp and caramelized on the outer edges; keep an eye on the plantains as they cook to prevent from burning.
  5. Meanwhile, remove the pork tenderloin from the marinade, discarding the marinade and wiping the majority of it off the pork. Season with ⅛ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Brush remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil onto the pork and place on the grill. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, turning every few minutes, until the thickest part of the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Transfer to a plate and let rest at least 5 minutes. Slice and serve with the plantains.

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!

Stuffed Quinoa Peppers with Eggs

Looking for a dish on the lighter side this summer and veggie packed? Here you go! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium eggplant, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley (divided)
  • 2 red bell peppers (halved)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fat-free feta

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in large skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook onion, eggplant, garlic, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper for about 5 minutes or until eggplant starts to soften. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; cook for about 5 minutes or until eggplant and tomatoes are tender.

  • Remove from heat and stir in quinoa and half of the parsley. Spoon quinoa and vegetable mixture evenly into red pepper halves. Arrange in greased baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for about 20 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp.

  • Remove foil. Crack egg into each stuffed pepper and sprinkle with feta. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until peppers are tender and eggs whites are set or until desired doneness. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.

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!

Dirigo Dish: Spicy Korean Beef and Cucumber Appetizers

Want to impress at the next neighborhood BBQ? Bring this tasty appetizer from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Appetizer Ingredients

  • 2 beef Strip Steaks Boneless, cut 1-inch thick (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 seedless English cucumber, sliced into 1/8 inch thick, (18-24 slices)
  • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1/4 cup plain rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Garnish Ingredients

  • Micro greens, chopped kimchi, chopped roasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, shredded carrots, chopped cilantro, sliced scallions

Directions

  • Combine cream cheese, green onion, cilantro and soy sauce in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Combine gochujang, vinegar, honey and garlic powder in medium bowl; set aside.
  • Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered 11 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 11 to 15 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Remove steaks; keep warm.
  • To assemble, top each cucumber slice with 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture. Dice steak into bite-size pieces; toss in gochujang mixture. Top cream cheese mixture with steak. Garnish with micro greens, kimchi, peanuts, sesame seeds, cilantro and scallions, if desired.

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!

Dirigo Dish: Jerk Chicken with Grilled Hasselback Zucchini

Sun’s out, grill’s out! Try this zesty take on grilled chicken and zucchini from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

4 Servings

Chicken Ingredients

8 large green onions (coarsely chopped)

2 medium fresh jalapeño peppers (seeds and ribs discarded, optional)

4 medium garlic cloves

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (divided use)

1 tablespoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed, and 1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed, divided use

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded

Cooking spray

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

Zucchini Ingredients

4 medium zucchini

1/2 cup plain or whole-wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon canola or corn oil

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (crumbled)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 medium avocado (halved, pitted, coarsely chopped)

1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

Cooking Tip: You can make this recipe using the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Broil for 2 minutes to brown, if desired. Meanwhile, pack the zucchini tightly in a baking dish. Bake on the bottom oven rack for 35 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Bake for 5 minutes.

Directions

In a food processor or blender, process the green onions, jalapeños, and garlic for 30 seconds, or until finely chopped. Add the thyme, honey, 2 tablespoons lime juice, allspice, vinegar, cinnamon, and ginger. Process until smooth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the marinade is too chunky and process until smooth.

Put the chicken in a large shallow dish. Add the marinade, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

When the chicken has marinated, lightly spray the grill with cooking spray. Preheat on medium high.

Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade and wiping most of it off the chicken. Sprinkle the pepper and salt over the chicken. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until it registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil.

Cut each zucchini crosswise into 1/4-inch slices without cutting all the way through in a hasselback cut. (It’s okay if you cut all the way through and break the zucchini. Just proceed as directed.) Gently fan the zucchini to open.

Place a double layer of aluminum foil on the grill. Make a large “boat” of foil to snugly hold the zucchini so they don’t move around. Grill the zucchini without turning for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and almost tender.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining zucchini ingredients. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the zucchini. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the grill.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, using an immersion, or handheld, blender, purée the avocado, sour cream, and the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice until smooth. Add the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the sauce is too thick. (You can also process the sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth.)

Serve the zucchini and sauce with the chicken.

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!

Dirigo Dish: White Bean and Avocado Wrap

Great for a meal or a snack, this tasty wrap feels like spring with crunchy veggies and a touch of honey. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

 

  • 15 oz. canned, reduced-sodium white beans (navy, cannellini or Great Northern), drained, rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado (pit removed)
  • 3 Tbsp. vinegar (red wine, white, apple cider)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 carrot (shredded)
  • 2 cups green or purple cabbage, washed, cored, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 2 Tbsp. cilantro (coarsely chopped, divided)
  • 4, 100% whole-wheat 8-inch, wraps or tortillas

    Directions
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, honey and pepper to create the dressing (marinade).
  • Add the carrots, cabbage, cherry tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro to the bowl. Toss gently to coat the vegetables with the dressing. Set aside and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the white beans and avocado. Mash with the back of a fork and mix until thoroughly blended and spreadable.
  • Place four wraps/tortillas on a flat surface. In the center of each wrap/tortilla, place 2 heaping tablespoons of the mixture. Using a knife or spatula, spread the mixture out until it is two inches away from the edges of the wrap (to allow for easier assembly).
  • Stir the cabbage mixture again, and place 2 heaping tablespoons on top of the bean/avocado mixture.
  • Add cilantro as a garnish on top, if desired.
  • Begin folding the two sides inward. Hold with fingers and lift the bottom portion of the wrap up with our thumbs to create an “envelope.” Once the bottom of the wrap is touching the two sides, begin rolling the wrap until it’s completely closed. Place on a flat surface with the smooth side up.

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!