Dirigo Dish: Tuna-Stuffed Avocados with Corn Salsa

Fresher, lighter lunches are the things springtime is made of. Try this tasty dish from the American Heart Association, packed with fresh corn, tomatoes, avocados, lime juice and tuna. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

For the Salsa:

  • 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 jalapeño
  • 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
  • avocados (halved, pitted)

Directions

For the Salsa:

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

For the Tuna:

  1. In a medium bowl, add the tuna. Chop the celery and add to the tuna.
  2. Into the tuna, stir in yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Mix the prepared corn salsa into the tuna.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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!

Dirigo Dish: Grilled Shrimp with Mint Salsa Verde

Spring is just around the corner and we’re celebrating with a fresh and tasty recipe (with a touch of green for St. Paddy’s Day) from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

Servings 2

  • 1/2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon and 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
  • 1 medium garlic clove (minced)
  • 12 jumbo raw shrimp in shells (21 to 25 count), peeled, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 2 medium green onions (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped, fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon snipped, fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon drained capers
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeño, seeds and ribs discarded, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fat-free, plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. In a small glass baking dish, whisk together 1/2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon oil, and garlic. Add the shrimp, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes, turning once.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, process the green onions, mint, cilantro, capers, jalapeño, yogurt, water, salt, pepper, remaining 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil for 30 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. Scrape the side once or twice during this process.
  3. Preheat a grill pan on medium-high heat. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Remove the shrimp from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until pink and cooked through. Serve with the salsa verde drizzled on top.
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: Tomato and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

Brrr! Baby, it’s cold outside! Warm up with this tasty soup recipe from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

Servings  6

  •  

    14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added, diced tomatoes (undrained)
  •  

    1 3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  •  

    1/2 cup chopped, roasted red bell peppers, drained if bottled
  •  

    1 Tbsp. dried basil (crumbled)
  •  

    1/2 tsp. dried oregano (crumbled)
  •  

    1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  •  

    2 tsp. olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
  •  

    1/4 tsp. sugar
  •  

    1/8 tsp. salt
  •  

    1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the tomatoes with liquid, broth, roasted peppers, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the oil, sugar, and salt. Serve sprinkled with the 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: Sweet Potato Nachos

Get ready for some football and game day snacks with this heart-healthy nacho alternative from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), makes about 6 cups of rounds
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/3 cup black beans (drained, rinsed)
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat, shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomato (1 plum tomato)

    OR

  • 1/3 cup no-salt-added, canned, diced tomatoes (drained, rinsed)
  • 1/3 cup chopped avocado

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cover the baking pans with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes thinly (about quarter-inch rounds). In a bowl, toss the rounds with olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder and paprika. Spread evenly on prepared pan (might need two pans). Bake for 10 minutes and use a spatula to flip the sweet potato rounds. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until crisp.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle beans and cheese over the sweet potatoes. Return to oven until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with tomato and avocado. 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!

Dirigo Dish: Brisket with Cranberries

Make this tasty holiday dish the day before and be ready for guests! Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 2-pound beef brisket, all visible fat discarded
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (crumbled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (coarsely ground preferred)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (lowest sodium available)
  • 1 cup whole cranberries
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker on sauté. Cook the brisket on both sides, or until browned. Turn off the pressure cooker. In a small bowl, stir together the oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the beef. Pour the broth around the beef. Pour the barbecue sauce over the beef. Secure the lid. Cook on high pressure for 55 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure.
  2. Transfer the beef to a glass baking dish. Cover and refrigerate. Pour the accumulated juices into a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Just before serving time, preheat the oven to 300°F. Remove the beef from the refrigerator. Very thinly slice the beef across the grain. Put it in the baking dish. Skim off the fat from the refrigerated juices. Pour 1 cup of the juices over the beef. Bake, tightly covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook 1 cup of the juices over medium-high heat. Add the cranberries and brown sugar. Cook until the cranberries pop and are soft, stirring occasionally. Drizzle the sauce over the beef.
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: 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!