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!

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!