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Delicious Recipes are Here: Maris Grove Chefs Create Good Food That's Good For You Too!

October 23, 2014

GLEN MILLS, PA - Culinary experts from Erickson Livings Maris Grove retirement community held a very tasty program to highlight their kitchen talents, provide cooking tips and show residents how committed they are in creating delicious "heart-healthy" meals that certainly do not require the sacrifice of great taste.

Please click on link to view YouTube video here: Maris Grove Ultimate Chef Video!

Maris Grove Ultimate Chef is an annual tradition which celebrates the finest fare the communitys Dining Services staff create each and every day for the more than 1,300 seniors living at the community. In offering the healthy menu options for this years event, the chefs demonstrated four courses with each under 600 calories.

Below are the recipes for the delicious meals created by Maris Grove Executive Chef Justin and his staff of chefs that were highlighted in this years Maris Grove Ultimate Chef:

Butternut Squash Bisque


2 medium onion, chopped

1 large (about 2-3 lbs.) butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

4 cups low sodium, fat-free chicken broth

1 tablespoon brown sugar(SPLENDA)

2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/3 cup orange juice

1/2 c. 1% milk

Greek Yogurt, and fresh sage leaves julienned for garnish


In a large pot, sauté the onion in 1/4 cup of the chicken broth for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Then add the squash, apple, curry powder and nutmeg along with the rest of the broth, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

In batches, puree the mixture in blender or food processor. Return mixture to pot and add 1/2 cup of milk...heat through.

Pour into bowls and swirl a dollop of Greek Yogurt  into each bowl and top with sage, serve and enjoy!

Pumpkin Risotto with Pan Seared Scallops


Pumpkin Risotto:

1¼ cups pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons half and half

2 Tbs Greek Yogurt

2 tablespoons light brown sugar( SPLENDA)

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch ground clove

¼ cup hot low sodium vegetable broth

4 to 5 cups low sodium chicken broth

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups Arborio rice

1 tablespoons  light mascarpone cheese, softened,

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Seared Scallops:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

18 large scallops, cleaned

salt and pepper to taste


For the risotto: Stir together the first six ingredients for the risotto into a small pot and bring to a simmer.

Simmer for about five minutes. Remove mixture from the heat and pour into a blender with the broth, season with salt and pepper and blend.

With the motor running, add olive oil into the blender, one tablespoon at a time. Blend until smooth, about three minutes.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside until ready to use.

Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot and warm over low heat.

Place a large pan over medium heat and melt the remaining butter and olive oil.

Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about three minutes.

Add the rice and sauté for three to five minute or until each grain of rice is coated in oil and there is a white dot in the center of each grain.

Begin adding the warm broth to the rice, one ladle full at a time, stirring frequently.

Each time the liquid evaporates, add another ladle of broth and continue to stir.

Continue to add liquid and stir until the rice is al dente (firm), 20-25 minutes.

Stir in the pumpkin puree until completely combined.

Stir in the mascarpone until smooth. Fold in the thyme and season with salt and pepper.

For the scallops: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium-high heat.

Season each scallop lightly with salt and pepper.

Sear the scallops, in batches, for three to four minutes on each side.

For the candied confetti pancetta:: Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet, over medium high heat.

Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until the fat has rendered off and the pancetta has become crispy.

Drain all but two teaspoons of grease from the pan and return to the stove, over medium heat.

Sprinkle both sugars over the pancetta and stir until the sugar melts and had coated the pancetta.

Spread the candied confetti-pancetta onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and allow to cool and slightly harden.

To assemble: Fill six bowls with risotto and top each with three scallops; finish each bowl with a sprinkle of pancetta. Serve immediately.

Making It Healthy

If food, like the risotto, you eat typically contain a good deal of refined grains, cream, cheese, butter and other ingredients with minimal nutrition, there are ways to make it healthier.

Add vitamins and minerals by mixing in more veggies, and use light cream, Greek Yogurt or reduced-fat cheese instead of full-fat versions.

Finally, keep portion sizes in check and serve the risotto with a large green salad to help you fill up on fewer calories.

Pan Seared Salmon with Dijon Dill Sauce



4oz salmon filet, searing it in

1tsp of Olive Oil, and seasoning it with

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1 /2 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp black pepper


Sear the salmon for approximately three minutes on each side until salmon easily flakes with a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 155.

Dijon Dill Sauce


3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt

¼ cup prepared mustard, Dijon

1 teaspoon dill

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon honey

Yield: 1 Cup


Mix ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl.

Serve on vegetables or fish. Store any remaining sauce in refrigerator in a covered


Smart Sweet Splenda Brown Sugar Blend Apple Crisp


1/2 cup (125 mL) SPLENDA® Brand Brown Sugar Blend

2tbs corn starch

1/2 tsp  ground cinnamon

4 cups peeled and sliced apples

1 1/4 cups  quick cooking oatmeal

1/2 cup  all-purpose flour

1/4 cup  SPLENDA Brown Sugar Blend

1/2 cup  Margarine,


This simple dessert is a great finale to any meal. Start with cooking apples for the best flavor and texture.

Preheat oven to 350° F then sauté the apples with one tbs. of margarine and  1/2 cup SPLENDA Brown Sugar Season with cinnamon and allow the apples to cook to a fork tender state, combine the corn starch with water and add mixture to the apples, bring to boil and remove from heat, fill baking dishes ½ way.

Combine oatmeal, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend; cut in margarine. Mixture will be crumbly. Spoon over apple mixture.

Bake 30 minutes or until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown. Serve warm.