Archive for the ‘MediLodge of Monroe’ Category

Heart Healthy Practices

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef at MediLodge of Monroe

So who’s tired of shoveling snow?? And the winter has just begun … at least as far as the calendar is concerned. I, however, am not convinced. As far as I am concerned, we are neck deep in winter. And while shoveling snow can be some good exercise, I for one am nearly over it. We are now about to be smack dab into February, a month notably attributed to Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day, a day associated with hearts, seems to be very appropriate for February, given the fact that February is also National Heart Healthy Month! Ah our heart … this great engine of our cardiovascular system unfortunately goes unnoticed until something terrible happens. This is why recognizing heart healthy practices are so important. Along with a bit of exercise, the easiest way to take care of our heart is by being diligent in choosing the right things to eat.

Heart-healthy is not only about oatmeal and omega-3 fats, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, and teas are just as important, in that they offer all sorts of complex heart-protective phytonutrients. Fresh produce provides the cornerstone for a heart-healthy diet because they help wipe out free radicals in the bloodstream, protecting blood vessels. Salmon tops the list of heart healthy foods, but many foods are really quite good and are not exotic at all. Almonds & walnuts, kidney beans, red wine, brown rice, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and blueberries are all very effective at nutritionally providing things the heart loves.

The main idea would be to eat “whole-foods”… foods that are not processed at all, or at least minimally processed. Eating these kinds of food every day will greatly help you to have a healthier heart. And with a greater number of different items, you allow yourself to not become bored, which is the death blow to any “healthy” change in lifestyle.

Maple Glazed Salmon Salad

Walnut Oil Vinaigrette:
• 1/2 cup walnut oil
• 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 garlic clove, mincedSalmon
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp real maple syrup
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 lb salmon filet
• Salt and pepper
• 6 cups baby spinach
• 1 cup Blueberries
• 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1. For Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients together and set aside.
2. For the salad, preheat oven to 4250F and brush a baking dish with olive oil.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, maple syrup and maple extract.
4. Cut filet into 4 even portions and arrange in baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with glaze.
5. Bake 9 to 11 minutes, until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Remove and let cool 10 minutes.
6. Divide baby spinach between 4 large plates.
7. Sprinkle each with chopped blueberries and walnuts.
8. Top each with a salmon portion.
9. Enjoy with a glass of red wine…my favorite – Valpolicella, a fruity but not sweet red.

Recipe provided by


For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe


Successful Therapy Testimonials From MediLodge

MediLodge of Monroe Short-Term Therapy Success Stories

“I loved my aid Kourtney, she took such great care of me, I am going to miss her! All of the staff at MediLodge were great.  The food was great and my therapy was good. I would recommend MediLodge to anyone looking for a rehabilitation facility.”     Frankie C.

“MediLodge is great as always! The food was great, I probably gained some weight (that’s how good it is). My therapy was great and it always is. I keep coming back because they are so great here. Thank you!!” Joan L.

“MediLodge is the best place to go for therapy. They treat you like family! If I ever get sick again, I will be going back because they treated me with dignity and respect. Therapy must never have a bad day down there because the ladies are always smiling. The food is GREAT and tastes just like home cooking. I like the night owl option!’     Ken M.

“I believe if I had a choice or reason again, I would be back. MediLodge was and is a great rehabilitation facility. Thank you to everyone.”     Sharon B.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Montrose Shares Similar Success Stories

• Lois E. said:  “I chose MediLodge because I heard that it was one of the best places in Michigan to rehab. The doctors were always there when you needed them; they were really on top of everything. They also kept me informed about what was going on. The therapy was very thorough, you really got a workout!! The cleaning ladies were exceptional. Kathy was always busy. She is helpful, friendly and just awesome. The food was very good and the dining room is beautiful. Keep the chef! The overall care was excellent. I had no problems at all with the staff, when I pushed my call light they were right there to help. It was much better than the hospital. MediLodge was just overall a great place, it was more than we expected!!”
• Nancy R. said:  “My friends told me about MediLodge. The dining was great, everything was very clean. I enjoyed BINGO. The therapy was better than excellent; they went out of their way! I would absolutely recommend MediLodge to others.”
• Kathleen L. said:  “MediLodge is a wonderful place and it is near my home. The massages were over the top! Double excellent! I loved the oils that she used. The physicians are very accommodating and took care of my pain. The therapy department is awesome. I was very pleased with the social services and discharge planning. I would recommend MediLodge to anyone in a heartbeat!”
• Vincent G. said:  “Dr. Schreiber highly recommended MediLodge of Montrose! The dining experience was superior! I never had a bad meal the entire time that I was here. The wellness center was very clean. The therapy was excellent! Ryan (my therapist) was really good. It paid off! If I needed somewhere for more rehab, I would definitely come here!”
• Kathleen R. said:  “I chose MediLodge based on lots of recommendations from all over. This was my #1 choice. The dining was beyond excellent. It’s not only good food, it is a pleasant dining experience. I loved every bit of the hair, nails, and massages that I received. The cleanliness of the center was top notch. The physicians were excellent; I was impressed that they are reliable and very knowledgeable. The staff overall was friendly and well organized. The therapy was a real treat and very helpful for me. Everything was wonderful! I would definitely recommend rehabbing here!”

MediLodge of Montrose

MediLodge of Montrose


For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

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December is National Fruit Cake Month!

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

Hello again to all MediLodge friends and family! Has everyone put away all the summer clothes, and broke out all the sweaters and long underwear? It is admittedly a dismal time in the Burchell household. But fear not! The joys of the holiday season are nearly upon us. December is both an end and a beginning… the end of another year and the beginning of winter (although technically speaking this doesn’t happen until Jan. 21, tell my body that when the temperature is below freezing and the car needs scraped before heading to work).

December is also National Fruit Cake Month! Yay! The fruit cake…given as gifts during the holiday season, it would seem, has been around since time immemorial. Some like it, some absolutely hate it. There isn’t a whole lot of in between on this one. I used to be in the hate category, but I do believe that had a lot to do with public opinion at the time, which really hasn’t changed in the few decades that I’ve been aware of this holiday confection. Now however, I really do like fruit cake. But not your run of the mill, very dry almost stale types, that get re-gifted 3 times over. There does exist in the world very moist, dense, and superbly flavorful fruitcakes.

The oldest reference that can be found regarding a fruit cake dates back to Roman times. The recipe included pomegranate seeds. Pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. Honey, spices, and preserved fruits were added during the Middle Ages. Crusaders and hunters were reported to have carried this type of cake to sustain themselves over long periods of time away from home. Mail-order fruit cakes in America began in 1913. Some well-known American bakers of fruit cake include Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, and The Claxton Bakery in Claxton, Georgia. Both Collin Street and Claxton are Southern companies with access to cheap nuts, for which the expression “nutty as a fruitcake” was derived in 1935.

Commercial fruit cakes are often sold from catalogs by charities as a fund raiser. Most American mass-produced fruit cakes are alcohol-free, but traditional recipes are saturated with liqueurs or brandy and covered in powdered sugar, both of which prevent mold. Brandy- or wine-soaked linens can be used to store the fruit cakes, and some people feel that fruit cakes improve with age. If a fruit cake contains alcohol, it could remain edible for many years. For example, a fruit cake baked in 1878 is kept as an heirloom by a family (Morgan L. Ford) in Tecumseh, Michigan. In 2003 it was sampled by Jay Leno on The Tonight Show. To lengthen the shelf life of a fruit cake, wrap the cake in alcohol soaked linen before storing. I actually think I would enjoy sampling this fruit cake! Now I have never had the opportunity to make a fruit cake, so I am going to include a recipe from the Food Network. I have examined this recipe, which is from one of my favorite chef ’s, Alton Brown, and do believe it has the makings of an excellent holiday gift!

Free Range Fruitcake

Ingredients:Alton Brown Free Range Fruitcake
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup currants
1/2 cup sun dried cranberries
1/2 cup sun dried blueberries
1/2 cup sun dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely
Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
1 cup gold rum
1 cup sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter
(1 1/4 sticks)
1 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 whole cloves, ground
6 allspice berries, ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecans, broken
Brandy for basting and/or spritzing

Preheat oven to 325°F.
1. Combine dried fruits, candied ginger and both zests. Add rum and macerate overnight, or microwave for 5 minutes to rehydrate fruit.
2. Place fruit and liquid in a nonreactive pot with the sugar, butter, apple juice and spices. Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)
3. Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture. Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integrated, then fold in nuts. Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.
4. Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet. Baste or spritz top with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.
5. When cake is completely cooled, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container. Every 2 to 3 days, feel the cake and if dry, spritz with brandy. The cake’s flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks. If you decide to give the cake as a gift, be sure to tell the recipient that they are very lucky indeed.


For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

November is National Good Nutrition Month

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroe

Everyone put away their summer clothes and get out the cold weather gear! It is sad to see temperatures sinking into the 40’s, but there is nothing like the changing of the seasons! One of nature’s greatest accomplishments is the changing of the seasons, and it only last for a brief period, starting right about now. November will find the leaves in their full glory. November also happens to be National Good Nutrition month. A wise theme for what is inevitably the start of the holidays, and so shrewdly placed just after Halloween!

I believe everyone can boost the nutrition of their daily diet without having to make serious significant changes. It is safe to say, however, that getting rid of as many prepared food items from your pantry and refrigerators is paramount to having any real kind of accomplishment in the area of nutrition.

MediLodge of Monroe

Simple changes like subbing celery and peanut butter or roasted nuts for chips, can make an immediate impact. Eating multiple small meals, 5 or 6, per day takes a little bit of planning and commitment, but can boost metabolism and have you finding yourself shedding unnecessary ounces of weight without even exercising.

One of the best ways to boost nutrition that I’ve seen the federal government attempt to implement was the idea of incorporating as many different colors on your meal plate as possible. It is simple and brilliant all at the same time…. most of the nutritious components in our food is grouped into certain foods. These groups of foods/nutritional components coincidentally enough fall linearly into certain color groups. Red fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigments called “lycopene.” Lycopene, in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit, may help reduce risk of several types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables are usually colored by natural plant pigments called “carotenoids.” Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Green foods get their hue from chlorophyll, a natural blood purifier that increases red blood cell count and helps the liver and kidneys eliminate toxins. The “indoles” in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables may help protect against some types of cancer. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.

MediLodge of Monroe invites you to enjoy this delicious recipe!

Pasta Primavera


3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips

1 bunch asparagus, woody stem removed, cut into 1 inch peices

2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs

1 pound short pasta (Penne, Farfalle, Etc.)

1 container grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago



Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  1. On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes and adding tomatoes, about 20 minutes total.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!


For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

October is National Caramel Month

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroecarm app

Hi again everyone! Well, the school season has opened up and with it comes football, post season baseball, and the onset of autumn. This is an exciting time of the year, when many people are starting new phases of their lives; perhaps gearing up for the holidays are beginning. One thing is for certain for many people, and that is that it is the harvest season. Many different locally grown items are available at peak ripeness and in abundance. One of these items is the apple, and one of the greatest compliments to the apple is caramel.

October is National Caramel Month, and this would seem totally appropriate given its symbiotic relationship with the apple. I mean, who has never craved a caramel apple from the fair? Caramel is a beige to dark-brown confectionery product made by heating any of a variety of sugars. The process of caramelization consists of heating sugar slowly to around 340 °F. As the sugar heats, the molecules break down and re-form into compounds with a characteristic color and flavor. Caramel is often eaten as little brown, sweet, buttery nuggets wrapped in cellophane, but it is also delicious in candy bars and on top of fresh popcorn.

carm sauceThe best caramels are sweet and just a bit chewy. Caramels can, in fact, have a variety of textures. Caramel manufacturers use the term “short” to characterize a caramel that is too soft (perhaps too moist) or “long” for a caramel that is quite chewy. Caramels are, in some ways, rather similar to other candies in that the basis for candy is generally sugar, corn syrup, and water. However, caramels vary in an important way in that they also contain milk and fat.

What makes a caramel a caramel? The action of the heat on the milk solids, in conjunction with the sugar ingredients, imparts a typical caramel flavor to these sweets. Essentially, the entire batch of candy undergoes a chemical reaction referred to by chemists as the Maillard reaction. One thing I do know is that caramel is GOOD!!

Now, on to our recipe!


Caramel Popcorncarm pop


• 8 oz. of lightly packed brown sugar

• 4 oz. of butter

• 4 oz. of corn syrup

• 1/2 tsp vanilla

• 1/2 tsp baking soda

• 32 oz. popped popcorn (1 microwave bag should do; no butter no salt)


1. Preheat your oven to 250 F

2. Remove all the un-popped kernels.

3. Bring the brown sugar, butter and light corn syrup to a boil in a large pot over medium heat, stirring constantly with the wooden spoon.

4. Continue stirring constantly as you turn off the heat.

5. Add the vanilla, then the baking soda. There will be a slight chemical reaction and your caramel will start to foam and rise as you keep stirring.

6. Add the popcorn and stir until all the popcorn is coated. Don’t worry if the stirring becomes difficult.

7. Press the popcorn mixture as best you can on a greased baking tray. You will likely not be able to cover the face of the tray.

8. Bake the popcorn for 30 minutes, pressing down on your popcorn to further flatten it every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool thoroughly. Once cool and hard, break into bite-sized pieces and enjoy.


For more information on The MediLodge Group, visit our website, find us on Facebook or tune in to our YouTube Channel.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe Recognies National Honey Month in September

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroe

Oh how I do not look forward to the end of summer! However I do love the changing of the seasons, and the warm days and cool nights of early fall. September is the beginning of the school year, and football season, and also National Honey Month!

Honey is an amazing thing! Honey is as old as history is itself. One of the earliest evidence of honey harvesting is on a rock painting dating back 8000 years. Found in Valencia, Spain; it shows a honey seeker robbing a wild bee colony. The bees were subdued with smoke and the tree or rocks opened resulting in destruction of the colony.

It is difficult to appreciate in today’s world of convenience, high tech wizardry, junk food and sugar substitutes, the value of honey. Humans have eaten it, bathed in it, fixed their wounds with it and traded with it since history was recorded. Archaeologists discovered honey comb in Egypt that had been buried with the pharaohs in their tombs, the honey was preserved and was still edible. Honey was valued highly and often used as a form of currency, tribute, or offering. In the 11th century A.D., German peasants paid their feudal lords in honey and beeswax.

Although experts argue whether the honeybee is native to the Americas, conquering Spaniards in 1600 A.D. found native Mexicans and Central Americans had already developed beekeeping methods to produce honey. Historically, honey has been used by humans to treat a variety of ailments, from gastric disturbances to ulcers, wounds and burns, through ingestion or topical application, but only recently have the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey been chemically explained. Different honeys have different properties, which have been known since ancient times. Much scientific research has been done, with emphasis of late on fighting infections in wounds.

Pecan-Bran Chicken with Honey Sauce


• 1/2 teaspoon saltPecan Bran Chicken

• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

• 8 skinned and boned chicken thighs

• 3/4 cup honey, divided

• 3/4 cup Dijon mustard, divided

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 cup finely chopped pecans

• 1 cup bran flakes, crushed


1. Combine first 3 ingredients; sprinkle evenly over chicken in a shallow dish. Stir together 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup mustard, and garlic; pour over chicken. Cover and chill 2 hours.

2. Mix crushed pecans and bran flakes.

3. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Dredge chicken in pecans; place on a lightly greased rack in an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan.

4. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until chicken is done.

5. Stir together remaining 1/4 cup honey, remaining 1/4 cup mustard; serve sauce with chicken.


For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

July is National Blueberry Month!

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroe

July marks national blueberry month. Blueberries have been one of my favorite fruits since I was a young boy. I think my first experience with blueberries was actually a Hostess brand pie, which at the time I thought was the bee’s knees, but now I’ve come to prefer a less manufactured form of blueberry enjoyment.

Blueberries are actually one of the few fruits native to North America. Commercially offered blueberries are usually from species that naturally occur only in eastern and north-central North America. In commercial blueberry production, smaller species are known as “lowbush blueberries” (synonymous with “wild”), and the larger species are known as “highbush blueberries”. Maine produces 25% of all lowbush blueberries in North America. Michigan is the leader in highbush production. In 1998, Michigan farms produced about 250,000 tons of blueberries, accounting for approximately 32% of those eaten in the United States. That is a heck of a lot of blueberries.

Centuries ago, Native Americans knew that blueberries were good for treating stomach problems, but they were limited to eating wild blueberries. Researchers have found blueberries to be higher in antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable tested. By combating free-radicals in our bodies, antioxidants help protect against cancer and delay the aging process. But that’s not all, there’s evidence that blueberries can reduce urinary tract infections and protect against heart disease, too. One study even found that fighter pilots who were given regular doses of blueberries had significantly improved night vision. I think I need to increase my blueberry intake!

I’m giving you a recipe that is one of my favorite for using blueberries but I highly recommend that you experiment with this delicious and good for you fruit, which happens to be a major agricultural commodity of Michigan.

MediLodge of Monroe






Blueberry Cobbler

Yield: 4 Servings



• 2 Cups Blueberries

• 2 Tbsp. white sugar

• 2 Tbsp brown sugar

• Pinch ground cinnamon

• dash of ground nutmeg

• 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch

• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 2 Tbsp white sugar

• 2 Tbsp brown sugar

• 1/2 tsp. baking powder

• pinch salt

• 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

• 1 Tbsp. boiling water


Mix Together:

• 3/4 tablespoons white sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon



1. Preheat convection oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine fruit, 1st white sugar, 1st brown sugar, 1st cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 2nd white sugar, 2nd brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

4. Remove fruit from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.


For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

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