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Root beer gives sloppy Joes a kick the kids will like

> Family Sunday

Gather the family for mustard-garlic roasted pork loin (see recipe). Serve it with succotash. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet on medium. Add 1 medium chopped onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 chopped red bell pepper, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add 1 (10-ounce) package frozen lima beans (thawed), 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 large ear) and cook 5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat. Add 1 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)

Add mixed greens and corn bread (from a mix). Everyone will like banana pudding for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough pork for Monday.

Shopping list: Garlic, fresh thyme, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, black pepper, pork loin roast, onion, red bell pepper, frozen lima beans, fresh corn, red wine or sherry vinegar, salad greens, corn bread mix, banana pudding.

> Heat and eat Monday

Use Monday's leftover pork for Cuban sandwiches. Fill Kaiser rolls with sliced pork, deli sliced ham, Swiss cheese and dill pickles. Wrap sandwiches in foil; heat in 350-degree oven to melt cheese. Serve with plantain chips. Fresh blueberries are good for dessert.

Shopping list: Kaiser rolls, deli sliced ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, plantain chips, fresh blueberries.

> Budget Tuesday

They are economical and have a great taste, so put maple-mustard chicken thighs (see recipe) on the menu tonight. Serve with potato salad, coleslaw and whole-grain rolls. Fresh cherries are your dessert.

Shopping list: Spicy brown mustard, light brown sugar, maple syrup, yellow mustard, onion powder, cider vinegar, lower-sodium soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, bone-in skinless chicken thighs, coarse salt, cooking spray, potato salad, coleslaw, whole-grain rolls, cherries.

> Kids Wednesday

Kids will like them, as will the adults, so root beer sloppy Joes (see recipe) will work for the whole family. Serve them with oven fries (frozen) and celery sticks. Finish with Creamsicles.

Shopping list: Ground sirloin, onion, garlic, chili powder, dried thyme, dry mustard, salt, black pepper, ketchup, root beer or other dark soda, whole-grain sandwich rolls or buns, frozen oven fries, celery sticks, Creamsicles.

> Express Thursday

Make a fast meal and call it tuna, tomato, red onion and olive pitas. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons each fresh lemon juice and olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add 3 (5-ounce) cans drained solid white tuna, 1/2 small thinly sliced red onion, 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1/4 cup each pitted, halved kalamata olives and coarsely chopped flatleaf parsley. Gently toss to combine. Open 4 small whole-grain pita halves and fill with mixture. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.) Serve with baked chips. Slice cantaloupe for dessert.

Shopping list: Lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, canned solid white tuna, red onion, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, flatleaf parsley, whole-grain pitas, baked chips, cantaloupe.

> Meatless Friday

Everyone will like fettuccine with asparagus and romano cheese. Cook a 9-ounce package refrigerated fettuccine and 1 pound fresh asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces) 3 to 4 minutes or until asparagus is a brilliant green and pasta is tender but firm. Drain well. In a large bowl, combine hot pasta and asparagus with 2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces and 2/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese. Toss well; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Add a spinach salad and garlic bread. Slice fresh papaya for dessert.

Shopping list: Refrigerated fettuccine, fresh asparagus, butter, Romano cheese, salt, pepper, fresh spinach, garlic bread, papaya.

> Easy entertaining Saturday

Invite friends for Asian chicken burgers. Heat broiler. In a large bowl, combine 1 pound ground chicken breast, 1 egg (slightly beaten), 3 chopped green onions, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro; mix gently. Form into 4 ( 1/2 -inch) patties (mixture will be moist). Broil on broiler pan coated with cooking spray 6 minutes or until browned on top. Turn; broil 2 to 3 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Serve the burgers on whole-grain buns along with pasta salad and sliced lettuce and tomatoes. Buy a cheesecake for dessert and top each slice with strawberries.

Shopping list: Ground chicken breast, egg, green onions, soy sauce, cornstarch, fresh ginger, garlic, fresh cilantro, cooking spray, whole-grain buns, pasta salad, lettuce, tomatoes, cheesecake, strawberries.





Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 to 45 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes

4 cloves minced garlic

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (3- to 3 1/3 -pound) well-trimmed boneless center-cut pork loin roast.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine garlic and thyme. Whisk in mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Brush pork with mustard mixture; transfer to a roasting pan and roast 40 to 45 minutes or until the center of roast reaches 145 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes. Carve into slices and serve. (Adapted from "Everyday to Entertaining" by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder; Robert Rose Inc.)

Per serving: 217 calories, 26g protein, 12g fat (50 percent calories from fat), 3.4g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrate, 69mg cholesterol, 264mg sodium, no fiber.



Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; refrigeration time: 2 hours

Cooking time: Less than 20 minutes

1/3 cup spicy brown mustard

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 clove minced garlic

8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Combine spicy brown mustard, sugar, syrup, yellow mustard, onion powder, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper and garlic; mix well. Place half of the mixture in a resealable plastic bag; reserve other half. Add chicken to bag; seal. Refrigerate 2 hours. Heat grill to medium-high. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Place the chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Serve with reserved mustard mixture. (Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.)

Per serving: 313 calories, 28g protein, 12g fat (37 percent calories from fat), 3.2g saturated fat, 18g carbohydrate, 99mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium, no fiber.



Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: Less than 30 minutes

1-pound ground sirloin

1 medium finely chopped onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup root beer or other dark soda

4 whole-grain sandwich rolls or buns

Heat oven to 400 degrees to toast buns. In a large nonstick skillet, cook ground sirloin on medium 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in chili powder, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in ketchup and root beer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until it thickens. Serve on toasted rolls or buns. (Adapted from "The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook," Maggie Green; University Press of Kentucky.)

Per serving (with buns): 358 calories, 30g protein, 7g fat (17 percent calories from fat), 2.2g saturated fat, 46g carbohydrate, 60mg cholesterol, 1,162mg sodium, 4g fiber.