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Menu planner: No Thanksgiving is complete without pecan pie

Thinking ahead to your next few meals? Here are some main dishes and sides to try.

Pecan pie is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.
Pecan pie is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.
Courtesy of American Pecans

Pecan pie

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 60 to 70 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon granulated salt

2 1/2 cups pecan halves

Place baking sheet in oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange crust in pie pan according to directions; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and salt; whisk until mixture is even. Fold in pecan halves. Pour mixture into pie crust and spread evenly with spatula. Gently cover edges of crust with aluminum foil. Place pie pan on preheated baking sheet and bake 60 to 70 minutes or until pie is set in center. Remove foil for browning 10 minutes before pie is done. Remove pie; allow to cool completely before serving.

Per serving: 526 calories, 5 grams protein, 32 grams fat (52% calories from fat), 8.7 grams saturated fat, 62 grams carbohydrate, 77 milligrams cholesterol, 277 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 4.

Apple and spice pork loin roast

Makes 12 servings (using a 3-pound roast)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 50 to 55 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 (3- to 4-pound) well-trimmed boneless pork loin roast

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together applesauce, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and cloves; refrigerate half of mixture and set aside the remainder. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, garlic powder and pepper. Rub flour mixture evenly over entire surface of pork. Place pork on rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast 40 minutes, uncovered, or until internal temperature is 135 degrees. Spoon reserved applesauce mixture over pork. Continue roasting until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (8 to 12 minutes). Transfer roast to cutting board; cover with foil and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. In a small pan, heat refrigerated applesauce mixture to a boil; boil 1 minute. Spoon heated applesauce mixture over pork slices and serve.

Per serving: 201 calories, 23 grams protein, 8 grams fat (35% calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 64 milligrams cholesterol, 133 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb choices: 0.5.

Penne with spinach and olives

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: for the pasta

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces penne or other tube-shaped pasta

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1/4 cup kalamata olives (pitted, chopped)

2 tablespoons rinsed capers

1 (3.5-ounce) package (about 3/4 cup) crumbled Greek feta cheese with tomatoes and basil (or plain)

Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar and garlic; mix and let stand while pasta cooks. Add cooked pasta, spinach, olives, capers and feta; toss and serve.

Per serving: 309 calories, 11 grams protein, 9 grams fat (27% calories from fat), 2.2 grams saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 415 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 3.

Roasted sweet potatoes

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub and halve sweet potatoes lengthwise; place in baking dish, cut side up. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, chopped fresh thyme, coarse salt and pepper to taste. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until golden-brown and tender.

Baked pork and sauerkraut

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and drain 2 pounds refrigerated sauerkraut and spoon into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stir in 1 teaspoon caraway seeds. Top with sliced, cooked pork. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 25 minutes or until hot.

Cranberry-ancho turkey sandwiches

For one sandwich: Toast 2 slices sourdough bread. Spread 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese on the toast. Spread both sides with 1/4 cup leftover cranberry sauce. Top one slice with sliced turkey; sprinkle with ancho chili powder and add romaine. Cover with other toast slice and cut on diagonal.