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Menu planner: Pot roast aroma will bring family to table

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

Savory beef pot roast.
Cattlemen’s Beef Board

Savory beef pot roast

Servings: 8

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 2 1/2 hours

INGREDIENTS

1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) boneless beef blade chuck roast

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (14-ounce) can lower-sodium beef broth

1 cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 cups any frozen vegetable blend

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish

Coat stockpot with cooking spray; heat to medium. Place roast in pot; brown evenly. Pour off drippings; season with salt and pepper. Add broth, wine and garlic to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours or until roast is fork-tender. Remove roast; keep warm. Skim fat from broth and discard; bring broth to a boil. Reduce to medium; cook 5 minutes. Add frozen vegetables to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced slightly. Stir in the chopped thyme. Season with additional salt as desired. Slice roast and serve with sauce and vegetables.

Per serving: 241 calories, 25 grams protein, 10 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 4 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 78 milligrams cholesterol, 206 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber. Carb count: 0.5.

Cheeseburger macaroni

Servings: 6

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes, plus macaroni

INGREDIENTS

6 ounces small elbow macaroni

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 pound ground turkey breast

1 medium onion, chopped

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian stewed tomatoes with liquid

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup shredded 50% light sharp cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni according to directions, but without using oil; drain. Cook beef, turkey and onion in a large nonstick skillet on medium for 5 or 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain well and pat with paper towels. Spoon back into skillet and add tomatoes with liquid, ketchup, cayenne pepper and salt; mix well. Cook 4 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cooked macaroni. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

Per serving: 321 calories, 25 grams protein, 10 grams fat (27 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 33 grams carbohydrate, 53 milligrams cholesterol, 698 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber. Carb count: 2.

Pomegranate and lime chicken thighs

Servings: 8

Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 2 hours to overnight

Cooking time: For chicken: 30 to 40 minutes; For glaze: 20 to 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the chicken:

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 cup pomegranate juice

1 teaspoon coarse salt

2 teaspoons garlic powder

8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs

Pomegranate arils (seeds) for garnish (optional)

For the glaze:

4 cups pomegranate juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

To marinate chicken, combine the yogurt, 1 cup pomegranate juice, salt and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add the chicken; turn to coat. Cover; refrigerate 2 hours to overnight, turning several times.

To prepare the glaze: Whisk together 4 cups pomegranate juice, sugar, lime juice, honey and mustard in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove glaze from heat and set aside.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a nonstick stovetop grill pan on medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray just before placing chicken on it. Remove chicken from the marinade; let the excess liquid drip off before setting 4 thighs, skin-side down, on the pan; discard marinade. Leave chicken in place for 1 minute to allow the skin to sear and create dark grill marks. Turn chicken; cook 1 minute more; transfer to a large, parchment-lined rimmed baking pan. Repeat with remaining thighs. Bake the chicken about 30-40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Spoon a generous amount of glaze over the chicken and garnish with pomegranate seeds, if desired. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 368 calories, 18 grams protein, 12 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 3.1 grams saturated fat, 48 grams carbohydrate, 101 milligrams cholesterol, 481 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Carb count: 3.

Tuna-mushroom melt sandwiches

In a small bowl, combine 1 (6-ounce) can drained water-packed albacore tuna, 1/4 cup chopped celery and 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise; stir until blended. Set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil on medium. Add 4 medium-sized portobello mushroom caps (6 ounces total), gill side up with stems removed; cover and cook 4 minutes. Uncover and turn, then re-cover and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Turn mushrooms; divide tuna mixture among mushrooms and top each with 1 slice low-fat American cheese. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Place each mushroom on 1 slice toasted whole-grain bread.

Sicilian pasta

Cook 8 ounces bowtie pasta according to directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium. Add 1 small eggplant (cubed, about 3 cups), 1 medium red bell pepper (cut into strips) and 1 medium onion (cut into wedges); cook and stir 10 minutes or until softened. Add 1 (26-ounce) jar red pasta sauce with mushrooms and ripe olives; simmer 10 minutes. Spoon over pasta.