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    Best Side Dishes! Pair it with Pork!

    October is known as the official National Pork Month, but pork is a meat that should be celebrated every month of the year. Pork not only tastes good, it's a nutrient-dense meat loaded with iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.

    Living High on the Hog
    People love pork. Whether it's waking up to bacon and sausage sizzling in the skillet or enjoying a hearty pork roast with vegetables at the end of the day, even those on the smallest budgets can eat like a king when pork is on the table. Pork is versatile, inexpensive, and delicious. Side dishes for pork are plentiful and compliment the flavorful meat well.

    Pork and Spuds
    What's more versatile than pork? Potatoes of course! Combine the two and you have a combination that's hard to beat. Who can resist au gratin potatoes when served with a tender pork steak?

    Au Gratin Potatoes
    4 Russet potatoes, sliced into ¼ inch slices
    1 onion, sliced
    salt and pepper, as desired
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1-1/2 cups milk
    2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
    1 cup of panko bread crumbs

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 1 quart casserole dish. Layer half of the potato slices on the bottom of the dish. Top potatoes with onion slices. Add remaining sliced potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, as desired for taste.

    Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the flour and stir constantly with a whisk. Gradually add the milk and stir until thickened. Add the cheese and turn off heat. Stir until the cheese is melted. Pour cheese over the potato mixture in casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 1-1/2 hours until golden brown. Remove from oven. Sprinkle panko bread crumbs on top.

    Eat your veggies and don't forget the pork!
    Pork never met a veggie it didn't like. When pork shares a plate with a side of vegetables, they just might end up in the nutrient hall of fame. Fresh salads are also a welcome addition with pork.

    Corn and Zucchini Sauté
    1 tablespoon of olive oil
    1 small white onion, diced
    1 teaspoon of garlic, minced
    4 small zucchini, diced
    2 ears fresh corn, cut from cob
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add zucchini, corn, and garlic. Cook and stir until zucchini is tender. Season with salt and pepper as desired for taste.

    A Match Made in Heaven
    Apples and pork are a match made in heaven. Their flavors complement each other well, and the two are often found side by side on dinner tables in homes and restaurants. Baked apples are easy to make. Simply cut a few apples in half, remove seeds, place in a baking dish, sprinkle with some brown sugar and cinnamon. Add a small amount of water to the bottom of the pan, and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. They taste great with thick, juicy pork chops or succulent pork roast.

    Grill Mates
    Pork and barbeque go hand in hand. Fire up the grill and sear a few pork chops. While you're at it, sprinkle a few of your favorite seasonal vegetables with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. Toss them on the grill with pork chops or a rack of ribs, and in no time at all, you'll be the envy of all your neighbors. Who can resist the smell of pork grilling in the backyard?

    When Pork Meets Pasta
    Pasta and pork are the perfect duo when it comes to preparing low-cost meals for you and your family. Creamy macaroni and cheese is a great companion for baked ham or pork roast.

    Easy Macaroni and Cheese
    8 ounces macaroni pasta, cooked and drained
    1/4 cup butter
    1/4 cup flour
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    dash of pepper
    2 cups milk
    2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

    Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Stir until dissolved. Add milk, stirring constantly over medium heat until sauce bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in shredded cheese. Stir until melted. Add cooked macaroni and stir to blend.

    Happy Endings
    Whether pork roast, chops, steaks, ham, or bacon take center stage in your meals, it's easy to find side dishes to compliment the main course. Everything goes with pork!

    But no meal is complete without dessert. Once again, pork is a winner. It works great with all desserts, but some are especially tasty. Any dessert made with pumpkin or apples is guaranteed to get rave reviews from your friends and family. What could be better than a delicious and nutritious pork meal followed by a piece of warm apple or pumpkin pie?

    From breakfast to dinner, pork deserves a standing ovation for versatility, taste, and nutrition.
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