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Apple wedges spice up yams, ham

Associated Press

High-fiber yams and modern lean pork are combined in this gently spiced, low-fat, low-calorie dish. Green apple wedges and mellow yams add pleasing flavor and color to the dish, as well as more than a pinch of good nutrition.

The recipe is in the section on main-course meat dishes in the "Reader's Digest Vegetables for Vitality" cookbook. Other sections offer recipes for using vegetables beneficially in most meals from breakfast through dessert treats, including vegetarian selections, for a total of 240 recipes, each shown in a color photo. The book is rounded out by a colorful A-to-Z guide to vegetables.

In this recipe, the editors point out that adding fresh fruit to a meat dish is a great way to include more vitamins and fiber in a meal. Sliced pears, halved kumquats. orange sections or pineapple chunks could be used in this recipe in place of the apple.

Cider-braised ham with yams and apples

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(Preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 30 minutes)

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon apple cider

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 yam or sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices

1 pound lean ham steak

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 12 wedges

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1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup diagonally sliced green part of scallions

In large skillet, stir together 1 cup of the cider, mustard, ginger and cloves. Bring to a simmer. Add yam slices. Cover tightly and simmer until partially tender, 15 minutes.

Add ham steak, covering with yam slices. Arrange apple wedges over top. Cover and simmer until apples and yam are tender and ham is heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and the 1 tablespoon of cider until well blended. With slotted spoon, remove ham, yams and apple from skillet to platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Stir a little of hot pan liquid into cornstarch mixture until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture into skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Divide ham, yams and apples among 4 plates. Spoon skillet sauce over. Garnish with scallions. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 211 cal., 18 g pro., 25 g carbo., 4 g total fat (1 g saturated), 38 mg chol., 2 g fiber, 1,188 mg sodium.

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