A week of delicious dinners with no added sugar to help you feel your best!
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Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

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There's nothing that I enjoy more than a warm chewy brownie topped with vanilla ice cream. And while sugar and desserts are definitely part of a healthy and balanced diet, the truth is we usually eat more than we realize. Though I won't avoid added sugars forever, a week of no added sugars before the holidays feels about right. Note that I mean added sugars. There's a difference between natural and added sugars. Natural sugars are food in fruits, vegetables and unsweetened dairy products like cheese, which are also packed with other nutrients like fiber, vitamins and minerals. On the contrary, added sugars are well, added, during processing and can really add up if we're not paying attention. In fact, American adults typically consume more than double what's recommended. This week I'm turning to recipes with no added sugar but full of flavor.

Your Meal Plan

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Nothing calls for cozy food like rainy fall days. And since it will be raining tomorrow, I'm starting off this week with some Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce. Creamy sauces are always a winner when it comes to coziness and comfort. This recipe has a rich umami taste enhanced by the mixed mushrooms and has only 2.9 grams of total sugar per serving. To complete the meal, I'll serve the chops over a bed of quinoa—and I'll make extra to use for Tuesday's recipe.

Tuesday's Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Salad is a delicious dish I'll make this week. Since I'll make a double batch of quinoa on Sunday, this recipe will be ready in 15 minutes, from start to finish.When trying to reduce my sugar intake, I rely on foods that naturally have lots of flavor. Fat content increases the tastiness of food. That's why foods rich in healthy fats, like salmon, don't need too much elaboration to taste delicious. And the roasted peppers and cilantro add a pop of fiber in addition to beautiful bright colors.

Another no-added-sugar winner is Friday's Grilled Peach & Brie Smothered Chicken. Though this recipe contains a slightly higher total sugar content (5.4 grams per serving) than the other recipes, it comes from natural sources. Peaches, like all fruits, naturally contain sugar but their fiber content helps steady our blood sugar. And the Brie cheese and tarragon take this dinner to the next level. For a well-rounded meal, I'll have a slice of toasted whole-wheat baguette drizzled with some olive oil.

Sunday: Pork Chops with Creamy Mushroom Sauce over a bed of quinoa

Wednesday: Lemon-Garlic Chicken with Green Beans with a side of brown rice

Friday: Grilled Peach & Brie Smothered Chicken paired with a slice of toasted whole-wheat baguette tossed with olive oil

Something to Sip On

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Many cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks can often be packed with added sugars. But limiting your added sugar consumption doesn't mean you can't have a refreshing and delicious drink. This cucumber-mint spritzer is a perfectly balanced option that will hydrate you and get you through your day.

Get the Recipe: Cucumber-Mint Spritzer

What's Inspiring Me This Week

Everything-Seasoned Almonds
Credit: Jennifer Causey

Nuts and seeds are one of my favorite mid-afternoon snacks. They are practical, delicious and full of health benefits. And cashews and almonds are the ones I always have on hand. Lucky for me, a recent study has inspired me to continue snacking on almonds and convince my husband to do the same. According to this study, almonds might help with constipation by making your bowel movements more regular. 

I wish you all a great week, and if you have any questions or requests for future newsletters, please let me know by emailing ThePrep@eatingwell.com! Don't forget to add a recipe review if you try one.