ThePrep: No-Sugar Dinners with 5 Ingredients or Less

A week of flavor-packed 5-ingredient dinners with no added sugar to help you feel your best!

Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

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Who doesn't love a delicious slice of cake or a chewy yet crispy chocolate chip cookie? As a dietitian, I firmly believe that all foods can be part of a healthy, balanced diet, but most adults—me included—typically consume more added sugar in a day than what's recommended. That's because added sugar has found its way into foods that aren't even considered sweet, like salad dressing and yogurt. The American Heart Association suggests capping intake at 36 grams (or 9 teaspoons) a day for men and 25 grams (or 6 teaspoons) a day for women. Taking a week off added sugars can help me feel energized throughout the day, avoiding those afternoon slumps. But don't fret; skipping the added sugars doesn't mean bland or tasteless food, and this week of five-ingredient dinners (not including basics like salt, pepper and oil) will prove that!

Your Meal Plan


On Sundays, I prioritize spending time with family, so I rely on easy and quick dinner recipes. That's when recipes like Roast Chicken & Sweet Potato come in handy. This recipe calls for condiments and herbs like Dijon mustard, fresh thyme, pepper and onion, which add tons of flavor without the added sugar. Not only is this a flavor-packed dinner perfect to start this week, but it's cooked on a single sheet pan, making for streamlined cooking and easy cleanup.

The week just keeps getting better with other recipes like Tuesday's Grilled Salmon with Tomatoes & Basil. When ditching the added sugar, foods that naturally have tons of flavor are a great option. Salmon is packed with healthy fats, giving it its rich tastiness. Plus, ingredients like tomatoes, basil and garlic add plenty of additional flavor to the dish. To complete the meal, I'll serve this beautiful salmon with a side of quinoa.

Another tasty dinner I look forward to making this week is Friday's Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Kale. This recipe calls for convenient ingredients like frozen chopped kale and store-bought marinara sauce that help reduce my prep time to just 10 minutes while adding delicious flavor to the dish! However, read the ingredients list and buy a marinara sauce with no added sugars. For a well-rounded meal and for dipping the tomato sauce, I'll toast some whole-wheat sourdough bread to accompany the dish.

Sunday: Roast Chicken & Sweet Potato
Monday: Cauliflower Gnocchi with Asparagus & Pesto
Tuesday: Grilled Salmon with Tomatoes & Basil with a side of pre-cooked quinoa
Wednesday: Warm Chicken Salad with Peas & Polenta
Thursday: Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans
Friday: Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Kale with a slice of whole-wheat sourdough bread

Get the printable shopping list.

Something Sweet


Limiting added sugars doesn't mean you can't enjoy delicious desserts. And these No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies are one of my favorites. This recipe calls for ripe bananas and either raisins or dates (I'll be using the latter), which add natural sweetness, negating the need for added sugar. Since they are so easy to make and are so tasty, I'll make two batches at a time so I have plenty on hand for a grab-and-go breakfast or snack.

Get the Recipe: No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

What's Inspiring Me This Week

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As I've gotten older, I noticed that sometimes I forget things or get distracted more easily. Though I'm not within the age group with a higher risk of cognitive impairment just yet, there are certain things I can do, and others that I could avoid, to support my brain health as I get older. According to a new study published in PLoS ONE, factors like parental education, personal education level, household income, occupation and depression status can increase your risk of cognitive decline by 38%. And while some of these may be more challenging to modify, these findings have inspired me to do the ones I have more control over—eating lots of fruits and veggies, exercising frequently, engaging in social activities and prioritizing quality sleep.

Find Out More: A New Study Hints That 38% of Cognitive Decline Is Impacted By These Lifestyle Factors

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

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