ThePrep: Antioxidant-Rich Dinners Ready in 30 Minutes or Less

These 30-minute dinners can help you up your antioxidant intake in a delicious way.

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Our column, ThePrep, has everything you'll need to make meal planning and meal prep as easy as can be. Sign up here to get a meal plan delivered to your inbox every Saturday!

Trees are starting to fill out with leaves here in Seattle, and I'm very excited about the warmer weather. And all the spring vibes have me inspired to try out some new recipes with fresh flavors and bright colors. This week's meals are ready in 30 minutes or less and feature antioxidant-rich foods to support your overall health.

Your Meal Plan

Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potatoes
Jennifer Causey

While acute inflammation is a natural process of your body to fight foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, chronic inflammation can increase oxidative damage and your risk of disease. The latter type of inflammation increases with exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollution and chemicals. But the good news is that many delicious foods are great sources of antioxidants—compounds that protect you from oxidative damage. Even more so, antioxidant-rich foods may help prevent dementia and cognitive decline.

Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potatoes is a yummy antioxidant-rich winner that's perfect for my meatless Monday. While there are plenty of store-bought options, there's nothing like homemade chili. And this recipe is ready in 30 minutes, from start to finish. Unlike a classic chili, this recipe calls for quinoa and sweet potatoes instead of ground beef. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, a potent antioxidant. Beta carotene not only gives them their beautiful orange color but also helps quell inflammation in the body, supports your immune system and protects your eyes from vision damage. And veggies like poblano peppers and tomatoes provide other components with antioxidant properties, such as vitamin C, capsaicin and lycopene.

Sunday: Antipasto Baked Smothered Chicken with a side of whole-wheat couscous
Monday: Quinoa Chili with Sweet Potatoes
Tuesday: Chicken & Vegetable Penne with Parsley-Walnut Pesto
Wednesday: Blackened Fish Tacos
Thursday: Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Grilled Chicken
Friday: Gochujang-Glazed Salmon with Garlic Spinach with a side of brown rice

Get the printable shopping list.

Something Sweet

lemon blueberry ice cream
Brie Passano

If I had to choose a single dessert to eat for the rest of my life, it would probably be ice cream. And while not exactly the same as ice cream, this Lemon-Blueberry Nice Cream has been one of my favorites lately. This recipe features frozen blueberries, which are more budget-friendly than fresh ones, plus bananas which help give this dessert its signature creamy texture. This tart and delicious homemade nice cream is ready in just 10 minutes, contains no added sugar and is perfect if you're looking for something fun to do over the weekend or you're on dessert duty.

What's Inspiring Me This Week

a photo of a woman walking on a trail with her dog
Getty Images

Eating antioxidant-rich foods isn't the only way to reduce the risk of disease. According to recently published research, walking is a great way to support your overall health. This study published in JAMA Network Open found that walking 8,000 steps, around 3.5 miles, only once or twice per week can reduce your risk of death in the next 10 years by 15%. So if you're feeling motivated to hit the road, put on your walking shoes and start hitting those miles.

Find Out More: Walking 8,000 Steps Just Once per Week May Improve Longevity by 15%, a New Study Suggests

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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