BuzzFeed Life's Clean Eating Challenge is a two-week plan that's all about eating real food in order to feel great and have more energy. The food is low-carb and gluten-free with an emphasis on lean protein, healthy fats, and lots of fresh produce. There's no processed food allowed; every meal is homemade.
It's important that you follow the meal plan in order starting with Day 1 since most of the recipes call for leftover ingredients from previous days. But you can start any time and find full instructions here. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours and try not to eat within two hours of bedtime.
Roasted Pepper, Cheddar and Spinach Egg Muffins with Blueberries
2 Roasted Pepper, Cheddar Cheese, and Spinach Egg Muffins (men, 3 egg muffins)((leftover from Monday's breakfast) with 1/2 cup blueberries.
Reheat the muffins in the microwave on high for 30 seconds, until they're hot all the way through.
312 calories, 19.8 g fat (7.9 g saturated fat), 15.9 g carbohydrate (2.6 g dietary fiber, 9.8 g sugars), 18.7 g protein, 393 mg cholesterol, 478 mg sodium
Shaved Pork and Cheddar Sandwich on a Portobello “Bun”
Makes 1 serving
2 roasted portobello mushroom caps (leftover from Wednesday's dinner)
4 ounces roasted pork loin (leftover from Sunday's dinner), very thinly sliced
½ tablespoon dijon mustard
1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
2 ¼-inch slices beefsteak tomato (leftover from Wednesday's lunch)
2 large romaine leaves, sliced or torn to fit on the mushroom buns
Lay one portobello mushroom cap down, stack the sliced pork on top of it, spread the pork with the dijon mustard, then stack the sliced cheddar, sliced tomato, and sliced romaine on top. Top with the second portobello bun, underside-in, making a sandwich.
If you're packing this lunch to-go: Make the sandwich as directed, then wrap in foil or parchment paper to hold everything together. Refrigerate until serving. You can eat it cold, or let it sit out for 15 minutes or so before eating, so that it's closer to room temperature.
324 calories, 15.7 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 10.7 g carbohydrate (4.3 g dietary fiber, 0.9 g sugars), 36 g protein, 85 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium
Assemble your ingredients then put one mushroom cap on a piece of parchment or voil.
Stack the shaved pork, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and mustard, then top with the second mushroom cap. Wrap your sandwich.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Makes 1 serving
1/2 avocado (leftover from dinner on Friday, Week 1), frozen
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 medjool date
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.
If you're packing this snack to-go: Blend everything together in the morning, then transfer to another portable, airtight container that you can drink out of. Store in the fridge until snack time.
239 calories, 15.6 g fat (2.1 g saturated fat), 28 g carbohydrate (9.2 g dietary fiber, 16.3 g sugars), 3.3 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 98 mg sodium
Steamed Salmon with Snap Peas, Garlic and Quinoa
To make this dinner you'll combine:
⅓ recipe cooked quinoa (recipe below)
One 4-ounce Steamed Salmon Fillet with Snap Peas (men cook two 8-ounce fillets and eat one 8-ounce fillet) (recipe below)
Make the quinoa first.
368 calories, 7.4 g fat (0.8 g saturated fat), 38 g carbohydrate (7.6 g dietary fiber, 8.2 g sugars), 38 g protein, 76 mg cholesterol, 743 mg sodium
Makes 1 1/2 cups (3 servings)
You'll eat a third of the cooked quinoa today and save the rest for Friday's dinner and Saturday's lunch.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained in a mesh sieve
1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
In a medium saucepan with a lid, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add quinoa and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about a minute, until quinoa is completely dry and slightly toasted.
Add chicken stock and salt, and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to the lowest setting and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Eat ½ cup quinoa with salmon for dinner tonight. Let the rest of the quinoa cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.
Heat your oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add the quinoa and cook, stirring often, until it's lightly browned and smells a little bit toasted.
Add the chicken stock and kosher salt.
Bring everything to a boil.
Cover the pot and turn the heat all the way down to low. Cook for 15 minutes, covered, then turn the heat off and let the pot sit, COVERED, for another 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Serve 1/3 of the quinoa for dinner tonight. Let the leftover 2/3 cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Steamed Salmon with Garlic and Snap Peas
Makes 1 serving plus leftover salmon
You'll save one steamed salmon fillet for Friday's lunch.
¼ cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups snap peas, ends trimmed
2 4-ounce fillets* salmon, skin removed (try and get two fillets that are the same thickness)
½ lemon, in 2 slices
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
½ cup cooked quinoa (recipe above)
*Men, cook two 8-ounce fillets
First, make a lid for your skillet out of parchment paper (see here for a diagram): Cut a square of parchment paper that's about three inches wider than the circumference of a large skillet. Fold the square in half diagonally, so that it's a triangle. Fold the two furthest corners of the triangle together, so that you have a smaller triangle. Do the same thing again, so that you have an even smaller triangle with eight layers of parchment. Take the tip of the triangle (where all of the folds converge) and pinch it together between two fingertips. Put that tip in the very center of your skillet, and mark where the outer edge of the skillet hits the parchment paper. Cut the folded parchment triangle along the curve of the skillet, then cut about half an inch from the tip of the triangle. Unfold the triangle, and you'll have a round piece of parchment the size of your skillet, with a hole in the center. Set this aside while you prep your ingredients.
In a large skillet off the heat, combine the chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, tamari, sliced garlic, and snap peas, then stir together and spread everything out in an even layer over the bottom of the skillet.
Season the salmon fillets with kosher salt and pepper on both sides, then place the salmon fillets atop the snap peas in the skillet and lay two lemon slices over each fillet. Cover everything with the parchment lid, then heat the skillet over medium-high heat until the liquid starts to simmer, about a minute. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the bottom half of the salmon is opaque, about 3 minutes. Carefully lift the parchment lid just enough to flip both salmon fillets over, then cook until the salmon is opaque on the outside and cooked through but still slightly pink on the inside, about 3 minutes more.
Transfer the snap peas to a serving plate with the warm cooked quinoa, then serve one salmon fillet atop the vegetables. Discard the lemon slices.
Let the second salmon fillet cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.
Put the chicken stock, vinegar, tamari, garlic, and snap peas in a large skillet and spread everything out.
Lay the salmon fillets on top. You don't want them touching the skillet at all.
Lay a lemon slice on top of each.
Cover with the parchment lid, then turn the heat on medium-high until the liquid starts simmering, which takes about a minute. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 3 minutes.
Carefully lift the parchment lid and flip the salmon fillets, then cook for another 3 minutes.
The dish is done when the salmon is opaque on the outside and pink on the inside, the snap peas are totally cooked, and the liquid is evaporated.
Serve one salmon fillet with all the snap peas and 1/2 cup (1/3 of the recipe) quinoa.
Mango Sorbet (leftover from Wednesday, Week 1) sprinkled with 10 raw, unsalted pistachios (20 for men), roughly chopped.
187 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.1 g saturated fat), 19.9 g carbohydrate (2 g dietary fiber, 17.3 g sugars), 2.8 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 6 mg sodium
DAY 12 (THURSDAY) TOTAL NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:
1,430 calories, 62 g fat (18.9 g saturated fat), 112.5 g carbohydrate (25.7 g dietary fiber, 57.5 g sugars), 97.8 g protein, 554 mg cholesterol, 1825 mg sodium
You've only got two more days! Give yourself a pat on the back.
So, you’re taking the Clean Eating Challenge? We’d love to see how it goes! Post your photos to Instagram or Twitter and tag them #BuzzFeedCleanEating
BuzzFeed Food editors tested the entire Clean Eating Challenge and can vouch for the validity and deliciousness of every recipe. If you have questions about the challenge or any of the dishes, you can email Christine Byrne.