BuzzFeed Life’s 7-Day Clean Eating Challenge is a healthy, delicious meal plan designed to make you feel great, without making you feel crazy, stressed, or hungry.
There's no processed food allowed—instead there's lots of lean protein, healthy fats, and fresh produce. Every meal is homemade, but don't be scared! There are step-by-step photos to help you with the recipes, and nothing is too difficult for a beginner cook.
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.
NOTE: Today is a little more prep-intensive than the other days, since it's a Sunday and also the first day of the challenge.
Kale, Sweet Potato, and Onion Frittata
Makes 2 servings (save 1 for leftovers)
3 large eggs (Men: 5 large eggs), yolks and whites separated
4 large egg whites*
1 small (3 to 4 inches long) sweet potato, cut in ½-inch cubes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups chopped kale leaves (about half of 1 bunch), ribs and stems removed
½ blood orange (or ½ a small navel orange)
*You'll have 4 yolks leftover. You can either discard them, or freeze them to use after the challenge
Whisk together the 3 egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Beat the seven egg whites in a large mixing bowl with a large whisk until they form soft peaks. Add the yolks to the beaten whites and very gently whisk the mixture, just to combine. Set the eggs aside in the fridge while you cook the vegetables.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Combine the cubed sweet potato with 1 cup water in a large, nonstick, oven-safe skillet over high heat. If you don't have a large nonstick skillet, you can use a regular, oven-safe skillet. Just be sure to coat it thoroughly with oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, just until all the water has evaporated and the sweet potato is soft on the outside, about 8 minutes. As soon as the water is evaporated, add the olive oil and onion, stir together, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion starts to soften, about a minute. Add the chopped kale and cook, stirring often, until the kale is wilted and dark green, about 2 minutes more. Spread the vegetables evenly over the bottom of the skillet, then pour the egg mixture on top and spread it in an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven until the frittata is puffed, cooked through, and very lightly browned on top, 5 to 6 minutes.
Let the frittata cool in the skillet for 5 minutes, then flip it onto a cutting board and cut it in half. Eat half for breakfast, with ½ a blood orange, cut in wedges.
Leftovers: Let the remaining half cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge.
321 calories, 13.7 g fat (3.2 g saturated fat), 25.9 g carbohydrate (5.1 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar), 23.5 g protein, 279 mg cholesterol, 438 mg sodium
First, prep the sweet potato, onion, and kale.
To separate the eggs from the white, you can use the eggshells, like this:
The egg whites should be in a large mixing bowl, and the yolks should be in a smaller mixing bowl.
Thoroughly whisk the eggs whites, until they hold stiff peaks.
In less fancypants terms, "stiff peaks" means that when you pick up the whisk, the egg whites make a peak and stay there, as opposed to "soft peaks," where the egg whites make a peak for a second and then fall down.
Pour in the egg yolks and whisk very gently just to combine everything, then set it aside in the fridge.
Put the sweet potatoes in a large, nonstick skillet. Add a cup of water, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are soft on the outside and there's no water left.
Add olive oil, onion, and salt and pepper, and cook until the onion starts to soften.
Add the kale and cook until it's dark green and a little soft, then spread the vegetables out and pour the egg mixture in an even layer on top.
Cook the frittata until it's puffed up and set, but still a little jiggly in the middle. It should take 5 to 6 minutes at 450°F. Let it cool for 5 minutes, then flip the frittata onto a cutting board and cut it into 4 pieces.
Serve half the frittata with half a blood orange.
Let the other half cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch.
Need an even more in-depth step-by-step? Watch the video!
Spinach Salad with Roasted Chickpeas, Tofu, and Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Makes 1 serving, with leftover chickpeas, tofu, and vinaigrette
For the salad:
1 (12-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, drained and dried with paper towels
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups baby spinach, packed (half a 5-ounce bag)
For the vinaigrette:
Juice of ½ blood orange (or ½ small navel orange)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the tofu into ½-inch thick rectangles, then cut each rectangle diagonally into 2 triangles. Dry the tofu triangles by pressing them between two paper towels. Drizzle ½ tablespoon of the olive oil over one of the baking sheets, then gently lay the tofu triangles on the baking sheet. Season the tofu with a pinch of salt and some pepper, then flip the tofu and season again, so that the tofu gets lightly coated with olive oil, salt, and pepper on both sides. Bake in the preheated oven until the tofu is lightly browned and just starting to crisp, about 40 minutes, taking the baking sheet out and flipping the pieces halfway through.
Meanwhile, thoroughly dry the chickpeas on a plate lined with paper towels. In a small mixing bowl, combine chickpeas, the remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil, the curry powder, a pinch of salt, and some pepper. Toss to coat, then spread the chickpeas out on the other baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the chickpeas are golden brown and crispy, 30 to 35 minutes.
When the tofu and chickpeas are roasted, let them cool for 5 minutes while you make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the blood orange juice, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the olive oil and continue to whisk until everything is combined.
Assemble the salad: Toss the spinach with half of the vinaigrette in a serving bowl, until all the leaves are evenly coated. Top with half the tofu and half the chickpeas.
Leftovers: Store the other half of the vinaigrette in an airtight container in the fridge. Let the leftover chickpeas and tofu cool completely. Store the leftover tofu in an airtight container in the fridge. Store the leftover chickpeas in an airtight container, at room temperature.
463 calories, 20.6 g fat (3.3 g saturated fat), 48 g carbohydrate (10.7 g dietary fiber, 1.3 g sugars), 24.5 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 600 mg sodium
Cut a block of tofu into triangles, then dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Spread them over a lined baking sheet, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flip the tofu and repeat the olive oil, salt, and pepper on the other side.
Bake in a 400°F oven until the tofu is light brown and starting to get crispy. It'll take about 40 minutes, and you should flip the tofu triangles halfway through, if you remember.
Rinse, drain, and thoroughly dry the chickpeas, then toss them with olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet.
Bake in a 400°F oven — you can bake them at the same time as you bake the tofu! YAY! — until they're golden brown and crispy. It'll take about 30 minutes.
Make the blood orange vinaigrette in a medium mixing bowl, then add the spinach and toss. Serve in a bowl, with half the chickpeas and half the tofu on top.
Let the remaining half the tofu and half the chickpeas cool completely, then store in airtight containers. Keep the tofu in the fridge and the chickpeas at room temperature.
Seeds of half a pomegranate with 10 almonds (Men: 20 almonds)
Everyone has a different way of seeding a pomegranate.
I've tried almost every way, and HONESTLY, I think it's easiest to just cut the pomegranate in half, peel away the pith (that white inner peel), then pull the pomegranate open and just kind of scrape the seeds out.
It's not the sexiest way to do it, but it gets the seeds out without taking the bitter white pith with them, and it takes less than a minute.
Wrap the remaining half of the pomegranate tightly in plastic and store it in the fridge. You'll use it when you prepare the pumpkin yogurt bark tonight.
Turkey-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Makes 2 servings (save 1 serving for leftovers)
1 medium (4 to 5 inches in diameter) acorn squash, halved and seeded
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups kale leaves, ribs removed, thinly sliced
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
8 ounces lean ground turkey (Men: 12 ounces)
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons tomato paste
½ pound (about 2 cups) Brussels sprouts, halved
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the halved squash cut side-up on the baking sheet, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and the onion starts to soften, about a minute. Add the kale and sage leaves and cook, stirring often, until the kale is wilted and dark green, about 2 minutes more. Take the skillet off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
When the mixture has cooled slightly, combine the ground turkey, curry powder, tomato paste, and some salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix everything together, then add the cooked vegetable mixture and mix everything together again.
Divide the mixture in half, roll each half into a large ball, and stuff inside the pre-cooked acorn squash halves on the baking sheet. Toss the Brussels sprouts in a medium mixing bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then spread the Brussels sprouts out on the baking sheet with the squash. Bake until the turkey is cooked through, the squash is soft, and the Brussels sprouts are tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes more.
Serve half the Brussels sprouts with one stuffed squash half.
Leftovers: Let the leftovers (half the Brussels sprouts and 1 stuffed squash half) cool completely before storing them in two separate airtight containers in the fridge.
461 calories, 12.7 g fat (2.2 g saturated fat), 48 g carbohydrate (11 g dietary fiber, 4.4 g sugars), 38.7 g protein, 65 mg cholesterol, 179 mg sodium
A "medium" acorn squash is 4 to 5 inches in diameter.
Halve the squash lengthwise, then scrape the seeds out and put the halves cut side-up on a baking sheet. Season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper.
Bake in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes, to partially cook the squash. It should start to soften, and maybe get a little brown around the edges.
Meanwhile, prep the Brussels sprouts, kale, sage, garlic, and onion.
Cook the vegetable mixture in a pan on the stove (full directions in the recipe), let it cool for at least 5 minutes, then combine the cooked vegetables, ground turkey, curry powder, tomato paste, and more salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Mix everything together to combine.
Divide the turkey into two balls, and place each one inside a squash half. Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread them over the baking sheet with the squash.
Cook in the 400°F oven until the turkey is cooked through, the squash is soft, and the Brussels sprouts are browned.
Eat one squash half and half of the Brussels sprouts for dinner. Let the remaining squash half and Brussels sprouts cool completely before storing in two airtight containers in the fridge.
1 ounce dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
Soak the oats for tomorrow's Carrot Cake Oatmeal. Combine 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup grated carrot (from 1 small, peeled carrot), and 1 tablespoon raisins in a small mixing bowl.
Add 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk and stir together. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
Pumpkin Yogurt Bark
Makes 2 servings
1 cup plain, 2% Greek yogurt
¼ cup canned pure pumpkin (save the rest in an airtight container in the fridge)
1½ tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Seeds of ½ pomegranate (leftover from today's snack)*
2 tablespoons raw pistachios (about 20 kernels), roughly chopped
*If this seems like too many pomegranate seeds, you don't have to use them all. Just save the rest in an airtight container in the fridge and eat them alongside the pumpkin bark tomorrow night.
Combine the yogurt, pumpkin, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Line a baking sheet (or a large, flat bottomed plastic container) with parchment or wax paper, then pour the yogurt-pumpkin mixture onto the baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the mixture into an even layer about ½ inch thick. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and pistachios on top and and freeze until solid. Break the finished bark into large pieces and store in an airtight container in the freezer.
You're not eating the bark tonight, but you have to make it so that it's ready and frozen for tomorrow.
Combine the yogurt, pumpkin, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl, and stir to combine.
Spread the mixture out on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a layer about 1/2-inch thick.
Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and pistachios all over the yogurt mixture, and put the whole thing in the freezer.
(Tomorrow night it'll be frozen solid, and you'll break it apart, eat half of it, and store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge.)
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.