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.
Tart Cherry Overnight Oats
Makes 1 serving
If you're following the Clean Eating Challenge, you already have this ready to go!
⅓ cup rolled oats (Men: ½ cup rolled oats)
¾ cup plain, 2% Greek yogurt (Men: 1 cup plain, 2% Greek yogurt)
⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon dried tart cherries (no sugar added)
10 raw almonds (Men: 20 almonds), chopped
Combine all ingredients except the almonds in a small airtight container. Stir together, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
When the oats are ready, garnish with the chopped almonds, and serve cold.
363 calories, 10.8 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 39 g carbohydrate (4.9 g dietary fiber, 17 g sugars), 24.5 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 133 mg sodium
One half of the Ground Turkey-Stuffed Acorn Squash with ½ English cucumber, cut in slices or matchsticks.
Curried Kabocha and Kale Soup with Crumbled Tempeh
Makes 3 (1½ cup) servings. Eat one for dinner tonight, save one for lunch on Thursday. The third serving is extra — you can either freeze it in an airtight container and eat it one day when the challenge is over, or you can give it to a friend or roommate.
If you can't find kabocha squash, buttercup squash is extremely similar. You can also use 1½ pounds peeled butternut squash cubes.
For the soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small (1½ pound) kabocha squash, peeled, seeds removed and saved, cut into rough 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups kale leaves, ribs removed, roughly chopped
For the toppings:
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 ounces plain tempeh, crumbled
2 tablespoons plain, 2% Greek yogurt
Heat the olive oil in a large pot with a lid over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and celery start to soften and the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the kabocha squash and curry powder, stir, and cook until the curry powder is very fragrant, about a minute. Add the chicken stock and season with a little more salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to high and bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, until the squash is very soft.
While the soup simmers, prepare the tempeh topping: Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tempeh is lightly browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside while you finish the soup.
When the squash is tender, take the pot off the heat and use an immersion blender to purée the soup, right in the pot. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend the soup in a regular blender. Be sure to fill the blender no more than halfway, since the mixture will be very hot.) When the soup is puréed, add the kale leaves and stir to combine. The heat of the soup will wilt the kale.
Transfer ⅓ of the soup to a bowl, top with the tempeh and the Greek yogurt, and serve immediately.
Leftovers: Let the remaining soup cool completely, then divide it into two airtight containers. Store one in the fridge for Thursday's lunch. You can freeze the third serving in an airtight container to eat when the challenge is over, or you can give it away.
420 calories, 18 g fat (2.3 g saturated fat), 38.9 g carbohydrate (11 g dietary fiber, 8.5 g sugars), 25.2 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 876 mg sodium
Roughly chop an onion, and thinly slice 4 cloves of garlic and 2 stalks of celery.
To prep the squash, first peel the skin off. It's OK if there are little flecks of green left on the flesh.
Halve the peeled squash, then cut a little bit of the top off of each half, to remove the woody stem.
Use your hands to pull the seeds out of the inside of the squash.
The seeds will be covered in mushy, stringy squash flesh. Use your hands to separate the seeds from the flesh, and throw the flesh away. It's fine if the seeds have a little bit still stuck to them.
Save the seeds—you're going to roast them later.
Slice the squash into pieces an inch thick, then cut them into very rough 1-inch cubes.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onions, garlic, and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook just until the vegetables are starting to soften.
Add the squash and curry powder, stir, and cook just until the curry powder is fragrant.
Add the stock and a little more salt and pepper, then bring everything to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes, until the squash is really soft.
While the soup simmers, heat a teaspoon of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tempeh is lightly browned.
It should take about 6 minutes, so do it about 6 minutes before your soup is done.
When the squash is tender, take the pot off the heat and use an immersion blender to purée the soup, right in the pot.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend the soup in a regular blender. Be sure to fill the blender no more than halfway, since the mixture will be very hot.
When the soup is totally blended, add the shredded kale leaves and stir until they wilt.
Serve 1/3 of the soup with the tempeh on top, plus a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Let the leftover soup cool completely before storing it in 2 airtight containers.
Keep one in the fridge for lunch on Thursday. You can freeze the third serving to eat after the clean eating challenge, or give it away.
Curried Kabocha Seeds
Makes 1 serving
Roast these while your soup is simmering on the stove to save time.
Seeds from 1 small kabocha squash (from the Curried Kabocha and Kale Soup, above)
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon curry powder or paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use your hands to separate the seeds from any squash flesh that's stuck to them, then discard the flesh. It's OK if there's a little flesh left on the seeds. Transfer the seeds to the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with curry powder or paprika (if using) and season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Spread the seeds out and roast in the preheated oven until they're crispy and browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature. You'll eat these as a snack on Day 5 (Thursday).
Spread the seeds over a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and curry powder or paprika (if you want).
Roast in a 400°F oven until they're crispy and brown.
1 ounce dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
DAY 3 TOTAL NUTRITION INFORMATION
1,552 calories, 55.1 g fat (13.3 g saturated fat), 160.9 g carbohydrate (36.3 g dietary fiber, 32.4 g sugars), 99.9 g protein, 65 mg cholesterol, 1,736 mg sodium
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.