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 three to four hours and try not to eat within two hours of bedtime.
Makes 1 servingINGREDIENTS2 large eggs, beaten3 tablespoons canned pumpkin (leftover from the can you opened on Sunday night)1 tablespoon plain 2% Greek yogurt, plus more to serve⅓ cup rolled oats1 tablespoon raisins¼ teaspoon baking powder½ teaspoon vanilla extractsprinkle of cinnamonpinch of saltPREPARATIONCombine all ingredients in a mug that holds at least 8 ounces. Stir together until everything is thoroughly combined. Microwave on high for 2 to 2½ minutes, until the cake is cooked through. (It'll rise over the rim of the mug and pull away from the sides.) Let cool for at least a minute, then top with an additional 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt and eat.
335 calories, 11.9 g fat (3.2 g saturated fat), 37 g carbohydrate, (5.2 g dietary fiber, 15.8 g sugars), 20 g protein, 372 mg cholesterol, 154 g sodium
Combine all ingredients in a mug and stir it all together.
Microwave on high for 2 to 2½ minutes, until the cake is cooked through.
Let it cool for a minute, then serve with 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt.
Marinate the flank steak that you're having for dinner tonight.
Marinated Fennel Salad With Spinach, Dried Tart Cherries, and Salmon
Makes 1 serving
If you're following the Clean Eating Challenge, you marinated the fennel salad last night, so all you have to do is combine everything today.
For the marinated fennel salad:
2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small bulb fennel, cored and very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons dried tart cherries
For the assembly:
1 4-ounce roasted salmon fillet (leftover from Thursday's dinner) (Men: 6-ounce fillet)
2 cups baby spinach (half a 5-ounce bag)
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, honey, a pinch of salt, and some pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk to combine. Add the fennel and dried cherries and toss to combine. Marinate overnight in an airtight container in the fridge.
If you're packing this lunch to go: Pack the fennel salad and salmon in a small airtight container, and the spinach in a larger container or bag. Refrigerate until you're ready to serve, then toss everything together in a large bowl.
394 calories, 18.9 g fat (2.7 g saturated fat), 24 g carbohydrate (4.8 g dietary fiber, 12.3 g sugars), 33 g protein, 76 mg cholesterol, 194 mg sodium
Seared Flank Steak With Steamed Asparagus and Turnip-Sweet Potato Mash
Makes 2 servings
If you're following the Clean Eating Challenge, you marinated the steak this morning.
For the steak (prepared this morning):
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 tablespoon tamari
1 clove crushed garlic
8 ounces flank steak, fat trimmed
1/2 tablespoon canola oil, to cook the steak\
For the turnip-sweet potato mash:
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
2 medium turnips, peeled and cut in ½-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ounce soft goat cheese, crumbled
For the asparagus:
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
To marinate the steak (prepared this morning):
In a medium airtight container, stir together the canola oil, honey, tamari, and crushed garlic. Add the skirt steak and coat it with the marinade. Marinate for 8 to 12 hours in the fridge.
For the turnip-sweet potato mash:
In the microwave: Put the sweet potato and turnips in a microwave-safe bowl with 2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook on high until the vegetables are very soft, 7 to 8 minutes. On the stovetop: Put the sweet potato and turnips in a small pot with ½ cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the vegetables are very soft, 12 to 15 minutes.
Drain the cooked vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and add the crumbled goat cheese. Mash with two forks until the mixture is combined but lumpy.
For the steak:
Take the steak out of the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Heat the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak to the pan. For a steak that's about ½ inch thick, cook it 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes for medium-rare. Cook an additional few minutes on each side for a more well-done steak. Cook a thinner steak for a little less time and a thicker steak for a little more time. Let the steak rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes, then cut it in half, against the grain. Cut half the steak into thin slices.
For the asparagus: In a large skillet with a lid, bring ¼ cup water to a simmer with a pinch of kosher salt. Add the asparagus to the skillet, turn the heat to low and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, until asparagus is cooked through but still slightly crunchy. Serve the sliced half-steak, half the asparagus and half the vegetable mash for dinner.
Leftovers: Let the remaining halves of the steak, asparagus, and vegetable mash cool, then refrigerate them in separate airtight containers.
474 calories, 22 g fat (8.4 g saturated fat), 34 g carbohydrate (7.7 g dietary fiber, 7.3 g sugars), 35 g protein, 70 mg cholesterol, 537 mg sodium
Peel the sweet potato and turnips. Cut the sweet potato into rough 1-inch cubes and the turnip into rough ½-inch cubes, then put them in a small pot with ½ cup water and some salt.
Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the vegetables are very soft, 12 to 15 minutes.
Pour out any extra liquid, then mash the vegetables with a fork.
Take the steak out of the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels.
Heat the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak to the pan. For a steak that’s about ½-inch thick, cook it three minutes, then flip and cook for another two minutes for medium-rare.
Trim 1 to 2 inches off of the asparagus stalks, to remove the woody stems.
Bring ¼ cup water to a simmer in a large skillet, with a pinch of kosher salt. Add the asparagus to the skillet, turn the heat to low and simmer four to five minutes, until asparagus is cooked through but still slightly crunchy.
Serve half the steak, half the mash, and half the asparagus, sprinkled with crumbled goat cheese.
Let the remaining halves of the steak, asparagus, and vegetable mash cool, then refrigerate them in separate airtight containers.
1 medium apple with 1 tablespoon almond butter
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.