“Clean eating” is a fancy term for eating real food.
It means eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and plant or animal proteins that were raised or grown as close to nature as possible. It eschews packaged, processed, and refined foods, and encourages mindfulness about the path a food has traveled to arrive on your plate.
Clean eating is what our great grandparents called … eating.
The benefit of clean eating—or any healthy diet—is that it provides the right fuel for our bodies to operate at maximum efficiency. It promotes good immune system health, which increases our overall health.
Many Americans have misconceptions about healthy eating.
They think it’s expensive, time-consuming, or “hippy-dippy.”
They think their kids will never go for eating healthy.
Let me show you how easy it is to prepare clean food that your whole family will love.
Here are four examples of the thousands of clean eating recipes available online. There are recipes available for every meal of the day which include all kinds of foods.
- Make Your Kids Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets can be tasty and healthy if you prepare them with whole ingredients like real chicken, natural flavorings, and very little oil. This recipe comes from All Recipes, which offers 10 kid-friendly clean food ideas.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs, seasoned (Gluten-Free)
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Trim any fat from four skinless, boneless chicken breasts and cut into one-inch cubes.
In a bowl, beat two eggs with a tablespoon of water and add the chicken.
Combine a teaspoon of fresh parsley, ½ teaspoon of dried thyme, a pinch of red pepper, ½ cup of dried, seasoned bread crumbs, ½ cup of wheat germ, a teaspoon of dried basil, and a teaspoon of ground pepper. Stir in a tablespoon of vegetable oil with a fork and mix well to distribute evenly. Pour seasoning mixture into a resealable plastic bag and toss the chicken pieces to coat.
Place coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet and bake for ten minutes, turn the pieces, and bake for an additional five minutes.
- Dine on Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
Clean eating can include many of your old dishes. Consider this classic from Clean Eating Magazine.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, divided
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper, divided
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp safflower oil, divided
- 2 tsp organic unsalted butter
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 oz wild mushrooms (such as cremini, oyster or morel), trimmed and sliced
- 1 1/2 tbsp white whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
In a large bowl, combine a pound of lean ground beef, 1½ tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, a tablespoon of unsalted tomato paste, two teaspoons of Dijon mustard, a clove of minced garlic, and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Mix well and form into four patties. Sprinkle both sides of the patties with ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
In a large skillet on medium-high, heat a tablespoon of safflower oil. Cook the patties, flipping once, until no longer pink inside, eight to ten minutes. Transfer to a plate; cover to keep warm.
Reduce heat on skillet to medium and melt two teaspoons of organic butter. Add one small, thinly sliced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and softened, about four minutes. Trim and slice four ounces of wild mushrooms and add to the skillet, stirring frequently, until browned and softened, three to four minutes.
Sprinkle 1½ tablespoons of white, whole flour over the mushroom mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for a minute. Stir in a cup of low-sodium beef broth, a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and another half tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until gravy is thickened, four to five minutes.
Divide patties among plates and top with the gravy. Add a vegetable and you have a nutritious, filling, and delicious meal.
- Turn Broccoli into Broccoli!
Green vegetables can be decadent if you make them right. Consider this recipe from All Recipes.
- 2 heads broccoli, separated into florets
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Separate two heads of broccoli into florets.
In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of sea salt, ½ teaspoon of ground pepper, and a clove of garlic. Spread the broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until the florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork, fifteen to twenty minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving platter.
Squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving for a refreshing, tangy finish.
- Give Your Taste Buds a Jolt
Gorgeous and tasty Sugar Snap Pea and Soba Noodles from Kathryne Taylor. Your eyes will like this as much as your taste buds will.
- 6 ounces soba noodles or spaghetti noodles of choice
- 2 cups frozen organic edamame
- 10 ounces (about 3 cups) sugar snap peas or snow peas
- 6 medium-sized carrots, peeled
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (about 2 handfuls)
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons quality peanut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon white miso*
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or sriracha
Slice ten ounces of sugar snap peas in half lengthwise. Slice six medium-sized, peeled carrots into long, thin strips.
Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified:
Bring two big pots of water to a boil.
While they are heating up, toast a quarter cup of sesame seeds in a small pan for about five minutes shaking the pan frequently until they are golden.
Once the pots of water are boiling, cook six ounces of soba noodles until al dente, according to package directions (about five minutes), then drain and briefly rinse under cool water.
Cook two cups of frozen, organic edamame in the other pot until warmed through (about four to six minutes) but before draining, toss the halved peas into the boiling edamame water and cook for an additional twenty seconds. Drain.
Combine the soba noodles, edamame, snap peas and carrots in a large serving bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss with salad servers. Toss in ½ cup of chopped cilantro and the toasted sesame seeds.