There’s been more and more buzz about clean eating lately, but it’s nothing new. Clean eating started with the natural health food movement the 1960s, made its way into the lifestyles of fitness models and body builders, and then slowly started to show up on the radar of mainstream America. We have a whole new generation of Americans, Millennials in particular, who are concerned with the ingredients in their food to thank for that.
If you’re not sure what clean eating is, the basic principle is to avoid overly-processed foods such as boxed meals, snacks, and enriched-grain products. Don’t worry — you can still eat grains. Instead of white rice and pasta, the focus should be on whole grain pasta, brown rice, and other grains like quinoa, barley, and millet, to name a few. If you think clean eating sounds a lot like a whole foods plant-based diet, you’re right! They’re very similar, except clean eating allows oils like olive, walnut, avocado, and coconut.
With a name like “clean eating,” it may sound like a lifestyle of nothing but salad, but it’s actually full of vibrant, delicious, and diverse foods, like these Moroccan Spiced Lentil and Butternut Squash Burgers. If you’re interested in trying your hand at clean eating, then try these 15 recipes that prove clean eating isn’t boring at all.
1. Sweet Potato Bean Burgers
“>These Sweet Potato Bean Burgers are filling, flavorful, and a breeze to make. Most homemade burgers call for bread crumbs, but not this one! You simply bake some sweet potatoes until tender, add soft butter beans, mash, sauté, bake, and serve. You could add in other healthy ingredients like brown rice, cooked buckwheat, or hemp seeds, to up the nutrition. This particular burger is topped with avocado slices, plenty of greens, tomato, and pickles, but feel free to get creative!
2. Lentil and Eggplant Lasagna
3. Indian Butter Chickpeas
Check out this delicious plant-based take on the traditional dish of chicken makhani, or Indian butter chicken. In this recipe for Indian Butter Chickpeas, tender chickpeas replace the chicken. How do you make the butter “clean”? They’re made from cashews and avocados! This dish is healthy, rich, and ridiculously flavorful!
4. Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
This Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash is so filling, it can be used as a main course. It’s packed with mushrooms, crunchy cabbage, walnuts, and quinoa, making it a power-packed addition to gatherings with family or friends. Grab a big spoon and dig in!
5. Celeriac Meatballs in Rosemary Tomato Sauce
These Celeriac Meatballs taste great when served hot with a savory rosemary tomato sauce over pasta, but they’re also delicious eaten cold with a green salad or on a sandwich. They’re held together with ground flax seed, rice flour, and oats, so there are none of the refined flours that many meatballs need. They freeze very well, so make many of them! Whenever you need a quick dinner, just grab your celeriac meatballs from the freezer, heat them in the oven for 10 minutes, and serve!
6. Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower With Lemony Herb Oil
Dinners, in the traditional sense, are usually centered around one main dish. For a stunning centerpiece that looks as amazing as it tastes, you have to try this Tahini-Roasted Cauliflower With Lemony Herb Oil. Along with being absolutely gorgeous, it is craftily spiced, rubbed down with a nutty tahini coating, drizzled with lemony herbs, and eventually garnished with roasted almonds.
7. Creamy Mushrooms and Spinach With Turmeric Quinoa
Whenever you crave something nutritious and quick, this Creamy Mushrooms and Spinach With Turmeric Quinoa is the recipe for you! Mushrooms and spinach are cooking with a light, yet creamy sauce — we highly recommend cashew cream. This dish is delicious served with fresh coriander and cashews sprinkled on top.
8. Spaghetti With Chunky Lentil Pecan ‘Meat’ Sauce
href=”http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/spaghetti-with-a-chunky-lentil-pecan-meat-sauce/”>Spaghetti With Chunky Lentil Pecan “Meat” Sauce. Green lentils and chopped pecans work their magic to become this chunky, meaty sauce that you’re going to love. Serve it over whole grain pasta and you’re good to go with your meaty, clean-eating pasta dish. You have to try it to believe it! This is serious comfort food that requires little effort but tastes amazing.
9. Deep Dish Quiche Pizza
A sweet potato crust is made from millet and chickpea flours pressed into a cake pan to make it deep dish. This Deep Dish Quiche Pizza is topped with a rich, homemade tomato sauce and filled with a fluffy tofu ricotta and kale filling, roasted Mediterranean vegetables or any vegetables of your choice. The final touch is a drizzle of cheesy tahini sauce. You’ll never get bored of pizza with a dish like this.
10. Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Gratin
Cauliflower is roasted in a rich, creamy, and spicy butternut squash sauce. As this Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Gratin bakes in the oven, the cauliflower absorbs the flavors and takes on a golden yellow color. Instead of dairy cream, it uses a combination of coconut cream and almond milk. Making this gratin won’t require spending your entire day in the kitchen, but the results will taste like you did.
11. Brown Rice Casserole
This savory Brown Rice Casserole will definitely be a winner in your weeknight recipe rotation. It’s creamy, even without the dairy because it uses non-dairy milk and tahini. Hearty seasoned brown rice is baked with broccoli and other veggies to create a dish that’s flavorful, filling, and easy to make.
12. Spicy Bean Chili With Leftover Roast Potatoes
This Spicy Bean Chili With Leftover Roast Potatoes is packed with protein even though it’s meat-free. It’s tasty, hearty, and loaded with filling ingredients line cannellini beans, kidney beans, and roasted potatoes. A little bit of sweetness and a touch of savory flavor make this spicy chili the perfect go-to meal for busy days.
13. Turmeric Falafel
Chickpeas are wonderful. One of the great things about these healthy little guys is that you can mash them and form them into balls to top salads, or use them as a sandwich filling. These Turmeric Falafel are moist and fluffy, and with a teaspoon of turmeric and just a teaspoon of olive oil, they are flavorful, but not too heavy.
14. Vegetable Stuffed Baked Eggplant
In this Vegetable Stuffed Baked Eggplant, eggplant halves in this recipe are roasted until brown and the stuffed with a mixture of lightly seasoned quinoa, sautéed mushrooms, and other vegetables. It’s easy to make, but the results are amazing, and it has practically everything you need, from grains to starchy veggies, to help keep you full. Don’t limit yourself to the grains and vegetables in the recipe for the stuffing — any vegetables that you use will do! Experiment with different mixtures and enjoy.
15. Black Bean Loaf
When it comes to recreating meaty dishes, bread crumbs are a common ingredient because they keep things from falling apart. In this Black Bean Loaf, the problem is solved with just oats! This loaf has a nice crust from the ketchup glaze and soft interior that just melts in your mouth. You’ll forget all about meatloaf once you’ve tried this!
Bland, boring food? There’s none of that here! Clean eating is super easy and super delicious.
Lead image source: Vegetable Stuffed Baked Eggplant