30 Day Clean Eating Challenge Day 4: Lunches & Sides

Looking for new foods to try is so much fun!  I love that as I get older my tastes change.  You know your parents said it too…”Someday you might like that!”…and my response was always “Uh, no.  I won’t”.  But amazingly I eat: onions, fish, broccoli, golden cauliflower, spinach, beets…none of which I would touch as a kid and teen.  The most adventurous I got as a kid was to go rogue in a very meat and potatoes kind of house…and swear off meat.  It was a gradual change for me, first out with the red meat.  Then pork, then finally chicken and tuna.  I ate a lot, a lot of potatoes!  When we ate out, it was always a struggle to find foods that I could eat that gave me the nutrition that I needed, and filled me up that did not include meat.  I also swore off eggs at that point in time too.  I made a lot of hash brown “omelets” with tons of cheese and mushrooms.

But I did eventually come back to “the dark side” and started eating meat again just after my senior year of high school.  I don’t eat as much red meat as I used to, but I am a sucker for a good medium rare steak!

Ok on with the recipes!  You will see I have an affinity for Quinoa here.  It is one of the best grains, as it is high in protein; and it is super easy to cook.  I make it in bulk and create several different dishes from one batch.

Most are from The Gracious Pantry (She is so gracious for sharing these with the world!!) Some are mine, and some are from the new Eat-Clean Diet Recharged, by Tosca Reno

Clean Eating Baked Turkey Burgers

(Makes 6 burgers)
1.5 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 egg white
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

 Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Form 6 patties and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for approximately 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Build your burger!

Nutritional Content
1 serving = 1 patty (just the meat patty)
Calories: 174
Total Fat: 9 gm
Saturated Fats: 3 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 90 mg
Sodium: 116 mg
Carbohydrates: 1 gm
Dietary fiber: 0 gm
Sugars: 0 gm
Protein: 20 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 0


Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa

1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup cooked Quinoa
Fresh parsley, cilantro or basil

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  Can be served Hot, or cold.

Clean Eating Chicken Salad

6-7 Chicken breasts, baked
1 cup Clean Eating Ranch Dressing
1 red onion, chopped
Avocado (optional)

Shred your chicken breasts. Add chicken, onions and ranch to a large mixing bowl and mix well.  If you are so inclined, top with avocado.


Clean Eating Avocado Toast

Just put the following ingredients together:

  • A slice of clean eating bread
  • Some avocado
  • Black pepper
  • A light sprinkle of black salt. So yummy!


Black Bean & Corn Salad

Makes 4 1 cup servings

1.5 cups cooked corn kernels
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 yellow beets, cooked & chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, devined and chopped
2 firm red tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, sliced thin on the diagonal
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp fresh cilantro


Juice of 1 fresh lemon
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp apple butter
1 tbsp low-sodium tamari sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour dressing over salad to gently coat.  serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

For Dressing: Place all ingredients in a glass mason jar and seal.  Shake well.

Nutrition information
Calories: 261
Cal from fat: 24
Protein: 14g
Carbs: 50g
Total fat: 3g
Saturated fat: 0g
Trans fat: 0g
Fiber: 14g
Sodium: 39mg
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sugar: 8g

Source: Eat-Clean Diet Recharged

Clean Eating Green Quinoa

(Makes 7 servings)
4 cups cooked quinoa, cooked to package directions
4 cups grated, raw zucchini
1/2 cup prepared or homemade basil pesto
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

 In a large mixing bowl, stir all ingredients together until well combined and serve.

Nutritional Content
1 serving = 1 cup
Note: This data can vary greatly depending on pesto sauce used.
Calories: 187
Total Fat: 7 gm
Saturated Fats: 1 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Sodium: 181 mg
Carbohydrates: 25 gm
Dietary fiber: 4 gm
Sugars: 1 gm
Protein: 7 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 11


Avocado spinach egg salad

Makes 3 servings

 6 hardboiled egg whites
1/4 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup avocado chopped into 1″ chunks
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
3 tbsp red onion, diced
Bread of your choice: whole wheat, tortilla, pita…

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl.  Spread or dish into bread.

I usually have this with a pita, and some lettuce and tomatoes as well.


Clean Eating Cilantro Quinoa Salad

(Makes approximately 3 cups)
2 cups cooked, cooled or cold quinoa
1 cup cooked, cooled or cold pinto beans
1/4-1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

 Blend all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and serve cold.

Nutritional Content
1 serving = 1/2 cup
Calories: 117
Total Fat: 1 gm
Saturated Fats: 0 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 102 mg (5 mg if you leave the salt out of the recipe)
Carbohydrates: 21 gm
Dietary fiber: 4 gm
Sugars: 0 gm
Protein: 5 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 9


Brown Rice & Lentil Salad

Makes 6 1 cup servings

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup dry Puy lentils
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 gloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
Juice of 1 fresh lime
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Combine rice and lentils along with stock in a medium sauce pan and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Remove cooked rice and lentils from heat.  Place in large bowl and fluff with a fork.  Let cool.  Prepare dressing by combining olive oil, garlic, lime juice, red wine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small mason jar.  Put the lid on and shake well; or whisk in a small bowl.  Add chopped green onion, tomatoes and parsley to rice and lentils.  Add dressing, toss to combine.  Serve chilled.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 177
Calories from fat: 34
Protein: 8g
Carbs: 28g
Total fat: 4g
Saturated fat: 1g
Trans fat: 0g
Fiber: 6g
Sodium: 269mg
Cholesterol: 0mg (it looks like OMG right? haha)
Sugar: 3g

Source: Eat-Clean Diet Recharged

Clean Eating Apricot Ginger Quinoa With Cashews

(Makes approximately 10 servings)
4 cups cooked quinoa, cooled to room temperature
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup cashews, chopped
2 tbsp. lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1-1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl, and serve at room temperature.

Nutritional Content
1 serving = 1/2 cup
Calories: 183
Total Fat: 6 gm
Saturated Fats: 1 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 66 mg
Carbohydrates: 28 gm
Dietary fiber: 3 gm
Sugars: 8 gm
Protein: 6 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 12



Makes 8 1 cup servings

4lbs fresh ripe tomatoes, trimmed and cut into chunks
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup juiced cucumbers
2 cloves garlic, peeled and trimmed
1 orange or red pepper, seeded, devined, and cut into chunks
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 cup basil leaves, cut into ribbons (as garnish)
Freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender, blend until smooth.  Transfer mixture to chilled serving bowls.  Garnish with chopped basil and freshly ground black pepper.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 109
Calories from fat: 64
Protein: 2g
Total fat: 7g
Saturated fat:1g
Trans fat: 0g
Finer: 3g
Sodium: 405mg
Cholesterol: omg
Sugar: 7g

Source: Eat-Clean Diet Recharged

Clean Eating Black Bean Quinoa Salad
4 cups cooked quinoa (add 2 bouillon cubes to the cooking water)
2 cups (or 2 cans) black beans
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and serve.

There, now wasn’t that easy?

Note: This salad is best served warm. (Not hot, just warm.)

Nutritional Content
1 serving = a generous 1/2 cup
Calories: 291
Total Fat: 8 gm
Saturated Fats: 1 gm
Trans Fats: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 10 mg
Carbohydrates: 44 gm
Dietary fiber: 9 gm
Sugars: 2 gm
Protein: 10 gm
Estimated Glycemic Load: 22


Today, I also became the newest member of my local Anytime Fitness.  Yes, yes I am still a member of Planet Fitness.  That is until I cancel it.  It has become a not fun place to go to.  It’s dirty, some of the machines don’t work, the water in the sinks, and showers is always, always freezing cold.  Which tells me they have a) No water Heater or b) are very stingy and won’t set the water heater to a comfortable temp for their members to enjoy.  There are a few very, very, creepy guys that stare at my…ahem, chest and well…make absolutely no attempt to hide it.  Even walk right up to me and boldly stare and do the Bevis & Butthead “huh ahuha”…eww.  Done!

But as soon as I walked into the Anytime Fitness…I knew it was meant to be.  The staff is so amazingly friendly, and nice.  The sweet little gal that I met with…we just clicked right off the bat, and I felt so completely at ease there.  It’s a family owned club and that makes me happy!  It’s not much more than what I am paying for PF, just without the 1 hour commute and waste in gas money, and miles on my car.  They have group classes (yay!) and 2 trainers on staff (woohoo!!!)…and uh, TVs on the cardio machines…and I can stream Netflix from my phone onto the machine.  Now, for real…how COOL is that?!  Not to mention that the club is less than 7 miles from my house.  That is so much better than 16 (Brooklyn Park) and 20 (Bloomington) miles from my house.  Feeling much better about this place!

How is the transition to clean eating going for you?  It is tricky I will admit.  But I do like it…and I am already seeing a difference as I finally made it past my plateau this morning!  As of this morning I am 135.4 pounds.  I have not been this small in 2 years.  I torched 1 pound yesterday by eating better, and hydrating…and by totally mixing up my workout (killed it, and I am super sore today…hurts so good!!).  Please share your successes, or no so successes.  Remember, we are learning and it takes time to get it right.  There is no failing in this journey.  Just lessons learned.


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