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Eating Clean but always in a hurry? Simple Recipes?

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Well I want to start eating "clean" (mostly due to health reasons) but I am constantly on the go and can't seem to find some good filling lunch and dinner recipes that are "clean". Does anybody have any suggestions? 


And for clean eaters: What does a typical grocery list look like for you?

Edited Mar 03 2009 23:13 by sun123
Reason: Moved to Recipe Forum
18 Replies (last)

What do you mean "clean"?

Eating clean is  a method where you only eat foods that are as natural as possible (nothing processed or along those lines)

Tuna, salmon, fish, turkey, chicken, beef, pork, lobster, shrimp.

Fresh fruits and veggies.

Whole grain bread, bagels, English muffins, pasta, cereal, rice cous-cous.

Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, egg beaters, yogurt.



I love sandwiches for lunch or dinner.  You always have some meat, some complex carbs, some dairy, and veggies in there.

As well as sandwiches, a simple way to manage things is to make double quantities for supper but save half to have cold as a packed lunch or heated up the next day.  Then you're only doing one lot of cooking per day.  I can recommend the following selection

Fruity Rice Salad.... made with brown rice, grapes, chopped celery, almonds and seasoned with curry spices... great hot or cold

Tuna Pasta Salad.... with chopped tomatoes, grilled vegetables, fresh basil leaves and wholewheat pasta.... again, it's nice either warm or cold.  Just add a few salad leaves

Spicy Frittata.... a thick, filling Italian-style omelette made with cooked new potatoes, beans, tomato, a little chilli pepper and spring onions.  Eat hot the first day and cut into cold wedges for a packed lunch the next day.

Another idea..... If you bulk cook some dishes and when you have time (a weekend) and portion them up for the freezer you can just add some pasta or rice etc., (10 minutes) and warm one through as necessary when you have less time.  Things I usually keep in my freezer for emergencies.

Vegetable Chilli..... use your own combination of vegetables with plenty of beans and tomatoes for a filling, warming supper

Bolognese Sauce.... Add extra tomatoes and less meat to make the sauce more filling but less calorific.

Typical grocery list.... vegetables, meat, fish, dairy producs, wholewheat bread & pasta, brown basmati rice, canned tomatoes, garlic, ginger, herbs & spices (vital for clean eating if it's not to be deathly bland), nuts, seeds, pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas), porridge oats....

Congratulations on making the decision to go clean! I actually find one of the easiest ways to plan satisfying meals is to think of them as a vegetable, a carb, and a protein. The hubs especially likes "meat and potato" style meals, so I might bake a salmon steak with some nice seasonings, and serve it with spinach sauteed with a bit of olive oil and garlic, and oven-baked sweet potato "fries." Takes about 15 minutes to prep, a bit longer to bake. Make twice as much, and - presto! - it is also lunch for the next day.

Here is a typical grocery list for me. Just as a disclaimer, I don't eat red meat, poultry, or milk. It isn't a clean eating thing, I just can't digest them.

Produce: Mostly fresh, occasionally frozen, rarely canned (just tomatoes, really). In the summer I eat what is in season; in the winter I mostly eat what's on sale. Some staples are salad greens, dark greens (spinach, kale, broccoli, etc), onions, garlic, potatoes (regular and sweet), carrots, avocado, whatever fruit looks good, raisins.

Grains: oats; whole wheat bread, pasta, tortillas, and couscous; brown rice; quinoa

Proteins: Soy milk, organic yogurt, cheeses, organic eggs, canned beans, nuts, natural peanut butter, frozen shrimp, canned tuna, fresh fish, tofu

Also olive oil, sesame oil (for flavor), plenty of dried and fresh herbs and spices, sea salt, soy sauce, honey, and any specialty ingredient

Mar 03 2009 16:14
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Stir fry.  Thin slice your vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, green onions, carrots are good ones) and meat (chicken and scallops are good - and/or you could throw in an egg or two) first.  Put minimal oil in the pan, add some chopped onions and garlic, then the thin sliced stuff.  Season to taste with whatever you have around - ginger, cilantro, turmeric, soy sauce, sesame seeds, hot pepper flakes, etc etc.   If you want to get fancy, finish it with a little Grand Marnier or sauterne just before serving [don't know whether these are considered clean or not....probably not....whatever....] 

I'd say 15 minutes from slicing to table.  A little longer if you cook a starch like couscous or rice to go with it. A rice cooker speeds up/simplifies cooking either of those two.

Super easy lunches or dinners:

Whole grain or sprouted grain tortillas with organic cheese and spinach leaves.  Bake them and serve with black beans, avocado and you fave jarred salsa.

Whole Wheat Pitas with Hummus (soooo easy to make. 1 can garbanzos, 3 Tbsp. Tahini paste, squeeze of lemon, clove of garlic, olive oil.  Whizzzzz together) AND homemade tsatziki (Organic yogurt, thinly sliced cukes, fresh mint or dill).  Serve with tomato slices and sprouts.

Easy curry: Bag of frozen mixed veggies, chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces, 2 Tbsp. curry paste (super cheap at asian grocery store.  I like May Ploy Brand. No mysterious ingredients) 1 can coconut milk.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes while you make some brown rice. BAM!

Another fave is bison burgers on sprouted grain buns with a big salad. :)


Bulk imitation crab.


Heat (or not - depends on how you like it) & drizzle a little Frank's over top & viola!

Hummus & Pita is a big one for me too...I love with sprouts and cucumbers (big up Hillary). Sweet.

I like this Spinach (or Kale) Turkey Frittata I have been raving about.

Yogurt & fruit or oatmeal & Fruit or cereal & fruit make good breakfests. Granola cereal, or Kashi, with Silk Soy Milk for me! Oatmeal with Cranberry & Flax. Sweet.

Salad is and obvious one for lunch. Just grill some chciken or shrimp of something the night before.

I enjoy hard boiled egg whites for snacks or on salads.


if you have a slow cooker, you could make soups or stews or roasts and when lunch or dinner time comes you will have food. l love my george foreman, grilled chicken breast is done in 5mins. You can throw in potatoes in the toaster oven or microwave and have a meal in under 30mins otherwise plan ahead and freeze/refrigerate.

I love to make a big pot of beans, brown rice and vegetables and then store it in single serving containers in the fridge to warm up later.  Heat a little olive oil, throw in some onions and garlic to saute for a couple minutes, toss in some frozen or fresh veggies (at least a few cups), add two cups of water or vegetable stock, 1 cup of brown rice and one can of beans or lentils along with lots of herbs and spices and bring it to a boil.  Cover and simmer on low heat for about 50 minutes.  Usually I make it on the weekend when I have more time, but sometimes I'll make it right after work and let it cook while I work out.  Yummy and creamy!

Original Post by danielle854:

Bulk imitation crab.


Heat (or not - depends on how you like it) & drizzle a little Frank's over top & viola!

 deffinately not a clean eating food.

check out the ingredients... there's a reason why it's called "imitation", its very processed, and filled with a bunch of additives

I've always used this list

The World's Healthiest Foods

You can't go wrong if you refer to it.  I do what's called "perimeter shopping."  That is, I shop around the outsides of the supermarket - fresh produce, fish, meats, dairy product, breads - and only go into the aisles for exact items, such as steel cut oats, brown rice, olive oil and canned tomatoes.  I do use canned tomatoes because they are actually nutrionally complete and a whole food.

What I avoid are any packaged or processed foods.

A typical dinner might be Chickpea Curry  served with brown rice, a dollop of plain yogurt, and a salad. 

For lunch, a fresh vegetable soup served with crusty, whole grain bread and a small piece of cheese.

A typical breakfast for me is steel cut oats or old fashioned rolled oats (the slow cooking kind) cooked with raisins or other dried fruit, topped with a tablespoon of flax seed meal and some raw pumpkin seeds.  It's very filling and nutritionally dense.

If you tell us what kinds of foods you like and what you avoid, I bet we can gather a bunch of recipes!

edited to add: all of these can be cooked ahead and reheated in a minute.

Here's something I have in the summer.  It can be made ahead and carried along in a cold thermos

Classic Gazpacho

another make ahead and eat cold recipe

Calico Bean Salad

if you have actually read the guidelines to the Eat Clean Diet, then you would know to prep food in advance so that you always have clean eat meals readily availble... just a little planning and it's not hard

-cut up vegetables and large fruits after you bring them home

-grill up a bunch of chicken breasts (or other meat), not just one for yourself, and refrigerate them so that you have "leftovers"

-hard boil a bunch of eggs

-portion protein powder into single serve portions to keep in your purse/car/work so you can whip up a protein shake if needed

-"leftovers" are your best friend, make extra so you have



I've never actually read that book.  I don't enjoy diet books in general, I think because all the authors think they have "The Answer."

I've heard a lot about it and since I enjoy preparing fresh, whole foods, I suppose I eat "clean."  I don't think you really need a book to learn that, but if you get something out of it, then by all means follow it.  It sounds like one of the less wacky ones. 

I like it because it works for me, and is super motivational

as an ED recoverer, it's nice to have positive reinforcement that "eating is good"

the women's fitness magazine Oxygen also advocates the clean eating lifestyle; and has beautiful, fit, yet feminen models to promote it too... you don't need to be a twig, you can be healthy and strong to be beautiful

and well, I deffinately advocate the idea too.. after all it is the way we were SUPPOSED to eat, this is how people ate for thousands of years before the introduction of all this processed crap (resulting in the rise in obesity)

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