The word “detox” brings to mind scary-intense juice cleanses or a gluten-dairy-meat-grain-sugar-caffeine-free diet that will make you run away screaming (and hungry).
Instead of going all restrictive, let’s explore new tastes, textures, ingredients, and cooking techniques. The recipes we’ve gathered are based on healthy, whole foods: whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, and chicken.
Most of these recipes are vegetarian too. They’ll get you psyched about eating well again.
For a super easy clean-eating meal plan, just pick one recipe from each category every day.
Kick off the new you on a beautiful blue note with this berry-filled baked version of steel-cut oats. Since it’s a baked oatmeal dish, you can make it the night before and heat it up for on-the-go mornings.
Start the day right with a healthy dose of chia seeds, which are loaded with protein, calcium, antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and potassium. Not bad for a bunch of tiny seeds, right?
Whip up this tasty breakfast-worthy pudding by mixing the seeds with a cup of almond milk, a dash of vanilla, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Let the mixture sit for a few hours (or overnight), and watch the chia seeds create a creamy, pudding-like texture.
These Paleo beauties are far from those ginormous bakery muffins. Instead of a carb-fest of processed sugar and white flour, these home-baked little guys are made with almond flour, honey, and coconut oil.
They’re small, so have two!
It might sound weird, but top a crisp tortilla with red pepper hummus, scrambled eggs, fresh tomatoes, cukes, and feta cheese and you’ve got one of the best unlikely breakfasts on the web.
Creamy, fresh, and salty flavors combine to make this protein-rich breakfast stick with you.
This ramped-up take on eggs and toast is a guest-worthy brunch dish. Slather slices of whole wheat toast with avocado and then top ’em with charred tomatoes, garlic shrimp, and fried (or poached) eggs.
Who wouldn’t be thrilled to be served that at Sunday brunch?
With just three main ingredients, this superfood breakfast is easy to make and can be topped with any (and all) of your favorite seasonal fruits. Bananas, apples, peaches, and blueberries are all good.
Since most of the prep work takes place the night before, it’s ideal for busy mornings.
Packaged granola is often loaded with sugar, preservatives, and other unsavory ingredients that won’t exactly help you recharge. The solution? Make your own.
This easy recipe contains whole grains, nuts, dried fruit, a bit of oil, and a touch of maple syrup.
Whip up a batch of these crunchy chickpeas so you’re ready for a snack attack. With a drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkling of brown sugar, and a touch of cinnamon, they’re a healthier way to enjoy a sweet treat.
This snack is ideal for the 3 p.m. workday munchies. These little protein-filled nuggets are made of quinoa, spinach, and shredded carrots, baked with eggs and cheddar cheese. That’ll keep you full until mealtime.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, no worries — you can bake these in the oven. These healthy crackers contain just five ingredients. Compare that with your favorite store-bought crackers.
Plus, with flaxseeds as the main ingredient, these crispy crackers pack a nutritional punch.
These no-bake wonders are chock-full of healthy seeds like flax, chia, and hemp. Dates naturally sweeten the mixture, which comes together in a food processor. Fold in oats, dried fruit, and nuts and roll ’em up into cute little balls.
It’s no secret we’re pretty obsessed with all varieties of hummus. This tasty variation gets an extra boost of fiber and beta-carotene from a baked sweet potato.
Blend it with white beans, tahini, turmeric, olive oil, lemon, and spices in a food processor and you’re ready to snack.
Kale chips are the perfect choice when you want a crunchy snack that still packs a nutritional punch. They’re super easy to make at home. Just toss chip-size pieces of kale with a bit of olive oil and crisp ’em in the oven for 10 minutes.
This version, reminiscent of salt and vinegar potato chips, gets its flavor from apple cider vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Pineapple, strawberries, and watermelon are transformed into a yummy snack with this simple recipe. Cut fruit into chunks, thread them onto skewers, and grill them for a couple of minutes. Now, drizzle with the honey-cinnamon glaze. And call the kids.
Move aside, cheese and crackers. These grilled eggplant stacks are layered with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and basil leaves. A major snack upgrade for those days when you miss lunch.
The easiest way to eat healthier without thinking about it too much is to put a variety of colors on your plate at every meal. This one-bowl salad takes care of that.
A slaw of red cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli joins chopped romaine lettuce, red pepper, and avocado to create a rainbow of healthy veggies. Toss with a healthy dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
What’s in a name? This recipe title says it all. Made with raw broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sunflower seeds, and almonds tossed in lemon-ginger vinaigrette, this crunchy salad is a nutritional powerhouse.
Even once fall has passed, we’re not willing to forget about pumpkin. We love it that much. This flavorful soup blends potatoes, lentils, onion, pumpkin purée, and spices like dried mint and cumin. Pomegranate seeds on top add a pop of color and a sweet, tannic crunch.
This salad has something for everyone. Love crunch? You’ll enjoy the pomegranate seeds, cucumber, and chopped pecans. Need something more filling? The cooked squash rings and creamy avocado slices will keep you feeling satisfied all afternoon.
The cool crunch of the lettuce and the warmth of the rice and beans, the kick of spice and sweetness of the corn salsa… ah, we’re in heaven. We like to use Bibb lettuce instead of iceberg.
This savory lunch option is reason #58,462 that “detox” doesn’t have to be synonymous with “hungry all the time,” “boring,” or “juice cleanse.” Top quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, crisp romaine lettuce, fennel, and chickpeas for a healthy, filling lunch.
Cutting the sweet potato into cubes is the most difficult part of this recipe. Be sure to use a sharp knife.
For a hearty, healthy lunch that comes together in a jiffy, look no further. Roast a sweet potato (if you’re short on time, pop it in the microwave for 7 to 10 minutes) and then fill it with sautéed spinach, kale, and fresh avocado, drizzled with zesty tahini, turmeric, and lemon dressing. Yum!
Ever massaged your kale? Well, get ready. This colorful dish combines kale and kabocha squash in a creamy Dijon-maple dressing. Crunchy pumpkin and pomegranate seeds garnish the dish.
This salad is the definition of fresh. With baby spinach, strawberries, avocado, red onion, cheese (because always cheese), and sliced almonds tossed in a homemade honey and poppy seed dressing. it’s everything we could want in a healthy salad.
This recipe is so much fun. To make homemade vegetarian sushi, layer brown rice with the veggies of your choice (or tofu, seitan, or even scrambled eggs) on a sheet of nori and get rolling!
This filling salad combines wild rice with butternut squash, kale, leeks, dried cherries, and fresh basil. The dressing is especially good, with fresh rosemary asserting its flavor against the maple syrup, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Warm up after a cold day with this rich, hearty vegetarian stew. We love the way the kale leaves get tender as they simmer in the vegetable stock with lentils and sweet potatoes. Two to 3 minced garlic cloves boost the health benefits and flavor.
Pretty much anything tastes better when it’s served in a bowl, which is one reason this dish (basically a deconstructed burrito) is so darn appealing.
The other is the ingredients. Layer quinoa, corn kernels, greens, and black beans in bowls and serve with orange slices, avocado, and a spicy avocado and orange dressing.
A good amount of healthy herbs and spices make this curry immensely flavorful. Light coconut milk, added to vegetable broth, strikes a balance between creamy, savory, and filling.
When life gives you lemons (or cold, gloomy days), make lemon stew. This rib-sticking concoction features chicken thighs, that favorite cut of chefs. It cooks along with celery, carrots, leek, onion, garlic, and (of course) lemon.
We like to replace the orzo with barley or quinoa.
Get psyched for this fancy-looking Mediterranean-inspired dinner that takes only 30 minutes to make, with just 10 minutes of active prep time.
Roast the eggplant, cook couscous (just pour hot water over it), and sauté onion, garlic, tomatoes, diced eggplant, and chickpeas. Top the roasted eggplant halves with the couscous. Drizzle on the punchy tahini dressing. Oh, yeah.
Fish and vegetables, the mainstays of any detox program or low cal diet, get the royal Thai treatment here. Red curry paste (keep a can in your pantry) transforms coconut milk into a fragrant sauce with fresh ginger and cilantro.
To make this vegetarian, sub in tofu or eggplant and green beans.
Store-bought veggie burgers can be filled with preservatives, so we’re all about making our own — especially one as awesome as this. The hearty patty is made of good stuff like sweet potato, quinoa, black beans, and smoked paprika.
And as chefs know, the burger’s just the first step. It’s all about the toppings — here, a to-die-for creamy avocado spread (though we prefer to use lime or lemon rather than vinegar in our guac).
And for contrasting fresh crunch, it’s also topped with a simple red cabbage slaw. No one ever said clean eating has to leave you hungry.
Loaded with grilled peppers, zucchini, and eggplant dressed in apple cider and honey and topped with fresh dill and parsley, this salad makes a delicious side dish or light lunch.
Green cabbage, beets, and kale come together in this super bright, super healthy raw veggie salad. Drizzle the shredded vegetables with lemon, sunflower seed butter, ginger, and apple cider vinegar to give it some bright, nutty flavor.
You’ll feel healthier after just one bite.
Did you know citrus fruits are at their best in winter?
This gorgeous salad brightens cold, gloomy days. Sliced oranges, mandarins, blood oranges, and grapefruit are drizzled with honey and vanilla and garnished with pistachios.
Roasted artichokes drizzled with lemon, garlic, olive oil, and salt make for a simple snack or an easy, healthy appetizer everyone will enjoy. Mix Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, and fresh dill for a dipping sauce that will make you forget all about boring mayo.
Need a simple side dish that isn’t a white carb? Acorn squash is here to save the day. In this recipe, it’s roasted with shallots and then dressed with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and parsley.
Here’s something new to do with cabbage: Cut it into “steaks.” These crispy roasted steaks are topped with mushrooms cooked with a touch of white wine. That’s how you make cabbage sophisticated.
This smoothie is like a piece of art, and while we’ve had mixed luck achieving the beautiful gradient, it tastes so good we’re willing to overlook our failure.
Banana, mango, raspberries, lemon, pineapple, and coconut water? Close your eyes while you picture the beach.
Get your daily dose of antioxidants with this berry-rich blend. Mix up blueberries, raspberries, a banana, beets, and almond milk for an energizing (and pretty) way to start the day.
Photo: Louisiana Bride
While juice cleanses aren’t really our thing, we won’t turn up our noses at a glass of green juice first thing in the morning (as long as it’s not the only thing we’ll consume all day).
This peppery beverage features cucumbers and lime juice spiked with cayenne, ginger, and parsley. It’ll definitely wake you up.
This smoothie is chock-full of the good stuff: kale, pineapple, banana, avocado, almonds, and chia. Its natural sweetness hits just right note.
One sip of this superfood-filled green smoothie will make you feel lighter. Coconut water is the base, and it’s blended with spinach, apple, and honey. Pomegranate seeds add a pop of color on top.
Prince would’ve loved this drink. It gets its purple color from a surprising blend of fruits and veggies (Red cabbage? What?). Pump up the texture with yogurt and your favorite nondairy milk and add a few red grapes for even more purple goodness.
Adding cooked beets to your smoothie is a super easy way to up your veggie, fiber, and vitamin C intake all at once. Combine the beets with banana, strawberries, raspberries, almond milk, and a touch of maple syrup for a pretty-in-pink breakfast to go.
Prepare for pineapple with a kick. Lemon, cayenne, and ginger also get in the mix, the perfect partners for this sweet, sour, spicy tonic.
With all these ideas for clean eating, there’s no excuse not to start. These recipes prove that healthy food is colorful, delicious, and spirit-lifting. So get in that kitchen and start feeling good.