Everyone knows that clean eating is important, so why does it seem so hard to do? There are often two main reasons: it can be complicated, and it can be expensive. But clean eating recipes don’t have to break the bank or take hours. We’ve gathered together some great, cheap, clean-eating recipes to help you take care of your health, your wallet, and your time.
1. Leek and Lemon Linguini
Whole wheat pasta can be great when you need clean eating recipes on a budget. This recipe from EatingWell pairs well with salad. If you’d like a little more protein in it, add some chicken, fish or shrimp.
- 8 ounces spaghetti or linguini (whole wheat)
- 2 large lemons (and extra lemon wedges for garnishing)
- 1 medium leek
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley (chopped and divided)
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated and divided)
- 1/4 cup fresh chives (chopped and divided)
Boil the pasta according to the directions written on the package. Drain the pasta, saving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Grate 1 tablespoon’s worth of zest from the lemons, then squeeze 1/4 cup of juice from them. Rinse and slice the white and pale green parts of the leeks thinly (discard the rest or save it for later use), then pat them dry.
Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan or skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the salt and pepper, crushed garlic cloves, 1/4 cup parsley, the sliced leek, and the lemon zest. Pan-fry the leek until it has softened and browned slightly.
When the leek is soft, add in the pasta, lemon juice, 1 cup of the cooking water you set aside, and the remaining parsley. Stir over medium-high heat until most of the liquid has absorbed into the noodles. If desired, you can add in the rest of the cooking water.
Take the pan from the heat and pick the garlic cloves out and discard them. Toss the pasta with 2 tablespoons of the chives and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. When ready to serve, sprinkle the parmesan and chives over the top and garnish with lemon wedges.
2. Breakfast Banana Splits
Cheap clean eating is possible for breakfast, too. Clean Eating’s breakfast banana splits are great, clean food for people of all ages.
- 4 bananas
- 2 cups cottage cheese (1% fat)
- 6 tablespoons all-fruit strawberry jam
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts (chopped)
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
Peel the bananas and cut them down the middle lengthwise. For each serving, place two banana halves into a bowl, then scoop 1/2 cup of cottage cheese on top of it, along with 1 1/2 tablespoon jam, 1 tablespoon peanuts and just a pinch of salt. Serve and enjoy!
3. Basil Lime Sorbet
If you’re really going to eat well, you’ll want some healthy clean eating recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth as well. Clean Eating’s sorbet recipe is delicious, clean, and only has 4 ingredients.
- Around 20 limes
- 1 1/4 cups organic evaporated cane juice
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (packed)
- Sea salt
Combine the zest from 3 of the limes with the basil and evaporated cane juice and place in a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the basil, then move the mixture to a saucepan. Add 1 cup of water, then bring it all to a boil on the stove, stirring continuously. When the evaporated cane juice has dissolved, take the pan off the heat and let cool for about 30 minutes.
While it rests, juice the zested limes and as many of the other limes as it takes to make 2 cups of lime juice. Once the cane juice mixture has cooled, strain it to remove the solids, then combine with the lime juice and add a pinch of sea salt. Let chill in the refrigerator, then use an ice cream maker to freeze your mixture. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can pour the mixture into a shallow pan and place it in the freezer, stirring it every few hours to break it up. Once it is entirely frozen through, take it out of the freezer for about 10 minutes, then process in a food processer or blender until smooth. Serve or return to freezer.
4. 5-Minute Oatmeal Power Bowl
Coming from Oh She Glows, this is another great idea for cheap clean eating at breakfast.
- 1 ripe banana (mashed)
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground flax (optional)
- Nuts, seeds, spices, etc. for garnish
The night before, mash your banana in a bowl, then add the milk, water, oats, and chia. Stir, then cover and leave in refrigerator.
The next morning, transfer the mixture to a pot and bring to a simmer on the stove. Immediately turn the heat down to medium low, stirring as it thickens. When it has reached the desired consistency, stir in the flax (if using).
Transfer to a bowl and garnish with toppings such as almonds, hemp hearts, cinnamon, shredded coconut and spices.