The Clean Cook: 5 Seasonal Fit Recipes

These five recipes incorporate some of the season's best vegetables and gourds with the muscle-building powers of protein. Cook clean and live lean!

Being a clean cook means more than learning to plan and prepare meals with the proper macronutrient ratios. You have to understand the food you prepare and how different dishes work together. You have to know where your protein and produce come from, who grew it, raised it, and the methods they used to bring it to your table.

I use good ingredients from good places! I invest my money in my food, because my health depends on it. I trust whole foods from local farms and markets. I know some of the ingredients in my recipes, like almond meal or ghee, can be hard to find at times, so use your best judgment and replace where necessary.

These recipes are out of the ordinary for a reason. You need variety in your life and your kitchen. You don't always have to have chicken, fish, and turkey. You can eat a variety of meals, have fun, and still get great results.

Protein Pumpkin Loaf

Protein is important for building a great physique. Heck, this macronutrient is so important that it can be boosted with protein powder in your baked goods! This pumpkin loaf is perfect for the holiday season and won't bankrupt your calorie count.

If you need an egg-free option, replace the eggs with 1 banana and 1/3-1/2 cup of water or rice milk. You can also add in an additional tablespoon of coconut oil. Always start with less milk or oil; it's easier to add more of the wet ingredients than it is to subtract them.

Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk eggs and Stevia together.
  3. Add pumpkin pie mix to wet ingredients, mix.
  4. Add dry ingredients and blend mixtures together.
  5. Add coconut oil last.
  6. Place in a baking pan and bake for 22-24 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (For 1 loaf)
Amount per serving
Calories 1,289
Total Fat 33g
Total Carbs 62g
Protein 46g

Protein Pumpkin Loaf PDF (336 KB)

Almond-crusted Walleye Pike and Asparagus

I love using palm oil when cooking white fish. It makes the fish a little crispy and adds great flavor. The walleye pike is among the leanest freshwater fish you can get. A lot of white fish—sea bass and cod, for example—go well with almond meal, so mix up your protein sources!

I don't do tilapia because most of it is farm-raised. A lot of people stick to the same foods, but fish in a different stream and you may be surprised by new flavors and nutrients. This is a great meal to share with a loved one.

Directions for Fish
  1. Preheat a skillet on medium heat.
  2. Coat skillet with 1-2 tbsp of palm oil.
  3. In a pie dish, add almond meal, sea salt, and pepper to your liking.
  4. Coat fish with almond meal breading.
  5. Pre-heat skillet; add in filets.
  6. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.
Directions for Asparagus
  1. Preheat a second skillet.
  2. Coat with 1-2 tbsp almond oil.
  3. Add asparagus to skillet.
  4. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and cook over medium heat until sizzling, then reduce heat to low until asparagus is tender, not mushy. This takes approximately 12-20 minutes.
  6. Squeeze lemon juice over both fish and asparagus when done.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount per serving
Calories 1,202
Total Fat 86g
Total Carbs 33g
Protein 87g

Almond-crusted Walleye Pike and Asparagus PDF (241 KB)

Sun-Dried Tomato and Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

This recipe is phenomenal! It's clean, rich, and delicious. Make the meatballs from quality chicken and you can't fail. The squash can be a bit of a challenge if you've never dealt with this particular gourd, but even new cooks can quickly get the hang of it.

Meatball Ingredients
Meatball Directions
  1. In a bowl mix chicken, tomatoes, salt, oregano, and basil.
  2. Add paper baking cups to a 12-cup muffin tin.
  3. Roll mixture into meatballs with your hands and place into baking cups.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 23-25 minutes.
Spaghetti Squash Ingredients
Spaghetti Squash Directions
  1. Microwave for about a minute at 50 percent power.
  2. Cut the squash lengthwise down the middle.
  3. You can remove the seeds prior to baking or after.
  4. Place both halves of squash face down in a casserole dish with about an inch of water and cover with foil.
  5. Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and flip halves face-up.
  7. Bake another 5 minutes with foil on, then remove from oven and let cool for about 5-8 minutes.
  8. Remove any remaining seeds, then brush a fork over the squash to make thin strands that look like spaghetti. Add sea salt to taste, chives, basil, and 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil.
  9. Use the squash as a bed for your meatballs and serve!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 12 Meatballs, Plus Squash
Amount per serving
Calories 1,489
Total Fat 39g
Total Carbs 115g
Protein 156.6g

Sun-Dried Tomato and Chicken Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash PDF (243 KB)

Roasted Turkey with Sweet Potato Puree

When I prepare a bird, I want it to be super tender and juicy. They say you should roast a turkey 10-12 minutes for every pound, but that wasn't long enough in my case, so be sure to check your turkey with an internal thermometer. The sweet potato puree also stands alone as a great post-workout meal!

Roasted Turkey Ingredients
Balsamic Mustard Vinaigrette Marinade
  • 1/4 cup Organic Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 tsp Organic Dijon Mustard
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to your liking
  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl; whisk together.
  2. Roll and rub turkey breast in vinaigrette.
  3. Place in a Ziploc bag; pour in remaining marinade.
  4. Let turkey marinade in a refrigerator for a few hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F
  6. Bake turkey for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 275 F and bake 2 more hours, or until it reaches proper internal temperature (160 F).
Sweet Potato Puree Ingredients
  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
  2. Place in refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (4 Meals)
Amount per serving
Calories 2,964
Total Fat 107g
Total Carbs 86g
Protein 506g

Roasted Turkey with Sweet Potato Puree PDF (339 KB)

Pesto Skirt Steak and Vegetables

Sometimes you just need a good steak to keep your body and taste buds satisfied. I use grass-fed beef because the hormones and antibiotics in other beef give me various issues. Grass-fed beef is also higher in various vitamins and healthful fats.

This meal comes together from three pieces: grilled steak, blended pesto, and raw vegetables. I used a Gefu spiral slicer to make the zucchini pasta. I love this kitchen tool! The right tools matter in the workshop and the kitchen.

I used shallots because I'm allergic to garlic, but you can use garlic instead. You can use the pesto various ways, so save some for other meals!

  • 6 oz Steak (Skirt Steak)
  1. Mix all pesto ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Broil or grill the skirt steak to your liking. (Be careful as you cook. Many grills and broilers cook at different speeds.)
  3. Spread 1-2 tbsp of pesto on skirt steak during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking.
  4. Separately, cut up red peppers or tear them by hand.
  5. Cut the zucchini with a spiral slicer.
  6. Serve peppers and zucchini pasta raw, or top with pesto. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount per serving
Calories 1,159
Total Fat 110g
Total Carbs 24.8g
Protein 53.8g

Pesto Skirt Steak and Vegetables PDF (238 KB)