Comfort Food Recipes That Won’t Derail Your Detox

Photo: Clean Green Eats

Welcome to Well+Good's (Re)New Year—a five week expert-led program that's all about helping you have your best year yet. For Week Two we've brought on professionally trained chef and best-selling author Candice Kumai to help you reset your clean eating habits. Throughout the week, she'll be sharing three recipes a day to guide you through a no-restrictions, detoxifying cleanse that makes eating (Yes!)

All week, I've been taking you through a cleanse that has revolved around eating clean without feeling limited—and today is the crème de la crème of no-restrictions eating.

By now you've hopefully felt the difference that eating whole, real ingredients has on your energy, skin, and happiness. But you don't have to sacrifice all things sweet and comforting (like mac and cheese) to reap those benefits. What's the secret to having it all, you ask? The key to a healthy, delicious, and detoxifying—yet gratifying!—day is to combine powerhouse ingredients to balance out decadent flavor with nutritious benefits. Think coconut milk and cacao as the yin to your avocado and kale yang.

Cooking is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself, and although it takes time to prep and cook, a healthy meal should be your body's reward for all the good you're giving to it. Today, nourish your body with chocolate for breakfast (it's healthy—really!), a bento box (because you deserve to move beyond the #saddesklunch), and yes, vegan, veggie-packed mac and cheese.

Ready for a so-delicious-you-can't-believe-it's-healthy day of eating? Scroll down for Candice Kumai's Day 4 clean-eating meal plan—and share your (Re)New Year recipes with #iamwellandgood!

Photo: Candice Kumai

Day 4 Breakfast: Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake

1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup baby spinach
1 heaping Tbsp organic, unsweetened peanut butter
2 Tbsp dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 frozen banana
Ice cubes, optional
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder

1. Place all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.

Photo: Candice Kumai

Day 4 Lunch: Avocado and Shiitake Mushroom Bento Box

Bento Box Base
6 oz soba noodles

Miso Ginger Dressing
2 Tbsp organic red miso paste
1/3 cup rice or apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp honey

For the Soba Noodle Salad
1 cup cooked, shelled edamame
4 cups finely chopped kale
1 cup thinly sliced, sauteed shiitake mushrooms (cook with 2 Tbsp sesame oil and 1 Tbsp soy sauce)
1 avocado, thinly sliced

1. In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook your soba noodles until tender. Drain and rinse your noodles under cold running water and set aside in colander. (Quick tip: To keep your noodles from clumping together, wash away excess starch by rubbing noodles together when rinsing under cold running water. This will also make sure your noodles maintain a perfect texture.)

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the red miso paste, rice vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, grated ginger, honey, and sesame oil. Add in your drained soba noodles, edamame, and shiitake mushrooms. Gently toss until everything is well-coated in your dressing.

3. Fold in the four cups of chopped kale into the bowl. Carefully toss to coat.

Photo: Clean Green Eats

Day 4 Dinner: Creamy Butternut Squash Vegan Mac and Cheese

3 lbs butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and quartered
2 cups unsweetened light coconut milk
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 lb gluten-free pasta
3/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp parsley, flat-leaf, fresh, chopped
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 cloves garlic, fresh, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
3/4 cups nutritional yeast

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Place a large pot over medium heat. Add the squash, coconut milk, broth, and garlic. Simmer until the butternut squash is fork tender.

3. Transfer the squash mixture, including the liquid, to a food processor or blender. Puree until the mixture is velvety smooth.

4. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni to al dente in boiling salted water. Drain and rinse with cool water.

5. Spread out the macaroni in the prepared baking dish. Pour the squash puree over the pasta.

6. To prepare the topping: In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Spread evenly over macaroni. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.

7. Bake for 35 minutes until bubbly. Remove the foil from the baking dish.

Missed Day 3? Check out Candice Kumai's beauty-boosting menu and catch up.

The (Re)New Year series is not a "New Year, New You" program. (We think you're pretty great as is!) Instead, we tapped the biggest and best influencers across the wellness space to help kick off the New Year in the best possible way. Between heart-racing workouts, DIY beauty recipes, and killer confidence advice, get ready to have your happiest and healthiest year yet.

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