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Clean Slate Challenge: Filling Up on Whole Foods

In celebration of our newest book, "Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide" (Clarkson Potter 2014), the editors at Martha Stewart Living invited some of our contributors to take the three-day #CleanSlateChallenge! The mission? To eat nothing but whole foods. "Clean Slate" underscores the beneficial impact of whole foods, refreshing fruit and vegetable juices, satisfying snacks, and healthy desserts (yes, even desserts). Can we do it? We’ll be blogging about our progress. Stay tuned ... and join us!

2013 American Made Winner

I’m excited to be a part of this #cleanslatechallenge! I’m in need of some clean eating after holiday indulging, which has continued into the New Year with my recent dinner at French Laundry's Ad Lib pop-up (which was amazing, by the way). The "Clean Slate" book is beautiful and the recipes all look super easy and unique.

Photography by: Lena Kwak

It's Day One of the challenge, and for breakfast I made the “Green Machine Smoothie.” This was quite a challenge kick-starter. I generally stick with oatmeal in the morning and avoid shakes or smoothies in fear that they won’t hold me over until lunchtime, but this was a very hearty green shake.


Chock-full of fiber and vegetables, it took me a full hour to drink the whole thing. My mango wasn’t as sweet as I had hoped so I added half a Granny Smith apple and lemon juice to brighten up the flavors. I was worried about not being able to get through the day without my daily cup of coffee, but after drinking that smoothie, my body said, “Oh yes we can!”

Photography by: Lena Kwak

For lunch, I made the Brussels sprout salad with avocado and pumpkin seeds. I had hesitations over the raw Brussels sprouts. I won’t lie, I usually have my Brussels sprouts fried or served with pancetta … and I LOVE them. But I was pleased to find that they are just as tasty raw.


This is a fantastic salad for lunch and I made it for the whole Cup4Cup team at the office. I added soft-boiled eggs, following the book’s Golden Rule #6, “boost energy by eating lean protein,” to make it more of a hearty entree. I had to rush to a meeting so I packed my salad to go, but even after sitting for an hour it was so tasty! The Brussels sprouts are sturdy and didn't wilt from the dressing -- the salad may have been even better because it sat out. This is a perfect dish to make the night before for weekday lunches.

Photography by: Lena Kwak

Talk about a ridiculously easy and beautiful dinner! The pureed cauliflower soup took just about 30 minutes from start to finish! The dish is elegant, balanced, and the flavors shine in their simplicity. This recipe is also great for variations; I used beautiful orange cauliflower (which is why my soup differs in color) and instead of adding olive oil, I used a bit of leftover parsley from the Green Machine Smoothie to make a parsley olive oil garnish that added a vibrant color. I also added a pinch of Aleppo pepper flakes, a hot, fruity and sweet Turkish spice. The final product is as beautiful as it is good for you.


In the past I’ve had a hard time following rules with cookbooks, but that has not been the case with "Clean Slate." I like using this book as a guide -- it has been easy to follow and adjust to my day-to-day routine.

About the Author

Lena Kwak

A graduate of Rhode Island’s Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute, Cup4Cup President and Co-Founder, Lena Kwak, began her culinary career as a private chef and caterer. To explore a growing interest in nutritional science, she pursued an externship with Thomas Keller at The French Laundry. As a Research & Development Chef, Kwak was assigned to test and create new edible...


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