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Good Clean Food: Super Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day

Good Clean Food: Super Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day

by Lily Kunin
Good Clean Food: Super Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day

Good Clean Food: Super Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day

by Lily Kunin


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Lily Kunin, creator of the popular site and Instagram account Clean Food Dirty City, shares 100 simple, vibrant, plant-based recipes for looking and feeling your best

In her debut cookbook, Good Clean Food, health coach Lily Kunin shares plant-based recipes for irresistibly clean, wholesome food. With Lily's less-is-more approach, you'll learn how to create nourishing dishes, bowls, salads, smoothies, and more using gluten- and dairy-free ingredients. Her delicious recipes are complemented by the same vibrant, textured, and stunning photography that has become a trademark of her popular site Clean Food Dirty City.

Organized by the way that food makes you feel—awakened, nourished, cleansed, restored, sustained, and comforted—Good Clean Food highlights key ingredients that support healthy eating and clean living.

The book contains a flavorful mix of recipes, including:

Falafel Bowl with Mediterranean Millet and Green Tahini
Walnut Taco Salad + Avocado
Pesto Zucchini Noodles
Evergreen Detox Bowl
Sunny Immunity Smoothie Bowl
Salted Caramel Bonbons

The book also features a “Bowl Builder” section that walks readers through the process of building the perfect grain bowl, and provides helpful advice on how to stock a healthy kitchen and prep for the week ahead. Helpful tips and recipes instruct on using the same ingredients from your pantry for beauty enhancement, like a raw honey-turmeric facemask and rosemary-coconut oil hair treatment.

Good Clean Food reinforces the notion that clean, simple food can be beautiful, taste delicious, and provide our bodies with all the nutrients and healing properties we need to thrive.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419723902
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 03/07/2017
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 899,388
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Lily Kunin is the blogger behind the website and Instagram account Clean Food Dirty City. She is a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She lives in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

Good Clean Food

Super Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day

By Lily Kunin, Gemma Ingalls, Andrew Ingalls

Abrams Books

Copyright © 2017 Lily Kunin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4197-2390-2


my story

How are you feeling? Right this second, in this very moment. How about the last week? This is the very first question I often ask my clients. You're probably feeling awesome from that spin class you just crushed or the green juice you had this week. But we're all human. It's inevitable at times to feel off, even way off. Truth be told, I wasn't always living a glossy Clean Food Dirty City life. For years, I felt the opposite of great — nearly bedridden with migraines, my body screaming out that something was not right. No number of yoga classes or green juices could keep me from feeling like my head was about to fall off. Nothing changed until I started paying attention to what was at the end of my fork and how it made me feel.

I grew up a food lover. My earliest memories are of planting tomatoes in my garden, picking raspberries at Homestead Farm in Maryland, and plating desserts with my cousin in the back of my uncle's restaurant. My love for trying new foods began at a young age, starting with the smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and caviar amuse-bouche my great-grandmother would always have at holiday gatherings. She was the type of lady who kept truffles in her freezer — I didn't even know what a truffle was — but she had this elegance that mesmerized my eight-year-old self. Little did I know I would be following in her footsteps, first at the same alma mater, and later in the kitchen — only things look a little different and a lot less fancy at my house. One thing we do have in common: I always have truffles in my freezer ... the raw nut, date, and cacao kind!

My story begins with a bump in the road along the way. My life changed when my migraines began. It started with a blinding headache after field hockey practice during sophomore year in high school. The headaches and migraines kept happening, a couple of times a month. I started seeing a neurologist and cycled between doses of strong medicines — some Band-Aiding the migraine symptoms, but most giving me side effects ranging from digestive issues to short-term memory loss.

Fast forward to college. Horrible side effects drove me to swear off all meds, but headaches (and now vertigo) persisted, often coming on stronger than ever. I'd be sitting in class, and out of nowhere it would hit me. The room would start spinning. I prayed the professor would not call on me during one of these spells as I white-knuckled the arms of my chair. I'd retreat to my room every day after lunch, turn off all the lights, and stay in there until my headache subsided the next morning (and then returned by midday). It's a miracle I was able to accomplish anything during that year.

I was sick of feeling sick and sick of everyone asking me why I was always sick. Dozens of desperate web searches later, a little bell went off in my head. I suddenly heard the words of an osteopath I had seen the year prior loud and clear: I think it could be something you are eating. We didn't fully explore that route when my blood work all came back clear, no allergies. Could this be?

With nothing to lose, and enough Google evidence to back up my latest experiment, I jumped on the gluten-free train (before there was a bandwagon) the very next day, and the changes were nothing short of a miracle.

Forty-eight hours later, a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was headache-free. The cloud above my head disappeared, and for the first time since I could remember, I survived a day without that perpetual headache. It was the first moment I made the connection between what I put in my body and how it makes me feel.

While my spirits were lifted in my newfound freedom, I faced a fresh challenge: how to combine my love for delicious food with my need to properly nourish my body. More practically, would it even be possible to avoid gluten on a college campus? My dining hall graciously supplied me with gluten-free pasta and bread, and brown rice wraps (and even a dedicated toaster). And the neighborhood café gladly used the gluten-free bread that I brought in for breakfast sandwiches.

the move

Things were going swimmingly, but a serious dose of reality came postcollege when I arrived in New York City — a place notorious for its energy, excitement, and cramped living spaces — and I was tasked with keeping myself nourished and grounded amid the rush. My early days in the city were spent exploring my West Village neighborhood, acclimating to my first real job, enjoying happy hours with friends, taking yoga classes, and tasting all the gluten-free food I could get my hands on. No wonder it's called the city that never sleeps. In New York, there is always something to do or somewhere to be, and it can feel like the time it takes to grocery shop, cook, and generally take care of yourself is slowly squeezed out of your schedule.

My tiny apartment was not exactly a chef's kitchen. I had a mini stove and about a foot of counter space for prep. Even though my bedroom window looked directly into another apartment and the ceiling of the bathroom once caved in, I adored my place, which was right next door to three friends from college. We made the kitchen work for us.

Monday night dinners became our weekly ritual. We'd pick out a recipe on Sunday and tag team the grocery shopping and cooking. We'd sling grocery bags on our shoulders for the six-flight trek up to their door and joke about how we couldn't do spaghetti squash suppers anymore — squash was way too heavy to carry up there! It became one of my favorite things to do each week — a built-in time to take care of myself, slow down before facing the week head-on, and catch up with great friends over good, nutritious food. We started to add in walks and workouts on the West Side Highway before dinner and homemade honey face masks after dinner. We shared a blender and prepped smoothies to take to work on Tuesday morning.

Meals had to be easy; these small kitchens housed only a couple pots, and I usually had only a few minutes on most weeknights. Most importantly, they had to be bold, flavorful, and delicious. Oh, and make us feel great. I figured out how to cut corners in the best way possible — never when it came to the integrity of ingredients or flavor, but how I could use one less ingredient or one less pot, pan, or bowl. I spent time reinventing some of the classics from my childhood like chili, sesame noodles, and minestrone soup. I introduced new classics, such as vibrantly colorful smoothie bowls, lilac-hued chia puddings, and sunny trays of roasted vegetables. I started to feel grounded and at home amid the buzzing energy of New York City.

In my tiny city apartment, the philosophy for Clean Food Dirty City was born.

my food philosophy

Food is one of the great pleasures in life and should be thoroughly enjoyed. Giving up gluten, for me, was not an exercise in restriction but rather a creative endeavor that made me think outside the box and discover foods that were still beyond delicious. I maintain a constant dialogue with my body rather than prescribe to hard- and-fast restrictions.

Everybody is different, and what works for one person (me) might not work the exact same way for someone else (you). I'm a fan of trying to eat organic as much as possible, and sourcing sustainable animal products for the good of the environment and your health, but what you eat is so deeply personal that only you can decide whether adhering to a vegan, raw, paleo, or any other diet feels right. But why use labels? You know yourself better than anyone else.

For me, this shakes out to be a mostly plant-based diet with tons of healthy fats like avocado and nuts, and proteins like lentils and beans. I also incorporate sustainable animal products like ghee, pasture-raised eggs, wild salmon, and responsibly-sourced meat, some of which you will see in this book. It's not a once-a-week or once-a-month type of thing, but rather listening to how my body feels, what it's craving, and what will make it feel its best. One rule: When you are making a shift to a healthier diet, food must taste really, really good. That way you will actually stick to eating healthier! I believe there is still space for indulgences, because at the end of the day, it's not about deprivation; it's about balance.

If you haven't tapped into the intuition of letting how you feel guide what you eat, know that you already have these instincts. What do you crave when you start to feel under the weather? There's a deeply healing soup for you in my "Restore" chapter. Are you dying for a bowl of comfort food? "Nourish" has something for you. Do you need a boost of energy to get you through the afternoon? Turn to the recipes in "Awaken" or "Sustain."

The recipes that follow provide the framework and building blocks for you to make them your own, depending on your preferences. Most are vegan but are adaptable to any type of diet. Don't be scared to make your own modifications. There is plenty of plant-based protein laced throughout these pages, but if your body runs well on lean protein or pasture-raised eggs — go ahead and add them! I encourage you to make these recipes your own, and above all, I hope you feel inspired to listen to your body and decide for yourself how food makes you feel.

10 tips for living in a dirty city


1. get local

Scope out your local farmers' market or join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. CSAs provide a way to purchase local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. It's essentially like buying a membership to get the best produce available each month. Having a guaranteed big box of veggies every week helps you stay on track, exposes you to food you might not have discovered, and supports local farmers. Search for a CSA available near you through a national database such as

2. recipe rundown

If you're part of a CSA, look for recipes that feature the ingredients in your box. Otherwise, pick out recipes that include seasonal produce you can grab at your farmers' market or grocery store. I don't plan out every meal because part of city life is unexpected dinners and schedule changes, but even choosing one recipe and having a few things on hand — like chia pudding, a pot of lentils, and grains — suddenly makes a week of meals no problem.

3. make a list, check it twice

Run through the recipes you chose for the week and make a list of all of your missing ingredients. This list helps keep you smart in the kitchen and on budget — if it's not on your shopping list, you probably don't need it! Of course there are exceptions to the rule (like the perfect summer strawberries you can't resist at your farmers' market or a major avocado sale at the grocery store).

4. put it in your calendar

Plan ahead and schedule a few hours each week to cook. Sunday nights are always a great time to make something for the week ahead, and I usually pick one other night when I know I will have more time to prep for the rest of the week.

5. take shortcuts

It's okay to cut corners sometimes and definitely okay to make your life easier. Even though it's simple to whip up a pot of beans, there is also a time and a place for canned beans, especially if it means you're going to make chili tonight rather than order pizza or Thai takeout (but there's also a time and a place for that!). Frozen fruit is another one of my favorite hacks for easy smoothies and last-minute snacks.

6. pack your pantry

Stocking up on all the right things will allow you to walk into the kitchen when you seemingly have nothing in the fridge and walk out with a satisfying dinner. This is a skill you can hone over time — some of my favorite recipes have been born in these moments of forced creativity. Check out my pantry section on page 17 to get stocked with the basics.

7. get social

Have friends over for dinner. You'll have much more fun — and be healthier — if you don't feel like a hermit. This lifestyle is not about holing up in your apartment; it's about sharing it with family and friends and cooking together! Check out my Clean Food Dirty City (CFDC) parties for more ideas on page 202.

8. take it down a notch

While eating well is part of being healthy, it's not so great to fixate and obsess about every bite. If you feel overwhelmed transitioning to a healthy lifestyle, do less. Choose one thing that works for you and build from there. It's all about balance, so be kind to yourself and don't stress over the small stuff.

9. make it a meditation

Cooking at home can be completely meditative. This is your time to unplug from your devices and let your nervous system recover from a busy day. Savor the moment and be present. Call me a hippy, but I think food made with loving, calm energy actually tastes better. Feeding this energy into your life will work wonders.

10. have fun

Don't take yourself so seriously when it comes to cooking! Go back time and time again to dishes you love to cook, try new recipes, laugh at kitchen disasters, celebrate kitchen successes, savor a meal you made especially for you, and enjoy dinner around a big table with friends.

the clean food dirty city kitchen

One Saturday night during a freak blizzard, my roommate Sophia and I found ourselves trapped inside the apartment with only one semi-sad head of cauliflower and some arugula in the fridge. We got the cauliflower ready to be roasted, along with some shallots and cloves of garlic, and stuck it in the oven. I put a pot of water on to boil for brown rice pasta, whisked together a lemony dressing, toasted some almonds, and sliced some sun-dried tomatoes. We tossed it all together, added the arugula, and sat down to a meal that was so good it felt as though it was planned!

Last-minute cooking with ease (and delicious results) takes a little planning ahead. This is especially critical on weeknights, when my pantry allows me to whisk up turmeric-tahini dressings, small pots of supergrains, and hearty meals at a moment's notice. No tahini on hand? No worries, I'll substitute some almond butter or soaked cashews or hemp hearts. I promise that once you dive in, you'll feel comfortable making substitutions and getting creative with what you have on hand.

Food isn't the only part of your toolkit — kitchen supplies are also essential, but you don't need thousands of dollars' worth of pots, pans, and blenders. As long as you have the basic tools, you're good to go. If you are truly starting from scratch, it can take a little bit of an investment, but you can do this over time.


Whether you are building your kitchen, updating your equipment, or just trying to figure out what is truly essential (and should get prime real estate in your limited cabinet space), these are the tools, pots, and pans you'll need to almost do it all.


Blenders are one of the most helpful tools to have in the kitchen. There are a number of high-speed ones that are excellent for making delicious smoothies — but they can also make some of the best soups, sauces, and dips. There are other great blenders at lower price points that are also travel-friendly.

food processor

If there is one kitchen tool that can compete with how much I use my blender, it's my food processor. I use it for anything that has more texture like dips, pestos, nut balls, and falafel.

I also love my mini food processor and immersion blender combo. You can use the food processor to make small batches of dressings and sauces, and the immersion blender to puree soups when you don't want to get an extra appliance dirty.

pots and pans

I use two different saucepans in my kitchen, a smaller (2-quart/2-L) one for small batches of grains, and a larger (4-quart/3.8-L) one for brown rice pasta, soba noodles, or steamed vegetables.

I also love my heavy-bottomed Le Creuset (it's a 5.5-quart/5.2-L Dutch oven) and my large (8-quart/7.5-L) stockpot, which bubble over with soups and broths all winter long.

Having a stainless steel skillet, as well as a nonstick skillet, will get you through most of your everyday cooking needs. Make sure to choose one with a nontoxic coating. Stainless steel skillets are great for cooking veggies and stir-fries, whereas nonstick skillets excel when you are cooking eggs and tofu. They're foolproof — you don't even have to worry about eggs sticking or tofu crumbling. Purchase pans in the 8-inch (20-cm) to 12inch (30.5-cm) range, depending on whether you are usually cooking for a couple of people or for a crowd.

baking dishes

As a veg head, investing in a couple of rimmed baking sheets (also called sheet pans) is a no- brainer. Pick out ones that have some weight to them. They are essential for roasting perfect trays of vegetables and baking cookies. If you have space, also pick up a good 8-inch (20-cm) square glass or ceramic baking dish for dishes like lasagna (page 84) and a muffin (or mini muffin) tin for dishes like the carrot gingerbread muffins (page 170).


Excerpted from Good Clean Food by Lily Kunin, Gemma Ingalls, Andrew Ingalls. Copyright © 2017 Lily Kunin. Excerpted by permission of Abrams Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword: beauty from the inside out bobbi brown 6

My story 9

My food philosophy 11

10 tips for living in a dirty city (or anywhere, for that matter) 12

The clean food dirty city kitchen 16

Kitchen essentials 16

Pantry essentials 17

Spice cabinet 22

Back to basics 23


Morning rituals? 58

Super berry smoothie 61

Morning matcha smoothie bowl 62

Chia pudding three ways (summer, fall + strawberry) 64

Taco salad 68

Power bowl 70

Walnut orange globes 72

Coconut coffee body scrub 75


Sweet as pie smoothie bowl 78

Mexi-cali breakfast bowls 80

Blueberry buckwheat pancakes 82

Zucchini lasagna 84

Flatbread with brussels sprouts, corn + caramelized onion 86

Spaghetti squash + mushroom meatballs 90

Weeknight chili 92

Sesame noodle bowls with pan-fried tofu 94

Lentil tacos with simple slaw + corn avocado salsa 96

Peaches + raw brazil nut crumble 98

Coconut mint hair treatment 101


Super green smoothie 105

The evergreen bowl 107

Mom's minestrone 109

Arugula + roots salad 110

Pesto zucchini noodles 113

Squash + sprouts kale salad 114

Cfdc chopped salad + creamy avocado dressing 116

Classic guac + jicama with lime + chili 118

Green goodness dip 120

Beach quinoa salad 122

Berry beet pops 124

Dirty detox bath 127


Sunny immunity bowl 130

Immune-boosting shot 134

The daily bowl 136

Curry-cauli bowl 139

Red lentil earth curry 140

Miso mushroom soup 142

Gingery carrot soup + smashed avo-toast 144

All greens soup 146

Healing honey face mask 148


Mint-chip shake 152

Citrus coconut oats 154

Lazy lentil salad 156

Moroccan chickpea + carrot salad 158

Mediterranean falafel bowl with green tahini dressing 161

Sweet potato fries with cashew ranch dip 164

Zucchini almond dip 166

Mango macarons 168

Mini carrot gingerbread muffins with chai cashew cream 170

Midday matcha latte 173

Brightening green tea face mask 175


Dragon smoothie bowl 175

Goji granola 180

Apple plum crumble 182

Mexican chocolate pudding 184

Salted caramel bonbons 187

Cookie dough bars 190

Choc-chip cookies 193

Double chocolate chews 194

Cherry-coco ice cream sandwich 195

Blueberry-lime chia pops 196

Hydrating coco-avo face mask 201

Parties 202

Acknowledgments 217

Index 218

Customer Reviews