This weekend is a good time to test this recipe for the Sweet Potato Avocado Burger in the “Clean Green Eats” cookbook by former “Top Chef” contestant Candice Kumai.

Nutrition experts have declared “clean eating” to be the secret to everything from managing your weight and maximizing your energy, to creating a physique worthy of a body-building competition, while achieving inner peace.

The fact is, the clean eating lifestyle delivers if you follow its basic rules:

  1. Skip the frankenfoods. No processed foods, just freshly prepared meats, fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  2. Choose organic when you can. Organic food is pricey, but learning when it’s worth it to avoid pesticides is key to eating clean. The Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce from the Environmental Working Group can help you learn what buy.
  3. Choose proteins with care. Avoid poultry, meat and milk products shot full of antibiotics and hormones. Let the label be your guide.
  4. Eat ancient. Stick with whole, unprocessed grains: quinoa, buckwheat, spelt and faro.
  5. Dump the Junk. Yes, all of it, soda, chips, and other assorted stuff. Learn to love water with a slice of lemon or fresh juices.

To make healthy choices that are delicious as well as doable, pick up one of these great cookbooks this weekend. They offer two different approaches to changing your diet as well as your life, but both will help you get great results.

The Clean Eating Miracle 52 Chef Habits: A Healthier Happier You in Just 5 Minutes a Day by Gabi Rupp. This easy-to-use guide walks you through simple, three-or four-step healthy living tips to help you learn to eat clean. The advice takes just a few minutes a day, but the book is designed to help you spend your year (52 weeks) creating a brand new healthy lifestyle.

Clean Green Eats by former Top Chef contestant Candice Kumai. This easy cookbook focuses on providing mouth-watering recipes that use  wholesome, good-for-you ingredients, along with tips for living clean. Try this amazing recipe this weekend. You may never crave processed food again.

Sweet Potato Avocado Burger

YIELD: Serves 8 to 10, yields 13 to 15 small patties.


Wet ingredients:

2 pounds sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (omit for vegan)

1/4 yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

Dry ingredients:

1 1/4 cups organic rolled oats

3/4 cup raw walnuts, crushed

3/4 cup flaxseed meal

For cooking:

2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

For serving:

Whole-wheat or gluten-free buns

2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced (2 to 3 slices per burger)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (per burger; omit for vegan)

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

1 to 2 town lacinato kale leaves per burger

Dijon mustard

Olive oil mayonnaise (omit for vegan)


About Fierce Fridays — Tips for Weekend Well-Being

We each cherish those precious days off at the end of the week, but increasingly those of us who are charter members of the sisterhood of the stressed and overworked are losing our Saturday and Sunday leisure time to weekend work and domestic duties.

To make sure that you do something every weekend that’s just for you, we’ll be sharing a little advice to make those 48 hours a great time to recharge your batteries, bring a little good news into your life, or discover a quick and easy way to improve your health.