• Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Lentils Recipe

    Are you looking for a vegan entree you can serve for your next holiday meal that is delicious and good for you too? This lentil-stuffed acorn squash is full of healthy fiber and plant-based protein. The best part is that it tastes great.

    Ingredients

    1 acorn squash large
    1 cup dried green lentils green
    2 cups vegetable broth
    1/2 chopped onion
    2 stalks chopped celery
    1 chopped apple
    1/4 cup dried cranberries
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 tbsp breadcrumbs
    3 tbsp nutritional yeast
    3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    Salt & Pepper to taste
    1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

    Cooking instructions

    Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and let it preheat.

    Cut the stem side off the squash and then cut it in half vertically.

    Use a spoon to remove the seeds.

    Then, with a silicone brush, cover the inside of both halves with olive oil. Add salt and pepper.

    Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 50 min to 1 hour.

    While the squash is roasting, place the lentils and vegetable stock in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the lentil simmer until tender. If you need to add more liquid, do so. They should take about 40 minutes to cook.

    When the lentils are cooked, drain them.

    When the squash is fork-tender, remove it from the oven.

    Heat up a frying pan and add a tablespoon of oil. Add chopped onions and cook until translucent.

    Add dried thyme to the pan and chopped celery, apple, and dried cranberries. Cook for 5 minutes.

    Add the lentils to the pan and season well with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes.

    Add breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast and stir the stuffing well.

    Fill both halves of the squash with stuffing and place back in the oven to back for 15 minutes.

    Sign up for Omstars for more delicious plant-based recipes, unlimited yoga classes, and so much more. 

    Photo by Kim Daniels on Unsplash

  • Vegan Red Lentil Soup Recipe

    This vegan red lentil soup recipe is perfect for a chilly fall day.

    Red lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, both of which help keep us feeling full and promote healthy digestion. They also contain important micronutrients such as folate and iron, making them a nutritious addition to any meal. Red lentils have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and may even help manage blood sugar levels in those with diabetes.

    Overall, incorporating them into your diet can contribute to your health and well-being. So if you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner that’s both delicious and good for you, this soup is just what you need! Enjoy!

    Ingredients:

    1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
    1 8oz can diced tomatoes
    4 cups vegetable broth
    1 cup chopped spinach
    1 small onion, diced
    1 carrot sliced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tsp cumin
    salt and pepper to taste
    optional toppings: diced avocado, diced red onion, cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes

    Instructions: 1) In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic until softened.

    2) Add in the lentils, tomatoes, carrot, broth, cumin, and season with salt and pepper.

    3) Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

    4) Stir in the spinach and let it wilt for 1-2 minutes. Serve hot with desired toppings.

    When you make this vegan red lentil soup recipe, you might want to add some vegan sour cream and sliced avocado to the top. Enjoy!

    Do you want more plant-based recipes? Join Omstars to learn from some amazing plant-based cooks and get access to 4,500+ on-demand and daily live-streaming yoga classes.  Sign up for a free trial with Omstars to get started. 

    Photo by Daria Klimova: https://www.pexels.com/photo/soup-and-sliced-bread-on-table-9928340/

  • Plant-Based (Vegan) Holiday Recipes

    ‘Tis the season for holiday celebrations, parties, and family gatherings. If you’re in need of some new plant-based holiday recipe ideas that will impress friends and family we’ve got some delicious vegan holiday recipes for you.

    A few of our talented cooking class hosts have contributed their favorite holiday recipes. They’re delicious, easy to make, and might just convert a few of your meat-loving friends to plant-based eating. Check them out below.

    Simmered Japanese Kabocha squash from Yuko Nakamoto

    Ingredients:

    >>1 Kabocha squash (cut & trimmed)
    >>Hot Water (about 12 oz)
    >>Brown sugar 1 tbsp (You can use: Maple syrup or any of your favorite sweeteners)
    >>Soy sauce 1 tbsp (Tamari soy sauce, liquid aminos)
    >>Salt 1 pinch

    Cooking Instructions

    1 : Use microwave for 1 min for easy cutting if the Kabocha is too hard.

    2: Remove the pulp and seeds from the Kabocha squash. Use a sharp knife to slice the Kabocha squash into 1-inch thick width pieces and then cut into bite-size pieces.

    3: Trim all the corner edges from the Kabocha pieces using ※Mentori cutting (see pictures)

    ※ 面取りMentori: If the pieces have a sharp edge, then they are likely to break into pieces during the cooking process.

    5: Put the Kabocha skin down in a single layer in a pan and Boil in high heat with the Kabocha pieces covered with enough hot water for about 8-10min with a lid.
    When kabocha gets soft, drain the hot water.

    6: Turn the heat off and add brown sugar, mix quickly and add soy sauce to absorb.

    If you want to make the Kabocha squash powdery and fluffy, turn off the heat and you can put the lid on for a while.

    Find out more about Yuko on here.

    Cook with Yuko on Omstars.

    Roasted Veggies with Banza Chickpea Pasta in Garlic & Oil with Fresh Basil from Kevin Duffy

    Ingredients

    >>chickpea pasta
    >>2 heads broccoli
    >>2 bundles asparagus
    >>2 zucchini
    >>Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    >>3 to 4 cloves garlic
    >>Italian seasoning (or your favorite seasoning mix)
    >>1 bag fresh spinach
    >>1 bundle fresh basil
    >>salt and pepper to taste

    Method

    • preheat oven to 400-415

    • chop up 2 heads of broccoli, 2 bundles of asparagus, 2 zucchini

    • mix veggies in a bowl with EVOO, fresh chopped garlic (3-4 cloves), and Italian seasoning, whatever you like.

    • roast veggies in the oven for 15-20 mins or until the broccoli chars.

    • cook pasta 2-3 mins less than the directions. Trust me, It always falls apart… and then you will think you hated it! You didn’t hate it, it just fell apart, it tastes great minus the usual white flour bloat and brain fog!

    It cooks different than “regular pasta” = different ingredients. Better ones aka it’s better for you.

    • pour a big bag of spinach in a giant serving bowl

    • heat up some more EVOO and garlic in a pan. Medium heat 3-4 mins.

    • drain the Pasta when cooked and mix it with the spinach. This will help steam and wilt the spinach just perfectly.

    ⚠️ We all knows spinach disappears when you cook it in a pan. Let’s make spinach great and stop cooking it in a pan and then the drama continues that it “disappears into nothing.”

    • add in the heated oil and garlic to the bowl and mix

    • add the roasted veggies and mix it all 🥦

    • chop up a bundle of fresh basil and add that too. 🌿

    Can you say professional Presentation!

    • salt and pepper to taste

    ⚠️ More or less oil as needed. Aim for less. Don’t cook with more oil than you are comfortable drinking straight out of a glass!! It is all going in your body. Whether you drink it or hide it on your veggies.

    😢 If this takes you more than 20 mins it’s ok, Keep practicing!

    Check out Kevin’s website here.

    Cook with Kevin on Omstars here and here.

    Pumpkin Pie from Natalie Prigoone

    If you like a toffee-tasting pumpkin pie, then you will love this healthy version.

    This is a perfect recipe for using left over almond pulp after making your own almond milk. Tip: When you make your almond milk throw in the vanilla bean when blending with water, then once the nuts are strained and squeezed, the ground vanilla pod will be left behind with the nuts.

    INGREDIENTS

    Base

    » 1 1/2 cups almond pulp
    » 1 whole vanilla bean (blitzed in a spice grinder) or 1 tsp of vanilla paste or 1 tbs vanilla essence
    » 1 packed cup of dates
    » 1/4 cup coconut oil
    » crackle of pink salt

    Pumpkin Filling

    » 2 1/2 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin (roasted is best)
    » 1 cup of almonds or 1 cup of almond butter (only use whole almonds if you have a powerful food processer that can turn them into paste)
    » * 3/4 cup lacuma powder (You can omit the lacuma powered in this recipe if you don’t have it. No big deal really. It’s really for nutritional benefit and a little sweetness.)
    » 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
    » 1/2 cup coconut paste (melted)
    » 2 tsp cinnamon powder
    » 2 tsp nutmeg powder
    » 1/4 cup maple syrup
    » salt on top

    METHOD

    Base

    Process all ingredients in a high-powered food processor until it sticks together in a ball of dough when pressed. Line a fan pan with baking paper. (I like to trace out a circle and cut it to fit the base exactly.) Press the dough down uniformly and line the sides to form a pie crust. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

    Pumpkin Filling

    Blend almonds first until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process for a few minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides. Spoon filling on top of pie crust and allow to set in the refrigerator for several hours until firm. Top with pistachio nuts.

    Find out more about Natalie on her website.

    Take Natalie’s class on Omstars here.

    Do you want more holiday recipes? Check out our holiday recipes posts from previous years.

    Plant-Based Holiday Feasts (Recipes from the Omstars Staff)

    Plant-Based Recipes for the Holiday Season (Recipes from Lee Holmes)

    Plant-Based Appetizers (Recipes from Naomi Seifter)

    By Omstars

    Photo by Mel Maldonado-Turner on Unsplash

  • Plant-Based Holiday Feast

    The Omstars family and friends have put together some of their favorite dishes this holiday season to create a plant-based feast the entire family will enjoy! Some recipes are easy to whip up, while others take a little more time.  Either way, you’ll have options to make a delicious, vegan holiday dinner.

    Vegan Tempeh Holiday Loaf by Natalie Matthews

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup minced onion
    • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
    • 2 cups minced mushrooms
    • 1/2 cup minced celery
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 cups crumbled unseasoned tempeh
    • 2 cups cubed sweet potato, steamed
    • 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
    • 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
    • 1 tablespoon minced thyme
    • 1 tablespoon liquid aminos
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
    2. In a large pot, add vegetable broth and onions.
    3. Cook onions for 3 minutes on medium heat until translucent.
    4. Add mushrooms, celery, and garlic.  Cook for 3 minutes or until the mushrooms begin to shrink.
    5. Remove pot from heat and add tempeh, sweet potatoes, parsley, rosemary, thyme, liquid aminos, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.  Mash with a potato masher until all the ingredients are well combined and have a sticky consistency
    6. Press the tempeh mixture into the loaf pan making sure to pack it very tightly.
    7. Bake loaf for an hour.
    8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes at room temperature.
    9. Flip loaf onto a serving tray, cut, serve, and cover with some delicious Smokey Maple BBQ Sauce.  Enjoy!
    10. For more awesome recipes and videos check out Natalie Matthew’s website!

    Easy Channa Masala Pot Pie by Jodi Lane

    Pot Pie Crust

    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/4  tsp salt
    • 2/3 cup vegan butter
    • 4-5 tbsp water

    Crust – Instructions

    • Add flour and salt in a bowl
    • Grate cold vegan butter into dry ingredients
    • Mix ingredients by hand until mixture becomes crumbles
    • Add water 1 tbsp at a time until you can form a dough ball
    • Refrigerate before use
    • Roll out to fit the baking dish, making a top crust and bottom.

    Filling – ingredients

    Filling – instructions

    • Add filling mixture into baking dish with pie crust
    • Add top crust to baking dish and cut a few slits on top
    • Place in preheated 475 degree oven and bake until golden brown
    • Check every 20 minutes, but it could take about 50 minutes to full cook crust

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Oyster Mushrooms by Laina Jacobs

    Ingredients

    • 16 oz Brussels sprouts
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 8 oz oyster mushrooms
    • 2 tbsp vegan butter
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • Salt and pepper

    Directions

    • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Trim and halve the Brussels sprouts. Peel and slice the garlic. wipe the oyster mushrooms clean of any dirt with a damp paper towel and trim the tough stems.
    • Transfer the halved Brussels sprouts to a baking sheet and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast sprouts until tender and crispy in places, about 12 to 15 minutes.
    • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the oyster mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned in places, about 5 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle mushrooms with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate. Cover to keep warm.
    • Add the sliced garlic to the skillet and cook until the garlic is softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the butter and cook for 1 minute
    • Combine the roasted Brussels sprouts and oyster mushrooms in a serving dish. Drizzle with garlic butter and gently toss until well coated.

    Vegan Southern-style Collard Greens by Lovelyn Bettison

    Ingredients

    • 2 pounds collard greens
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 small onion chopped
    • 3 cups stock (I use vegan chicken stock, but veggie stock works too or water if you’re in a pinch)
    • 2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
    • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
    • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    • Wash greens well and remove the stems.
    • Add all ingredients to pot and bring to boil.
    • Turn down and simmer on low heat for an hour or until the greens are tender.
    • Add more water if necessary.
    • When the greens are tender serve with hot sauce.

    Homemade Vegan Biscuits by Jodi Lane

    Ingredients

    • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 1-1/2 cups Oatmilk
    • 2 cups Oat Flour
    • 1 tsp rosemary
    • 2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup Vegan Butter or Coconut Oil

    Directions

    • Put Apple Cider Vinegar and Vanilla in Oat Milk, and set aside for at least 5 minutes (this allows the oat milk to curdle)
    • Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl and mix well
    • Combine all ingredients and mix well
    • Spray muffin pan with oil or coconut oil spray
    • Pour batter into muffin pan (the batter is a little more sticky with this recipe and requires a muffin tin)
    • Place in preheated 425 degree oven and bake approximately 15-20 minutes

    Roasted Honeynut Squash by Natalie Matthews 

    Ingredients

    • 4 honeynut squash, sliced in half lengthwise and deseeded
    • coconut oil non-stick cooking spray (optional)

    For the Quinoa Salad

    • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dry, cook according to package)
    • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup Maple Lemon Tahini Dressing

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    • Place the sliced and deseeded squash on the lined baking sheet.
    • Lightly spray the squash with the optional coconut oil and roast for 30-35 minutes.
    • While the squash is roasting, make the filling.  In a mixing bowl, add cooked quinoa, parsley, pumpkin seeds, raisins, tomatoes, and lemon juice.  Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
    • Remove squash from the oven and scoop 1/4 cup of quinoa mixture into each half.
    • Drizzle a generous amount of the Maple Lemon Tahini Dressing, serve, and enjoy.
    • For more awesome recipes and videos check out Natalie Matthew’s website!

    Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream Icing by Jodi Lane

    Cupcakes – Ingredients

    • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 1-1/2 cups Oatmilk
    • 2 cups Oat Flour
    • 3/4 cup Powder Sugar
    • 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar (or any sugar)
    • 2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup Vegan Butter or Coconut Oil
    • 1-1/4 tsps Vanilla Extract

    Cupcakes – Directions

    • Put Apple Cider Vinegar and Vanilla in Oat Milk, and set aside for at least 5 minutes (this allows the oat milk to curdle)
    • Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl and mix well
    • Combine all ingredients and mix well
    • Spray cupcake pan with oil or coconut oil spray
    • Pour batter into cupcake pan
    • Place in preheated 425 degree oven and bake approximately 15-20 minutes

    Icing – Ingredients

    • 1/2 Cup Vegan Butter
    • Powdered Sugar
    • 1/4 cup Oat Flour
    • Splash of Oat Milk

    Icing – Directions

    • Melt vegan butter slight
    • Whip butter until fluffy
    • Add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time
    • Whip until you receive the desired fluffy texture. Electric hand mixers work great and quickly

    Moomow’s Magical Vegan Holiday Tiramisu by Jodi Lane

    Building the Tiramisu Layers

    Cocoa Powder – Ingredients

    • The easiest of the layers, you can use any cocoa you like. Dark is my favorite.

    Cocoa Powder – Directions

    • You will want to use a sieve to sift an even dusting for the layers.

     Vegan Lady Fingers Cake – Ingredients

    • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (with mother)
    • 1-1/2 Cup Oat Mylk (or any vegan mylk), room temperature
    • 1-1/4 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
    • ½-Cup Vegan Butter, softened
    • 2-Cup All-Purpose Flour
    • ¾-Cup Bone Char Free Powdered Sugar
    • ¼-Cup Coconut Sugar
    • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
    • ½ Teaspoon Salt

     Vegan Lady Fingers Cake – Directions

    • Mix Apple Cider Vinegar, Vanilla, and Oat milk in a bowl then set aside.
    • Mix all dry ingredients in separate large mixing bowl.
    • Add softened, vegan butter to Apple Cider Vinegar, Vanilla, and Oat Mylk mixture.
    • Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients, combining thoroughly.
    • In a coconut-oil-greased 13”X9” baking dish, pour cake batter in.
    • Bake at 350-degrees for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
    • Remove from the oven and allow Vegan Lady Fingers Cake to cool.
    • Once cooled, cut cake into 4-5”X1” strips.
    • Brew up some STRONG coffee/espresso, and set aside to cool.

    Vegan Aquafaba Buttercream Icing – Ingredients

    • 2 Cans (of chickpeas) worth of Aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
    • 2 to 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
    • 3/4-Cup Vegan Butter, softened
    • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
    • 1/4-Cup Oat Flour (as needed)

    Vegan Aquafaba Buttercream Icing – Directions

    • In mixing bowl, beat aquafaba until it resembles meringue, and then set aside.
    • In a separate mixing bowl, beat softened Vegan Butter until fluffy.
    • Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla slowly. You may not need all 2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar.
    • Mix until it resembles velvety buttercream frosting. Give it a little taste test, why don’t you?
    • If the buttercream has a loose consistency, add some oat flour at this time, and mix well.
    • Using a baking spatula, slowly fold in aquafaba into buttercream frosting.
    • The mixture will have a whipped, smooth consistency, and taste incredible.
    • TIP: When you make frosting of any kind, get a fantastic-tasting sugar, especially when using powdered sugars.

    Layer Assembly

    • Evenly dust the bottom of a 9”X9” dish with cocoa powder.
    • Dip lady fingers into espresso, and layer side-by-side, on top of the cocoa powder.
    • Add a layer of Vegan Aquafaba Buttercream Icing on top of espresso-soaked lady fingers.
    • Another dusting of cocoa powder on top of the icing layer.
    • Another layer of lady fingers.
    • Another layer of icing.
    • And finally, a dusting of cocoa powder to finish it off.
    • Place finished dessert in the ‘fridge for about an hour to set up perfectly.
    • Serve, and enjoy.

    by Omstars Family & Friends

  • Cooking with Kino: Vegan Walnut Banana Fruit Bread

    While it’s not a crisis of food shortage right now, it kind of feels like one. With most of us confined to our homes and lines snaking around outside grocery stories, I’ve been inspired to minimize food waste even more. When I had a bunch of bananas that were turning bad I decided to make banana bread!

    I shared my creation on Instagram and got flooded with recipe requests. So, here it is below. But, before you follow it precisely you should know that I don’t exactly measure things. I have a feel for measurements and go with approximates. The most important thing is to check on the banana bread and be sure not to overcook it.

    Ingredients

    • 6 overripe bananas (can be refrigerated but don’t have to be)
    • 2 1/5 cups of flour (any flour will do, but I used Quinoa flour)
    • 1/2 cup of coconut oil (or your favorite cooking oil)
    • 1 teaspoon of salt
    • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
    • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup of walnuts (macadamias and pecans are also good)
    • 1/2 cup of dried mixed fruits (I used raisins, cherries, cranberries and blueberries, but apricots or dates could also be nice)

    Directions

    • Preheat over to 350F
    • Peel the bananas and place in a large mixing bowl. Mash them up with a fork (or something more fancy if you have it)
    • Mix in the coconut oil, vanilla and brown sugar.
    • Mix the baking soda, cinnamon, flour, and salt together.
    • Mix them all together. Don’t overdo it.
    • Add in half of the walnuts (the ones in pieces and save the whole walnuts) and all the dried fruit. Mix well.
    • Scoop out into a baking pan.
    • Place whole walnuts on top in a fun pattern. Drizzle brown sugar on top for fun and a little extra sweetness.
    • Place in the center of the over. Set the timer for 40 minutes. Check with a fork or toothpick. It should come out mostly dry. If it isn’t yet, then keep the bread in the oven for an extra 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. Check regularly and do not overcook.
    • Note: my oven runs hot so you might need to adjust the times.

    Discover more vegan recipes on Omstars

    By Kino MacGregor

    International yoga teacher, Kino MacGregor has over 20 years of experience in Ashtanga yoga & 18 years of experience in Vipassana Meditation. She is one of a select group of people to receive the certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga & practice into the Fifth Series of Ashtanga Yoga. With over 1 million followers on Instagram & over 500,000 subscribers on YouTube & Facebook, she spreads the message of yoga around the world. To Kino, yoga is more than making shapes. It is a daily ritual where people tune deeply into their spiritual center & experience the peace of the Eternal Divine. Her goal is to make the tools of traditional yoga accessible for all different sizes, shapes, ethnicities, & ages. She believes yoga is truly for everyone. Learn more from and connect with Kino on Instagram!

  • Brussels Sprouts, Pistachio, and Cranberry Salad

    As a child, Brussels sprouts were probably my most hated vegetable. Actually, I think they were the only vegetable I hated. I could only eat them if I had equal amounts of butter to vegetable. Since then, I’ve eaten them in restaurants and actually like these very cute mini cabbages. However, I think this is the first time I have ever willing parted with money at the market and bought them.

    Ingredients

    500g Brussels sprouts.
    1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts
    1/2 cup dried cranberries
    1 spring onion/shallot stalk (green and white part)

    Method

    Drop Brussels sprouts into a pot of boiling salted water. Blanch for a few a minute or two with the lid off. Keeping the lid off is important for the greens to retain their colour.
    Remove from heat while still crunchy and drain. Chop the spring onion into slices. Halve the baby cabbages and toss in a bowl with cranberries, pistachios and spring onion. Make the dressing and mix well.

    Dressing

    1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1 tbs cider vinegar
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    1 clove garlic
    Salt & black pepper
    1 tbs of maple syrup if you have used lemon juice. If you’ve used orange juice then it’s probably sweet enough.

    Method

    Shake well in a screw top glass jar. Pour half the dressing onto the salad and toss. Serve the remaining dressing to guests in the jar should they wish to add more.

    Try More of Natalie’s Recipes on Omstars

    By Natalie Prigoone

    For more healthy recipes and inspiration, download The Great Uncooking ebook now. Then you’ll have raw vegan dinners and lunches covered. Natalie Prigoone is the author of The Great Uncooking a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

  • Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie

    You’re going to love this: a glossy, chocolate, gooey caramel, and chewy brownie. Rest assured this goodness is raw, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and still a knock-your-socks-off kind of chocolaty dessert.

    Base Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups walnuts
    • 3 cups dates
    • 1/2 cup raw cacao

    Method:  Blend dry ingredients in food processor until crumbly.  Add dates a few at a time and continue blending until gooey and chewy.  Press evenly into a square baking tin lined with baking paper.

    Salted Caramel layer Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup pure coconut cream
    • 1/2 cup dates or 8 large Medjool dates
    • 1 tbs vanilla
    • 1 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes

    Method:  Blend all ingredients in the small bowl of your food processor until creamy.  Pour onto the chocolate base.

    Chocolate topping Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
    • 3 tbs coconut cream

    Method:  Mix the oil and cacao in a bowl first.  Then add the cream and maple syrup.  The maple cause the chocolate to seize a little. This is useful so it becomes firm.  Spread the chocolate over the caramel with the back of a spoon or a palette knife.  Refrigerate until set.  Slice into squares.

    Try Natalie’s Super Food Chocolate Recipe on Omstars

    By Natalie Prigoone

    For more healthy recipes and inspiration, download The Great Uncooking ebook now. Then you’ll have raw vegan dinners and lunches covered. Natalie Prigoone is the author of The Great Uncooking a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

  • Plant-Based Nutrition: Protein

    When you think protein, what image normally comes into your mind? The first thing that comes to my mind is a flexed bicep. Most people think “muscle building” or “strength,” but know little else beyond that. Today we’re going to dive a little bit into protein basics, why it’s important, and where we can get good quality protein.

    Basic Protein Background

    A protein is any group of complex nitrogenous compounds used to create body tissue as well as other chemicals that participate in metabolism and maintaining the body in working order. Hormones and enzymes are also classified as proteins. Protein has been perpetuated as the most important macronutrient, and you’ve probably heard people prioritize eating protein over carbohydrates and fat. In fact, it’s name comes from the Greek “proteios,” meaning “of prime importance.”

    Proteins have so many important jobs in our bodies: as enzymes that facilitate chemical reactions, as hormones that send messages through the body, as antibodies that protect us from harmful substances, as carriers of oxygen and gases in our blood, as well as forming structural components of our cells.

    All proteins are made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. Of the many naturally occurring amino acids, the proteins in our body are derived from just twenty. Of these twenty, our body has the ability to make twelve. The remaining eight have to be obtained through diet- hence their name essential amino acids.

    Before we go into where to get these proteins, let’s dive into “How much do we need?” Most people know that they need protein, but don’t often know the amount their bodies need. The need for protein was determined and published in 1943 by the National Academy of Sciences as the first recommended daily allowance (RDA). The minimum daily requirement was calculated by measuring the amount of nitrogen excreted, and was estimated to be about 0.5 grams per kilogram of body weight (~0.22 g per pound body weight), equivalent to about 6% of total diet calories.

    Because this estimate was determined using a small, random sample of individuals, it was adjusted by a couple standard deviations to ensure proper intake for everyone. This was about 0.8g/kg body weight. For a 70 kg (144 lb) male, this is about 56 grams and for a 60 kg female (132 lb) this is about 48 grams. This is about 9-11% of total calories assuming a typical caloric intake of 2000 to 2500 calories, respectively. The RDA has been set to 10% as a rounded off convenience. This amount has since been officially reviewed 14 times by an expert panel of scientists, to ensure it’s credibility.

    Where can we get protein?

    Protein is found in all natural foods, including plants! If a diet is varied in calories and made mostly of whole foods, it is almost impossible to get an inadequate protein intake- even if you don’t eat meat. Animal sources of protein have been touted as the best source because they contain all 20 amino acids, hence their name “complete” protein. Most plant foods do not contain all amino acids and have been considered “incomplete” proteins, prompting the need to “combine” proteins in order to get all the amino acids you need but this myth has since been disproven. In reality, the body is quite capable of taking incomplete proteins and making them complete by recycling.

    Some argue for animal based protein due to their high biological value (HBV) meaning the proteins are most easily absorbed into the body. Just because the value is higher, however, doesn’t mean that one will have higher health. Increasing body growth may be useful for growing animals and children, but it also means faster cancer cell growth, faster heart disease onset, and faster aging–each of which has been documented.

    A real life example of this is that young growing girls are now maturing earlier, having their menstrual cycles younger in life, and have higher circulating levels of estrogen- a marker of breast cancer risk. Animal source protein was shown to stimulate the production of hormones that encourage growth of cancer cells. Plant based proteins, however, did not promote these events and even started to slow down and halt cancer cell activity.

    In addition to these, when animal based proteins are broken down, harmful pro-inflammatory compounds such as trimethylamine oxidase (TMAO) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IgF-1) are produced. Animal based proteins are high in saturated fat, the kind of fat that increases production of LDL cholesterol, which is the “bad” cholesterol used as a marker for heart disease risk. They are also completely devoid of fiber, which bulks up the stool and feeds your gut bacteria aka your brain.

    So what kind of protein is kindest to the body?

    As mentioned earlier, a whole foods plant based diet, when varied and eaten in adequacy, provides all the protein one needs for a healthy life. It’s important to keep in mind that macronutrients aren’t confined to one food group but are found in all good groups! Even greens have a small amount of protein in them. However, it is good to know which foods are particularly good sources of proteins in case you are meal planning or need to increase your protein needs for your training needs. Foods that are packed with protein include nuts and seeds, greens, legumes, and beans.

    Here are five of my personal favorite:

    • Lentils: 18 g protein per cup
      Delicious, super high in fiber as well, and extremely easy to cook. You can find them pre cooked (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s) and serve them as is! Great to dip crackers into.
    • Tofu: 10 g protein per cup
      Super versatile and soaks up the flavors of sauces and marinades. Along with having 10 g of protein per cup, soy has been found to be protective against cardiovascular disease, breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Try it in a tofu “scramble” or silken tofu blended with frozen berries and maple syrup for a protein yogurt.
    • Spinach: 5 g protein per 1 cup cooked
      Surprisingly, spinach has a little chunk of protein as well! Its also packed with iron, calcium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. You’ll be surprised how much spinach you can get through, especially if you throw it in soups, chilis, or stir fries.
    • Hemp Seeds: 13 g protein per ¼ cup
      Not only are they extremely high in protein, but they have the perfect omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. Enjoy them blended into a smoothie, sprinkled on top of your avocado toast, or along with your vegetables and rice.
    • Edamame: 18.5 g protein per 1 cup
      Whole soy beans in the pod, found most commonly in East Asian cuisine. Along with tofu and other forms of soybeans, edamame is rich in protein, fiber, manganese, phosphorus and vitamin K. Trader Joes also has pre cooked edamame, otherwise you can find frozen pods in the freezer section of your grocery stores. Warm them up and serve them on salads, with rice in a deconstructed sushi bowl, or just by themselves as a snack!

    By Amanda Sevilla

    Amanda Sevilla, RDN, RYT-500 is a registered dietitian and yoga teacher. She is the human being behind “applesandamandas” on YouTube and @amandavsevilla on instagram. After graduating with her bachelor’s in nutrition and dietetics from Loma Linda, University, she went to India (twice) to learn how to teach yoga, started working as a clinical dietitian, and started plant based nutrition counseling and coaching. Find her at the yoga studio, practicing Ashtanga, at a cafe sipping on an oat milk latte, or curled up on the couch with a journal and some tea.

    Campbell, T. C. & Campbell, T. M., II. The China Study, Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health. (BenBella Books, Inc., 2005).
    Madhavan, T. V. & Gopalan, C. The effect of dietary protein on carcinogenesis of aflatoxin. Arch. Path. 85, 133-137 (1968).
    Schulsinger, D. A., Root, M. M. & Campbell, T. C. Effect of dietary protein quality on development of aflatoxin B1-induced hepatic preneoplastic lesions. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 81, 1241-1245 (1989).
    Youngman, L. D. The growth and development of aflatoxin B1-induced preneoplastic lesions, tumors, metastasis, and spontaneous tumors as they are influenced by dietary protein level, type, and intervention., (Cornell University, Ph.D. Thesis, 1990).
  • Corn Cakes with Dill Crème Friache

    This recipe makes the best raw vegan lunch or dinner. Throw in a crunchy salad and you have a robust meal. The dill crème friache is also great spread on grain free crackers (see ebook for the best gluten free cracker recipes) or served dipped with crudités.

    I love serving these as a transitional meal when the weather starts to cool down. Because they are made using the dehydrator (or your oven on the lowest setting) they can be served warm. This provides a welcome contrast against those raw vegan salads for lunch.

    Dill Cream Friache Recipe


    Ingredients

    • 1 cup macadamia nuts or cashew nuts (soaked for 5 hours)
    • 1 cup fresh dill
    • ½ – 1 cup water
    • 1 clove garlic (optional)
    • ½ lemon juiced
    • Celery salt or vegetable salt (to taste)

    Method

    • Blend all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender.
    • Scrape sides as needed and re-blend. Garnish corn cakes.
    • This would also be great with some chopped dill pickles or capers inside.

    Corn Cakes Recipe


    Ingredients

    • 4 cups fresh corn kernels
    • 2 cups grated zucchini
    • ½ cup linseeds ground in spice grinder
    • 2 cloves garlic crushed
    • 1 – 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp vegan stock powder

    Method

    • In a food processor blend 1/2 the corn (2 cups), garlic, mustard and linseeds until it forms a batter.
    • Then stir in the zucchini and remaining corn. Season with stock powder then taste and adjust.
    • Remember that dehydrating food concentrates the flavors. Spoon the mix onto baking paper or silicon dehydrator sheets, forming circles or patties.
    • Dehydrate in oven below 47 degrees Celsius or place in your dehydrator for several hours.
    • Flip after 3 hours and continue drying until desired appearance is achieved (probably another 3 hours).
    • These can be prepared ahead of time and frozen or kept in the fridge for 2 days.
    • Serve with a dollop of dill cream friache.

    Try Natalie’s Super Food Chocolate Recipe on Omstars

    Natalie Prigoone

     

    For more healthy recipes and inspiration, download The Great Uncooking ebook now. Then you’ll have raw vegan dinners and lunches covered. Natalie Prigoone is the author of The Great Uncooking a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

  • Garlic Macadamia Nut Vegan Cheese

    When you feel satisfied by a little hunk of “cheese” you’ll to stick to your healthy eating or raw food diet without
    feeling deprived.

    Going on a detox does not mean you have to give up “cheese.” In fact, the addition of raw vegan nut cheeses can give your salad a much needed protein boost and ward off hunger pangs with healthy fats. Summer is the perfect time to make cheeses, kimchi yogurt or any other fermented product. Just make sure you use a glass bowl and stay away from plastic or metal bowls because metal interferes with the fermentation and plastic can leach chemicals into your food and harbor germs.

    If it’s Winter in your part of the world, then you can ferment your raw “cheese” in the oven with just the oven light on. This will provide enough warmth. Otherwise, those 30 degree summer days are perfect for letting the magic of fermentation happen right there on your kitchen bench. Many people use cheese cloth to squeeze out the extra moisture after blending the nuts. But with my method you won’t need any of that messy stuff. Really I decided to make my cheeses this way because I didn’t want my nut bag colored or flavored with the cheese as it fermented and released its water. I like my nut bag to remain clean for making my almond milk. Yes, I know there is washing and I could have a dedicated cheesecloth, but this works well enough for me. Don’t be in a hurry when making this beautiful cheese. It’s not labor intensive but it does require time. I usually wait two days until I think my cheese is ‘ripe’. It’s quite quick when you compare it to regular cheeses which take many months to years until they are considered ‘ripe’ enough to eat.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups raw unsalted macadamia nuts
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 probiotic capsules
    • 1 tsp maple syrup
    • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
    • 1 clove crushed garlic
    • 1/2 tsp salt (Himalayan, Celtic or Maldon)

    Method

    • Blend the nuts, water, nutritional yeast and probiotics in a blender for 2 minutes until smooth.
    • Transfer to a glass bowl and allow to ferment uncovered in a warm environment (bench or oven) for 12 hours.
    • Give it a mix every few hours because the moisture is also evaporating and the cheese drying.
    • Add the garlic, salt and mix until evenly combined. I don’t add the garlic and salt earlier because it can interfere with fermentation.
    • If you have the time, allow it to ferment and dry out for a few more hours.
    • Line a ramekin or a small spring form tin with plastic wrap or baking paper. This will make it easier to remove from the mold.
    • Push the nut cheese mix into it and press down firmly.
    • Refrigerate uncovered for several hours until firm.
    • Remove from mold and allow to sit uncovered in the fridge on a plate over night so that the outside can dry and firm up the cheese. Flip for even drying on both sides.
    • Serve with a salad or fresh figs. Divine.

    Try Natalie’s zucchini crackers with this recipe

    By Natalie Prigoone

    Natalie Prigoone is the author of The Great Uncooking a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.

    Natalie Prigoone, the great uncooking