• 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


    • 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)


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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.

  • High-Protein Savory Vegan Oatmeal

    With a few simple ingredients you can enjoy a comforting version of this world-famous breakfast food that’s high in protein and low in fat.

    As a plant-powered yogi, one may find themselves eating a lot of oatmeal. This is true especially if you dine out with friends for breakfast. Fortunately, oatmeal is found in most restaurants, but almost always sweetened with fruit, brown sugar, and cinnamon. While that’s absolutely delicious, there may be times when one wants to kick it with their salty craving.  Growing up, much like grits or farina, we had our oatmeal with butter and salt, which no longer works for my lifestyle. That’s what encouraged me to create this savory oatmeal recipe that I seem to be enjoying every morning with my coffee.


    • 1/2 Cup Oats, Dry
    • Salt to taste
    • Pepper to taste
    • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
    • 1/4 Tsp Rosemary
    • 1 Tbsp Powdered Peanuts
    • 1 Scoop Unsweetened Vegan Protein Powder
    • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
    • 1 Cup (approximately) boiling water


    • Boil water on the stove or, my favorite, use an electric tea kettle to prepare hot water.
    • While waiting for water to boil, place all ingredients into cereal-sized bowl. You can save the salt and pepper for later, to perfect the taste.
    • For this recipe, I used PB2 Powdered Peanuts and Vega Unsweetened Plain Protein Powder.
    • Pour in boiling water slowly, while stirring. Mix well. You can use as much water as needed to achieve desired consistency.

    Nutrition Facts (exact macro-nutrients will vary depending on ingredients).

    • 329 Calories
    • 38.4g Carbohydrates
    • 5.8g Fat
    • 30.6g Protein

    This dish travels well if you pre-mix all of the ingredients in a storage container, and add the hot water later. If you want to get creative simply add less water, swap out the oats, and mix with your favorite cooked pasta instead for a delicious savory treat that could possibly curb those hearty desires for mac and cheese.

    By Jodi Lane

    Jodi is the blog manager and marketing support here at Omstars and has been practicing Ashtanga yoga since 2017 through the teachings of Kino MacGregor. You may see her on Instagram as @kittytreets chatting with fellow yogis, vegan chefs, and artists. She loves cats, creating meaningful stories, and illustrating sincere pieces of art that reflect her passions.

  • Vegan Cookies and Ice Cream

    Growing up, one of my favorite desserts
    to have was cookies and ice cream.

    There was something about that, that I just totally loved, but as I grew up, and got older, I realized that having cookies and ice cream every time I wanted a dessert wasn’t really going to be the best idea. That’s when I decided, I needed to healthify this amazing treat, and that’s what I’ve done. I will be showing you guys how to make corn flake and oat cookies, and banana ice cream.

    Learn more vegan cooking with Devyn on Omstars


    • 1 ¼ cup rolled oats
    • ½ cup maple syrup
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • 1 cup cornflakes
    • Dash of cinnamon
    • 4 super ripe bananas, frozen
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Mix the dry ingredients together, then add maple syrup and mix together until combined.
    • Form into small balls, flatten and place on a parchment paper on baking sheet. Bake for fifteen minutes.
    • While cookies are baking, blend frozen bananas and vanilla extract together until thick and creamy like ice cream.
    • Place in freezer while the cookies finish baking so it doesn’t melt.
    • Then serve together in a bowl

    And there you have it. Cookies and ice cream healthified, but still just as delicious as the way you would remember it from your childhood.

    By Devyn Howard

    My name is Devyn Howard, and I am a vegan food blogger from San Diego, CA. At 11-years-old, I realized that it didn’t morally make sense for me to continue eating meat as I made the connection that the animals on my plate were the same animals I adored when they were alive. From that point on, I dedicated much of my life to promoting vegetarianism, veganism, and cruelty-free living. I’m eager to show the world that veganism can be incredibly easy, fulfilling, and delicious, even while traveling the world. I share restaurant recommendations from around the globe, proving that a cruelty-free lifestyle need not inhibit one’s experience in a new culture. Traveling from Asia, to Australia, through Europe, and the U.S. is always an exciting foodie adventure…even as a vegan! I’m currently based in Los Angeles, CA, and have plans to take over the world one plant-based plate at a time. Join me on my adventure! Connect with Devyn on Instagram. 

  • Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I have made it my personal mission to recreate healthy, cruelty-free versions of my all-time favorite recipes. Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? They’re quick and easy to make on those nights when you just need a treat!

    These cookies are made with oat flour, which makes them gluten free, so even more of your friends can enjoy them. I chose coconut sugar for this recipe because it is quite similar to brown sugar, and has a rich flavor, without the high glycemic index. They’re a great dessert to take to a party due to the fact that most dietary restrictions will allow. If coconuts are a problem, you can always try other delicious flour and sugar options. When I serve these cookies at a get together, I always end up bringing home and empty plate–people love them!


    • 2 Cups Oat Flour
    • 1-1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder
    • Dash of Salt
    • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
    • 1 Tsp Cardamom
    • 1/2 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
    • 1/2 Cup Water
    • 1/4 Cup Vegan Butter, softened (any oil will work)
    • 1 Tbsp Vanilla (or choice flavoring)
    • 1 Squirt Lime/Lemon Juice


    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    • Mix all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl
    • Combine wet ingredients to dry, slowly adding water to achieve desired consistency. It should resemble cookie dough and form into balls. Add more oat flour or water if needed.
    • Place cookie dough balls about one inch apart on a (vegan) greased cookie sheet.
    • Put cookies in oven for approximately 10-15 minutes, cook times will vary depending on your oven, check at 10 minutes.
    • Remove cookies from oven, let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

    Don’t have time to bake? Due to this recipe’s vegan nature, you can even whip up a batch of edible cookie dough without the worry because it’s okay to eat raw!  Just prepare all of the ingredients, pop in the freezer for about an hour, and indulge!

    By Jodi Lane

    Jodi is the blog manager and marketing support here at Omstars and has been practicing Ashtanga yoga since 2017 through the teachings of Kino MacGregor. You may see her on Instagram as @kittytreets chatting with fellow yogis, vegan chefs, and artists. She loves cats, creating meaningful stories, and illustrating sincere pieces of art that reflect her passions.

  • Lemon Blueberry and Lavender Vegan Cheesecakes

    Lemon Blueberry and Lavender Cheesecakes, a little bit of raw heaven.  Try this no bake raw cheesecake and you will have everyone swooning.

    At first this may not seem like an obvious marriage. Isn’t three a crowd? But I love the combination of lavender and blueberries because the fruit lends it’s fabulous colour to match the hue of the lavender flavour, and lemon brings out the tartness of the fruit and gives a freshness to the healing lavender oil. I use culinary grade essential oils because it’s easier than messing about with distilling the dried blooms, but you can use either. The base for this recipe is adapted from my Lemon Slice. These photographs have not been boosted for colour or undergone any editing. Just like my food, they are natural, raw and minimally processed. I hope you enjoy this raw dessert recipe that would sit just as comfortably on the vegan or paleo plate. Bon appetite.

    Base Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup almonds
    • 1 cup dates pitted
    • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
    • 3 tbs lemon rind (3 lemons)
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice or (Juice of 2 lemons)
    • 2 tbs Lacuma powder (optional)
    • 2 tbs coconut paste.

    Base Method

    Blend all all dry ingredients in food processor first. Then blend in the wet ingredients until it forms a dough that sticks together. Divide into 8 and press into 8 silicon cup cake molds. Refrigerate.

    Top Layer Ingredients

    • 1 cup cashews soaked for 5 hours or overnight
    • 2 tbs lemon rind
    • 1/2 cup coconut paste or oil
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1 cup blueberries
    • 3/4 cup rice malt syrup
    • 3 drops of food grade lavender essential oil

    Top Layer Method

    In a food processor, blend nuts and coconut paste first until smooth. Add remaining ingredients blending and scraping down the sides as you go go. Once a creamy consistency is reached, pour onto lemon base. Freeze for several hours. Pop out of silicon molds when hard. Allow to defrost on bench 15 minutes before serving.

    If you love lavender, try Natalie’s Lavender Ice Cream on Omstars

    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.

  • How to Make Your Own Dukkah

    Dukkah is a roasted Middle Eastern spice and nut mix.
    Use it to coat foods or just dip fresh bread
    into it with some olive oil.

    This also makes a beautiful gift. Package it in a recycled jar and take it to your host the next time you are invited for dinner. You can also use this to make some fabulous vegan beetroot burgers.


    • 2 tbs coriander seeds
    • 2 tbs cumin seeds
    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
    • 3/4 cup almonds
    • Freshly ground salt and black pepper to your taste (I make mine quite salty).


    • Dry fry (no oil) spices on on a medium heat for 2 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
    • Grind these toasted spices in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.
    • You may be tempted to skip the spice grinding and throw it all into the food processor. Don’t do this as it won’t grind up the spices and release their lovely aroma and flavour. Alternatively, you could use pre-ground cumin and coriander seeds, but it’s not as nice.
    • I fished out the unground seeds, and ground them in the spice grinder. Better to do it properly the first time.
    • Toast almonds and sesame seeds the same way, by dry frying and stirring at regular intervals to prevent burning. Add all spices, seasoning and nuts to food processor and blend until resembles fine bread crumbs. It is now ready to serve.

    Try More of Natalie’s Recipes on Omstars

    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.

  • A Cup of Rice

    Growing up in the Middle East, rice was a staple in our home, and served as one of the foundations for our meals.  In our home, basmati rice was the preferred choice.  When Mother was cooking one of her famous Indian or Persian dishes, the strong aroma worked its way from the kitchen to every corner of the apartment before spilling over into the street.  The neighborhood could always tell when Mama Jijina was in her kitchen, cooking.

    As I grew older, I asked to learn a few of her recipes.  The art of cooking rice was on the top of my list.  Mom’s cooking was traditional and, like her Mother, she used white rice and butter when they could afford to do so, or ghee when the budget did not permit it.

    When faced with the choice of white or brown basmati rice, I have a tendency to lean toward the white.  This is partially due to my food-memories, and the desire to replicate a place in time, like those of family getting together and playing with my cousins until dark reeled us back in.

    Over the years, I have adapted Mom’s recipes and learned to use vegan ingredients without compromising taste.  For the most part, this has been simple to do, and allows me to share recipes with a larger group of friends.  In a wonderful way, cooking rice brings me home to my roots.

    This is my mother’s recipe for traditional or, stove top rice, and her motto, one cup of rice for every person.  I have found one cup for every two people is more than ample.


    • White Rice                              One Cup, Dry
    • Salt                                          1 tsp (or to taste)
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil            ½ tbsp
    • Glass of Water                      On Standby


    Rice expands as it steams. Select a pot three times the portion of dry rice you plan to cook.

    Soak Step

    Soak rice in warm-to-touch water for 20 minutes.  Allow water to cover the rice by at least one inch; the rice will expand as it soaks.  Cover pot and set timer.

    Rinse Step

    After timer goes off, rinse with water, stir with your hand and pour excess water out, being careful not to allow the rice to escape into the sink – those rascals will try to jump ship.  Repeat rinse step.
    Traditionally, rinsing and stirring the rice with your fingers had a pattern to it.  It was done five or six times to separate the sand, small stones, and husks from the soaked rice.  Today’s rice is fairly clean.

    Cooking The Rice

    After completing the rinse step, add water and allow level to rise 1/2” above rice level and place on high heat.  Add salt and oil.  As water comes to a boil, turn heat down by just a little and place lid on pot, askew.  This allows the rice to boil at a higher temperature.  Turning down the heat by a skosh ensures the starchy foam will not overflow the pot.  Stay present to the boiling water, until you notice 1/8” pockets on the surface of the rice.  Turn the heat to low, or three hairs above low, and correctly place cover on pot. Set timer for 10 minutes.

    Checking If Done

    After timer goes off, stir rice from the bottom of the pot and taste a few grains.  Rice should taste soft and moist.  If it is chewy or hard, add a sprinkle of water and allow it to cook for another 3 – 5 minutes. Repeat taste test and turn heat to off.  Stir, and allow rice to sit a few minutes before serving.

    Potential Challenges

    If you add to much water, the rice will take longer to cook and can turn to a mashed consistency.  This is not desirable!  Better to add water as needed than to overdo it.

    Finally, add oranges for décor and serve with your favorite dish.

    Find great recipes on Omstars to go with your delicious rice

    By Kayo Jijina

    Kayo is a photographer, video editor, writer, and poet. One of Kayo’s life-goals has been to share his poetry and stories, as he creates the foundation for the telling of an epic journey; a journey we must all take. Kayo’s photography, art, and stories can be seen on his YouTube or Instagram.

  • All Squashed Up


    Here are some simple ways to make two types of squash, two ways.  The varieties of squash for this dish include Acorn and Butternut.


    • Butternut Squash
    • Acorn Squash
    • Coconut Oil
    • Rosemary Leaf
    • Sprouted Quinoa
    • Avocado
    • Alfalfa Sprouts
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Basil
    • Garlic
    • Pink Himalayan Salt
    • Black Pepper


    Sprouted Quinoa

    The first part of the recipe began the night before – you may also buy sprouted quinoa.  I like to soak quinoa the night before I cook it. This allows the quinoa to sprout and also deactivate the enzyme inhibitors. Sprouting quinoa can be achieved very easily by placing raw quinoa in a bowl of clean, non-chlorinated water at room temperature, overnight. Once done, the grains will be noticeably softer and make an excellent addition to salads or other cold meals. You can put it in a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag to drain the water and leave it in the sunlight for a day to allow the quinoa to sprout even more.  If you wish to let the sprouts go wild, this process can be repeated for several days.  Just remember to rinse the quinoa twice per day and leave in the cheesecloth or nut milk bag.

    The science behind the sprouting process and its effect on the seed and the human digestive system is fascinating.  Humans do not have the digestive enzymes necessary to break down the fibers contained in grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Through the sprouting process, gases are released which activate the natural enzymes and release the nutrients, making them available and easier for human digestion. Germinated seeds are easier to digest and the large intestine does not need to produce bacteria to break down the fiber, avoiding the fermentation process which turns the large intestine acid, when it should be alkaline.

    All grains and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors that interfere with the absorption of proteins, cause gastric distress, and deficiencies in amino acids. They also contain phytates (phytic acid) which block the intestinal absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc which are necessary for strong bones, teeth and for overall health.

    The sprouting process allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms neutralize phytic acid, remove enzyme inhibitors and break down complex starches.

    The quinoa will cook quickly since it has been sprouted overnight.  Add a little bit of coconut oil to a pan with rosemary.  Let the rosemary slowly cook in the oil.  Once it appears to be lightly browning, add in chopped garlic and let cook for 3 mins in the coconut oil. Add the sprouted quinoa and just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, the quinoa should not be covered. Heat is still medium. Keep stirring throughout and add in chopped basil, pink Himalayan salt and black pepper.  Fluff to finish.

    Butternut Squash

    Next step in the recipe is to cut the tips off the butternut squash, chop in half the long way, then remove seeds. Take the skin off, easiest with a peeler. Chop into small cubes and place into a large pan.   Add a small amount of Coconut oil to the pan.  Next, add in rosemary leaf and cook on medium for 10 mins, stirring every couple of minutes.  Once the squash is close to being done, or soft,  toss in chopped garlic.  The garlic will cook in 5 mins or less at medium heat, which will allow the flavor to be released into the squash without overcooking it.

    Acorn Squash

    While the butternut squash is cooking, preheat the oven to 350.  Chop the tips off the acorn squash, just enough so that it sits flat on a baking tray.  Halve the acorn squash and clean out the seeds.  Add a small amount of coconut oil to each half.   Put the Squash in the oven for approx. 20 – 30 mins.  If you like, finish them off in the broiler to brown the tops.

    Wilted Kale

    Add chopped purple kale to another pan and put on light heat to wilt. Lightly salt and pepper.


    Butternut Squash

    To plate the butternut squash dish, you can achieve a simple and beautiful layering effect by using a small bowl.  Start with the butternut squash on the bottom.  Next put the kale, followed by the quinoa.  Press the quinoa down so that all the ingredients are pressed tightly into the bowl.  Cover the bowl with a plate and flip upside down, give it a few taps on the bottom of the bowl to release and remove.  Garnish with avocado and sprouts.  Finish off with light salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.

    Acorn Squash

    Once the acorn squash is done, remove from oven and fill with the cooked quinoa.  Top with sliced avocado and add light salt and pepper.  Finish with a light drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    Vallaha, there you have it, all squashed up.  Buen Provecho.

    Health Benefits

    Butternut Squash

    When shopping for butternut squash (technically a fruit), look for a matte color on the skin.  A squash with a shiny skin indicates that it was picked to early.  No need to refrigerate the squash, just place in a well-ventilated area and it will keep for up to 3 months.  Up to a week if cut up and covered in the fridge

    The most notable befits of butternut squash are in it’s color. The color signals an abundance of powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease. In particular, the gourd boasts very high levels of beta-carotene (which your body converts to vitamin A) and one cup of butternut squash contains 50% of the recommended daily dose of antioxidant rich vitamin C.

    And in case you aren’t already sold, butternut squash has been shown to be a very powerful anti-inflammatory, making this fruit great for athletes as well as people suffering from disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

    Acorn Squash

    Acorn squash contains vitamin A, niacin, folate, thiamine and vitamin B-6, but it is an especially good source of vitamin C. One half cup of cooked acorn squash provides about 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Adequate vitamin C promotes the health of the immune and skeletal systems and may help prevent hypertension, heart disease, cancer and osteoarthritis. The vitamin C content of foods is degraded by exposure to air, light, heat and water. To maximize the amount of vitamin C you receive from acorn squash, use the fruit three to four days after purchase and cut immediately before cooking. Steam or bake the squash instead of boiling it to keep vitamin C from being lost in the cooking water.

    Each half-cup serving of acorn squash contains 13 percent of the recommended daily intake of potassium and 11 percent of that for magnesium. As both a mineral and an electrolyte, potassium plays a vital role in muscle contraction and in maintaining the body’s water balance. Magnesium regulates potassium levels, strengthens bones and teeth, and aids in proper energy metabolism. Regularly eating potassium- and magnesium-rich foods like acorn squash, can lessen your chance of stroke, osteoporosis, depression and diabetes. Acorn squash also contains small amounts of iron, calcium, zinc and phosphorus.

    By Adam Kenworthy

    Adam’s passion and appreciation for cooking arose from his love for extreme sports. Having participated in many tests of physical and mental endurance he quickly realized the impact a healthy and well balanced diet played on his overall performance. Adam began to study various aspects of plant based diets, holistic remedies, and culinary techniques from around the world. Through the use of organic, farm-to-table ingredients, Adam hopes to inspire many to reconsider their current eating habits and direct them toward a more sustainable lifestyle.  He believes that conscious eating is the key to living a more healthy and vibrant co-existence with Mother Nature.


    Learn More from Adam on Omstars