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Look up. Look Out. LISTEN! Is it sunny outside? Go for a walk. Is snowing falling? Build a snowman with your kid...or by yourself. Is it raining? Go get wet. Find the inherent beauty in the rhythm of the raindrops.  I'm not suggesting you need to go hard with a three hour game of basketball...unless that's what calling you. Just take a moment to appreciate the subtleties that lay in your surroundings. Make time to connect more with loved ones, and with yourself by incorporating "play" into work, exercise, cooking, traveling, etc...Be alright with purposelessness, if only for a brief moment. Life is short. Create more. Engage more. Play more. 

This is a recipe adapted and inspired by the great Julie Piatt, author and chef of 'The Plantpower Way'. I had the immense pleasure of having Julie cook this dish for her family and I in their beautiful home a while back. Julie's recipe is perfect! I've made a few tweaks to make this my own.

Spaghetti Squash Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce with Caramelized Mushrooms

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of raw unsalted cashews (soak overnight)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp of fresh basil *plus a few leaves for garnish
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water *plus extra if needed for desired consistency
  • sea salt
  • white pepper

Heat over to 400. Halve spaghetti squash, scoop out the seeds, and place on a baking sheet (cut side down with 1/2 cup of water poured into sheet). Roast butternut squash whole on oven rack. Cut very top of the whole head of garlic, so all the clove heads are exposed, place in foil, drizzle top with olive oil. Wrap the garlic in the foil, and place in the over to roast. Both squashes and the garlic should be done in 30-40 minutes. Removed everything from the oven. Remove skin and seeds from the butternut squash and cut into chunks. Extract the garlic cloves from the skin. In a blender, combine butternut squash, garlic, cashews, nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp of vegan butter, and hot water. Add lemon juice, salt (1 tsp), white pepper (1/2 tsp), basil, and nutmeg. Blend, taste, and season to taste. A small amount of water can be added to achieve desired consistency. Add 1 tbsp of vegan butter to a pan and sauté mushrooms on high heat. Stir mushrooms after a couple minutes. You want the mushroom to caramelize, so don't mess with them too much. Once both sides are caramelized, season lightly with salt and pepper. Take a fork to the spaghetti squash and pull from one end to the other, making strands of spaghetti squash. Place spaghetti squash on dish, top with sauce, add mushrooms, and garnish with basil. Enjoy

***This recipe can also pass for Vegan Mac n Cheese. Just use a touch less water to make a thicker sauce and combine with cooked al dente pipe rigate (elbow noodles).