Roasted Spaghetti Squash Pasta With Vegan Mushroom Rose

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 Spaghetti Squash Seeds Removed
  • 2 tbsp Extra VIrgin Olive Oil
  • Himalayan Salt and Pepper
  • 1.5 Cups Marinara Sauce I use Victoria White Linen from Costco (the best !!)
  • 1/3 cup Raw Cashews
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Basil
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1.5 cup Chopped Cremini Mushrooms cut in 2" x 2" chunks - chunkier the better


  1. Cut squash in 1/2 and clean out
  2. Drizzle 1 olive oil, salt and pepper and roast cut side down, at 450 C for 45 min to 1 hour or until fork peirces squash easily (use baking pan with parchment paper)
  3. Soak cashews in boiling water for 20 minutes
  4. While squash cooks and cashews soak, heat frying pan to medium with the remaining olive oil and sauté garlic for 5 - 8 minutes or until golden. Add chopped mushrooms and sauté for 10 - 15 min, until lightly cooked
  5. In a blender, add vegetable broth, cashews and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth
  6. Add marinara sauce and the blended cashew mixture to the mushrooms and garlic in the pan. Heat on medium until desired temperature and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Stir in fresh basil
  7. Note: I like to add more nutritional yeast to get more of a flavourful sauce
  8. Scrape squash into a bowl, top with rose sauce and serve

For more recipes like this one and to explore nutrition, health & life, visit The Nude Mushroom:

Author: Tara Portelli :


Our family’s transition to plant-based food

Only a few years ago my life looked completely different. With two young children, then 12 and 14, and our own business, I was working 24/7. I did volunteer work on the side, and had no time for myself. We lived on a Caribbean ‘paradise’ island. Every now and then we dropped everything to go to the beach to enjoy the spectacular turquoise waters. It was a good life, but something was missing, although we didn’t know what at the time. Then two things happened: during a hiking holiday, we asked ourselves: what do we really want from life? The family brainstorm opened up new doors and windows, and fresh air started to come in. This opening would eventually bring us to Canada.

The other change was more practical. That is specifically what I want to share right now. We were already eating a vegetarian diet, and had brought up the kids as such. Besides, we tried to eat as much organic as was possible on that faraway island. However we had picky eaters in the family. My husband didn’t tolerate dairy, and my eldest son ate cheese with everything, but didn’t like eggs. He was not interested in vegetables, and ate excruciating slow (except pizzas, of course). Our youngest didn’t like cheese, was intolerant for peanuts, and was a picky eater in general. There were many more foods either undesired or not accepted by one of the family, thus cooking was a difficult task. I became uninspired due to all the restrictions. Whereas I always had liked cooking, the fun was gone.

Growing up, our eldest son became very interested in sports. He participated in running and swimming races, and began competing in triathlons. A family friend, also a triathlete, recommended to read Thrive by Brendan Brazier. This sparked a huge interest in him, as the book explained and educated about the benefits of whole-food  plant-based diets for athletes. Another book that was introduced into our family, Eat and Run by champion ultra marathoner Scott Jurek confirmed the Brazier book’s findings.

My son decided to try out a plant-based diet for himself. I have to admit I was not thrilled when he announced this, as I was already cooking 3 different meals every night. With little time to spare, cooking had become an annoying chore. But he was persistent, so instead I decided to cook plant-based for all of us. Little did I suspect at that time what an immense positive effect this would have on our entire family.

With new inspiration, we started cooking together, while looking for new recipes and combinations. And to our surprise, a whole new world opened up. Cooking became fun again, a real adventure. We started baking in a different way, and researching recipes. We all ate the same food, and felt very good about it. We began to notice other things: we felt more energized and lighter after meals. We started to feel happier. At about the same time, we slowed down our busy business. We decided to choose for more quality of life, with less security; and we closed the doors of the showroom, opting for smaller scale projects. With that, we got more spare time, and inspired by our son, we started to exercise. In the beginning, I barely reached the end of the street. But after two months, I tried a 5K race. The 5K became a 10K …. and the 10K’s became sprint triathlons…. My husband eventually did a challenging trail marathon. And we haven’t stopped since.

The fact that we ate plant-based food surprisingly turned out to motivate the children to eat a more varied and better diet. They felt very good about the fact that no animals were harmed and killed for their food, and became more conscious about what food was about, and the quality of food. They became more compassionate towards their surroundings, and aware of the consequence of food choices. It was not always easy though, as many kids at school started discussions, and of course teased them with their meals. We did not insist on anything, and left the choice to our children. However they became only more motivated, and it made them stronger.

Our tastebuds changed, and after a while, pizza and buttery bakery goods didn’t seem appetizing anymore, felt heavy on the stomach, whereas we couldn’t get enough of kale salad. We experimented with all kinds of smoothies and home-made burgers and salads, and we all love to be in the kitchen and create. We seldom go out for dinner: it is simply so much better at home. Our food creativity soared.

I started to read studies by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and it became clear to us that even scientifically, plant-based whole food is a highly beneficial diet for humans. The scientific information supported what we actually experienced ourselves, as our mood and stamina increased. Instead of depriving ourselves, and constantly fall for sugary, fatty foods, we had now an abundance of food that digested easily. Our bodies feel healthy and lean (I lost more than 10 kilos while eating as much as I wanted); and I like to believe that the choice of food helps us to feel good, exercise plenty and recover quickly.

All this said: how hard is it to actually change your food and cooking style? Honestly, not many people have the luxury of time for lengthy researches in a life of busy schedules and little spare time. Yes, it does take time, and it takes a different way of looking at food. What helps is to be clear about your motivation, even if that can change along the way. It might be because you have compassion for animals, or you want to contribute to a healthier planet. It can be simply because you want to improve your own health and fitness, and maybe loose weight. If you invest two to three months to find your way and don’t put pressure on it, you probably look back after a while to be surprised at how easy it has been. It takes some time to “learn to speak the language”, but after that it is a matter of just going for it and actually eating this way. Fortunately, there is an abundance of good recipes on the net. Just type you favourite food and add ‘vegan’ to the search engine: you can google almost any recipe in a vegan variety. Once you dig into it, with fun, you will discover a wild variety of recipes, websites, people and information that will help you discover a plant based, whole food diet feast.

And last but not least: how to motivate your children to eat plant-based? This might not always be easy. Discuss the changes before your start, and ask the opinion of the children. Saving animals usually appeals to children; explain and show them how animals for food are raised and killed, and very likely they will be more interested to go vegan. Start gradually, not overnight, by eating vegan every other day or integrate a new recipe in your existing cooking. Make sure to bake delicious baked goods: this will make the family happy.

I can only say: try it! Even for a little while … For us, the road to plant-based whole food (vegan) has been an amazing and enriching journey on many levels.

If you are interested, please see below tips for further reading (or have a look at my future website after the summer of 2015:

A few tips:

  • I invested in a good blender and a food processor. I use them both daily, and I am so happy to have them. If you have to choose, start with a high-powered blender.
  • if you are used to cooking with milk, just substitute cow milk for rice milk or almond milk.
  • instead of eggs, use a ‘flaxseed’-egg (mix ground flaxseed and water)
  • Learn to read food labels. It is impressive how the marketers manage to give the impression that unhealthy food is healthy.

For further reading:

Brendan Brazier: Thrive (with recipes)

Gene Bauer: Living the Farm Sanctuary Life (with recipes)

Rich Roll: The Plantpower Way (with recipes)

Scott Jurek: Eat and Run (with some recipes)

T. Colin Campbell: The China Study (and the sequel Whole)

Dr. Richard Oppenlander: Comfortably Unaware

To watch:


Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death

Forks over Knives



To find recipes (just a few among many) (easy recipes) (easy recipes, mostly vegan,but not all)

Is unstable blood sugar preventing you from achieving your health goals?

What’s blood sugar you ask? Blood sugar is a simple sugar (glucose) that is broken down through digestion from the foods we eat and travels through our blood stream to our cells to provide energy to our bodies. Our bodies are unable to make or store this energy. Since every movement we make requires this continuous supply of energy, our bodies are essentially a ‘fuel as you go’ machine.

blood sugar updown-1Our body constantly regulates blood sugar levels to compensate when it rises too high or drops too low. It is constantly working to maintain a balanced internal environment (homeostasis). If our blood sugar is too high our body stores and holds on to fat, if it’s too low our body cannibalizes its own lean muscle tissue for energy . The result of these fluctuations of high and low blood sugar can result in a poor body composition usually consisting of a low muscle mass and increased fat percentage, and major affects contributing to low energy , poor athletic performance and mental fatigue throughout the day.

When a balanced internal environment (stable blood sugar) is achieved it allows our systems to work effectively and efficiently by releasing stored fat for fuel (which is burned in the muscle tissue and used for energy) while also allowing our body to protect and maintain its lean muscle.

imagesWKY2ZDDFKnowing how to feed your body correctly to achieve stable blood sugar is the key to success with any health goal. By optimizing your nutrition plan with the correct nutrition ratios, calories per meal and proper meal intervals while adding a fitness routine, you will achieve balance in blood sugar levels. You will then benefit from a steady level of energy throughout the day, eliminate sugar cravings and increase mental alertness making for a sharper mind and the ability to concentrate. Are you ready to take your health to the next level?

Samantha Dee is a Certified Nutrition Coach at Maximum Physiotherapy. She educates individuals on blood sugar stabilization, proper nutrition , exercise, increasing athletic performance and quality of life. Call 705-444-3600 to book a consultation or for more information.

Spinach Egg Protein Exercise Recovery Lunch

After a long run or any other sort of workout it’s important to feed your body what it needs. After a long run for example it’s important to replace lost electrolytes and protein exercise within 30 minutes of the activity. Greens also provide a nice alkaline food to reduce acidity in the body. High quality olive oil is full of anti-oxidants and vitamin E and has been shown to prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes!

I have found that a perfect recipe for this is to combine eggs and spinach in a tasty recipe that fuels your body up after a workout. I call it the spinach egg recovery lunch. Here is the recipe:


  • 2 to 3 eggs depending on your protein requirements
  • a really generous fistful of fresh spinach
  • organic salsa of your choice
  • salt & pepper
  • a few drops of hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Easy 5 Minute Prep

photo 1
On a non-stick pan add your tablespoon of olive oil and heat to medium temperature.

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Scramble the eggs and pour them in, immediately throwing your big handful of fresh spinach leaves on top. Don’t be shy with the amount of spinach! It’s really to taste so put whatever quantity you like. Stir like crazy and remove as soon as the eggs solidify. Don’t over cook the eggs to rubber. Remove from heat after only a minute and a half or when the eggs become solidified but not dried out.

Put it on a plate and use sea salt and pepper to season. Spoon some organic salsa on top and maybe a couple of drops of hot sauce if you like it spicy! That’s it…you are done!

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Dr. Shelby’s Healthy Chocolate

Tasty treat with no refined sugar!

This is an easy-to-make chocolate.
No cooking.
No refined sugar.
Plenty of delicious!

4 cups shredded UNsweetened coconut
Cocoa butter
2 Tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
2 Tbsp carob powder
Vanilla extract (the real thing)

Cinnamon + cayenne powders
Peppermint flavour
Coarse salt

Coconut flakes will ‘melt’ after a few minutes of blending. It does help to use a Vitamix (faster process) but a standard blender will work as well. The coconut is light and will keep working its way up the sides of the container; you need to keep pushing it down.
Once it is liquified, add melted cocoa butter, vanilla and powders.

Cocoa butter: the volume you use depends upon how ‘coconut-y’ you want the chocolate to taste. I prefer more of a chocolate experience vs. macaroon… so I include cocoa butter in this recipe. However, it is not required. Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler (I simply immerse a glass measuring cup in a small pot of water on stove ‘low’).

Cinnamon + cayenne is my favourite combo.
Christmas is a good time to use organic peppermint flavour instead.

Pour in to a springform pan. I line it with parchment paper, to make cutting and clean-up easier (have been using same piece for chocolate past several months… reduce/reuse/recycle!)
For thin chocolate, use a larger pan. I like thicker chunks, so I use the smaller pan.
For individual chocolates, use silicone candy/chocolate molds.

Put in fridge to solidify. After ~10minutes, sprinkle top with coarse salt. I recommend Himalayan (pink) or Celtic (grey). This is a good time to also add other superfood boosters, like goji berries, cacao nibs, berries, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Once solid (couple of hours) remove from spring-form pan and cut with strong knife.

Store in refrigerator.


“When is a good time to do a detox?” is a question I am frequently asked. Have you ever wondered this yourself? The convenient answer is “autumn and spring”. The realistic answer due to our current environment is “every day”.

Why every day? Because every day you are exposed to many toxic chemicals, whether you leave your home or not…

  • Smog alerts now reach us here in south Georgian Bay: car exhaust, industrial pollution…
  • Chemicals in your office environment: toner for the printer, over 200 volatile organic compounds from the carpets…
  • Chemicals in your home environment: air fresheners, carpets, household cleaning products, laundry detergents, microwaving your foods in plastic…
  • Chlorine in your drinking water.
  • Chemicals in your foods: artificial colours, sweeteners, flavours and dyes, pesticides, preservatives…
  • Other products containing synthetic chemicals include: pesticides, bodycare products, cosmetics, first- & second- hand smoke, paint & their solvents, magazine inks…

Other: In CBC’s Chasing the Cancer Answer in 2007, Wendy Mesley had many chemicals found in her blood for which she could not identify the source, including DDT (a synthetic pesticide that has been banned in Canada since the early 1970’s!).

Yes, there are many chemicals out there, but that doesn’t mean your only option is to go and live in a treehouse far away from civilization (built of non-pressure-treated wood and no carpeting)! But what it does mean is that you need to be mindful of your toxin exposure, learn how to reduce your exposure and support your organs that deal with these toxins on a regular basis.

Some of the organ systems in your body which play an important role in detoxification include:

  • liver
  • intestines
  • skin
  • lymphatic
  • pancreas
  • kidneys
  • lungs

…so as you can see, doing a ‘detox’ requires more than simply cleansing your liver.

A naturopathic doctor will help you to:

  • reduce your daily toxin exposure
  • use effective ways to keep your detoxification organs healthy on a regular basis
  • recommend a cleansing protocol most appropriate for you, considering your overall health (past & present)

Did you know? Synthetic carpeting is one of the most toxic new building materials!

Can bacteria really be friendly?

Not only are there friendly strains of bacteria, but many are actually essential for human health.

You may be familiar with hearing about the most common strain, Lactobacillus acidophilus, as this is often the probiotic promoted in yogurt products… but it is just one of hundreds of strains of bacteria, or ‘flora, in your gut. You received your first exposure to these bacteria while traveling through the vaginal canal during childbirth. Further exposure came via your mother’s breastmilk. This flora is an important factor in your digestion, immune function, intestinal health, production of some vitamins, and prevents overgrowth of non-friendly bacteria.
When the number of ‘non-friendly’ bacteria outweigh the ‘friendly’ this is a condition called ‘dysbiosis’.
Factors that can reduce the number of protective flora include chlorinated water, antibiotics, pesticides on foods, stress, and the overall quality of your diet.

Supplementation with probiotics is available in capsule, powder, and liquid forms.

Focusing on children; diaper rash, redness around the genitals &/or anus, thrush, eczema, and bowel irregularity may be signs of not enough ‘good’ flora in their intestinal tract.

Young children who may have a greater need for probiotics experience(d) any of the following:
– Were born by caesarean
– Have taken antibiotics
– Were not breastfed (by a healthy woman)
– Have irregular bowel movements

If you suspect dysbiosis may be an issue for you or your child, consult a qualified healthcare practitioner.

Call 705.444.8300 today to schedule your 15-minute complimentary visit to meet Shelby Worts, ND and learn how naturopathic medicine can work for you.


Basic Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are a fantastic way to take your greens because you don’t need fatty dressings, can take it in quickly and it’s another of your glasses of water for the day! They are alkaline and an ideal balance to a typical diet which is too acidic. After physical activity they make a fantastic recovery drink.

In a full sized blender blend at high speed:

– large handful of organic spinach

– teaspoon of chia seeds

– one banana

– 16 ounces of water

– 10 large chunks of pineapple

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