Since this saying, “April Showers Bring May Flowers” is quite popular during the months of April and May, I’ll say it too, ‘April Showers Bring May Flowers.’ April is truly an extraordinary month. In New England, it seems, it is the month when we really get to see Spring in her bloom. The world becomes even more colorful. The rain, of course, helps with this by working its magic with all of the other elements of Nature. Perhaps, it is why I so greatly appreciate the rain too, especially when I get to dance in and with the droplets of water coming down from the heavens.
May becomes even more special. Here in New England the Natural world gives us a bit of extra brightness and vibrancy. The colors are even more vivid and Nature shows us an even grander expression of her beauty. The weather is warmer as well, so it’s the perfect time to have leisure, rest and recreation in our private and public greenspaces. I absolutely love being out and about, including in our parks during the season of spring and in the month of May. As a photographer, I capture some of my most remarkable nature images over the spring and summer months. Images that deeply inspire me and that I intend to share with others to inspire them too.
I also love the month of May because we celebrate one of the most important individuals in our lives, our moms, and because it’s the month my mom gave birth to me. I love seeing my mom’s smile blossom when her heart blooms. I love when she feels phenomenal and knows she is not celebrated only during the month of May for Mother’s Day, but is lovingly thought about all year long, each year. I am grateful for my mom’s life and her love and I an grateful she was chosen to be instrumental in bringing forth my life and the lives of my brothers. I appreciate YOU. We appreciate YOU. Like the flowers of Nature in Spring, may we continue to rise up and spring forward, individually and together.
To further celebrate the presence of Spring, the coming of Summer and the beauty of Mother’s Day, I am gifting family and friends with a recipe introduced to me by my own mom. Albeit, I first prepared this recipe with my mom for one of our family Thanksgiving dinners, I think it is the perfect center piece for any brunch or dinner table, along with a bouquet of freshly picked flowers, or simply the perfect main course for any holiday, including Mom’s Day. The recipe is a plant based mushroom and nut Wellington loaf. My family and I, including my dad, absolutely loved our first Wellington loaf made with plant based ingredients. This Wellington loaf recipe I am sharing is made with different ingredients than our first. Our Wellington loaf is made differently each time we make it. It is a great recipe to experiment with. If you make this recipe or make your own with alternative ingredients, I hope you enjoy the process of food prepping, making and tasting as much as I do. BIG SMILE…
Plant Based Mushroom and Nut Loaf
- Tenderized (cooked) green lentils (optional)
- Chopped walnuts
- Chopped chestnuts
- Chopped sunflower seeds
- Chopped pumpkin seeds
- Chopped portobello mushrooms
- Chopped onions
- Chopped carrots
- Chopped celery
- Bread crumbs (binder) and/or spelt flour
- Nutritional Yeast and/or shredded cheese of choice
- Chopped sundried tomatoes
- Seasonings and herbs of choice
- Vegan egg replacement or soaked flag seeds (flax egg)
- Soy sauce
- Liquid sweetener
- Cauliflower flour (for dough)
- Pink Himalayan salt (for dough)
- Water (for dough)
Note: I usually do not measure my ingredients. I love to prepare my foods intuitively, knowing just how much I need of each ingredient and what I would like my foods to taste like. Have fun doing the same.
Finely chop ingredients by hand or place into a food processor. Add dry ingredients including herbs and seasonings to all of your wet ingredients. If herbs are fresh finely chop or add into food processor with other ingredients. Once ingredients are mixed together well should be slightly doughy and easy to form into a ball. Once formed into a ball, place ball onto an oiled or non-stick baking pan and begin to shape into a loaf, or place ball into an oiled or non-stick loaf baking pan and shape. Bake loaf at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until done in the inside and on the outside. Perhaps, bake about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let loaf cool. Once loaf is cool place onto rolled out and flattened cauliflower dough sheet.
To make dough sheets add two cups of cauliflower dough to bowl with a pinch or two of pink Himalayan salt and just a small amount of water. Mix ingredients well then form into a ball. Ball should be doughy enough to stay together. If slightly crumbly that’s okay, as long as dough isn’t falling a part after forming into a ball. Cut ball in half. One half will be for the top of the loaf. The other half will be for the base of the loaf. Roll out both halves until flat. Dough can be as thick or thin as you would like for your Wellington. We have also used filo dough to cover our loaf.
Once dough is rolled out to the thinness or thickness you would like, place the dough for the base onto an oiled or non-stick baking pan. Place your semi-cooled or cooled loaf into the middle of your dough sheet. Then place the second sheet of rolled out dough over the top of your loaf. I rolled out my cauliflower dough on re-usable, non-stick baking sheets so they would be easy to transport and place on the pan and over the top of my loaf. Make sure to dust the surface area of what you use with flour before rolling out dough. Once the loaf is between both sheets of dough, begin to form the top piece around the loaf. When you have the dough nicely formed around the loaf press the bottom part of the dough into the base dough. Cut around the base and the bottom of the top sheet of dough until you have just enough to press or pinch the top and bottom sheets of dough together. You shouldn’t have any openings at the bottom of your loaf and dough. Create any design you would like on the top of the dough. I used a knife to cut thin slits across the top of my loaf (see image below). When you are happy with your artistic work put your loaf into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20 – 25 minutes or until dough is golden brown. After your Wellington is out of the oven, let your mushroom and nut Wellington slightly cool, then serve with your choice of gravy or sauce. Bon appetit and Happy Mother’s Day. BIGGER SMILE…
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