Saturday Sun 03.16.2024

Created by Laura Wright
An up close shot shows hellebores flowers--one is deep burgundy and the other is a burgundy and white mix.

Hello and welcome to the weekend! We’re in for some dreary rain and wet snow over the next couple of days. Spring really takes its time here haha. I plan on baking scones, removing wallpaper from our front entry, and having some relaxing time with the doggies. My mum got me some beautiful new hellebores (see above) that I want to get in the ground too. Overall, very chill!

In terms of work things, I’m testing multiple snap pea recipes in anticipation of warmer days as well as a potato green bean salad/side. Let me know if you’re planning recipes for Easter weekend get togethers in the comments! I’m always a bit unsure of what to share around the theme of Spring holidays if I can be honest. Brunch dishes? Treats? Make ahead potluck contributions? There’s a lot of directions to go in.

As always, I hope that you’re well and taking care out there! My usual assortment of goodies below.

5 Things I’m Reading:

  1. 8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Downshift and De-stress
  2. Self-Care in Space
  3. A Multitasker’s Guide to Regaining Focus
  4. Who gets to flourish?
  5. Let’s Brie Real: Can Vegan Cheese Pass the Taste Test?

5 Things I’m Enjoying:

  1. Affirmations for the week
  2. In-between seasons are always rough on my skin–lots of dry redness and barrier malfunction. I stopped into Garden City Essentials last weekend and was recommended this water-based serum by Three Ships. It’s been so soothing and helpful!
  3. Hippy Highland Living on YouTube (Thanks for this rec Brittany!)
  4. Savoring by Murielle Banackissa is a stunning vegan cookbook, filled with recipes inspired by Murielle’s upbringing. I love that it’s absolutely loaded with dinner inspiration.
  5. Foraged & Grown by Tara Lanich-LaBrie explores the vibrant world of foraged foods with truly unique recipes and so much knowledge.

5 Questions:

  1. I’m looking to buy harissa paste. Do you use it? Can you recommend a great brand?
    I do use store bought harissa often! I love the heat and complexity of this condiment that is popular in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. A brand that I love is Mina. One that I haven’t tried yet, but really want to is Zwïta (especially the smoky one!). Once you have some, I highly recommend my one-pan harissa eggplant with pearl couscous & chickpeas!
  2. What are you working on these days? Any new publications on their way?
    In a big effort to simplify my life and get more out of my work, I am just focusing on the blog at the moment. I post one new recipe per week plus this roundup post every Saturday. Over the last few years, I have focused on SEO a lot more. Doing this has enabled the blog to be more successful and it has also lessened pressure on me to secure social media sponsorships and other possible revenue generators. I have a great work life balance right now! I do think that I still have something to offer in the form of another cookbook, but to do this I’d have to hire at least one person to help me with it and the maintenance of my blog/social media. If I could completely step away from the blog and social media to work on cookbooks, I 100% would. But that’s just not possible at the moment. You have to hold people’s interests and attempt to stay relevant leading right up to the release of a publication. Once I figure out how to do it all/find great help, I might finally submit another cookbook proposal 😉
  3. Which brand of canned tomatoes would you recommend?
    Bianco DiNapoli are my favourite! The whole, diced, and fire-roasted options are all amazing. One of the co-founders is Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco in Arizona. His episode of Chef’s Table: Pizza is wonderful.
  4. How do you stay motivated? Home projects, work, exercise, dog care, health, cooking, enrichment etc?
    Motivation for all of those things comes in waves for me! It’s impossible to be super motivated and energized to do all the things, all the time. I ride the wave when I can, often maximizing it to get ahead. And I try to sit with the lack of motivation when it arises, not putting pressure or shame on myself to feel differently. Mindfulness and meditation exercises have really helped me with this.
  5. What’s your favourite add-in? And most random?
    I use garlic powder and onion powder in pretty much everything now. Even if I’m also using fresh garlic and fresh onions. The powders have a more mellow, nutty, slightly sweet but still unmistakably savoury flavour profile that adds depth to pretty much anything. I’ve definitely incorporated these ingredients into my recipes a lot more in the last year or so. And for most random, probably Marmite! It’s super rich in umami and just the thing to finish soups, stews, and sauces that need a little more oomph. I also use vegan Worcestershire sauce pretty liberally in my non-blog cooking life.


  • Susan

    Oh those Hellebores and those dog faces! Made my day. thank you.

  • Elizabeth

    Any leads on where to get “rose” harissa in Canada? I’ve been able to buy it in Britain, but no luck here.

  • Shelley

    Thank you for answering my question re: harissa paste. And I will try the one-pan eggplant dish you’ve suggested! Have an amazing weekend.

  • Elizabeth

    I would love to have the recipe to the Coconut Soup With Tofu!!!!!!!

  • Stephen

    I have always loved to cook and bake. If you love to read and cook I would highly recommend this novel by Erica Bauermeister. The name of the book is The School of Essential Ingredients and I first purchased it in 2010 and it still remains my favorite read. But be warned that it is not a vegan read (lol).

  • Ingrid

    marmite!!! what a good idea … will definitely try this

  • Tess

    Holiday recipes I’d like to see are raw vegan make ahead or vegan without the use of nutritional yeast make ahead make ahead. The kind of things we can pull out for folks who stop over or pack in a picnic to share with friends outside.

    Whether is on a table outside or a blanket on the ground. Or just a treat on a porch kinda stop by event.

    I’m really into the basket of goodies share. Taking vegan and raw food to chefs is my jag these days too. Since they are always sharing great food with us it’s super to do this for them.

    So in short—-make ahead picnics!