Saturday Sun 06.22.2024

Created by Laura Wright
A head-on shot shows a jack russell and hound mixed breed dog sitting in the grass in front of a garden. She is sniffing something in the air.

Welcome to the first official summer weekend of the year. It’s been downright balmy here with some pretty intense thunderstorms. I’m planting a new garden area this weekend (Astilbe, Heuchera and I need to find something tall and bushy that tolerates dark shade–looking at Sweet Joe Pye Weed), testing a watermelon salad recipe, hoping to check out a new farm shop in the area, yoga in the backyard, watching the Spanish GP, and mostly just chilling with the doggies. Our summers get so busy, so I savour the rare free weekends as much as possible.

I hope that you’re staying cool and hydrated out there! If you have any questions for future editions, let me know in the comments or via email.

5 Things I’m Reading:

  1. The Labor Disputes at Amy’s Kitchen, Explained
  2. How Cornhole Went Pro
  3. Vegan vs. Vegan
  4. How the self-care industry made us so lonely
  5. Doing Nothing Has Never Been More Important

5 Things I’m Enjoying:

  1. Instagram follows: @growformegardening and @gardenanswer
  2. Cauliflower Al Pastor sounds pretty much perfect right now
  3. Watching: World Eats Bread
  4. This new cooking spoon set from Earlywood
  5. The Atlantic’s How to Know What’s Real podcast series

5 Questions:

  1. Do you have recommendations or recipes for camping meals?
    We used to camp a lot and then kind of stopped because my back would always be messed up for weeks afterward and my partner got hit by poison ivy the last couple times (lol yikes). But! My favourite camping meals are the simplest. Pasta with a bunch of veggies cooked on a camping stove. Veggie dogs over the fire. Veg stir fry with a sauce and cooked rice that I prepped at home (I also would chop the veg at home and just keep it in a bag in the cooler). There’s an account I started following on Instagram lately that posts amazing camp cooking inspiration under @jessicarosepnw–they make me want to risk the back pain for some campfire nachos haha. I also recommend Cook It Wild by Chris Nuttall-Smith (not vegan but tons of inspiration and prep ideas).
  2. Can you suggest a few recipes that are high in calcium and vitamin D?
    The best recipe I have for plant-based calcium is my Kale Power Salad! The salad has kale (obviously), sweet potatoes, tofu, almonds and an almond-based dressing–all good sources of calcium! I would also recommend making any of my smoothie recipes with a combo of Vitamin D-fortified soy milk, chia seeds, and almond butter. Broccoli rabe is a good source of vegan calcium, so I’d check out my Broccoli Rabe and Sweet Potato Sheet Pan Dinner (swap chickpeas for white beans and almond butter for peanut butter to get even more calcium). This Edamame Dip (make it with tahini) is a great snack option. My super popular White Bean Soup with Kale is another good choice!
  3. What are your fave go-to meals with a lot of plant-based protein?
    Let me first say that I love tofu and beans, which makes it super easy to get the protein up. My Air Fryer Tofu recipe is a staple because it’s quick, super crispy, and can be worked into wraps, salads, bowls, and more. Tempeh is really dense with protein (over 30 grams per cup), but truthfully I have a hard time working it into our regular meals because I’m fussy with it. This Sticky Ginger Tempeh with loads of green veg on the side is reliably delicious and quick to make. My Maple Mustard Tempeh is another saucy option. I add edamame, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, nuts/seeds to pretty much every meal. I also love making a dip out of edamame for a quick snack or to swoop on a sandwich/wrap. I use chickpea flour to make socca/farinata with a salad for lunch. Soy milk is my preferred milk for a smoothie because it has more protein than any other option. And I also rely on some “cheat” ingredients to get the protein up at times: vegan protein powder, lupini bean pasta, tortillas/wraps with pea protein added etc. Also when in doubt, beans and rice! I can usually hit 90 grams a day without really trying.
  4. Do you have a process you follow for developing and testing new recipes?
    Usually a recipe comes about 2 ways. The first is something that I’m repeatedly making at home because I’m working with a seasonal ingredient or it’s just something that I’m craving/fixated on. The second is something basic that I want to give my spin on and make into the best possible version of itself according to my tastes (vegan stuffing, snap pea salad, mushroom risotto, sautéed green beans, onion dip etc). I’ll start with a rough framework that I write out in a notebook, and then after making it a few times, the recipe becomes more streamlined, is optimized for flavour etc.
  5. Best beet smoothie recipe? Can’t find one that doesn’t taste “beet-y.”
    It’s the one in my cookbook, but I do also have the recipe posted here! Raspberries, strawberries and citrus lift up the earthy flavour and get the beet out of the root veg zone. Vanilla and almond butter make it a bit more indulgent and banana brings that mellow sweetness. It sounds weird but it works! (how many times have I said this when talking about a recipe here lol). Folks still email me about this one, thanking me for the recipe 7 years later!
A head-on shot shows a massive flowering dogwood that is practically all flowers.
I’ve never seen more flowers on a flowering dogwood in my life! Captured during a visit to a local garden centre with my mum.


  • Emily

    I just finished The Good Eater! Fantastic book! Highly recommend.

  • Jess

    I make that pink smoothie for breakfast every day and have done for years, a firm fave! My partner has it every day as well since moving in with me :)

  • Melanie

    Always enjoy your posts, so interesting and informative. Thanks so much. As per camping recipes, Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks has a get post of recipes that she enjoys, thought it may be of interest. Love seeing photos of your dogs, such cuties. Take care and thanks again.

    • Laura Wright

      That post from 101 Cookbooks is a goldmine. Thanks Melanie!

  • Julie

    Vegan vs Vegan – great article. I often find myself digging deeper into my eating journey. Why DO I eat this way?! This thought usually comes about when trying to find a restaurant that has something for me (other than salad or fries) that friends want to go to. I started out for the animals but there are so many layers to food and why we choose to eat or not eat a certain way. Will definitely give The Good Eater a read. Thanks for the link.

  • Laura

    As someone who doesn’t prefer a chocolate smoothie, your beet smoothie is my absolute go-to when I’m in the mood for a smoothie that isn’t green (although I do make your green smoothie regularly too!). Definitely in the “I still love it years later” camp!

  • susan

    great post as always. loved th3 vegan vs vegan article. thank you.

  • Elizabeth

    Those dogwood flowers are incredible! Another plant you might want to look into for your shady garden area is goat’s beard. It have it and Joe Pye weed, and the goat’s beard is definitely bushier. It’s big and lush looking. The Joe Pye weed is more like a giant milkweed plant – very pretty and great for pollinators, but basically straight, narrow stalks with flowers on top.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Elizabeth!
      I’m loving the look of goat’s beard, thank you for the suggestion. It would look so great with the white astilbe that I just got for the same area. I had Joe Pye Weed at my last house and the way it re-seeded itself in clusters over a couple years–it almost had the appearance of a bush. I think I’ll just have to play around with both haha.