Saturday Sun 06.29.2024

Created by Laura Wright
A head-on shot shows a window overlooking a bunch of annabelle hydrangea blooms in a garden. The blind on the window is partially closed.

Welcome to the weekend. It’s a long one here with the Canada Day holiday on Monday. We have a couple cookouts to go to, a little bit of yard work to do, watching the Austrian GP, making vegan smash burgers on the Blackstone, and I plan to just do a lot of chilling when I can. 

We’ve been using our Blackstone a bit more often lately, and it’s been fun! When we first got it, I noticed that a lot of the recipes online were meat-centric and I wondered if it was the right thing for us. But there’s so many veggie possibilities with it. Kind of makes me want to do a series on Instagram called “Vegan Blackstone” or something. We’ll see! I just really love any type of outdoor cooking honestly.

I hope that you’re taking care out there and cooking delicious things! Some reads and other inspiration below for you.

5 Things I’m Reading:

  1. We Need to Talk About Oat Milk (I highly recommend subscribing to Lily’s Substack!)
  2. The pollinator corridor project that’s transforming Melbourne’s streets
  3. Understanding Maslow: A Guide to Self-Actualization
  4. I Recommend Eating Chips
  5. Develop a Mind Like Sky

5 Things I’m Enjoying:

  1. Renowned psychiatrist Phil Stutz on the Rich Roll podcast. I listened to this episode twice.
  2. Great episode of Good Bodies with Charlotte Palermino (the founder of Dieux Skincare): What’s With This “Wellness” Trend Of Not Wearing SPF?
  3. Nuts for Cheese released this fermented, vegan cashew-based dill pickle dip last week and it is incredible. I swear it tastes like dairy, and so pickle-y! Full disclosure: they did send me some as a gift, but I only share honest opinions about dip here 🙂
  4. Uh oh, I’m thinking about trying to master vegan yogurt at home again! Does anyone out there have experience with this Luvele yogurt maker? It looks promising and reviews for plant-based yogurts are good.
  5. Watching The Bear obviously! The first episode with the Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross soundtrack was beautiful to watch.

5 Questions:

  1. Low/no cook dinners that aren’t salad?
    Lots of questions about no cook dinners because of the summer heat. Beyond salads, I am a huge fan of a vegan cheese board dinner in the heat of summer! I get a couple nicer vegan cheeses that I love ( Treeline, Nuts for Cheese, VegNature,or RIND) and enjoy that with pickles, olives, nuts, seedy crackers, veg crudites, really nice bread etc. You can do the same thing with a dip platter.  I also go hard for gazpacho! A reader sent me a recipe for a spicy watermelon one recently that sounds amazing. If you can tolerate a bit of cooking, veg stir fries are excellent because they happen so fast. A little tofu and veg spring roll party is always a good idea as well!
  2. You seem so zen… how? Especially in this modern chaos???
    In my non-Instagram life I’m actually pretty uptight. I like organization and things going according to plan. But having those systems in place enables me to be relaxed in other settings. Meditation and exercise have helped me a lot. That’s not to say that the seemingly never ending awful news in our world doesn’t affect me. It does. But I also recognize that we live in a time where SO MUCH information is available on our phones, and the sheer volume of it can take a toll quickly (and absorbing that volume does not necessarily mean that we know more either). We were not designed to take in this much information and stimulation all the time. I do stay informed, but ultimately I know that the greatest sphere of influence and change available to me exists in my immediate community–ie amongst the people that I know and the city that I live in. The suggestion to “touch grass” is often used in a condescending way online, but it is helpful to ground yourself in your immediate surroundings whenever possible. I focus on all of these things as much as I can and always remember the 4 agreements. If you haven’t read the book, you’re in for a treat. It’s life changing.
  3. Do you like the Our Place Wonder Oven?
    My honest opinion (after now having it for about a year): it’s okay! As a toaster oven/small countertop oven, it’s pretty good. There are some strong hot spots, but the size is so handy and it does look really cute on the counter. The air frying function is objectively bad though and I always lug out my Instant Pot Vortex to get the job done properly. I do use both appliances often and one day I may be motivated to get one of the higher end, well-rated options like a Breville Smart Oven to replace both. But not yet! A note: I was gifted the Our Place Wonder Oven as part of a marketing promotion.
  4. Fave non-smoothie ways to use protein powders?
    In overnight oats, energy ball mixtures, stirred into yogurt with some nut butter, stirred into this viral treat with vegan yogurt (viral for a reason–it’s so freaking good!), protein peanut butter cups, pancakes, baked oats, and so much more! Admittedly you’re kind of limited to breakfast stuff or wholesome “treats” but once you start playing around, you’ll find tons of uses.
  5. Any fun new self care stuff?
    Weight lifting!! I just started at a new gym and I’m so excited to get into it. The rules of it are totally different to any other exercise I’ve been into in the past, but I love that it is really mindset-intensive. Vegan protein-heavy recipes will be incoming haha. Also on the self care front, I’ve been using a teeny pea-sized amount of May Lindstrom’s The Blue Cocoon at night lately (over moisturizer and serum) and I wake up with zero redness and the softest skin ever. The smell is a supernatural dream.


  • Heidi

    Love many of the articles you highlighted .. I love soy milk for a few splashes into my Earl grey to a matcha latte. For the creaminess and protein too and do bake with it! In the states – Trader Joe’s now has an organic no additive soy milk carton that’s much cheaper than Westsoy but I don’t go there all the time.
    Btw I love the last 2 smoothie recipes – strawberry lemonade and cherry chocolate. I don’t usually use protein powder but I did but an ampler pack and vanilla from your recommendation of Sprout Living. Thank you!!.

    • Laura Wright

      It’s true, nothing is better than soy milk for baking! That protein makes a difference. It’s hard to find additive-free soy milk here in Canada, so I always stock up when I’m in the US.

  • Julie

    Fabulous site, great reads & recipes! So glad I found you!
    Thank you :)

  • Jo

    Unable to find the ingredients of the cheese you talked about.
    Have you read Ultra Processed People? Sad and fascinating.
    We must remember that not all vegan foods are good for us.

    Thank you for your great recipes, I use them except without dairy or oils.

  • Jamie

    I think you’re right; it’s gonna have to be a gazpacho and dips summer, because my stovetop closes for business when temps hit 90! I’m definitely going to give that watermelon one a go!

    • Laura Wright

      I’ve never tried making homemade cashew yogurt (always coconut or soy), but I imagine the taste and texture would be so good from all the fat in the cashews. Will check this recipe out, thank you!

  • christina

    I love reading your blog. I have been making yogurt in my instant pot for several months. I use soy milk with only soybeans and water for ingredients. Initially I used a quart of soy milk and two tablespoons of a vegan yogurt, I have also used a plant based yogurt starter available on Amazon.{belle bella} brand. I watched many you tube videos too. After I make a batch of yogurt I just save two tablespoons and add it to my next batch. I also experimented with adding silken tofu with the soy milk. I mix the silken tofu with a small amount of the soy milk and the leftover yogurt to assure all is incorporated, then add rest of soy milk . Proceed as usually to make yogurt. After the 12 hours I refrigerate the insert. I started making in glass jars, but now I just use insert, that I make sure is squeaky clean. After a few hours I transfer to a yogurt stainer. Euro cuisine available on Amazon. Results are fantastic. The benefit of adding the silken tofu is that it increases the protein count. I only use silken tofu that is soybeans and water. Only brand I have found that fulfills this is 365 brand from Whole Foods. I will not buy commercial yogurt again, so happy with results.I use a glass cover on my Instant Pot as pot does not need to use pressure and I don’t worry about smells being transferred from the seal.

    • Laura Wright

      Thank you for these detailed instructions for making yogurt in the IP. I’ve tried a couple times in the past and the results were just okay. I will give your method a go!

  • Claire

    I have a luvele yogurt maker; they are great, easy to use and convenient. I made soy yogurt and have tried other nut milks. None of them were my favorite although I thought soy was the best. I also strained it to make Greek yogurt. You can also make kefir but I thought soy kefir was terrible. I stopped using it. It was great when I was making full fat dairy yogurt but I’m no longer eating that. Wish I could sell it to you. It’s sitting on the shelf.

    • Laura Wright

      Claire, You may not be able to sell me yours, but you have given me the inspiration to search for a second hand one! :)

  • Elizabeth

    Always love Saturday Sun! I really liked the article about oat milk. I’m devoted to soy milk because I want that protein and also believe in its health benefits.
    I used to make vegan yogurt weekly and I can tell you that the two things that worked best for me were using soy milk with high protein and zero additives (just soy beans and water) – specifically the Eden Soy brand – and the Belle and Bella yogurt starter. In the beginning I used jars wrapped in a heating pad, and then moved to a yogurt maker with a 2 qt. glass jar. That was so much easier. I think the type of milk and starter you use will have more of an affect than the yogurt maker on the finished product.

    • Laura Wright

      Thank you for these awesome tips, Elizabeth! I really want to play around with a coconut yogurt eventually, but I think coy might be the best one to start with.