Bananas and Icing and Sprinkles, oh my!

What to do if you have a hankering for bananas, cake, and still want to keep it vegan (and somewhat healthy)? You find a recipe and veganise it of course!!

I was scrolling through Pinterest and found this yummy-looking recipe for Banana Blondies from Life In The Lofthouse, and decided to give it a try, vegan-style.

I also used this Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting from Oh She Glows instead of the one that came with the recipe. And lastly, I wanted to try out some of my new sprinkles, so I did half-half with Sweetapolita’s Sweetie Pie and Cornucopia sprinkles.

The result?

Perfection.

Here’s what I did:

Yield:

Original Yield: 24 squares

Actual Yield: 24 large squares (I halved the recipe the second time I made it and it worked just as well)

Prep Time:

Original Prep Time: none

Actual Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time:

Original Bake Time: 25-30 minutes

Actual Bake Time: 28 minutes

What I changed:

  • I swapped butter for a half-and-half mix of vegan butter and coconut oil and a mix of apple sauce and extra banana for the eggs
  • I swapped the brown sugar frosting for vegan cream cheese frosting (amazing flavour combination!)

Notes or Comments:

  • I tried this recipe out as is and it was amazing.
  • I swapped out all of the butter for coconut oil and found the coconut favour was so overpowering that the banana flavour was lost completely. Half and half is perfect if you like a bit of coconut flavour, but use only vegan butter if you want just banana flavour.

Verdict: Success! This recipe is delish, both as is and with some vegan substitutes. It was simple to make (all in one bowl… that’s always a win!) and is easily halved or doubled with no issues.

** Please note that all opinions and experiences are my own. They are not influenced, endorsed, or sponsored by Life In The Lofthouse, Oh She Glows, Sweetapolita, or any other third party. All changes to the recipe are my own.

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Extending summer

It’s been a crazy few weeks, so I’m recycling a post from my old blog, as we JUST had this salad for dinner this week! We get most of our produce through Mama Earth Organics and I love being able to use all these local veggies in my meals every day!

Fall is here, but I wanted to share a favourite summer salad with you before the cold weather sets in for good.

Greek Orzo Salad

I had been searching for a salad hearty enough to serve on its own as a meal but light enough to also be used as a side. I also wanted something pretty easy (it had been a long week but I was determined to stay as far away from the burger joint around the corner as I could). We love Mediterranean food (aka I love feta and fresh veggies!) so when this recipe for Greek Orzo Salad from Cooking Classy came up, we decided to give it a shot.

Since finding this recipe last summer, it’s been on constant rotation from April through October (and a few times during the colder months too). I’ve switched some things up when we were out of an ingredient or two, and we skip the olives (none of us are fans), and it’s been a winner every time.

Greek Orzo Salad

Here are the deets.

Yield:

  • Original Yield: about 6 servings
  • Actual Yield: about 8 servings (unless it’s the main… then about 4 servings)

Prep Time:

  • Original Prep Time: none given
  • Actual Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

Cook Time:

  • Original Cook Time: none given
  • Actual Cook Time: 30 minutes (orzo-10 min + cooling orzo-5 min + 15 min to cool in fridge)

Notes or Comments:

  • As mentioned above, we always skip olives in this salad, but due to the saltiness of the feta, we’ve never found the need to add extra salt.
  • The first time we made this salad, we had no lemon and neither did the store by our house. We subbed in equal parts red wine vinegar for the dressing and it was delicious.
  • I’ve made the dressing for the salad with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and half lemon/half red wine vinegar as the acid. Our favourite is the half/half version as it gives the salad a bit more bite than just the lemon (could be because of those missing olives).
  • You can make this salad vegan by omitting the feta or subbing in a vegan feta (that’s what I used last time)… super simple fix!

Verdict: Success! Go make this salad NOW! It’s flavourful, healthy, easy, and works as a light main or side. We’ve had it as a side for BBQ-ed sausages, grilled chicken, as lunch, and as the main course for dinner (who wants to eat hot food when it’s already 42C??). And if you try it with olives, let me know!

Greek Orzo Salad

*** Please note, the recipe for Greek Orzo Salad is in no way mine. All opinions and experiences are my own and are in no way endorsed/influenced/sponsored by Cooking Classy, Mama Earth Organics, or any other third party.

Insta-Donuts


I’ve always kept social media at an arm’s length, even more so after my little one was born. I have a Facebook account I pretty much never use, have a twitter profile (I admit I’m becoming a bit more active there), don’t have tumblr or snapchat or instagram. But I’ve become fascinated with instagram, it’s overly pretty images, the perfect-looking lives hidden in there.

Pinterest is filled with pics from social media accounts. While browsing for a recipe that used lemon juice (as I had fresh lemon juice left over from another recipe we love from Pinterest), I found these yummy looking lemon sugar baked donuts and HAD to try them.


After pulling them from the oven, I decided to switch the sugar-lemon zest topping for icing and good old sprinkles.


I picked up these two bottles of sprinkles at my local Winners (you can get them directly here) and have been itching to try them, and this was a great opportunity. 


Aren’t they awesome???

Anyways, I have the recipe a try, making just one small change… I swapped melted butter for coconut oil. The result?


Delicious baked donuts!! The flavour was not as lemony as I had hoped, but I think some of that had to do with the coconut oil. They were soft and light, perfect to pair with a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea. I was able to get 12 mini donuts and 10 regular sized donuts (the recipe yield stated 12 regular donuts, but I would have gotten a couple more). The ingredients are all mixed into one bowl (less cleaning!!) and everything took about 20 minutes, start to finish. I’d add some lemon extract or oil next time, especially if I was using coconut oil again, but that was my only quibble.

Next time I’ll be telling you all about my experience with the B3 Anywhere challenge from Barre3 (I’ll likely update my old B3 post from Recipe Recruit or write a new one soon, too). And keep an eye out… I’m thinking I’ll be joining instagram soon!


**Please note, all opinions and images are my own. I am not affiliated or sponsored by Sweetapolita, FiveHeartHome, or Winners.