Red Quinoa Avocado Kale Salad

It’s been quite a while!

I’ve been finishing my junior fall semester at college, while Ilanna has been in India- needless to say, baking and cooking our own meals when neither of us actually has a kitchen is not the best for two people who have decided to start a food blog together! I thought I’d just share this salad that was created on a whim- it’s a perfect, easy dinner, especially at this time of year when you might want a good light “detox” salad around the holidays 🙂

red quinoa avocado kale salad

Red Quinoa Avocado Kale Salad

vegan, serves 1

  • 1/4 cup cooked red quinoa (or any kind of quinoa will do)
  • 1/2 sliced avocado
  • sprinkling of dried cranberries
  • sprinkling of toasted walnuts or almonds
  • bunch of kale leaves
  • olive oil & vinegar for dressing



Super Soft Apple Cinnamon Raisin Cookies

Autumn, in cookie-form.

These little friends were created on a very experimental whim after I came home from college, looked in the apple bin in the fridge, and found the last sad, bruised remnants of our apple-picking expedition a few weeks earlier. Something had to be done. (I know it’s probably most widely suggested to make apple sauce when this happens, but I’ve never been the biggest apple sauce fan.) I had better plans for these poor Galas. Plans involving cinnamon, raisins, and the smallest hint of crunchy peanut butter swirled in.

These cookies are healthy enough to eat for breakfast or a snack (or dessert!), as they are full of wholesome ingredients with no added sugars!

Super Soft Apple Cinnamon Raisin Cookies

vegan, makes 6 cookies

  • 2 T whole wheat flour (or white flour)
  • 2 T rolled oats
  • 1 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 C. peeled, grated apple (about 1 medium apple)
  • 1/2 T milk of choice
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • handful of golden raisins
  • other optional add-ins: dried apple bits or cinnamon chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Spoon cookie batter onto a greased baking sheet (I used parchment paper), and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how soft you like your cookies. 🙂

Question: Do you have any favorite ways to use up old apples?

Indian-Spiced Cauliflower and Black Beans


I think our parents invented the phrase “cluged (“cloo-j-ed”) together.” As in– “I had some stale graham crackers and leftover pumpkin so I cluged together a makeshift pumpkin pie….” Or “Uh oh…it’s Halloween at 5 o’clock–here, take this boa and beret–ta da! a cluged together fashionista!” (this is Ilanna, by the way…I think I wore a boa every year and called myself different characters for about ten consecutive Halloweens growing up…)

I had no idea about the origin, and used the phrase all the time growing up–people seemed to get the meaning (hurray for context clues)–but the first time I went to write it down I paused, totally stumped. No one seemed to have any idea how to spell it, even the parents, who did not admit to inventing this word. I think its a mistaken Yiddish-ism, adapted from some relative, but then twisted to fit their meaning somewhere early in marriage.


Regardless, this meal is the definition of cluged together. Perhaps its made of halves and quarters of ingredients I had abandoned in the fridge after other projects, but it is delicious enough to purchase the ingredients specifically for!

Usually when the fridge starts to resemble a forgotten vegetable graveyard,  my go-to idea is a stir fry (with an egg on top for protein). Very creative, I know. Today, though, I couldn’t stomach cauliflower + egg (ew), so I riffed on the flavor combination I had originally bought the cauliflower for, but hadn’t worked in the first iteration.

Cauliflower lends itself brilliantly to Indian spices, and this dish is no exception. Although the black beans are not traditional, they similarly absorb the spices, and the tomato acts to glue the whole thing together. It’s spiced without being spicy, warming without being heavy. And who doesn’t like a lunch they can eat with a side of pita chips?!

So, family inventions? Any words or phrases you used growing up without knowing their true origin?



Indian-spiced Cauliflower and Black Beans 

serves 1 very hungry person or 2 more dainty eaters

vegan, gluten free

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • half of a cauliflower, broken into florets with hands
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • pinch of salt
  • water
  • 3/4 cup black beans (about half a can)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup prepared tomato sauce
  • healthy handful of pita chips (I love Stacy’s Italian Harvest) (optional)

Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add spices and cauliflower and mix until the cauliflower is gently coated (about a minute). Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and cover. Simmer at medium-low until the cauliflower is soft and the water’s evaporated, about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add beans, tomato sauce, and tomato paste and increase heat to medium high. Heat, uncovered and mixing frequently, for an additional 2-3 minutes, until beans are heated through.

Serve with pita chips.


I’ll be seeing you two later tonight…

Cozy Pumpkin Oatmeal

What is better than a warm bowl of cinnamony, pumpkin-y oatmeal on a crisp fall morning?

….Not much. Ok, maybe a slice of fresh-baked pumpkin pie in the morning, but this really may be the next best alternative.

If you’re like me, Rachel, pumpkin season has not just begun. In fact, there is no pumpkin season. Why limit pumpkin consumption to only a few months of the year when there is canned pumpkin available all year round in most supermarkets?! (I’m going to admit it– I have never actually made my own pumpkin puree. Libby’s or Trader Joe’s organic canned pumpkin it is!) But now that fall is in full swing, all of us pumpkin-people can rejoice and take pride in our deep-seated love for this nutrient-dense bundle of orange superfood.

Simply Cozy Pumpkin Oatmeal

vegan, serves 1

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (I used a mixture of rolled oats + oat bran)
  • 2/3 cup water, or milk of choice
  • a heaping 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • lots of cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice!

toppings: maple syrup, brown sugar, nuts, nut butter, graham cracker crumbs

Heat water or milk on stovetop until it reaches a boil. Add in oats, turn the heat down to medium, and let cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Just before the oats are all the way cooked, stir in the pumpkin and vanilla and add desired amount of spices and toppings. (I like mine with a lot of ground cinnamon, a sprinkling of brown sugar or stevia, and a few drops of pure maple syrup). Enjoy!

….and the best part?

…having your pumpkin smile at you after scraping the bowl. (Okay, I should probably start using “grown-up” bowls if I’m going to get any good at food photography… One day.) 😉

Question: what is your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin?

Harmonious Duos: Healthy Cookie Dough Dip

This, we believe believe, is what one could call a fitting entry into our world of blogging. Hummus? Peanut butter? HELLO, our two favorite things in the world! As two sisters with different perspectives on food and at opposite ends of the sweet tooth spectrum, we decided to name our blog after our two deeply shared food loves. It only makes sense to begin our blog trying to combine them.

…Or, shall we say, SUCCEEDING at combining them.

Rachel, the health-inclined and whole food-obsessed vegetarian, has a penchant for substituting chickpeas for flour in baked goods. Ilanna, the more diverse?whimsical? baker and promoter of delicious creations for all, scoffs at this sorry excuse for baked “goods”. With our differing tastes yet shared love of eating, this blog will incorporate elements from both of our food philosophies. Our first recipe is a beautiful hybrid of the two worlds of “sinful” and “healthy” styles of baking, and we hope you find it as harmoniously satisfying as we both do.


A few other unlikely yet wonderful combinations:

  • peanut butter + carrots
  • whole wheat flour + donuts (but OMG if you live in NYC you must go to Peter Pan Donuts in Greenpoint and find out for yourself!)
  • cheez-its + a toaster (from our cheez-it-filled childhood. sometimes burned is simply…better.)
  • pretzels + mustard
  • watermelon + feta
  • peach salsa. incredible.
  • Jay and Gloria. from Modern Family.

Now on to the recipe.

peanut butter chocolate chip hummus


adapted from the wannabe chef

This concoction tastes a lot closer to a “cookie dough” than hummus. In fact, the chickpeas here add only texture, little flavor, to the final product. It is heartily sweet, tastily dense, and very satisfying as an earnest midnight snack.

1 cup chickpeas (i used canned)
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
3 tablespoons maple syrup, or sweetener of choice (honey, agave, etc.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
optional add-ins: handful of chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, a sprinkle of cinnamon- whatever you like!

  1. Rinse, drain, and peel chickpeas. Rinsing and draining, this time, is necessary. Peeling, however unnecessary-sounding and time consuming, will create a smoother, softer, and dreamier “cookie dough.” (This can also be achieved by warming the chickpeas in the microwave for around 30 seconds for easier mashing).
  2. Pulverize the first four ingredients with your whirly tool of choice. (I used an immersion blender, but I’m sure a food processor, blender, or even a potato masher could work!)
  3. Add in chocolate chips! Since my chickpeas were warm, the chocolate chips melted and swirled into the hummus a bit. YUM.
  4. Eat. If you’re civilized, try it on graham crackers, fruit, etc. If not, a spoon will always suffice.

Question: Are there any weird food combinations that you swear by?

The First Post.

DSC06243 testing, testing!

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