Zucchini Picnic Nachos

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After the opening credits, the scene begins with the Chi Organic Girls running around trying to figure out what to bring to the outdoor movie in the park. A cartoon light bulb pops over Mon’s head. “I have 20 Godzilla sized Zucchinis from my garden. What to make?”

Grilled Zucchini Nachos

modified from here.

  • 1 medium zucchini or 2 small zucchini sliced about 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • Olive oil
  • pinch of Black pepper and salt
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 can of black beans, rinsed and drain
  • 1 large avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • Garlic, sea salt, black pepper
  • Tajin spice (Mexican spice found at any Mexican grocery store)
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • shredded sharp cheddar, optional garnish

Slice zucchini into a bowl.  Add olive oil to coat the zucchini and sprinkle salt and black pepper.  Arrange zucchini on a grill pan over medium heat.  Grill until zucchini is tender as seen in picture.

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Remove zucchini from grill and place two layers on a platter or flat container to take for a picnic.  Top with black beans, tomatoes, red onions, avocado, green onion, cilantro, sprinkle garlic, sea salt, black pepper and squeeze fresh lime juice. Recipe will feed about 6 people.

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Wondering what other picnic goodies the gals will bring to the blanket? Coming after the intermission: Fiesta Quinoa!

Thrift Tip: Air B and B

While Mon was holding down the Chi, my sister and I decided to take a side trip to Minneapolis on our return from Canada. This is where the addiction kicks in.

Hello My name is Kate. (Say “Hi Kate” everyone). It’s been 10 minutes since I last checked Air and Air B.

My sister introduced me to this website/app where you can find private rooms, whole levels of houses or full apartments to rent from private owners.

At first.. I was hesitant to try but now I’m all Dr. Seuss like “oooooh the places you’ll go”.

We stayed at a beautiful 1800s styled mansion in St. Paul with an unbeatable view of the city. The owner, Scott, was hospitable and unobtrusive. He set out breakfast for us each morning: blueberries, craft jams, whole grain English muffins and cereals and fancy coffee.

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Air B and B mansion living room

The one thing we couldn’t get over was the bed. Ahhh I dream of the sheets. It’s a wonder what quality soft sheets can do. We stayed in bed until 11 am the first morning reveling in the sleek feel.

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Hey you saucy thang. Come lay down here

Although I can’t guarantee every Air B and B has this sort of luxury, if you stay in St. Paul, you will feel like a Downton Abbey uppercruster.

Check out Air B and B here. Since Mon missed out, I’ve begun to draw her into my web of travel. Lofts in Paris, tree houses in Hotlanta, swank pads in LA, here we come!

Fit Trip: Regina, SK

We know you’re looking at the title and thinking one of three things.

1) Where the bleep is Regina, SK?

2) What would anyone be doing in Regina, SK?

3) I’m from Regina, SK and I love it! Keep our location a secret please.

Or maybe some of you had to keep reading the word Regina to make sure this post was child friendly…

Regina, SK is a city in our lovely neighbor to the north (eh), Canada!  The capital city of Saskatchewan sits above North Dakota in between Manitoba and Alberta.  It has a small town feel yet still a plethora of fitness (there’s even a Lulu Lemon) and healthy food options, making it a fit trip destination.

Victoria Square is one major area of activity. Every Wednesday and Saturday, local vendors come out to the weekly farmers’ markets in the square.  Fresh saskatoons (little dark berries akin to blueberries) and alpaca yarn gloves abound as well as food trucks with up north delicacies like bison poutine (definitely not healthy, but worth a try!) and stands with green tea mint ice cream sandwiches.

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Zero calorie poutine…fruitless wishes

Victoria Square also hosts free yoga classes on their meticulously lady scaped lawn.  As I snooped around the market, I noticed that there was Bollywood Yoga the next day.  The experience pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Sponsored by Bodhi Tree Yoga, Bollywood Yoga Groove was led by teacher, Colin Hall with beats provided by DJ Dev.  The best and worst part was the mix of yoga and bollywood dancing. In between poses, the class would bust out some dance moves and my sometimes shy self was made to prance around the park with fellow yogis in a free style dance session (shudder!).  When you do let yourself go, it can be quite freeing or…it can be like the painful look I saw in a pale Canadian man wearing a flannel.

To this I say: “Yoga isn’t meant for the weak, flannel man.  Buck up and prance like everyone else.”

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Oh yoga bottoms…not even aware of what will come next.

For you non-prancers, Regina also hosts a series of pathways at Wascana Lake.  Visitors can kayak, canoe, run, walk or skip if they so choose throughout the 9.3 square kilometer park (darn metric system).  There is also an island that can be rented for private partying, P. Diddy style.

For more information on the wonders of Regina, check out http://www.sasktourism.com/places-to-go/regions/regina.

New to the Mat: Zen Yoga Garage

With a multitude if yoga studios in Chicago, how does a brand new yoga business set itself apart?

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Zen Yoga Garage is unassumingly tucked on Milwaukee avenue in between Western and Leavitt. The stand out feature? It is literally housed in a garage space.

The studio features 2 pristine studios; one which maintained the garage door format that can be cracked open during classes to allow the summer sun and breezes in, and the other which has windows that peek into the alley way.

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The most attractive feature of the studio were teaching staff. Each class that we took during our free week was delivered with care and attention. The teachers were were quick to correct form and helped challenge yet also relax members. Class offerings range from the traditional vinyasa classes to the heated weight bearing Yoga Buddha Burn class to a barre yoga class. Owner, Piper Parker, also teaches and provides a welcoming and warm vibe, making it accessible for those new to yoga.

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