One Salad to Rule them All (AKA Fiesta Quinoa)


Did we ever admit sometimes we are terribly lazy? When it came time to prepare for the opening credits of our “Lord of the Rings” Ravinia park movie picnic, Kat, predictably, was poking about. With a nudge and some coaxing, she whipped up the easy peasy quinoa even Gollum would approve of…

Fiesta Quinoa


  • 2-3 cups Quinoa
  • Vegetarian broth
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 cup of fire roasted salsa
  • 3/4 cup red bell peppers
  • Scallions (green onions), chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp, chopped jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp, chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grounded cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Lime



Cook quinoa in vegetarian broth as per instruction on quinoa package.  Rinse and drain black beans and corn and mix together with quinoa and bell peppers.  Add the mixture of fire roasted salsa, chopped scallions, cilantro and jalapeño pepper with cumin, salt, black pepper, olive oil and lime juice.

Modified recipe from savvyvegetarian.

Mmmm our precioussss quinoa was a success. We are sure it will make a return for the Return of the King movie next summer at Ravinia. Maybe you will brave the fires of Mordor and join us next time. Enjoy!



Zucchini Picnic Nachos


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.

photo (2)

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.

photo (1)


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