Have you tried quinoa? Pronounced keen-wah, this little gem is a complete protein and gluten free! It feels like you are eating rice — and satisfies that need for that type of texture in your mouth, but it’s actually really great for you! It comes in many colors — my current favorite is the black and it’s actually really nutty tasting.

Lately I’ve been making salads with quinoa and I’m pretty addicted to it. Last night I made it with roasted peppers, spinach, sauteed (ok, fried) chickpeas, blueberries and sunflower seeds. I added a lemon vinaigrette, yummy sea salt and pepper. I ate the whole thing and then my daughter’s plate too. I’ve already told her she’s either a ballerina or a supermodel in training. I’ve never seen anyone eat so little.

Anyway, here are the ingredients and remember to use your imagination. Add any vegetable, fruit or nut that you want. Make it the flavors that you love. Just keep it fresh and clean — that’s the way to eat.

Teddi’s Quinoa Salad

1 Cup black quinoa (or plain if you can’t find black)
2 Cups water
2 Cups loose spinach
2 red peppers
1 cup blueberries
1 can of garbanzo beans (or you can use the dried kind if you have time — definitely better)
1/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds
1 lemon
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
salt/pepper to taste


Either heat your grill or put your broiler on high. Put the peppers in and let them roast until the skin is blackened in places. Remove and place in a ziplock bag or cover with saran wrap. While the peppers are roasting, bring water to boil, then add quinoa and cover and reduce heat to medium for 5 minutes, then move to simmer for 10 — DO NOT LIFT THE LID! After 10 minutes turn off the heat and DO NOT LIFT THE LID! Let sit for 5 minutes or until you are ready for it. If you don’t follow this to the letter, you will have mush, I promise.

In a pan, add 2-3 tbs. canola and put on high heat — put half of the garbanzos and let them saute for 3 minutes exactly, drain on paper towel and then cook the other half the same, drain on paper towel.

Take peppers out of bag and peel off skin (it should come right off). Then cut into little strips.

Open the pot and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Put everything in the bowl and loosely toss.

For the dressing, combine juice of the lemon, vinegar and oil and minced garlic. Mix well and pour over the salad. Toss and add salt and pepper to taste. YUMMMMMMM! Enjoy!