Quinoa with Spiced Carrots

IMG_1639 (1024x732)

I confess, I’m a bit of a food collector. I have to have every kind of grain, rice, seed, nut and dried fruit in my pantry ‘just in case’ I need to prepare any recipe at a moment’s notice. And every spice, a variety of salts and peppers too.  So much so, that I had a side closet turned into an extra pantry cupboard this week because I was running out of kitchen space!  Some items haven’t been used as often as I would like and I think it’s time to give them all a chance.  Therefore, this week, I have chosen quinoa. Quinoa is a seed, not a grain, originally from South America. Black quinoa isn’t really black; rather it’s a blend of black, white, tan and brown. The red and black varieties have a slightly nuttier flavour than the white quinoa seeds.  I have included a link: What’s the difference between red and golden quinoa? for additional fun facts and recipes.  I, of course,  have the three different colours of quinoa: white, red and black.

IMG_1628 (1024x1003)

Usually, I mix them all together for a confetti effect.

IMG_1630 (1024x723)

I have been making this recipe for years although originally it is made with carrots and zucchini ( Spiced Carrot and Zucchini Quinoa). However,  I only had heirloom carrots in my fridge and no zucchini so I work with what I have.  And the carrots give it lots of colour on their own.  Also, this recipe is delicious in single colour quinoa mode too.

Cut the carrots into small cubes.

IMG_1631 (1024x715)

Besides the quinoa and carrots, the rest of the ingredients consist of only currants, sweet paprika, cinnamon and a bit of salt.

photo (1024x517)

Prepare the quinoa first.  The ratio is twice as much water as quinoa.  This recipe uses 4 cups of water to 2 cups of quinoa.  The currants and salt are added at this step also.

IMG_1634 (1024x682)

Cooked quinoa, up close.

Pan fry the cubed carrots in olive oil.  Next add the cinnamon and paprika and coat the carrots with the spices.

IMG_1633 (1024x682)

Combine the cooked quinoa with the spiced carrots.

IMG_1636 (1024x683)Mix in some chopped cilantro or parsley and you have a delicious side dish.   Twenty minutes and you’re done.  This can be made a day in advance and re-warmed in a baking dish.  Delicious with any main course.

IMG_1638 (1024x672)

Quinoa with Spiced Carrots

4 cups water
2 cups quinoa, rinsed well, drained
2 tablespoons dried currants
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, if desired

  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Mix in paprika and cinnamon. Add quinoa to skillet; toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to baking dish. Cover and chill. Rewarm, covered, in 350°F oven about 15 minutes. Mix in cilantro and serve.


  1. Lovely recipe and great pictures!

    1. Thank you for your comment! It is as much fun to photograph as it is to eat!

  2. Frances harris · · Reply

    I love quinoa and made it for dinner last night.

    1. I will try and find other quinoa recipes in the future.

  3. Yummmm!

  4. Using this for Passover. Thanks for the idea Shelley. Where do I get sweet paprika?

    1. Hi Susie! The first time I made this recipe was for Passover too. Regular paprika is sweet, as opposed to hot paprika or smoked paprika. Enjoy!…Shelley

  5. Sounds great. I like to make a batch of quinoa for the week then have it for a quick lunch. There are some new flavours in this recipe which I’m sure to try soon. Thanks!

    1. Very organized and a great idea to make a batch in advance. You can try other spice additions too…like cumin?? Enjoy!

  6. Roslyn Nudell · · Reply

    Could I use raisins instead of currants?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: