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I’ ve had plenty of versions of quinoa in the past, but this one takes the number one spot. The carrots added a sweet-sour note, the thinly sliced almonds a delicious crunch, and the quinoa married them together with its light and refreshing nature. Cannot praise this dish enough. I was inspired by this recipe from Bon Appetit, and decided to come up with a version to be served hot instead of cold, but with similar flavors. If you are searching for a recipe to please vegetarians or a perfect side dish for pork, poultry,  perhaps a thick slab of grilled salmon, look no further. This is perfect!


(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by Bon Appetit)

1 cup quinoa, very well rinsed and drained
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced at an angle
2 Tbsp apple cider
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon

Heat oven to 450°. Bring quinoa and 4 cups lightly salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until quinoa is tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain; return quinoa mixture to saucepan, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl; let cool.

Meanwhile, lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with oil (or cover it with parchment paper). Whisk cider and honey in a large bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper. Add carrots and toss to coat. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and roast until tender, 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet. Add the almonds and cook over low heat until fragrant.  Set aside, keeping it warm.

Whisk vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add carrots and almonds to quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Drizzle the vinegar & lemon mixture and mix well tp combine all ingredients.  Adjust seasoning if needed.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you are new to cooking the seeds of Chenopodium quinoa, please remember to rinse them extensively.  The seeds  have a natural coating of saponins that taste very bitter.  Processing the seeds for sale includes pre-washing, but you will notice that the water still foams slightly once you soak the seeds.  A couple of years ago, I read somewhere that quinoa goes rancid very easily, so the advice given was to store it for  no more than 6 months (or freeze it).   I tried to find a source for this information,  but now I find plenty of sites stating that it lasts for several years in the pantry.  Oh, well. I guess one can always open the bag and do a sniff test.

Cooked quinoa freezes very well, so you can prepare a full bag and portion it in the freezer for later. I actually cooked it on a Saturday and made this recipe for our dinner on Tuesday.  Pork tenderloin kebabs completed the meal, but the truth is we both raved about the quinoa a lot more.  Bonus:  we got our intake of carrots all taken care of!  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Celebrate Wednesday: Heirloom Tomatoes Steal the Show

TWO YEARS AGO: Pain de Provence

THREE YEARS AGO: Golspie Loaf, from the Scottish Highlands


  1. I’ve still not tasted quinoa but between the lemon juice and cider vinegar it’s sounds like you’ve got a bit of tang and then the sweetness of the apple cider and the agave nectar and the crunch of the almonds … a party in your mouth. 🙂 Carrots are one of the few veggies I agreed to eat as a kid and they’re still one of my favourites.


    • Oh, you must cook some quinoa! It is really delicious.. if you love couscous, you’ll love quinoa but it won’t fill you up as much. So, you loved carrots as a kid? My Mom was not as lucky as yours – I hated every single veggie. Not sure what was wrong with me, but whatever was wrong, I fixed it. (at least in the food department… 🙂


    • I just bought another bottle of almond butter – something I learned to love thanks to your blog, you know… 🙂 Almonds are delicious in this recipe, I think they added a lot to it.


  2. I’m a quinoa neophyte, Sally, and your tips are gratefully accepted. I love the idea of cider-glazed carrots and might try to make them by themselves, as well as with this quinoa. That photo is just too good not to give your recipe a try.


  3. I have been eating a lot of quinoa lately, but I love the flavors here. I think the apple cider vinegar would add just the tang I’m looking for (I love sour right now!) Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to try!


  4. Absolutely love quinoa and make it often: hence recipes like this to give it more varied taste sensations are certainly very welcome in my book 🙂 !


    • I don’t make quinoa as often as I should, but you are right, variations are more than welcome! I am collecting a few recipes, pretty soon it will be warm enough to go for cold variations… right now I’m more in the mood for a warm side dish


    • Well, it may or may not – I am a bit puzzled by the conflicting info I find. To be safe, smell the quinoa when you are going to use it. Better safe than sorry, right?


  5. Oh yes, I’ve had the non-rinsed quinoa. Not so appetizing. Once I figured that out, I’ve enjoyed it much more. It’s in our rotation on salad night. 🙂 (I count it as a “salad.”)


  6. I’m loving your close-up photos Sally! Gorgeous flavors in this dish. I’ve never frozen cooked quinoa…what a revelation — I must give it a try!


    • Kelly, believe it or not I’ve been taking pictures almost exclusively with my cell phone these days. Long, long story. New computer that is giving me a lot of headaches and a few troubles communicating with my camera.

      You know what my problem is? not enough time to do everything I would like to do… (sigh)

      but I have a lot of fun with the road, not necessarily the destination…. 😉


    • well, you develop all your recipes yourself, that is a completely different story altogether! With all the nutritional info, clearly each post takes you a lot more work than mine! I am in awe that you do it as often as you do, with the busy life you live. So there you go, be over proud of yourself! 😉


    • Those carrots could stand alone and shine… but of course, a little quinoa only makes them better! 🙂

      The problem with carrots by themselves is that I never seem to make enough – a bit like mushrooms, they tend to shrink away or something


  7. I have never cooked with quinoa though I bought a bag to make something with, I think a flatbread recipe, so how would I know if they have ‘gone off’, ah the puzzles of the lost ingredients in the cupboard. What does it taste like, it looks so bitty somehow and little, I guess I should give it a spin, or maybe buy a fresh bag and make more of an effort as your recipe looks lovely!


  8. so hard to explain its taste, I think one way to think of it is a taste similar to bulgur wheat, but with a much softer texture, more in the direction of couscous. but it has more bite than couscous.. gosh, now I am all confused…. 😉


  9. Pingback: Quinoa salad with glazed carrots | Chef in disguise

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