On my ever-packed list of things I should be doing, I currently have:

Walking the dog (but she seems perfectly happy sleeping all day!)

Attacking all the unread items in my google reader (you don’t even want to know.)

Writing my e-book (it’s gonna be epic, I promise!)

And things I should not be doing? Posting about scallops during Passover. Which is why I had to hold back on this one, till now.

It doesn’t make much sense, I know. First of all I don’t keep kosher. (If I did, I surely wouldn’t be eating scallops!) But during Passover, there’s an unspoken rule in our home that we’ll lay off the shellfish. And furthermore, I didn’t eat this meal during Passover. Maybe it was about a month ago? I’ve lost track. Someday I will be one of those people who eats-blogs-eats-blogs-eats-blogs.

Someday, like when my blog makes enough money to buy me a Vitamix so I can fully immerse myself in green smoothie culture without having to pretend that I mind the chunky bits of greens mingling with my berries and almond milk. (In case you missed that convo on the book yesterday.)

Anyway, what I was trying to say is that I have morals and they tell me that not-even-eating-but-just-posting-about scallops during Passover feels wrong.

And now? Everything is right again. Right down to using dessert to inspire your dinner, because let’s face it, who can wait?

In the mood for creamy carrot risotto warmly spiced with cinnamon and cardamom, I decided to make quinoa risotto instead. You could make gluten-free risotto with either traditional arborio rice or quinoa, but quinoa is more nutritious, containing higher fiber and protein. And guess what? It’s just as easy, creamy and delicious.

Things you should be doing? Making this.

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Creamy Carrot Cake Quinoa Risotto with Seared Scallops

Yield: 2 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons (20gm) golden raisins
1 cup carrot juice
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 lb raw scallops, patted dry
pinch of salt & pepper


In a large glass measuring cup, heat the carrot juice until hot.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the onion and carrot in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for one more minute, stirring.

Add quinoa, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Stir to combine and cook for another minute. Add raisins and about 1/3 of the carrot juice and cook, stirring over medium-high heat, until the liquid is absorbed. Add remaining carrot juice in two additions, reheating if necessary and stirring until absorbed before adding the next portion. Once all of the carrot juice has been added, repeat with almond milk. The entire process should take about 40 minutes.

In a cast-iron skillet, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper, and add to the hot skillet, cooking for about 3 minutes per side or until a nice brown crust forms.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods from the risotto, and divide among serving plates. Top with the hot scallops and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 439.5
Saturated Fat 6.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 37.4 mg
Sodium 527.1 mg
Potassium 838.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 54.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.2 g
Sugars 15.8 g
Protein 26.5 g