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Miss me? I thought so, my last recipe Bacon Lasagna was just awesome but my recipe on making chocolate chip bacon cookies seems to be a huge success. I was doing a bit of traveling and a lot of recipe experiments. The good news is I am back and super excited to show you some awesome bacon recipes. I am pretty confident I have created the ultimate line up of bacon recipes the world has ever seen.
I’ve recently been on a huge quinoa kick – a total “super-food”. It is a high protein, low fat grain that is a great source of complex carbohydrates and it contains all the essential amino acids. You can easily substitute it in with any recipe involving rice or pasta, and can even use it to make things like breads and muffins! Quinoa is so great that NASA is considering it as a crop in a future self-dependant life support system in a closed ecological environment on space station for long-duration manned spaceflights. WOAH!
I know, you get it: quinoa rock. How are we gonna make it better? Put it with bacon, obviously.
I decided to make a curry-type stuffing for the peppers because I felt the kick from the spice would contrast and balance the sweetness of the peppers quite well, where the bacon would add the saltiness to bring everything together. This was the first time I’d ever ‘curried’ anything before. I had to do quite a bit of reading to get the proportions just right. I’m quite pleased with the end result!
10 strips Maple Leaf Bacon
2 cups Quinoa
8 Mixed Red, Yellow and Orange Peppers
1 Small-Medium Onion
3 tbsp Curry Powder
1 tbsp Tumeric
1 tsp Corriander
1 ½ tbsp Fresh Grated Ginger Root
¼ tsp Cinnamon
2 Dried Chilis, diced
2 tsp Soya Sauce
1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
2. Before we do anything with the quinoa, we must rinse it. There is a natural waxy coating on the grain that protects it, but tastes really quite bitter. Put your quinoa in a strainer and run it under some cold water. You’ll notice that it will bubble up like soap. Once the bubbles stop forming, you’ve sufficiently rinsed your quinoa!
3. We are going to cook the quinoa just like we would cook rice. Just follow the instructions on the back of the package for best results, but add 2 tbsp of curry powder to your cooking liquid. This will infuse into the grain nicely.
4. Let’s get the rest of our prep out of the way: mince your bacon and dice your onions, carrots and dried chilis.
5. In a large pan or wok, fry the minced bacon until it’s crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. You should be able to do this with your eyes closed by now!
6. In remaining fat, fry onion until dark and caramelized. This will give the final product great depth. Add ginger root and diced carrots and continue to fry until the carrots are soft.
7. Add remaining curry powder, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon and chilis. I love the flavour of cinnamon in this recipe, but you must careful how much you add. It’s amazing how strongly just a quarter teaspoon will cut through everything.
8. By this point, your quinoa should be ready. Remove it from its pot into the wok you’ve been working with. Add the soya sauce and stir everything thoroughly to combine. Continue to cook it for about ten minutes to allow all the spices to penetrate the quinoa.
9. Once your curried quinoa is complete, it is time to focus on the peppers. Cut the tops off each one and scoop out all the seeds and veins on the inside of the pepper. Don’t throw away the tops, they will prevent the quinoa from drying up when we stuff the peppers later.
10. Rub the outside of the peppers with a little bit of olive oil and place them upside down on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until they have gone soft.
11. Take out the peppers, and turn the oven down to 375°F. Stuff your peppers with the quinoa mixture, top with the bacon bits and finally the tops of the pepper. Place these back into the oven to cook for an additional 20-25 minutes.
Once the peppers come out of the oven, I like to finish them with a whole bunch of fresh cilantro. Cilantro is one of those herbs that you either love or hate – obviously, I love it. So, there you have it. Vegan Curried Quinoa Stuffed Peppers… with Bacon.