I know. I know…. I’m going to get a lot of hate mail for this one. Yes, it’s true – I took the wonderfully healthy, light, protein-packed, super food wonder grain (technically it’s a seed, but we eat it like a grain) we all know and love – Quinoa – and paired it with arguably one of the most unhealthy food groups ever – bacon! (Yes, I believe bacon is its own food group). It turns classic quinoa into one of the best (and easiest) quinoa recipes ever!
Hear me out on this. You’ll be glad you did. We are a family of bacon lovers. (In fact, I even wrote a post on how to make perfect bacon every single time!) I put bacon in pretty much any dish that can handle it. I use it diced, chopped, and in whole strips. I bake it. I sauté it. I cook my veggies in bacon grease… We love bacon.
But I also make it a point to put healthy, well-balanced meals on the family dinner table. My meals always have a protein (like this baked chicken), a starch (potatoes are always a hit), and a veggie (Brussels sprouts are the all time family favorite). And the best case scenario is when I can add bacon to any of the above. That way we get healthy stuff and our favorite food group all in one.
I’ve found, however, that’s not always possible. Take quinoa, for example. The light, fluffy, nutty grain (seed) has become one of my favorite go-tos. But the quinoa’s micro-texture does not lend itself to being mixed with chunky bacon. What’s a girl to do? Then, as if by divine intervention, I was contacted by the nice folks at The Bacon Jams who offered to send me a jar of the Original Bacon Jams Spread. Now, I’ll admit… I was a bit skeptical at first. I received an 8 ounce jar of bacon. As you already know, I’ve made and served bacon every way I thought possible. Well, I never knew there was such a thing as jarred bacon! And this is real bacon. Actual full-on bacon. Bacon in a jar. Bacon that you can spread. It smells like bacon, and it tastes like bacon. It just doesn’t exactly look like bacon.
Then it dawned on me… that silky spreadable bacon-in-a-jar may just be the perfect way to add smoky, flavorful bacon to my quinoa! Genius! Not only was it one of the easiest quinoa recipes I’ve ever made, it actually tasted great! It’s a match made in heaven. Healthy, nutty, light, protein-filled quinoa laced with the aroma, smokiness, and flavor of bacon. It’s a wonderful addition to my ever-growing list of quinoa recipes. And I see nothing wrong with taking earthy, hearty, healthy quinoa and kicking it up a notch. Send the hate mail if you wish. I’ll be reading it with a smile of my face as I eat bite after bite of heavenly bacon quinoa.