Monday, November 2, 2009

Fakin' the Bacon: Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Bacon and Walnuts

I’d like to welcome November with a hearty seasonal dish. I tried another recipe from the Raley’s magazine. This was another opportunity for me to use a fall-favorite ingredient (butternut squash) and quinoa.

– this was great! When we tasted it, my husband and I found it to be very hearty and rustic. A delectable fall meal. The original recipe calls for bacon, but I used soy bacon (which my husband has coined “Fakin’ ”). This made it healthier and allowed me to enjoy it as well! (The soy bacon keeps the smokey flavor that you'd achieve with real bacon, but cuts out the cholesterol and saturated fat.) I used more squash and onion that the original recipe called for, and also used a clove of garlic instead of garlic salt (all changes noted below).

Quinoa with Butternut Squash, Bacon and Walnuts
(Adapted from Raley’s "Something Extra", Holiday, 2009)
* 2 cups vegetable broth
* 1 cup rinsed and drained quinoa
* 4 strips chopped bacon (or “Fakin’”)
* 1 tbsp. olive oil
* 2 cups diced butternut squash
* 1 medium-size onion, chopped
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* ¼ cup walnuts, toasted
* Top with chopped fresh sage or thyme and chopped

Bring 2 cups vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in 1 cup rinsed and drained quinoa; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Cook 4 strips chopped bacon (or soy bacon) in a large skillet until very crisp. Remove and set aside. (If using real bacon, drain off all fat.) Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and stir in chopped onion, diced butternut squash, and minced garlic. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Stir vegetables and bacon into quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top with chopped fresh sage or thyme, and chopped toasted walnuts.


  1. Okay, so I totally just made this. It's the first time I've cooked with Quinoa and the question I have is this...what is the best way to rinse and drain them? I had them stuck to EVERYTHING!

  2. I'm sorry that it sounds like you had a bit of a mess on your hands! Try using a fine, mesh strainer to rinse and drain the quinoa. Then transfer directly to your cooking pan. Tilt the strainer upside down to pour quinoa into your pan. If some are still sticking to the strainer, try lightly tapping the bottom of the strainer to release the remaining quinoa.

  3. I ordered a mesh strainer just for use with quinoa! Next up...the Quinoa chili you made. It looks DELICIOUS!