Creamy quinoa jalapeño poppers topped with smoky chipotle coconut bacon. So dreamy! And the perfect appetizer for game day.
What if I told you that these Creamy Quinoa Jalapeño Poppers were not only SUPER delicious, but also healthy, gluten-free, protein-filled and easy-to-make? Basically, this recipe is a dream come true! I was inspired by an assignment that I currently have, where I have to come up with 10 great quinoa recipes, but lucky for you guys the publisher wasn’t super into this idea. Now, we win because I get to post it on the internet for everyone to enjoy. 😉
Maybe you’re wondering how something so magnificent-looking is also nutritionally well-rounded? The creamy filling is made of a mixture of cooked quinoa and silken tofu, plus a little coconut oil and some seasonings. These ingredients mean that there is a fair amount of protein (instead of just fatty cream cheese), and you have all of your essential amino acids from the quinoa. At this point, the coconut bacon on top is a flavorful bonus!
Speaking of coconut bacon, I used Phoney Baloney’s Chipotle BBQ flavor, but you can definitely make your own like I have in the past for these Mexican Twice Baked Potatoes! It gives the right amount of savory, smoky, crunchiness to the creamy popper. EDIT: OR, if you have my second book Vegan Yack Attack On the Go! there is a great coconut bacon recipe in there. I’m serving these at a potluck tomorrow and so far have had good feedback from the interns (my omnivore folks), but I can’t wait to hear what a bunch of vegan bloggers have to say about them!
In other popper-unrelated news: the book contract has been SIGNED! Wheeeee! The due date for my manuscript is September 1st with photos due sometime in September. I feel like this year is going to be gone and over before I know it, but what a good problem to have in this case. From what I was told, the book will come out sometime in 2016! Before then, I will put out a calling for recipe testers, but I don’t need all y’all awesome people just yet. 😀
Substitutions & Tips
- Jalapeños – as mentioned in the ingredients, you’re looking to have roughly 4-inch-long jalapeños if you want the filling to distribute well. If you’re jalapeños are smaller, make sure to get extra!
- Silken tofu – this is the packaged, shelf-stable tofu that you can find in most stores, usually in the “Asian” section if it is not an Asian market. If you’re unable to find it, soft tofu will work, just make sure to drain it well.
- Coconut vinegar – this vinegar brings a wonderful tang to anything, without being quite as tart as apple cider vinegar. BUT, if you don’t have any on hand, you can use 2 teaspoons of ACV instead.
- Nutritional yeast – is inactive yeast that has a savory, almost nutty flavor, and is used in a lot of vegan cheese-type recipes. I like to buy it in bulk because I use it all of the time!
- Quinoa – I love the flavor and texture this brings to the stuffed peppers, so that it’s not like biting into a ton of cream cheese; the extra protein doesn’t hurt either. 😉
- Cornmeal – this is added for a lil’ flavor of the breading of traditional jalapeño poppers, and is just sprinkled on top, so you don’t have to worry about dunking or dipping anything and making a total mess.
- Refined coconut oil – this is to add a teeny bit of fat to the filling for better texture, and the refined kind means no coconut flavor is imparted on it. You are welcome to oil regular coconut oil if that’s what you have on hand.
- 1/3 cup (633 g) white quinoa, rinsed
- 3/4 cup (177 ml) vegetable broth
- 12.3-ounce (349 g) package firm Silken tofu
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon (12 g) refined coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) coconut vinegar*
- 1 tablespoon (5 g) nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1- 1 1/4 teaspoons of sea salt, or to taste
- Eight 4-inch long green jalapeños, cut in half lengthwise with seeds/septums scooped out
- 2 teaspoons cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup (25 g) coconut bacon
- Place the quinoa and vegetable broth in a small pan over medium-low heat and covered with a lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until all liquid is soaked up and the quinoa is soft. Fluff with a wooden spoon or fork.
- While the quinoa is cooking, place the rest of the filling ingredients into a food processor and puree until completely smooth. If it is really thick and not blending well, add 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) water to the mixture. Once the quinoa is cooked, stir it into the tofu mixture until combined.
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Fill each pepper half with 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of the creamy filling and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all are filled and lined up on the sheet. Mix the cornmeal and nutritional yeast together in small dish and sprinkle it over the poppers. (Optional: spritz poppers with a light coat of cooking oil spray)
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes (depending on the size of the jalapeños. After 15 minutes have passed, gently press the coconut bacon pieces into the top of each popper. Then bake for an additional 2-3 minutes, but make sure not to burn the coconut bacon pieces.
- Once out of the oven, let the poppers cool for 2 minutes and serve warm.
- If you don't have coconut vinegar on hand, use 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar instead
- While I LOVE coconut bacon, you can also use tempeh bacon (like store bought) for a bit of a short cut, just make sure to crisp it up in a pan before topping the poppers with it.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
Have a great weekend, everyone!