Tag Archives: paella

Vegan Paella, for real this time

I made paella once before and a Latina colleague informed me that unless it contains meat, paella is merely veggie rice. I don’t think she’d be able to argue with this vegan paella, though.

We used Vigo yellow rice instead of making our own. Brent and I have become big fans of this vegan rice mix because it’s tasty, easy and costs less than $2. If you get to try it, it gets a little toasty on the bottom of the pan and don’t worry because this improves the flavor significantly.
IMG_2441I started by sauteeing some onion with a little olive oil and some flake red pepper. While that was cooking, Brent was cutting some Brussel’s sprouts and thaw the Ocean’s Best vegan shrimp.We also threw in some black olives that I cut in half.

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These all went into the pan until everything was steamy and hot and the onion was soft and the sprouts had begun to soften. I turned off the heat and added the red pepper. I put a lid over it and allowed it to steam until the pepper was just barely hot. I find bell peppers get bitter when cooked so I avoid cooking them completely unless the skin has been removed.
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We scooped some rice onto our plates and arranged the veggies to make the paella look delicious and that didn’t take much effort. It was really good and the shrimp definitely added what was missing from my last paella effort. Next time I might add daikon as an answer to sea scallops. Savory olives (instead of mussels), sweet bell pepper, herbal Brussel’s sprouts all brought out the light flavors in the saffron rice and sweet shrimp. YUM!

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Easy Veggie Paella

To an omnivore, this is vegetable rice. To a vegan, this is paella. I’m using olives in this recipe as my interpretation of mussels: they’re black (who really cares about mussels… I love the color contrast) and have to be pitted before you can eat them just like you have to shell a mussel… kind of. The Brussels sprouts are just there for fun and tofu makes a nice addition if you’re feeling like it. I would marinade it in lemon juice and cumin with a touch of syrup but we decided on skipping the tofu tonight. We started with the following.
6-10 Brussels sprouts (quartered)
1 cup of dry white wine
3 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 cup black olives
1/4 white onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 lbs of peas
Sweet paprika
1 1/2 cups of long grain
1/4 teaspoon of saffron
1 1/2 liters of vegetable stock (from bouillon cubes is fine)
2 tablespoons of minced parsley
I would start by mixing the saffron into the broth and bring it to a boil. In our kitchen, cooking rice and pasta is Brent’s job. He’s much more patient than I am and makes lovely rice and pasta. I stir it too much and end up with a mooshy sticky mess. Add the rice and stir once. Lower the heat and let it boil without stirring. While this was happening, there’s plenty of time for chopping up the veggies and cooking them. Now that the rice is cooking, on to the veggies!
Warm the wine and olive oil with the parsley, paprika, onion and garlic at low heat. Let them simmer until the onion starts to become translucent and then add the peas, olives and bell pepper. When that’s simmered for about 5-8 minutes and the bell peppers are starting to get soft, add the sprouts and toss lightly until they’re just past the bright green stage.
When the top of the rice starts to dry, plop the veggies onto the rice (except for a handful of Brussels sprouts if you want something really pretty). Let them cook for other 10 minutes. Stir the veggies under the rice, using a spatula. Arrange the sprouts on top.
Note on ingredients: the “peas” we added weren’t peas at all. I bought them at my farmer’s market and asked when I paid for them what they were. The guy told me “peas” but they are definitely broad beans. They’re a fine substitute for peas but next time I’ll use the real thing.
EAT IT! This is a fast delicious healthy meal that is sure to please. It’s also got a stunning mix of colors that’s sure to impress whether you fuss over it and arrange the veggies or not.
This is Christie and Brent, signing off.
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