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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vegetable Paella Recipe

Hello Everyone.  I am making my recipe debut to prepare for writing my own vegan cookbook.  Well, I'll jump right into it.  This make a beautiful vegan paella.

I have been to Spain and I have to say that the food is not often very vegan friendly.  Luckily, I was saved a few times when I was able to find vegetable paella.  Paella is versatile and pretty much any vegetable you have can be substituted in for the ones listed.  Peas and tomatoes tend to be fairly standard but almost anything will work.  If you want to make this with the traditional Valencia rice, more power to you.  I have found that cheap medium grain rice works great and doesn’t break the bank (especially after buying saffron).  You are also more likely to have it sitting around your house.  Vegan sausages are by no means required for making paella but they do add a little something extra.

Vegetable Paella
Takes about 50 minutes
Serves 4


1 carrot, peeled and diced
5 mini sweet peppers or 1 large bell pepper, diced
5 – 6 oz (approximately) fresh or frozen green peas
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth (boullion cubes or soup base is fine)
2 vegan sausages, diced (optional)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 ¼ cup medium grain white rice
1 scant tsp paprika
1 pinch saffron
¼ tsp annatto powder (optional)
1 tomato, sliced into wedges
½ tsp salt
1 lemon, sliced into wedges for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Heat olive oil in a paella pan or a 10-inch/12-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Add carrot and green peas.  Saute for about 3 minutes.  Add the peppers and garlic and continue to sauté for about 3 minutes or so.
3. Add in the rice and dry roast for the vegetables and oil for about 2 minutes.  Add in vegetable broth, paprika, saffron, annatto powder (if using), and salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
4. Meanwhile, if you are using the vegan sausage, pan fry it in a different small skillet with a small amount of oil until it is lightly browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Arrange the tomatoes in a wheel around the top of the paella and intersperse with vegan sausage (if using).  Cover the skillet with tin foil and place in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes or until all the water is used up.
6. Remove from the oven.  Allow to cool briefly before serving.  Serve with slices of lemon.  Squeeze lemon over the rice before eating.

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