Vegetarian Paella

This dish is a vegetarian take on a classic Spanish dish known for the beautiful color and delicate flavor imparted by saffron. Although saffron is pricey, it stays fresh in it's sealed container for quite some time and really adds a unique flavor and color to many dishes.
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 3 stalks celery , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup carrots , chopped or baby
  • 1 red bell pepper , seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 zucchini , chopped
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen green beans
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 1/2-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 generous pinch of saffron (about 1/8 tsp.)
  • 1 can kidney beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1 can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 package vegan sausage (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cup brown rice (I used combination of brown rice and barley)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in large pot or wok over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic and celery for 5 minutes.
    Add remaining veggies, 2 1/2 cups of broth, tomatoes, spices, beans, veggie sausage and rice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until majority of liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked, 25-35 minutes. Add additional broth if needed. If liquid is not evaporating well, remove lid for last 5-10 minutes of cooking.
    Stir in parsley and lemon juice prior to serving.
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