Thursday, April 2, 2015

Veggie Paella

Paella is a spicy Spanish dish, typically loaded with seafood, some vegetables, and rice. Increase the vegetables and spices, omit or reduce the amount of seafood, and you've got a tasty dish just right for meatless Mondays. If you simply can't go without seafood in your paella, I've added some suggestions for a modest amount of chicken, sausage, and shrimp.

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 mushrooms, quartered
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 cup edamame
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, then sliced
1 small yellow squash, quartered lengthwise, then sliced
1 cup cooked red quinoa, brown rice, or a mixture of both
1 Tbs. minced fresh flat leaf, Italian, parsley
1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken breast (optional)
1/2 cup sliced cooked chicken sausage (optional)
1/2 cup medium cooked shrimp (optional)
1 Tbs. minced fresh basil
1 pinch saffron
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 cup white wine or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp. sea salt (if needed)

Directions: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms, pepper, and edamame and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and cook for an additional minute or two, just until the zucchini begins to turn bright green. Add the chicken, sausage, and shrimp, if using, stirring to combine. Add the quinoa or rice, along with the herbs and the wine. Cook until the wine is absorbed and the rice and chicken pieces and shrimp are heated through, just a few more minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning by adding sea salt, if needed.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: If your family if familiar with paella, you may want to include small amounts of chicken and seafood. It's still a very healthy recipe, with all the vegetables. If you've never experienced paella, start with the vegetarian version and see what you think! 

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