Updated: May 4, 2018
Aaaand we're back with the savory recipe experimentation!
I stopped eating meat when I was about 15 years old. I was technically "pegan", which is mostly what I am now but with less fish & eggs. For those of you that are knew to this word, "pegan" is a combination of the paleo and vegan diet. Pegans eat unlimited fruits and vegetables; very minimal (only nature made) sugar; small amounts of gluten-free grains, legumes, nuts and seeds; and occasionally seafood and eggs.
During this time in my life, I LOVED paella. You know, the traditional paella, with all the seafood and things. My mom and I would walk down to the local farmers market every Sunday and get sweet crepes & seafood paella, load up on produce for the week and then walk home more satisfied than ever.
Fast forward 7 years, and I'm sitting in my kitchen with my next Sun Basket delivery. This week calls for... vegetarian paella! It has been so long since I had paella that the word lost significance. I was like, "Vegetarian paella? Ok what do I do." Once I started cooking, I had all these memories rush to the forefront of my brain. I LOVE PAELLA! The Sun Basket recipe was a bit low on the veggies & spices for me, so below is my rendition of a good vegetarian paella.
Roasted Red Pepper & Veggie Paella (serves 2)
1 whole peeled fresh garlic
1 cup button or mixed mushrooms
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup paella rice or Bomba rice
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1 cup organic spinach
8 oz vegetable broth
12 oz Hodo Soy firm tofu
1 handful of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup green peas
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chile flakes
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
3 tbsp avocado oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Trim the root ends from the leek. Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces. Place the pieces in a medium bowl and soak with cold water. Set aside.
2. Press or finely chop the 1 whole garlic or enough to measure 2 teaspoons. Set aside.
3. Cut the mushrooms in half lengthwise, or if you prefer smaller pieces of mushrooms, cut in quarters. Set aside.
4. Scoop the leek from the top of the bowl (avoiding the dirt settled at the bottom) and pat dry. Set aside with garlic.
5. Add 2-3 tablespoons of avocado oil to a large frying pan. Let the oil heat for 1 min but do not let it smoke. Add the leak and garlic to the pan. Season with salt & pepper and stir occasionally until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
6. Cut the tomatoes in half. Add the tomatoes & mushrooms to the pan. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms start to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
7. Drain the roasted red peppers and scrape off any seeds. Coarsely chop any large pieces if needed.
8. Add the chopped roasted red peppers, turmeric, paprika and rice to the pan and cook until slightly translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Avoid stirring.
9. Add the vegetable broth + 1 cup water + 1/2 cup white wine (sub water if needed) to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook without stirring. Remove the lid after 8 minutes, and let cook with until the liquid is absorbed for about 10 more minutes.
10. When the paella is almost done, cut the tofu in to cubes or desired sizes.
11. Add the tofu & peas to the paella until warm.
12. Remove from the heat and season with salt, fresh pepper & chile flakes.
13. Garnish with cilantro & serve!
I've always been an odd ball and loved the texture of baby food, so naturally I wanted my paella to be a bit more mushy and saucy. If you just can not relate at any level, then use a bit less water or just leave the pan on low heat for about 5 minutes longer with the lid off to let more of the liquid evaporate.
Can't wait for you all to try this!