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Paella Primavera

Before becoming a Vegan, I loved cooking and eating Spanish Paella. Even though it involves a lot of chopping, the idea of making the whole meal in one pan always appealed to me. I loved that you could use whatever fresh vegetables were available and you could mix seafood, chicken, and sausage in your Paella. It was so colorful and flavorful.

Traveling abroad can sometimes be difficult when you are a Vegan. However, while traveling in Spain a couple of years ago, I was delighted to find that most restaurants offered a Paella Primavera. When I returned home, I searched for a vegan Paella recipe. I found this recipe in the Vegetarian Times, which is no longer in business. I have made this recipe several times for company and received good reviews. I do have a paella pan, but you do not need one, a large skillet will work. I sometimes add 1 cup of asparagus (or you can add any vegetables of your choice) cut into 1inch pieces. Sometimes I add a vegan sausage cut into 1inch pieces (I prefer Field Roast Smoked Apple and Sage Vegetarian Sausage. King Soopers, Natural Grocers and Whole Foods carry this brand). To help the cooking time of the rice in the Paella, heat the vegetable broth prior to adding it to the mix.

Ingredients:
• 2 ½ tsp. olive oil (to make it fat free, use vegetable broth for sautéing the vegetables)
• 3 cups broccoli florets
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped (1Cup)
• 6 green onions, thinly sliced (1Cup)
• 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
• 3 cloves garlic, minced (1Tbs.)
• 1 tsp. crumbled saffron threads
• 1 cup short-grain white rice, such as Arborio Rice
• 1 cup fresh or frozen baby peas
• 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
• 12 pitted green olives, halved
• 12 pitted black olives, halved
• 1 lemon, cut into wedges
• ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oil or vegetable broth in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli, bell pepper, and green onions; cook 5 minutes. Stir in broth, garlic, and saffron; bring to a boil. Sprinkle rice over ingredients; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
2. Sprinkle peas, tomatoes and olives over rice. I add the Vegan Sausage at this time as it is already cooked and just needs to be heated. Cover and cook paella 8 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and let rest, covered, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. To serve, spoon paella into 6 bowls, and garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.

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