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Vegetable Saffron Paella

Paella is a rice dish traditionally made with seafood. The flavors are full. The colors are bold. And the saffron smell is outrageous.

I love to set my table family style. Large platters piled high with fresh ingredients always makes me proud. My Paella recipe is a spinoff of the one found in the Candle 79 cookbook. The original is amazing, but over time I have made it my own and also simplified some instructions. This Vegan Paella can be used as a side or a main- but either way it is filling and beautiful.

Vegetable Saffron Paella

Rice Ingredients:

½ teaspoon saffron threads

2 tablespoons hot water

2 cups short grain brown rice

3 cups + ¼ cup water

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ cup diced tomato from a can, with the liquid

Vegetable Ingredients:

1 ½ cups frozen (organic if possible) corn

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 green pepper, small dice

1 red pepper, small dice

1 box baby Bella mushrooms, wiped down and sliced

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees convection).

Making the rice:

Take your saffron threads and place in a small glass cup or bowl. Crush the threads slightly with your fingers to create some powder. Add your hot water and stir with a spoon. Let the saffron continue to steep for a minute.

Over a medium-high flame, place a medium sized pot. Add your rice, 3 cups of water, turmeric, paprika, salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil and saffron mixture to the pot. Once the mixture boils, stir the pot and lower your flame so that the rice is just simmering. Let the rice cook for 10 minutes and stir the rice once or twice during the process. After the ten minutes, add your tomatoes in juice and the extra ¼ cup of water. Stir again, and let cook for an additional 25 -30 minutes (stirring every so often) so that the water and juices are absorbed and the rice looks done.

Making your vegetables:

Take your corn and place in a glass baking dish. Mix with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and ½ tsp salt. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes- or until the edges start to brown nicely. Add corn to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In the meantime take a large sauté pan and add 1 tablespoon of your olive oil, the cauliflower florets, 1 clove garlic, ½ teaspoon each of the paprika, turmeric and salt. Cook on medium high flame for 3-4 minutes and then transfer the mixture to a sheet pan. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, depending how well done you prefer. Add the cauliflower to the mixing bowl with the corn.

In the same sauté pan add the green and red peppers, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, ½ teaspoon each of the paprika, turmeric and salt. Cook on a medium-high flame for 5 minutes. Add the cooked peppers to your large mixing bowl of vegetables.

In the same sauté pan add your sliced mushrooms with your last tablespoon of olive oil, 2 clove garlic, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook on high heat for 4 minutes – or just until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add to the mixing bowl.

Once the rice is finished, mix it into the vegetable mixture and toss well. You can serve right away or put it in the fridge for the follwing day. You can serve it warm or at room temperature. If you are rewarming, do so covered and do not make it too hot or you will cook the rice and make it too gummy. It's best just slightly warmed. Enjoy!

#cookedvegetables #glutenfree #grains

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