Monday, September 16, 2013

"What Am I Supposed to Do With All This Paella"- MoFo Post Twelve

Post #12 for Vegan MoFo 2013.

We have approached the third week into September and Vegan MoFo! This month has flown by! I have really enjoyed the new blogs that I have come across this year as well as the ones I have been following for years. It is impressive the passion and love of vegan cooking that is shared across the globe! 

Paella before the peas have been added
The post for today will take us to Spain! When I was 17, my Spanish class took a trip to Spain to practice our Spanish and to experience a different culture. I was so fortunate to be able to go with them. It was an amazing trip! Back then I was a vegetarian, not vegan, and so was one of the male Spanish teachers. Therefore, I was able to follow him around and order what he ordered! It really could not have worked out any better. While that was many years ago, I remember not having any trouble finding vegetarian options. One meal that stuck out to me the most is in Madrid. I do not remember the name of the restaurant, but I recall sitting on a terrace overlooking beautiful architecture that the city had to offer. Senor Parks ordered vegetarian paella and I decided to do the same. I had heard of paella before, but knew that it was loaded with seafood. I was pleasantly surprised when ours came out with an array of vegetables. I loved the dish! 

To this day, that is one of the few meals that stuck with me from the trip. The other one was at a place where my classmates were afraid to speak to the waiter in Spanish, so I ordered for the table. I believe that we were in the city of Barcelona that day. I believe that the dish was called tacos con queso. We thought we were getting cheese tacos. When the dish arrived, it was a plate of cheese with olives in the middle. It was not what we expected, but it was fun to order in Spanish! 

Over the years, I have made paella thinking about that special evening in Madrid. I am not sure how closely this dish mirrors what I had that night, but I enjoy the flavor and aroma that this dish brings! I have found that Trader Joe's sells reasonably priced saffron. I purchased a small bottle and it has lasted me quite a while. I do not have a paella pan, but used a wok for size. This recipe makes quite a bit of paella. Which reminds me of a line from Seinfeld when George's Mom, Estelle, proclaims "What am I supposed to do with all this Paella?". I like to save the remaining paella for leftovers!

Vegetarian Paella
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 c vegetable broth, low or no sodium homemade or store bought
  • 2 c brown rice
  • 1/8 tsp saffron
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 15 oz can or artichoke hearts (not the kind in oil)
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 c frozen peas
Broth with saffron
Heat a wok with the olive oil over medium heat. When the pan is hot, saute onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute more. Then add the broth, saffron, and thyme to the walk. Allow it to boil, add the rice and cook for 35 minutes, covered. Add bell pepper, artichoke hearts, parsley, pepper, and chickpeas. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes until all of the water is absorbed. 

Open the lid and add the frozen peas. Turn off the heat and allow the pan to sit, closed for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and serve warm.


Dawn said...

I've never had paella. But with veggies, rice, chickpeas, and saffron, I don't know how it could be bad. BTW, am I missing the rice in the ingredients list? I don't see how much to use. It is still early on Monday morning though.

VeggieAmanda said...

Dawn! You are right! I added the measurement in! :-)

Unknown said...

This looks and sounds awesome! I wish Vegan MoFo was all year round! :)

Lindsay said...

Yummmmmm. I've never had paella because it's never vegetarian -- can't wait to try this!!

Kylie - FotV said...

I adore saffron and never thought to attempt my own paella, but I think I could pull this off.

How cool you got to go to Spain for school!