Veggie Paella

I shared with you all yesterday on Instagram that I’m a month into eating (almost) entirely plant-based except for eggs and collagen peptides. Without going into lengthy detail as to why I made this decision since everyone is entitled to their reasons for their lifestyle choices (and I’m a strong advocate that no one should be judged based upon those lifestyle choices) I’ll simply let you in on how great I feel, both inside and out. Not only do I feel like I’ve made the right decision for my body, mind, and overall well-being right now but I also feel as though my passion for cooking has only stepped up its game. Who knew that was even possible!

Even though much of what I’ve been cooking includes all of the same foods I was already eating on a daily basis, I’ve been finding that I’m trying them in new combinations, using new cooking methods, and with a shiny new sense of creativity. A fresh set of eyes (and tastebuds) so to speak.

This veggie paella is one of those very dishes that I created using clean, plant-based ingredients. I love that by using some basic veggies, beans, a grain (in this case farro), and some savory spices you can create such a hearty, nutritious meal the whole family can enjoy- even if you’re not vegan/vegetarian! And as I always note, as with all of my recipes, this can be customized with whatever YOUR body needs/craves!

Easy, healthy, substitutions:

  • Need a lean protein? Add in grilled chicken
  • Want the traditional? Serve with ingredients like sausage and/or shellfish
  • Fresh out of chickpeas? Swap for cannelloni or black beans
  • Need a gluten-free version? Sub the farro for brown rice

 


Veggie Paella

Author: The Hungry Happy Mama

Vegan/Nut-free/Soy-free

Yields: about 6 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 c farro
  • 2 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped small
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped small
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced
  • 4 bella mushrooms, chopped small
  • 2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 c low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • sea salt + pepper to taste

Toppings

  • 1 15oz can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c green pitted olives, halved
  • fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large pot combine the farro and water, cover, and bring to a boil on high. Once boiling crack the lid and reduce the heat too low. Let cook until the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Once done, fluff with a fork and remove the pan from the heat.
  2. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium-low coated with the oil. Add the onion and sauté until they begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, zucchini, celery, and cover. Sauté for about 5 mote minutes then mix in the mushrooms, tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, chickpeas, and spices. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer until the veggies are fork tender, about 10 minutes (the low heat/simmer will bring out all of flavors and make the veggies perfectly tender).
  4. Stir in the cooked farro once the veggies are done and shut off the heat.
  5. (This step is optional but definitely enhances the flavor of the artichokes) Heat a grill pan over medium. Pat the artichoke hearts as dry as you can then place them cut side down onto the hot grill pan. Let sear until they begin to char slightly, remove from the pan once done. You can also just add them as is in step 6.
  6. Lastly, top the paella with the artichokes, olives, and fresh chopped parsley just before serving. This dish presents beautifully served right out of the skillet just keep in mind it will remain pretty warm if using cast iron like I do!

Storing: this recipe makes amazing leftovers- perfect for lunches! It can be enjoyed cold or reheated. It was last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.


 

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