Using nutritious and quick-cooking quinoa as a substitute for rice to make a vegan paella, you can have a colorful one-dish meal in a shade over 30 minutes. Colorful, flavorful, and festive, this goes well with Spinach, Orange, and Red Cabbage Salad.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
- 2 cups vegetable broth, or 2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads, dissolved in
a small amount of hot water (see Note)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 2 cups artichoke hearts (not marinated; either from the supermarket
olive bar, or one 14-ounce can, drained)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
- 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
- 2 to 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and bell peppers and sauté over medium-low heat until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the broth, saffron, and quinoa. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
Stir in the artichoke hearts, peas, tomatoes, scallions, and half of the parsley. Check if the quinoa is completely done; if not, add 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring frequently, just until everything is well heated through, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the quinoa mixture to a large shallow serving container. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top and serve at once.
Note: Can’t find or don’t want to spend the money for saffron? Turmeric is a fine substitute. Use 1 teaspoon.
Variation: Add a cup of sliced brown mushrooms when you add the peppers.