Quick Quinoa Paella
Paella is a Spanish pilaf traditionally made with white rice and seafood. We’ll do away with the seafood here, of course, and since we’re dispensing with tradition, let’s do away with white rice as well. Using nutritious and quick-cooking quinoa instead, you can have a colorful meal in about thirty minutes. This goes well with Spinach, Orange, and Red Cabbage Salad. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
- 1 cup sliced baby bella (cremini) mushrooms (optional)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric (see Note)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
- 2 teaspoons fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- One 14- to 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- 2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
- 2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
- 2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat the oil, broth, or water in a large, deep skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms, if desired, and sauté over medium-low heat until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the broth, turmeric, and quinoa. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
Stir in the thyme, artichoke hearts, peas, tomatoes, scallions, and half 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.
Season with salt and pepper, then transfer the mixture to a large shallow serving container, or serve straight from the pan. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top and serve at once.
Note: As another departure from tradition, I’ve suggested turmeric rather than the customary saffron. Saffron is harder to obtain and very expensive, but you’re welcome to try it if you have access to it. Use 1 to 11/2 teaspoons saffron threads dissolved in a small amount of hot water.