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Hey there, lovely people! Today, I’m going to share with you one of my absolute favorite recipes: a mouthwatering vegan paella! This Spanish classic has been given a vegan twist, and trust me; it’s simply divine. So gather up your ingredients, and let’s get cooking!
5 Reasons this Vegan Paella is a Must TRY!
- Nutrient-rich goodness: This vegan paella is packed with a variety of colorful and wholesome vegetables, legumes, and spices, providing you with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. So not only is it delicious, but it’s also a meal that your body will thank you for!
- Fabulous flavor fusion: The combination of saffron, smoked paprika, and cumin creates an exquisite symphony of flavors that will dance on your taste buds. This vegan paella offers a harmonious blend of tastes, ensuring that every bite is absolutely delightful!
- Cruelty-free indulgence: By using plant-based ingredients, this vegan paella is a compassionate choice that respects our animal friends. You can relish this scrumptious meal knowing that you’re making a positive impact on the environment and the welfare of animals.
- A dish that dazzles: The vibrant hues of the bell peppers, red beans, green peas, and olives make this vegan paella a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. It’s a stunning centerpiece for any dinner party and will impress your guests with its visual appeal.
- Delightfully versatile: This vegan paella is incredibly adaptable, allowing you to swap in your favorite veggies or legumes based on what’s in season or what you have on hand. You can experiment with different combinations, making it a recipe that will never grow old and always keep you excited for mealtime!
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Vegan Paella
- Use the right rice: Arborio rice is ideal for paella, as it absorbs liquid well and achieves a creamy texture. If you can’t find Arborio, you can use another short-grain rice, but avoid long-grain rice varieties, as they won’t produce the desired consistency.
- Saffron substitute: Saffron can be pricey, and if it’s not within your budget, you can use a pinch of turmeric instead. While it won’t have the exact same flavor, turmeric will still lend a beautiful golden hue to your paella.
- Cooking equipment: A traditional paella pan is wide and shallow, which allows for even heat distribution and helps the rice cook evenly. If you don’t have a paella pan, you can use a large, shallow skillet or a wide, heavy-bottomed pot. Just make sure the heat is well-distributed to avoid uneven cooking or sticking.
- Socarrat magic: The socarrat is the crispy layer of rice at the bottom of the pan, which is highly prized in a traditional paella. After the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, increase the heat to medium-high for a few minutes, listening for a slight crackling sound. This indicates the formation of socarrat. Be careful not to overcook or burn the rice during this step.
- Add extra protein: If you’d like to incorporate additional plant-based protein sources into your vegan paella, consider adding cubed tofu, tempeh, or even your favorite vegan sausage. Be sure to cook these ingredients separately before adding them to the paella to ensure they’re cooked perfectly.
- Let it rest: Allowing your paella to rest for a few minutes after cooking not only helps absorb any remaining liquid and lets the flavors meld together even more. Just be patient, and your taste buds will be rewarded!
With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’re well on your way to creating a truly sensational vegan paella that will have everyone asking for seconds!
What to Serve with Vegan Paella: Delicious Companions
To make your meal even more delightful, consider pairing your vegan paella with these scrumptious vegan dishes:
- Olive-Tapenade-humus: Flavorful olive tapenade hummus, a perfect appetizer or side dish that complements the paella’s rich flavors.
- Grilled vegetable skewers: Skewers loaded with marinated zucchini, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and red onion, then grilled to perfection, adding a smoky, colorful touch to your meal.
- Airfryer baby potatoes: Crispy, golden-brown potatoes tossed in smoked paprika, garlic, and fresh herbs add a delightful texture and flavor contrast to your paella feast.
- Orange and fennel salad: A light, refreshing salad made with thinly sliced fennel, juicy orange segments, and a citrusy dressing is an ideal palate cleanser alongside the hearty paella.
- Gazpacho: This classic Spanish chilled soup made from ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers is a delicious, cooling accompaniment to the warm, flavorful paella.
- Pan con tomate: Simple yet satisfying, toasted bread rubbed with fresh garlic and ripe tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt provides a delightful contrast in textures.
- Spanish-style marinated olives: A selection of mixed olives marinated in olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, and fresh herbs adds a zesty, salty element that complements the vegan paella beautifully.
By pairing your vegan paella with any of these delectable vegan side dishes, you’ll create a memorable, well-rounded meal that is sure to impress your guests and leave them raving about your culinary skills.
Vegan Paella Recipe
Serving Size: 6
Calories Per Serving: 300-400 Calories
To whip up this delectable vegan paella, you’ll need:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned is fine)
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives, halved
- 1 can red beans
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Begin by finely dicing the onion, mincing the garlic, chopping the carrot into small pieces, slicing the red bell pepper into thin strips, and cutting the green beans into 1-inch (2.50 cm) segments.
- Next, Place a paella pan over medium-high heat and pour in 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- After 2 minutes, add all the prepared vegetables (except for the garlic) into the pan. Continuously stir the vegetables with olive oil. Once the onion becomes translucent after about 3 minutes, incorporate the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then add 1 tbsp of cumin.
- Next, add 1 can of chickpeas, stir in 1 tbsp of sweet smoked Spanish paprika, a Quickly combine the paprika with the vegetables, then add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. Season the mixture with sea salt and let it simmer and add 2 tbsp of brown sugar.
- Three minutes after adding the tomato sauce,pour in 3 cups of vegetable broth and 1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads as it thickens. Combine the ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Now, add 1 cup of Spanish round rice and 1/2 cup of canned beans to the pan. Stir everything together one last time before letting the mixture simmer. Refrain from stirring the rice after this point to achieve the desired texture.
- After about 10 minutes, when the rice has absorbed a significant amount of the broth, but there’s still some liquid remaining, reduce the heat to low medium. Continue to simmer until the rice has absorbed all the broth, which should take approximately five more minutes.
- To create the socarrat (that caramelized, slightly burnt rice layer at the bottom of the pan), increase the heat back to medium-high for 1 to 2 minutes. Be cautious during this step to avoid burning the rice excessively.
- Remove the paella pan from the heat, and cover it with a dishcloth. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, ensuring that the rice cooks through completely.
- After the resting period, uncover the paella and serve. Encourage your guests to squeeze a little lemon juice over their portions for an extra zesty kick.. Enjoy your delicious creation!
Now, gather your friends and family around the table, and enjoy this stunning and scrumptious vegan paella together! Bon appétit!