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Paella

gluten free
wheat free
freezable
low fat low sugar, diabetic friendly
3 spoon difficulty rating

60-70 minutes

Takes less time if the rice pilaf is pre-cooked

Serves: 4

Paella

A wonderful alternative to traditional paella, full of flavour. The taste of the sea is achieved not with fish but with arame, a mild tasting sea vegetable.

 

 

 

 

This recipe is made in two stages - so don't be put off by the length of the recipe. Basically, you make the simple Saffron Rice Pilaf. While that's simmering you prepare the paella ingredients. Or you can cook the pilaf rice in advance.  Whichever method you use, the secret is to get all the ingredients and equipment out first - then go for it!

Low-fat/diabetic-friendly

  • Replace oil with oil spray.
  • Replace bought mayo with our reduced-fat quick tofu mayo instead of a bought version. For an even lower-fat alternative, use plain soya yoghurt, preferably Sojade brand, and mix with crushed garlic.

Freezable
The Saffron Pilaf Rice freezes well, as does the complete dish - the tofu may become a little bit more chewy. 

Photograph courtesy of  http://flavourphotos.com/ 

Ingredients: 

Pilaf:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½-1 tsp salt
  • 450g/1lb/2 cups brown basmati rice OR long grain brown rice 
  • ½ tsp saffron steeped in 4 tbsp warm water
  • 840ml/30fl oz vegetable stock

 

Paella:

  • 25g/1oz dried arame (sea vegetable available from health stores), soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1cm/half inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 red peppers, seeded, white pith removed and cut into 1cm/half inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp dried whole chilli, crushed - or use ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp grated orange zest (about one large orange’s worth) - use a grater on small holes or a zester
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes including juice
  • 180g/6oz smoked tofu, cut into 1cm/half inch cubes - Taifun works well (health food shops or Waitrose). Or use a GF smoked tofu, cubed, fried up and drizzled with GF tamari soya sauce
  • 2 courgettes, halved lengthways and cut into 1cm/half inch slices
  • 2 tsp capers, drained
  • ¼ cup pitted black olives, chopped
  • 225g/8oz mushrooms, sliced if big, halved if small
  • 4 cups Saffron Basmati Pilaf recipe (see above)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (any variety)
  • 1 tsp salt

To serve:

  • Greens for 6, finely chopped - eg curly kale; green cabbage; purple sprouting; broccoli
  • Aioli: mix 5 tbsp vegan mayo (bought or home-made) with 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

Method: 

1. Start with the Saffron Pilaf. (If you’ve made it in advance, go to number 9!)

2. In a medium-sized heavy saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in oil over a medium heat until just softened.

3. Add the cumin, fennel seed, pepper and salt.

4. Sauté for 1 minute.

5. Add the rice and stir constantly for about 2 minutes or until the rice smells fragrant.

6. Add the saffron and water, bring rice to the boil and cover.

7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.

8. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

9. Meanwhile, prepare all vegetables and other ingredients.

10. Soak the arame in cold water.

11. Sauté the onions, garlic and peppers in the olive oil in a large heavy pan, until the onions have softened – about 5 minutes.

12. Add the oregano, chilli flakes, orange zest and cumin seeds.

13. Stir and sauté for 1 minute.

Drain and rinse the arame when it is ready, then set aside.

14. Add the tomatoes, smoked tofu, courgettes, arame, capers and black olives.

15. Put on greens to steam.

16. Reduce heat under paella to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.

17. Add the mushrooms and sauté another minute or 2.

18. Stir in the pilaf, parsley and salt to taste.

19. Heat through.

20. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

21. Drain greens.

22. Mix vegan mayo and garlic together to make aioli.

To serve: spoon paella in middle of large plate, arrange greens round edges and put a dab of aioli in the middle.

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