Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vegetable Paella with Mushrooms and Chickpeas

I love the fact that this particular paella has nothing in it to ban it from a Vegan Thursday dinner. I warmed some vegetable broth with a bay leaf and some saffron while I sauteed onion, red bell pepper and olives in a large skillet. I then added cremini mushrooms and garlic and cooked for a couple of minutes. Next went in the rice for a quick saute for a minute to coat each grain of rice. The pan was deglazed with white wine and once evaporated, the warmed broth was stirred in with some tomatoes, artichoke hearts and paprika. The skillet was covered and allowed to simmer for almost 1/2 hour. The last few ingredients to go in were peas, chickpeas and green beans to warm through. This method of cooking a paella is certainly not traditional, but it came out great.

Our side dish for this paella was an Arugula-Citrus Salad dressed with a lemony vinaigrette which was the perfect side dish.

My menu for today was:

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with Maple Syrup for breakfast
Leftover Fettucine with Roasted Butternut Squash from Monday (minus the goat cheese) for lunch
Vegetable Paella and Arugula-Citrus Salad for dinner

Vegetable Paella with Mushrooms and Chickpeas (Serves 2)
Adapted from Cuisine at Home for Two

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 pinch saffron (10 threads)
1 cup diced onion
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed Spanish olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup dry short or medium grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup halved, frozen artichoke hearts
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 oz. green beans, cut in half and blanched
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges for serving

Simmer broth, bay leaf, and saffron in a saucepan over low heat, 10 minutes.

Saute onion, bell pepper, and olives in oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic, cook 2-3 minutes, then stir in rice and saute 1 minute.

Deglaze with wine; reduce until nearly evaporated. Add seasoned broth, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and paprika. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in peas, chickpeas, and green beans, and cook 2-3 minutes to heat through. Season with salt.

Garnish with parsley, lemon wedges and more paprika if desired.

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