Brownifer Bites: Vegan Paella with Chickpeas (with recipe)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Vegan Paella with Chickpeas (with recipe)

I wonder how many vegetarian dishes Brownie will let me cook before he fires up the Barbecue .... ?????  I feel like we're close.
So we loved this recipe!  When Brownie saw it on the menu planner his first reaction was, "What the hell are you making?  Paella has shrimp!"  Well, it turned out really well and he liked it!  What was he saying then!?  "It's really good!"  HA!
"You know would make it even better?  Shrimp."
So there you have it.  It has amazing flavor and textures ... I think it's divine on its own.  The male perspective seems to crave the shrimp .... maybe we'll try a traditional recipe sometime if I can find shrimp that isn't radioactive in this day and age.  Wish me luck!
In the mean time, here is what we did!  This recipe is ingredient-heavy but it's nothing complicated, just a little time-consuming during prep.  You can do it if I can!  :-)  OH and yes, I used white basmati rice .... I told you before the ONLY thing I can eat brown rice with is our homemade Yumm! bowls.
Brownie got home just in time to plate this beautifully for me, he's amazing that way.  But trust me, it was just as delicious spooned into my bowl and sprinkled with parsley normal-like :-)  As you wish!

1 cup short-grain brown rice (See Recipe Note - seriously!  Scroll to the bottom and read the note before you buy your ingredients)
Hefty pinch saffron (about 8 strands) - I found this reasonably priced at Trader Joe's
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
3/4 cup crushed tomatoes, fresh or canned
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon hot paprika - didn't have it, I used 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper...maybe more than a dash.
1 cup green beans, trimmed and halved
3 artichoke hearts, sliced (fresh, frozen, or canned)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen - Brownie has a HUGE problem with peas - I used riced cauliflower instead
1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Salt and pepper
Bring 3 cups of water and a hefty pinch of salt to a boil, add the rice, and cook for about about 20 minutes, or until the rice begins to soften. Drain and set aside. (Par-boiling the brown rice speeds up the overall cooking time.)
Combine saffron threads and 3 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl and set aside. Bring the broth to a simmer, then reduce the heat and keep at a low simmer until needed.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet, and sauté the onions until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic slices and peppers. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Mix in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, hot paprika, saffron threads (along with the water), and season generously with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Let it cook for a few minutes.
Make sure to have your vegetable broth simmering nearby. Fold in the green beans, artichoke slices, and chickpeas. Then stir in the par-boiled, drained rice. Ladle the simmering broth over the rice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has evaporated. A few minutes before the rice is fully cooked, scatter the peas over top. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Paella with Traditional White Rice: If you'd prefer, use a traditional short-grain white rice for this dish, like Bomba or Valencia. If using white rice, there's no need to par-boil and you only need 3 cups of broth.
  • Adding my own note - this recipe goes pretty quickly - chop and slice everything ahead of time to save yourself some stress!
  • Also, my broth simmered for what felt like too long and I was worried I didn't have enough liquid so .... I added about 1/4 cup of red wine ... just because it was on the counter.
  • I am also including a photo of my sliced garlic and my well-loved garlic press/slicer that makes this step incredibly easy.  Bed, Bath & Beyond has them here.
Original Recipe here:

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