"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

January 27, 2010


I'd never had paella before this Christmas. We were staying at my Dad's and he sought out to make a vegan friendly dinner that everyone would enjoy. It was so simple, tasty and creamy, I was amazed that I'd never thought of trying it before! Who wouldn't love a dish with rice, beans, veggies and a slightly spicy tomato based flavour?! And don't we all need more Spanish influence in our lives?! So thank you Dad and Gisele for your introduction to this fantastic meal...it's since become one of our staples!!

Now, I did a bit of research about this dish because I was a little curious as to how "authentic" this recipe is. Well, turns out, not very! Apparently, to prepare paella, there are three basic rules to follow:

1. Cook Over a Fire - Hmmm...nope, not in this weather anyway!

2. Use a traditional Paella Pan - A paella pan is apparently a necessity. It's a large, flat, open round steel pan with handles. Again, nope!

3. Use Medium-Grain Rice - For best results, use a medium-grain rice rather than a long grain rice. The medium-grain rice absorbs a lot of liquid, which makes it particularly fitting for paella. Ok! Now this we can do!!

1 out of 3 ain't bad right? Give it a try and feel free to be flexible...paella is meant to be personal to the chef - that's you! So mix it up and see what you get!

    Makes approximately 6 servings

    3 tbsp olive oil
    5 cloves minced garlic
    1 large yellow onion
    4-5 cups vegetable stock
    2 cups medium grain brown rice
    1 28oz can diced tomatoes
    1 small red bell pepper, chopped
    1 small green bell pepper, chopped
    1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
    1 tsp rosemary
    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    2 tsp cumin powder
    1/2 tsp paprika
    1 can (about 2 cups) cooked black beans (or any other bean), drained
    1 cup frozen corn kernels

    Heat oil in a large high-sided frying pan or large saucepan. Add garlic and onion and saute until onions are translucent (about 5-7 min). At the same time, heat broth in a separate saucepan until simmering.

    Pour the rice in the pan and mix well. Fry for about 3 minutes, then add can tomatoes (with juice), spices, and bell peppers and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

    Add 3 cups of stock to begin with. Partially cover the pot and let simmer on low until the stock is mostly absorbed (anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on type of rice used). Once most of the stock is absorbed, add another cup of stock and leave the cover off as it simmers. You may need to add some or all of the final cup of stock depending on the rice and the tenderness you like. All together, the cooking process can take up to 40 minutes (white rice takes much less time to cook than brown rice).

    Once the rice is tender and there is still a bit of stock remaining to be absorbed, add the beans and frozen corn. Just heat through and serve!

    This recipe freezes really well and tastes great as leftovers!