I only ever tried a traditional Paella once, before I became Vegan, and it was my boyfriend’s leftovers from dinner the night before (left overs are the best!)…but I remember it being really tasty! That’s what makes this dish one of my favourites – it’s full of flavour, and makes a hearty meal. This was the first time I tried using Brown Rice instead of Arborio, and you really can’t tell the difference! I also had no more saffron left, so I used tumeric instead and it actually works just as well. If you can’t find Tempeh or don’t like it, feel free to sub it with a tin of your favourite beans for some protein!
Ingredients: (adapted from Vegan Fire & Spice: 200 Sultry and Savory Global Recipes)
1 pack of Tempeh, diced
3/4 cup of ‘Chicken’ bits, or Seitan
1 cup of chopped Veggie Sausage
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 tin of crushed Tomatoes
3 cups Vegetable Broth
1/2 Red Onion, diced
1 small Red Chilli, minced
1/2 tsp. Cumin, ground
1/4 tsp. Saffron threads OR ground Tumeric
1 1/2 cups short-grain Brown Rice
1/2 Eggplant, cubed
2 large Portobellos, chopped
1/2 each of Red & Yellow Bellpeppers
handful of Olives (Green & Kalamata)
1 -2 Tblsp. fresh Parsley
– Poach Tempeh in some water/stock for 30mins. and drain. Heat oil in a large Frying pan and add Tempeh, Chicken and Sausage. Cook until brown on all sides (do seperate batches, if needed). Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
– While the Tempeh is poaching (or you can poach it while you prepare veggies…), heat oil in a large saucepan/frying pan and add Onions to brown. Add Garlic for 30 seconds, then add Tomatoes, Broth, Chilli & spices and bring to a boil. Add Rice, stirring well to combine, allow to boil a bit longer, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 – 50 mins. until Rice cooked through and has absorbed all the liquid.
– 15 Minutes before Rice is ready, heat oil in a pan and saute Mushrooms until they begin to release liquid. Add in Eggplant and saute a few minutes more. Remove Mushrooms and set aside, add Bell peppers to Eggplant, and saute until tender and Eggplant has softenend. Add these vegetables to the Paella about 10 minutes before the Rice is ready, covering with a lid again.
– Once Rice is cooked through, fold in Tempeh, Chicken, Veggie Sausage & Olives, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
– Sprinkle with Parsley, and serve from the pan.