I am starting 2015 with an easy, healthy, high in protein recipe for a delicious Paella! Ready in just about 30 minutes, all in one pan and made healthier with quinoa!
A few months ago we went to Barcelona for a few days and as a typical tourist, I had to try the local cuisine. Paella is the famous Spanish dish and it’s served almost everywhere (although not all restaurants serve the best paella). I had tried paella once, long time ago but hadn’t really fell in love with it for some reason and never tried to prepare it at home. After our holiday, this changed and I started trying out different recipes. I don’t like to use too many ingredients so this is an easy, basic paella recipe that will still be super delicious!
This is the best paella we ate when we were in Barcelona. This was in a small traditional Spanish restaurant right on the square in front of the famous Sagrada Família church. The food and the view were amazing! This is the proper traditional paella, I don’t have their recipe unfortunately but I think my one is a good simpler version to prepare at home.
Often I cook with quinoa instead of rice due to to the numerous health benefits. Quinoa beats rice with its impressively higher content of fibre, protein, and iron as well as other nutrients. You cook it the same way as rice: 1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water. It’s a great rice substitute for paella as it gets infused with the taste of the herbs, lemon and the rest of the ingredients. So delicious! I still like to cook with rice as well of course from time to time, but more often I use rice for risotto.
In terms of the seafood, you can use whatever mix you prefer. I always just cook it with fresh prawns, but you can add squid rings or mussels as well. If you are not a fan of seafood, than you can use chicken instead. Enjoy!
- a splash of olive oil
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 400g (1 can) chopped plum tomatoes
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups hot water
- 1 tbsp each thyme and paprika
- 1 cup seafood mix (prawns/ squids /mussels)
- a bunch of fresh parsley
- 1 - 2 lemons
- salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion for a few minutes with the lid on until it softens.
- Add the quinoa with the paprika, thyme and tomatoes. Cook for 1 minute and then add the boiling water.
- Cook uncovered for about 15 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.
- Add the seafood mix and put the lid on, cook for about 5 mins. If frozen you may need to add a few minutes.
- Squeeze over 1/2 lemon or a whole one, I personally prefer more than half. Sprinkle the fresh parsley and serve with some extra lemon wedges.
Optional ingredients to add: peas and/or sweet corn