Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Vegetarian Paella

It's that night of the week where I optionally make a vegetarian dish, don't get me wrong, I love meat, but it's good to try new things! Paella is a fantastic dish for using up any vegetables or rice you have lying around and breathes new life into these for a healthy, hearty dish! It usually has chicken, chorizo, prawns and the like, but for the sake of my diet, I'm just going to stick to Vegetarian Quorn Chicken.

Serves 4
Cooking Time 25 Minutes
400g Rice (About a mug full)
300g Quorn Chicken (or if you're using meat, use 100g of each)
1 Large Red Chilli
And a mix of peppers, onion, peas etc. Whatever you have in your fridge!
A pint of chicken/vegetable stock
A large baguette or any crusty (or even slightly stale) bread.
Turmeric and Paprika.

Calorie Count:
225 Calories per person.

A reminder of yesterday's blog, as a high street supermarket offered me 35g of "Paella Mix" for £1.50, yet I went to a local caribbean market (that was on the walk there) and bought 100g of Turmeric AND 100g of Paprika for £1.68.
Comparison (for 200g):
Caribbean Market = £1.68
High Street Supermarket = £8.57

A lot of the time, a large proportion of what you pay for IS the packaging, never mind the brand. A little tip that I'd offer is to go and buy yourselves some small spice jars. Mine cost 50p each and have ended up saving me heaps of cash, especially if I only got out and buy "refill" bags from smaller stores. They all look neat when put together, and if you had someone over they'd never know the difference, and trust me, they'd be so much more impressed! You also get a lot more of a personal experience in smaller stores, they'll offer you advice and who knows, may even let your try (or have!) some stuff for free! Asking never hurts!
But let's get back to the recipe!

First off, get a small saucepan on the hob for your rice, on a medium high heat, just so your rice can blip away nicely. Remember to never stir your rice, only fork it! Get a very large saucepan on the go too, on a medium heat with a little oil, not a lot though, as your mix will all be eventually ending up in this pan to stew away. In this time chop up all of you veg into good chunks (all similar sizes to your meat pieces), and don't let your rice get past the "al dente" stage, the time when it's starting to go soft, but still has a little bite to it.

Once your meat is starting to brown, and your rice has that little bit of bite, get all of your veg and chilli into the pan with a tablespoon each of Turmeric and Paprika. This may seem like a lot, but you will be adding a pan of rice to this too! Pour in all of your rice (no need to drain) along with a pint and a half of stock (or however much JUST reaches the top of your mix). If you want your meal a little creamier and a little milder a good idea would be a to throw in a blob of creme fraiche at this point!

Let this blip away and cook on a medium high heat until you see that most of the stock has been cooked away or soaked up. Once this mix is mostly dry, serve into two big dishes with a little coriander and your buttered crusty bread!

I hope you've all enjoyed reading this meal today, it was my first attempt at it and I really enjoyed it. Thanks go out to my friend Gavin who gave me some pointers on this, I hope I've done you proud!

If you've tried this yourself, or any of my recipes, don't forget to drop me a comment and subscribe!

P.S. I've also now managed to get rid of the captcha, so you can comment away to your heart's content!


  1. Looks good mate :)

    Just made some myself !

    1. Cheers mate, I could really get into Mediterranean food now!

  2. This looks AMAZING! going to try making this! xoxo

    1. Do it! :) If you want to use meat, then prawns, chorizo and bacon are the way to go....and I mean use ALL of them!