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Dairy-Free Dinner of Spanish Paella with Shrimp

Paella (pa YEY a) is a traditional, nondairy Spanish rice dish made with vegetables, olive oil, saffron, and tiny bits of fish or meat. This recipe will get you started but try making your own variety using your favorite ingredients.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: About 65 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

1/4 cup olive oil

2 large white or yellow onions, sliced

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1-1/2 cups uncooked brown rice

4 cups water or chicken stock

1 1/2 teaspoons saffron

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 large carrots, thinly sliced

1 large red bell pepper, sliced

8 ounces deveined shrimp (optional)

Handful or two of soy-based sausage crumbles (optional)

4 tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup fresh or frozen green peas

Fresh lemon wedges for garnish

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Stir to prevent sticking.

  2. Add the rice, water or chicken stock, saffron, salt, and pepper. Cook over high heat until the water boils, and then cover and lower the heat to simmer for about 20 minutes.

  3. Add the carrots and bell pepper. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Add the shrimp and sausage, if desired, for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Stirring isn’t necessary. Add the tomatoes and peas.

    Add odd bits of vegetables that you may have on hand, including celery, leeks, yellow squash, zucchini, and others.

  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover, and let everything set for 15 minutes, or until the remainder of the water is absorbed. Stir to mix the ingredients.

  5. Place the saucepan back on the stovetop and reheat. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with lemon wedges.

If you make paella often, consider investing in a paella pan, a heavy, flat-bottomed pan with handles on two sides. You can cook the paella and serve it from the same pan.

Per serving: Calories 546 (153 from Fat); Fat 17g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 84mg; Sodium 772mg; Carbohydrate 81g (Dietary Fiber 12g); Protein 20g.

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