Buenos días mi amor! So, you love Spanish Cuisine? Are you absolutely pumped about paella?! I am! And I have made it low-sodium, low-fat, and carbed up for all you crazy high carb cats out there. This dish is sure to make your taste buds scream, ARRIBA!
My dad is famous for his paella and he loves eating it too! He has been moving slowly towards a vegan lifestyle , but he struggles with how to cook without oil. So, I offered to make this tasty treat as a birthday dinner for him with no oil, and very low sodium. Traditional paella is typically done with seafood, lots of olive oil, and chicken stock, but we used none of those things in this dish and it still has a very traditional aroma and taste.
First you will need:
- bell peppers
- paella rice (any rice will work if you can’t find the traditional stuff)
- canned crushed tomatoes
- any other veggies you would like to add (we used okra, mushrooms, peas, corn)
- low-sodium veggie stock
Chop up all your veggies to prepare.
Then in a paella pan, iron skillet, or stovetop pan, add in your onions and get them going on medium heat. Add in a little low sodium veggie stock to sauté them in. When cooking with no oil, a good technique is to always cook onions and mushrooms first as they will release their own juices (but you can always add in some low sodium stock or water if it starts to stick). Cook the onions for 2-3 minutes and add in your mushrooms (optional), garlic, crushed tomatoes (with juice), and some low sodium veggie stock. Bring this to a heat where the liquid starts to evaporate off of it.
While it’s cooking down, heat up some veggie stock in a pot and add in some saffron sprigs. Take it off heat after it comes to a boil. Once the tomatoes and broth have cooked down and becomes condensed/translucent, add the saffron infused veggie stock. Then add your rice. Make sure the rice is patted down and surrounded by liquid (you can add water if it needs more liquid). After it has cooked for ten minutes, add your chopped veggies on top. Let it cook for another (approximately) 30 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. If you are using a paella pan, be very careful when the rice starts to pop and crack. You can get the crispy bottom just as if you used oil, but this is the part that can be easy to burn. Ours turned out perfectly. What we did: as soon as we heard the popping and cracking noises, turned down the heat to low, and took it off about 4 minutes after. You will be left with a beautiful, delicious, and colorful creation!
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Up next: my love affair with strawberries and how to make a sweet, succulent, strawberry slushy!