I think that, as you age, you tend to find certain dishes that just become constants in your life. These are simple meals that you know how to make without looking at a recipe, with standard ingredients that most people have around. They’re (fairly) quick and easy, and they’re crowd pleasers that get along well with the tastes of many. For me, one of those signature dishes is vegan paella.
The mention of Spain’s national dish probably brings seafood to mind. Luckily, the ingredients are pretty flexible—you can throw in just about anything you want (or have around). The only non-negotiable is the rice… but I suppose you could try a version with quinoa or some other grain if you’re so inclined.
Anyway, let’s get on with the recipe.
- 3 tsp of olive oil (plus extra for drizzling on top later)
- 4 gloves of garlic
- 2 medium-sized onions
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes
- vegetable stock (I used about 2 cups of stock and one cup of water)
- white rice (I used a little over one cup—around a 1:3 ratio with the liquid)
- Pepper and salt to taste, along with any seasonings you like. I used a little chilli powder and oregano.
The other vegetables you use can be whatever you happen to have at the time. Here’s what I used this time:
- Shredded carrot
Line up all your ingredients and chop up your vegetables. Put your olive oil into a pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, throw in your onions and garlic. Let them cook for just a couple of minutes.
Throw in the remainder of your veggies and cover. Let them cook for 5 or 10 minutes. Also, add a few seasoning now if you like. If you’re using powder stock or bouillon cubes, dissolve them into warm water now. Then, pour your stock into the pot. Add your rice.
Replace the cover and lower the heat a little. Let the whole thing cook until the rice is finished, about 20-25 minutes. Once the water is mostly absorbed, test the rice to see if it’s finished. If not, add some hot water and let it keep cooking.
Once it’s finished, you’ll have a big pot of paella (and it’s vegan!).
Serve it alongside a little olive oil and sea salt.
You should have enough for at least 4-5 servings. Doubling the rice and broth is easy with a larger pot—you might have to wait just a little longer for it all to cook. This is a good one to bring along to a potluck-type gathering with omnivorous friends—just heat it up on the stovetop for five minutes before you eat (you might consider adding a little water when reheating). It’s also an easy recipe to make low-salt and oil free—just replace some of the broth with water and forgo the oil.
For more about veganism and future recipes, click here!