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Quinoa Paella

December 1, 2007

quinoa1.jpg Paella is a spanish dish usually made with seafood and rice. I like to use quinoa (pronounced KEE_NWAH) and vegetables instead because I love the nutty texture of quinoa- and vegetables, the more the better!! When made with vegetables instead of seafood, its similar to upma. Quinoa is a Native American grain that has a high protein content  and other nutritional benefits. It cooks in 15 minutes and is very versatile (I use it in soups as well). You can read more about quinoa here

What you need:

  • 1 cup Quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 a Green Bell Pepper (capsicum), chopped in 1 inch strips
  • 1/2 a Red Bell Pepper, chopped in 1 inch strips

(you can use frozen pepper strips as well- just thaw it in the microwave and dab out any excess water with a paper towel)

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots (frozen is fine- thaw, but don’t cook it completely in the microwave)
  • 1 cup frozed edamame (green soy beans- they are a thinner looking version of Lima Beans)
  • 1 generous pinch of saffron
  • 1 can Chickpeas or Kidney Beans
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon tomato paste (or One tomato, chopped, microwaved with some salt, no water) (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil or Cooking oil (whatever you use at home)
  • 2 cups Vegetable broth or Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder or 1/2 a green chilli, chopped fine (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

How its done:

  1. Soak the saffron in a small cup of warm water.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan, big enough to hold everything, and add the oil.
  3. When the oil is hot enough, add the garlic and saute for a few minutes (make sure you don’t burn it)
  4. Add the carrots and saute for a minute and then add the chopped pepper strips and saute for a couple of minutes till the vegetables are half done (I like to add salt when I add them, so their juices are released)
  5. Add the quinoa and saute till the quinoa is completely coated with the vegetable mixture and oil- a couple of minutes
  6. Add the saffron, water or vegetable broth, tomato paste (if using), chilli powder, chickpeas (drained and rinsed) and stir. Add salt to taste (if you’ve added salt to the vegetables, adjust the amount of salt- for the rest of the ingredients)
  7. Cover the pan with a lid and let cook for 10-12 minutes. You’ll know that the quinoa is done when the grains become translucent and a little white tail appears.

Serve it with warm with a tangy tomato chutney or by itself.

  1. Kidgam permalink

    Thanks for the recipe. We had this paella for dinner and it was delicious!

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