Gluten-Free Recipe of the Week #7 (Part 1): Vegetable Paella

ROTW 7 Veg Paella via Positively FreeIf you’ve read my Monthly Meal Plan posts, you know I like to experiment with new recipes. Sometimes these experiments work out really well…and sometimes they don’t. Whenever I modify a recipe, I take lots of notes so that I can recreate it in the future if it turns out well.

For my reference and yours, I’ve decided to post my recipe experiments on this blog. I plan to post at least one recipe per week. I will include a link to the original recipe as well as allergen/special diet information, notes about my changes and lessons learned, pictures from various stages of cooking, and my overall impression of the dish. Most recipes will be main dishes, but I may also include desserts or snacks as well.  

Leave a comment below if you think there’s a recipe I might like to try for a future post!

This week’s recipe is Veg Web’s
Delicious Vegetable Paella

Vegetable Paella via Positively Free

*Please click HERE for a printable copy of this recipe*

Information for Top 8 Allergens

  • Free From:
    • Dairy
    • Egg
    • Peanuts
    • Tree Nuts
    • Gluten
    • Fish
    • Crustacean Shellfish
    • Soy (check label on stock)

Notes

  • This week’s meal will be broken up into 3 different posts. I tried to do way too much for one meal, so I want to make sure to document everything (because it was all delicious). I did prep everything in advance in an effort to save time.

All Prepped via Positively Free

  • For this part of the meal, I prepped all the veggies at once, but stored them in containers based on the order they went into the pot: 1) onion and garlic, 2) bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, and 3) peas (defrosting in sepearate bowl).

Paella Prep Onion & Garlic via Positively Free Paella Prep Veg via Positively Free Paella Prep Peas via Positively Free

  • I much prefer roasted green beans to blanched or steamed green beans, so I added an extra step and roasted the green beans in a 400 degree (F) oven for 20-25 minutes before adding them to my prep bowl.

Paella Prep Green Beans via Positively Free

  • The type of rice that you use will drastically impact your cooking time. I used the long-grain rice we had (long-grain brown rice), which ended up taking way longer than I expected (over an hour once the paella started simmering). If you are short on time, make sure not to use brown rice! It was delicious, but it took way too long to make.

Paella Brown Rice via Positively Free

Substitutions

  • As with many of my previous recipes, I used Wegmans’ Basting Oil in place of olive oil. I mean, look at this stuff—too delicious not to use!

Paella Basting Oil via Positively Free

  • Rather than spending money on (out-of-season) tomatoes, I used a can of diced tomatoes I already had in the pantry. My husband prefers pureed tomatoes, so I blended them in the vitamix with the vegetable stock. I added this mixture to the paella right after I added the rice, salt, and saffron.

Paella Prep Tomatoes via Positively Free Paella Tomato & Stock Blend 2 via Positively Free

  • I had some extra money in my budget this week, so I decided to go ahead and splurge on a bottle of saffron. If saffron isn’t in your budget, you can substitute ¼ tsp Turmeric and ½ tsp Paprika.

Paella Saffron via Positively Free

Additional Meal Components

See Part 2 and Part 3!

Verdict

This paella was really wonderful—full of healthy, hearty vegetables and brown rice. The flavors were delicate but bright. This paella definitely needs a side (as you will see in future posts, I added two sides), but it’s a great foundation for a nutritious meatless meal that keeps both your waistline and your wallet happy!

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