Plant-Based Paella

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 40-45 mins (*Dependent upon the rice used!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, large frying pan or paella dish, frying spatula, measuring jug, a large sheet of aluminium foil, large pot, large bowl

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and (per serving) is low in added sugar, salt and sat fats!

It feels like the beginning of summer (at least in the SE of England!) has finally arrived and what better way to embrace it than to fill your kitchen with the delicious aromas of Spanish cuisine! …or in this case, our tasty and healthful paella!

Personally we not only love the taste, but the way that this dish is pronounced: “pah/EH/yah”! Even the sound brings a smile to our face! It’s certainly a dish not to feel intimated by; anyone can create this at home!

Paella is a dish that was named after its cooking pan (and not a reference to its ingredients) and began its origin by being prepared and consumed by the workers and labourers of Valencia (a town in Eastern Spain)(¹). It’s now appreciated by many worldwide (for its delicious flavours and minimal preparation- only to name a few!) and has been adapted to suit any diet or budget! We kept the cost of ours to a minimum; the most expensive item was the saffron… but that’s no surprise!

What constitutes an authentic paella is debatable (obviously ours is not!) however, the Spanish are very passionate, especially about good food and that should be respected. Nonetheless, you can’t escape the fact that this is a dish where anything goes… and however you decide to prepare yours, just remember to keep it vibrant, tasty and memorable!  

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

Quick Food Facts:

  • We used brown long grain rice, but traditional paella rice (bomba) will undoubtedly cook much faster! But as we’ve mentioned previously regarding brown rice…”nutritionally speaking it provides longer term energy and greater satiety”!
  • We own an authentic paella pan but it’s unfortunately too big for our current stove top! 😦 If you have the means, this pan can make all the difference to your paella; it helps to create that delicious crust (socarrat) at the bottom of the dish!  
  • Our paella uses a variety of veggies that are now in season; delicious asparagus, carrots, peas and spinach* (*if you decide to follow our lead; we served ours with a bed of it)! 
  • This dish provides you with about 4 portions (per serving) towards your 5-A-Day! #youcanneverhavetoomanyvegetables

 

 

Ingredients

NB: Adjust the water and stock measurements according to the instructions on your rice packet! We didn’t use true wine,; there was no alcohol in it, it was more like an ‘extract’!

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

 Peel and dice the garlic and white onion. Wash, remove the core and then chop the bell pepper into small cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and roughly chop the carrot. Wash, remove the stem and halve the tomatoes. Wash and dry half of the quantity of the thyme and parsley; remove the leaves from their stem and finely chop (you’ll prepare the rest later on).

 

 

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, non-stick frying pan ( or paella dish) over a medium-low heat.

 

 

Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.

 

 

Add the bell pepper and carrot. Stir to mix. Gently fry for a further 2-3 mins or until softened.

 

Add 125ml wine (if using, or just use more stock instead). Stir through. Allow it to simmer for 1-2 mins or until evaporated.

 

 

Add 250g rice, 320g cooked legumes, 100g peas, 3g thyme and 4g parsley. Stir to combine.

NB: 320g of cooked legumes =about 1.5tins or 160g dried. We cooked a variety overnight and used approx. 180g cooked chickpeas and 140g of cooked red kidney beans.

 

 

Add 350ml stock, 220ml water, 20g tomato purée, saffron (as much as preferred) and 2g smoked paprika. Stir together.

Use as much or as little saffron as your heart and/or wallet desires… (but you definitely don’t need to use more than a pinch)!

 

 

Add the cherry tomatoes. Season it with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste.

 

 

Cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of kitchen foil. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook it for 20-30 mins or until the rice is cooked* (*refer to the packet instructions). Remove from the heat and dispose of the foil.

Tip: Ours took approx 30 mins to cook (and we added a bit more water halfway through); as we’ve mentioned, it’s really dependant on the rice you decide to use! NB:Your rice should be tender but never mushy!

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the rest of the thyme and parsley. Drain and rinse the olives. Wash and trim the tough/bottom ends off of the asparagus. Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the spring onion. Wash the lemon (chop it into wedges or slices!).

 

 

Meanwhile, place a large pot full of cold water over a medium-low heat. Bring to the boil. Add the asparagus. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 mins or until just tender (where they just begin to bend!). Remove from the heat. Drain. If desired, transfer the cooked spears using a slotted spoon or serving tongs into a large bowl of cool water.

The idea behind this is to help cool the internal core (to prevent them from cooking any further)…helping them to maintain their vibrant green colour as a result! You could use ‘ice water’ but risk serving cold asparagus!

 

 

Now transform your dish!

 

 

 Garnish the paella with the olives, asparagus, lemon and remaining herbs. Serve the paella from the table for the whole family to enjoy!

 

 

 

Transfer the paella into a large serving bowl with any other desired veggies!

We served ours over a bed of spinach!

 

Enjoy!

 

 Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively freeze in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

 

 

If preferred…

    • Feel free to experiment with your perfect vegetable and flavour combination!
    • This is a healthy dish, but want to further reduce the fat content, just use a low-fat frying spray instead of rapeseed (canola) oil.
  • Use your favourite type of rice (but we recommend brown basmati or brown long grain rice!).
  • Try using a different type of legume (a dry or tinned variety), some lentils, or maybe tofu or tempeh instead! If your diet permits, add a fresh medley of fish and/or seafood!

 

History Source:
1. The Paella Company
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Vegan Jambalaya

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 50-60 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, has no added sugar and is low in salt and saturated fats!

 

We’d like to start off by saying that this was a great dish to make! It contains so many great flavours that are easily created in your own kitchen (essentially by using whatever ingredients you have on hand!) …and in virtually no time at all. We did a little bit of reading around this dish, and this is what we found…

The origin of jambalaya is not completely clear, but it seems to have originated in Louisiana. It’s a simple, inexpensive and versatile rice dish that was created out of necessity, one that is prepared differently depending upon the region. It is believed to have been inspired by both French and Spanish culture, which is why it’s quite similar to Spanish paella (a multi-faceted mixture that was also designed to feed many people inexpensively)! Unlike paella it does not use saffron; smoky and/or hot spices accompanying delicious herbs make this a very distinguishable dish.

It’s now a popular dish enjoyed in particularity in the Southeastern regions of the United States. There are two types, ‘Creole’ and ‘Cajun’ style, both of which have slightly different cooking methods and ingredients that were indicative of the local resources available at the time and were also shaped through cultural influences; original European settlers (particularly French and Spanish) versus the ‘Acadians’.

Classic versions of this recipe contain not only vegetables but generally some type of seafood, meat, poultry or sausage…but not in the Eat2Health kitchen. We used hearty kidney beans, robust garden peas, various other vegetables and of course a tasty seasoning!

Our recipe seems to be an amalgamation of the two types. Cajun recipes do not tend to include tomatoes, and use more spices and less herbs (like ours), whilst Creole recipes can use an abundance of vegetables (similar to the ones we have included; which includes tomatoes!), as well as less spice, and all of the ingredients are cooked together; Cajun recipes brown and caramelise their meat first, giving the dish a brown colouring. This is why the two types are also known as Cajun ‘brown’ jambalaya, and Creole-style ‘red’ jambalaya.

Although our recipe may not be authentic (we are aware that lemons are not the norm!), it’s still a cheap, versatile, healthy, one-pot dish, that is great for the whole family and (maybe most importantly) delicious and bound to put a smile on your face! …Thank you Cajun spice mix!

 

Feel free to use your own spice mix!

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

Place the frozen bell peppers and peas into a microwavable dish; defrost in the microwave. Drain.

 

In the meantime, peel and dice the onion and garlic. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the chilli (leave the seeds intact if you prefer your dish extra spicy!). Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the celery. Wash, trim the ends, peel and quarter the carrot. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper into cubes. Drain and rinse the beans. Prepare the Cajun seasoning mix (if applicable); place all of the spices and herbs into a small dish and mix together.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat.

 

 

Add the onion, garlic and chilli. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the defrosted peppers, celery, carrot and bell pepper. Gently fry for 3-4 minutes or until slightly softened.

 

 

In the meantime, boil some water in a kettle. Prepare the stock.

 

 

Add the Cajun seasoning. Stir to coat.

 

 

Add the rice and tomatoes. Stir and mix together.

Gently break apart any big pieces of tomato with the edge of your frying spatula.

 

 

Pour in the (boiling hot!) stock and water. Add the defrosted peas, beans and bay leaves. Stir to combine.

 

 

Cover with a lid or a sheet of kitchen foil. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

 

NB: Check your mixture about half way through the cooking time; we had to quickly stir the mixture and add a few extra tablespoons of water.

 

 

In the meantime, wash and place the kale into a steamer pot with some water. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Drain.

 

 

Meanwhile, wash, dry and chop the coriander; we ripped off and discarded most of the large stems…but the choice is yours. 🙂

 

 

Wash and quarter (or slice) your lemon.

 

 

Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the foil (if applicable). Give the jambalaya a thorough stir before serving.

NB: Also make sure to remove and discard the bay leaves before serving!

 

 

Garnish with the coriander and the lemon (or whatever else you desire). Bring the frying pan to the dinner table for the whole family to dig in and enjoy!

NB: Make sure to place it over a heat-proof mat or chopping board! We decided to add some fresh thyme and pitted black olives! 🙂

 

 

Serve immediately. Place the kale into the bottom of a large serving bowl. Spoon over the jambalaya.

We served ours with kale (not only because we love the taste!) but we felt felt that this dish needed a further ‘green’ element to it!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively freeze in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

 

 

If preferred…

  • Feel free to use your own Creole or Cajun seasoning mix! Experiment with the levels of spice and herbs to create your perfect combination!
  • Adapt the vegetables as you see fit!
  • Use a low-fat frying spray instead of rapeseed (canola) oil to further reduce the fat content.
  • Use your favourite type of rice; we recommend brown basmati or brown long grain rice.
  • Try using a different type of bean (a dry or tinned variety), lentils, or maybe some tofu or tempeh instead!

 

Jambalaya Origin Sources:
About Food
Kitchn Project
New World Encyclopedia
Cooking Light

Red Kidney Bean & Quinoa ‘Meatballs’ [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6-8
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 75 Mins
Type: Main meal
Tools: Sieve, non-stick pots and lids, roasting tin, silicone mat, food processor, colander, silicone spatula, casserole dish, baking tray, parchment paper, ladle, blender

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc and (per serving) is low in added salt, sugar and saturated fats! 

So we made this recipe a week ago. Al came home and asked if I had been ‘cooking meat’?! I burst out laughing and said, “Of course not!”…quickly followed by, “mission accomplished babe”!

This is a recipe that we have adapted from the days when we used to make turkey mince meatballs …so I guess I am not totally surprised that I received the reaction that I did; it’s funny how our minds perceive things…storing sounds and smells as triggers for certain memories, or in this case food! 

We’re very happy about how this recipe turned out. The meatballs are not dry and horrible ‘meat’ substitutes; they are lovely little ‘veggie balls’ that are packed full of protein, fibre, and plenty of vitamins and minerals! Obviously it’s another great recipe that can be adapted to your own personal taste and shared with your family and friends. 

I took the executive decision to use two tins of kidney beans instead of one… but other than that, the recipe went to plan and we are happy to be sharing it with you. We have also provided a recipe for a homemade marinara sauce, but feel free to use your favourite tomato-based sauce instead; if you plan on using a store bought variety, be mindful of the fat, sugar and salt contents! 🙂 

Quick Foodie Fact:

  • One serving of meatballs (based on 6 servings)* provides you with approx. 1 serving (of fruits/vegetables), towards your 5-A-Day; so make sure you have a veggie packed sauce (like ours) to help increase your servings!

 

‘Meatball’ ingredients; we used our homemade GF bread.

 

Ingredients

 Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Nutritional Info (‘Meatballs’ Only)

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a roasting tin with a silicone mat or some aluminium foil.

 

In the meantime, cook the quinoa. Place the quinoa into a sieve; rinse under cold running water for 30 seconds to help remove some of its bitterness. Cook according to the packet instructions. Remove from the heat.

NB: Cooked quinoa! Ours took 15 mins.

 

 

  • Meanwhile, start preparing the marinara sauce (unless you are using another sauce; just start preparing the ‘meatballs’ instead!). Wash the tomatoes, remove the stems and then chop them into halves. Peel and quarter the onion.
  • Place the tomatoes (cut-side up), onion and the garlic into a roasting tin. Drizzle over 15ml olive oil and 10ml of the balsamic glaze. Tip: If you do not have any glaze, use balsamic vinegar instead. Sprinkle over 1g dried basil (if desired). Season it with some salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • Place the tray into the middle oven shelf. Roast the vegetables for about 25-30 mins. Remove and allow to cool. Do not turn off the oven.

 

 

In the meantime, line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Prepare the ‘meatballs’. Get out a large casserole dish. Wash, trim the ends and finely grate the courgette. Wash, trim the ends, peel and finely grate the carrot. Place the courgette and carrot into a casserole dish (or large mixing bowl).

  • Peel and chop the onion into halves; place it into a food processor. Pulse until minced. Remove and transfer into the dish.
  • Lightly toast the bread. Place it into the food processor. Pulse and process until bread crumbs are achieved. Place them into the casserole dish.
  • Open, drain and rinse the beans. Transfer them into the food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Transfer it into the dish.
  • Wash, dry and finely chop the basil; add it into the casserole dish. Fluff the grains of quinoa with a fork and add it into the dish.

 

Here’s what our casserole dish looked like…

Add 20g tahini into the casserole dish and sprinkle over 2g Italian seasoning and 2g sweet paprika. Season it with some salt and black pepper to taste. Using your hands, mix together the ingredients; until it’s fully combined-like a giant ‘meatball’! Divide the mixture into 8 pieces. Tip: We shaped three ‘meatballs’ out of each segment (so twenty-four in total). 

Dust your hands with a little bit of flour (if necessary) to shape them. Place the ‘meatballs’ onto the tray. Repeat this step until all of the mixture has been used. Lightly spray them with some low-fat cooking oil (if desired). Place them onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for approximately 15 mins. Remove.

 

 

In the meantime, cook the pasta according the packet instructions. Drain.

We recommend (and have used some) wholemeal pasta; if being GF is not of concern.

 

 

Meanwhile, finish preparing the marinara. Wash some basil. Remove the skins from the roasted garlic and discard them.

Garlic skins and a few bits of onion that were too crispy!

 

  • Place the roasting juices (if desired), tomatoes, onion, garlic, the remaining 10ml of balsamic glaze, basil, 20g tomato purée, 100ml water and 30ml lemon juice into a blender. Process until fairly smooth. Taste and season it with some salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer it into a small, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat and gently warm. Cover with a lid; keep it over a minimum heat until it’s served.

 

 

Once you have removed the meatballs after the initial 15 mins, increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F. Carefully turn the ‘meatballs’ over. Lightly spray them with some more low-fat cooking oil (if desired). Place them back onto the middle oven shelf and bake for a further 8 mins or until lightly browned. Remove. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 mins (if possible).

 

Serve warm. Transfer the pasta into a large serving bowl or lipped plate. Pour over the marinara (or sauce of choice!) and top with the ‘meatballs’. Garnish with some fresh basil or oregano (if desired) and enjoy!

See, it’s not dry and crumbly, just packed full of ‘goodness’!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air-tight container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months.Tip: We covered ours with parchment paper and cling film before sealing it with its lid.

Recipe updated: 23/02/16 

Mini Chickpea & Kidney Bean Burgers [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 5-6
Prep & Cooking time: 45-50 mins
Type: Main Meal, Snack
Tools: Baking tray, parchment paper, colander, grater, chopping board, sharp knife, food processor, silicone spatula, mixing bowl, cooling rack

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, no added sugars and per serving and is low in salt and saturated fats!

This recipe is great for those who do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen or don’t fancy using a million ingredients but still want a nutritious meal. Yes, these mini plant-based burgers are baked (and not fried!), have a great flavour, go perfectly with a plate full of vegetables or with a tasty dip and can be adapted to your own personal preferences!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++400g   Tin Chickpeas (or about 200g dried/cooked)
++++++++++++++++400g   Tin Red Kidney Beans (or about 200g dried/cooked)
++++++++++++++++130g    Carrot
++++++++++++++++100g    White (or red) Onion
++++++++++++++++6g        Garlic Clove (one fat one!)
++++++++++++++++25g      Fresh Coriander
++++++++++++++++50g     Sunflower (or pumpkin) Seeds
++++++++++++++++20g     Tahini Paste (or use ‘2 flax eggs’)
++++++++++++++++10g      Vegetable Stock Powder (low-salt/DF/GF)
++++++++++++++++1g         Ground Coriander
++++++++++++++++1g         Cumin Seeds
++++++++++++++++            Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here . 🙂

 

Nutritional Info

 

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 220°C/430°F. Line a large baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.

2. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the chickpeas and kidney beans (unless you are using fresh!). Wash, trim the ends, peel and then finely grate the carrot. Peel and finely grate the onion and garlic. Wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander (if preferred, discard some of the larger stems).

3. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Blend for 10-15 seconds, until the mixture is fairly coarse. Tip: Alternatively, place the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and blitz them with a hand-held blender. Push the mixture down with a silicone spatula. Blend for a further 10-20 seconds or until a coarse mixture is achieved.

4. Carefully remove the blade from the processor. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl.

5. Using dampened hands, shape the mixture into about twenty golf-ball sized balls. Tip: Have a shallow bowl of water nearby to dampen your hands as necessary. Place the balls onto the baking tray. Flatten slightly with the back of a wet spoon or a spatula into ‘patties/burgers’.

6. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 15-18 mins or until lightly coloured. Tip: The final consistency will be similar to a ‘baked falafel’. Remove from the oven. Allow to rest for 5 mins on the tray before removing. Remove and transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool for as long as possible before serving. Tip: They continue to ‘set’ as they cool. 

 Serve as desired; as a burger or ‘open’ sandwich, in a salad or as a snack with some a small portion of low-fat houmous.

Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers in an air tight and resealable container; consume within 3-5 days.©

‘Open’ or closed’burger style… Stuffed into a multi-grain pita or wrap… In a garden salad… with roasted squash…2-3 with some houmous and  crunchy crudités is always tasty too!

 

 

If preferred…

  • Use a dried variety of fresh legumes instead (soak and cook before use).
  • Experiment with different vegetables; maybe some courgette, sweet corn, bell pepper!
  • Try flavouring them with your favourite blend of herbs and spices.
  • Serve with home-made (low-fat) sweet potato wedges or chips.
  • Serve dressed with: unsweetened soya yoghurt (with added dried mint), a squeeze of lemon juice, low-fat houmous, a tahini dressing or perhaps a home-made vinaigrette dressing.

 

Recipe adapted from: G. McKeith