08.31.11_Vegetarian Paella

Lightlife's Vegetarian Paella with "Chorizo"
I cannot believe how quickly this month has gone. When Phillip drunkenly suggested going vegetarian for a month at the Britney concert I thought there was no way we would actually keep it up and complete the entire month. I am really proud of us, especially Phillip, for trying so many new things and surviving without meat for an 31 days! For our last meal of the month I wanted to make this vegetarian paella. Lightlife, one of the companies that makes the vegetarian "meats" had tweeted out this recipe a few weeks ago and since the woman who tweets and blogs for Lightlife has been supportive of the blog and our efforts, I thought it would be fitting to end with one of her dishes.

 I originally was going to leave out the Lightlife Chorizo but Phillip really wanted it so I left it in for him. I had never made paella before but new that it couldn't be too difficult since its typically just rice, seasoning, and either seafood or vegetables. Over the course of this month I have bought big bags of jasmine, basmati, and arborio rice so I did not want to also buy a bag of long-grain brown rice. Brown rice also takes FOREVER to cook so I decided to sub arborio rice instead since I still had about half the bag left from when I made the butternut squash risotto. Since I was using a different type of rice, I followed the instructions on the bag for how much vegetable stock to use rather than following the recipe.

Once I sauteed a little bit of onion and garlic, coated the rice with olive oil, and added the stock, I started chopping all the vegetables and the "chorizo." I used yellow and orange bell peppers since it was what I had. After everything was chopped, I sauteed the rest of the onion, the peppers, the chorizo and added the spices with the wine. I had fresh thyme leftover from the gnocchi with butter thyme sauce so I used that, but used dried oregano and regular paprika rather than smoked because again, it's what I had on hand. I made the executive decision to leave the saffron out because it is so freaking expensive and I felt like there would be enough flavor from all the other ingredients.

I cooked the rice a few minutes short of the 20 minutes it takes to cook since it would continue to cook when I put it into the oven. The pot I made the rice in was not oven-safe so I transferred the rice and all the vegetables into CorningWare before putting in the oven. After 10 minutes, I added the sugar snap peas, popped it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes and then it was ready. The dish was super flavorful and Phillip really appreciated having the "chorizo" in the dish. I loved the addition of the sugar snap peas because of the crunch they added to the dish.

Thank you to all of the people who have supported us this month and to those who have read the blog. I am still shocked by the number of views there were over the past couple weeks and the overwhelmingly positive response we have received from our friends, family, and twitter followers. Phillip and I plan on incorporating multiple vegetarian meals into our diet each week and I hope to put up a few posts per week rather than the daily posts. Maybe one day we will fully convert, but for now, I am really looking forward to my Buffalo Chicken sandwich at Happy Hour tonight and I know Phillip has been craving cheeseburger for days now! Thanks again!


erin @ WELL in L.A. said...

Yay! Looks like you had fun cooking! I'm really bad at quantifying what I do when I make a mess in the kitchen, so thank you for bearing with the recipe! Cheers & Be Well! erin

Anonymous said...

How did you both feel at the end of the month? Did you notice a difference in your energy level?

Glad you tried out the paella - looks like it turned out great :)