Paella is a traditional Spanish rice dish that is typically cooked uncovered on an open flame. It often incorporates seafood, however, this meatless alternative offers all the flavor plus a wider variety of vegetables. Either serve with Valencia rice, arborio rice, or if you're following the Smart for Life Program, cauliflower rice. Easily modify the cooking times depending on whether you like your vegetables on the firmer or softer side. This healthy and delicious meal makes for a colorful presentation for dinner guests.

SERVES 4-6

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 50 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 1/2 cups green beans or asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 lb (16 oz) tomatoes, seeded and diced or 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes and juice

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

  • 2-3 bay leaves

  • 1 1/2 cups short grain rice (use cauliflower rice if following Smart for Life Program)

  • 3 1/2 cups water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered

  • 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen, thawed)

  • chopped parsley leaves, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

1.    Heat low sodium vegetable broth over medium heat in a large wide flat-bottomed pan or paella pan.

2.    Add onions and bell peppers, cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Add garlic, green beans, tomatoes, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes and bay leaves, stirring often for another 3 minutes. If you prefer softer vegetables, cook for around another 7 minutes.

3.    Add rice (or cauliflower rice), water, turmeric, and salt. Gently move vegetables around so that most of the rice falls to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook at a continuous gentle boil, uncovered (around 20 minutes). Don't stir the rice. Add a little warm water if you find its drying up too quickly.

4.    After 15 minutes of cooking, add artichoke hearts and peas on top. Once 20 minutes is up, turn off stove and place a paper towel over the pan so that the rice can absorb any remaining liquid and help steam the peas and artichoke hearts. Discard bay leaves, garnish with parsley, and serve.

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