In honour of my time spent in Spain - and the many conversations (we seriously spoke about this on a weekly basis!) I had with my housemates on the quality of paella from Mercadona (our local supermercado - 'supermarket') - I felt it only fitting to try my hand at a vegan version of this Valencian dish.
1 cup of brown rice
1/2 cup of frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup of frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup of frozen baby green beans, thawed
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of white wine (vegan-suitable), or vermouth
600 mL of vegetable stock
1 roasted red capsicum, sliced
1 medium tomato, sectioned
400g block of extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimento)
1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
Pinch of saffron
Lemon wedges, to serve
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a paella pan (if you have one) or a large sauté pan. Add the garlic, onion, saffron and chilli flakes and sauté over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the rosemary, thyme, paprika and cook for a further 1 minute until fragrant. Add the rice and stir to coat all the rice in the oil. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, or vermouth. Add the vegetable stock, increase the heat to bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow the rice to cook for 20 minutes.
Add the peas, corn, beans, red capsicum, tomato, and salt and pepper. Allow to cook until heated through (10 minutes). Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in small frying pan. Add the tofu and brown on all sides. Top the paella with the tofu, season with salt and pepper if required and top with lemon wedges before serving - ¡buen apetito!
Serves 4 as a main