When I lived in New York one of my buddies would call me approximately every 2 months and without saying hello would say: Paella Time. This was code for I’m making it this weekend so stop eating and be sure to bring your hunger. He made one of the best paella’s I ever ate, and I’ve been to Spain and Portugal. The Spanish paella tends to be more of a rice dish while the Portuguese version is more of a stew. My buddy was Portuguese so there was something to the stew version that I loved.
Recently I received an email from Healthy Bitch Daily (one of my favorite sites and one of my favorite cookbook authors) that was titled Chorizo Tempeh Empanadas. As a Puerto Rican if it says empanadas I want in. As a kid growing up with a grandmother, born in Puerto Rico, weekends were filled with empanadas. An empanadas is a meat filled dough. Grandma made hers with beef, onions and olives. Sometimes she put raisins in them, but since I would not eat those she stopped making that filling.
So now this email comes across and it essentially yells at me that I am all things you love. Vegetarian? Check. Chorizo (Paella)? Check. Empanadas? Check. I wrote out the recipe and headed to the grocery store almost immediately. On my way there though something happened. It dawned on me that I could make a paella and it would be faster than making the empanadas. I was going to use Egg Roll wrappers for the shell and just double up, but paella just sounded so much better. I improvised on the way to grocery store and thought about the ingredients I would need for paella.
I made this recently and it was awesome. I took a few shortcuts since making a paella could take all night but even with these shortcuts it was excellent.
Ingredients: 1/2 yellow onion (diced), 2 cloves garlic (minced), 4 mushrooms (diced), 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil, 1 tsp Cumin, Dash Cayenne Pepper, 1/2c Tempeh crumbled, 2 Tbsp Liquid Amino (soy sauce works just use less), 1 Roma Tomato, 1/2c Spanish Olives (rinsed), 1/2c Frozen Peas, 1/4c Yellow Squash (diced), 1/4c Zucchini (diced), 2 Tbsp capers (rinsed), 80z tomato paste, 1c vegetable stock, 1/4c Roasted Red Pepper, Brown Rice
- For the rice I used 1 package of Uncle Ben’s Brown Rice in a bag (microwave for 90 seconds and done)
- I used canned roasted red peppers julienne and rinsed all the brine off
Heat oil in a pan and saute the onion until semi-translucent and add in the garlic and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms start to brown but garlic does not burn
- Add in the spices (cumin and cayenne and cook so that the aroma fills the kitchen
- Add in tempeh, zucchini, squash, liquid aminos, diced tomato. Saute for 10 minutes while stirring consistently.
- Add in rice, vegetable stock and tomato paste. Combine well so that there is an orange hue to the rice and tomato paste is loose.
- Add in capers and olives and cook for 10 more minutes so that everything is heated through.
- Serve onto a plate and garnish with roasted red peppers.
Have You Ever Recreated Your Favorite Dish In a Vegetarian Style?