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Quick & Healthy Recipe: Paella

10 January 2009

The Mediterranean diet is well known for being super healthy.  One of the most popular dishes, originating from Valencia on the East Coast of Spain, is Paella.

Here’s how to make a quick but really tasty version, loaded with goodness:

Serves 4-6 (depending how hungry everyone is)…

  • 400g mixed seafood (mussels, peeled prawns, clams, squid, white fish) – to save time, buy a pre-mixed packet.
  • 4 organic / free range chicken thighs (skin and boneless).
  • 1 handful of chopped chorizo and/or smokey bacon (optional).
  • 1 medium onion.
  • 2 peppers (1 red and 1 green).
  • 1 cup of frozen peas.
  • 2 garlic cloves.
  • 400g paella rice or similar (short or long grain).
  • 1 chicken or fish stock cube.
  • 2 lemons.
  • Olive oil.
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (a pinch of each for seasoning).
  • Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Pinch or paprika or saffron (optional)
  • Crusty bread (optional)

Preparation (5 minutes)
Prep all the fish by cutting into small pieces (or take it out the pre-mixed packet) * Cut the chicken into small pieces * Chop up the onion, garlic and parsley and put onto a plate * Heat 1.5 litres of water in pan and drop in the stock cube when starting to boil.

Cooking (15 minutes)
Use a large deep saucepan to heat up some oil * add the chicken, chorizo / bacon and mix up for a few minutes * add the onion and garlic when the chicken starts to turn golden, cook for a further 5 minutes * add the rice, salt and pepper * pour in the stock and mix everything together with a wooden spoon * turn heat down so it simmers, add the lid and cook for however long the rice takes (10-15 minutes – see packet for details) * 5 minutes before it’s ready, stir in the seafood, juice from 1 lemon and more seasoning if required * serve on warm plates or bowls with slices of the second lemon and some crusty bread.

Serve with some fresh crusty bread and a glass of full bodied red wine.

The above recipe is loosely based on ‘Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food’. An excellent book because its purpose is to inspire those who don’t / can’t cook. It’s therefore packed with recipes that are really easy peasy to make and extremely well explained.

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