(*seafood-free **vegan/vegetarian option)
I have a teen who “doesn’t eat under sea creatures.” To respect this, I made my paella this time without shrimp (*though you could add it if you want). You could even make it completely vegan** using larger vegetables (broccoli or cauliflower florets, artichoke pieces) and chickpeas.
1 chicken breast, diced
3-4 Italian sausage links, casings removed
4-5 cups diced vegetables (whatever you have in your fridge or freezer). I try to go for a rainbow of sorts.
2 cups brown rice, dry
4 cups water or broth
1-2 Tbsp Creole seasoning (can sub chili powder and cumin)
1 big pinch saffron (can leave out if don’t have)
2 tsp turmeric
2-3 Tbsp garlic powder (can use crushed garlic if you have it)
1 bay leaf
Cook chicken and sausage in a large skillet until cooked all the way through. Add broth if it starts sticking to the pan. I cooked my onions with this part. Remove to a bowl or platter and cover.
Put rice, water and some of the “less delicate” vegetables into the skillet. These are vegetables like carrots, onions, celery, green beans, chopped spinach, riced cauliflower, etc. Add spices and stir well. Bring to a boil and simmer on the stove according to rice package directions (mine took about 40 minutes).
When the rice mixture is cooked, remove bay leaf and add meats and more delicate vegetables (corn, peas, other frozen ones). Stir well and cook on low, covered but stirring often, for about 10 minutes.