Culinary Travel Around the World: Spanish Paella

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Spanish Paella

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, nut-free.

This paella is loaded with vegetables and absolutely delicious. It gets its proteins from the peas and wholegrain rice, healthy fats from the coconut oil and the olives and plenty of plant fibre from the veg. If you want to step it up even more, serve with green leaves and a few slices of avocado.

The rice will need soaking for 8-12 hours beforehand in a slightly acidic medium to break down the phytic acid in the hull. Phytic acid is usually the compound that causes us to have troubles digesting wholegrains.

Finally, I have not used saffron in this recipe, as I find the turmeric does an equally good job of colouring and I did not feel the saffron added to the taste. However, if you want to keep it traditional, add 1 tsp of saffron in with the stock!


– 3 tbsp coconut oil
– ½ onion, finely chopped
– ½ large red and 1 large yellow pepper, chopped into 1x1cm2
– ¼ fennel bulb, chopped into 1x1cm2
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– ¼ tsp paprika
– ½ tsp ground turmeric
– ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
– 150 g brown paella rice, soaked overnight in water with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and then rinsed
– 450 mL hot vegetable stock
– 150 g peas, defrosted or fresh
– 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
– 6 small artichoke bottoms, halved
– 15 kalamata olives
– Parsley, finely chopped, to garnish
– Lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Heat up the coconut oil in a pan at medium heat, add the chopped onion and fry gently for about 5 minutes until soften. Add the chopped peppers, the fennel and the garlic and fry for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add the paprika, ground turmeric and the cayenne pepper to the vegetables and stir them in well. Add the rice and stir thoroughly for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the hot vegetable stock to the spices and vegetables, reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes leaving the pan uncovered. Taste a small bit of rice (without stirring the pan ingredients) and add more hot water if needed covering the pan this time. Taste again after another 5-10 minutes to ensure the rice is done. The water should have evaporated by now.
  4. Add the peas, the tomato halves and the artichokes on top. Cover the pan and leave to rest for another 10 minutes. Add the kalamata olives on top
  5. Serve with chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon.


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