This recipe came from my daughter … well, to be honest it’s from the in-house chef who works in their company (wouldn’t that be nice to have!). With the changing work environments, and most staff working from home, the Chef was trying to keep the team motivated by sharing some recipes with the workers as well as inspiring them by teaching them to cook Vegetarian Paella.
As our symptoms overwhelm us, we often lose the motivation and energy to cook, so I often encourage women in my coaching groups to prepare foods in the weekend or when they have time, and then cook extra, so that they have the leftovers for lunch.
This recipe has as its base, SOFRITO – this is the term used in Spanish and Italian cooking for a mixture of lightly fried onions and garlic, usually with tomatoes and other vegetables. It is used as a base for soups and stews.
I know that some of you with gut health concerns may not tolerate garlic and onions, but if you allow them to cook and soften, then they shouldn’t cause you problems. But if they do, then you need to look at your gut health, which is known to become more inflamed in our menopause transition due to the declining levels of oestrogen causing leaky gut. Futhermore, garlic and onions help our liver to clear excess oestrogens if you are overweight, so they are an important part of our diet as we age.
I’m always encouraging women on my programmes to use the nutritional evidence for our health as we age, and as such, I follow the Mediterranean Diet, which I’ve adapted to our menopause transition. That’s why as part of the MyMT™ Kitchen this week, I’m sharing this Vegetarian Paella with you. I want you to find your passion for paella because as I always tell the incredible women who join me on my 12 week self-learning programmes, “You don’t need a lot of food, just the right food.”
MyMT™ Kitchen Recipe – Vegetarian Paella
Ingredients for the Sofrito
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, rough chop
1 clove of garlic
100ml white wine (if you aren’t having alcohol then use water, apple juice or apple cider vinegar)
3 medium tomatoes, rough chop
1 Tbsp smoky paprika
½ Tbsp salt
Ingredients for the Paella
1 large red capsicum
½ tsp saffron threads OR turmeric
1L vegetable stock
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 spring onion, sliced
½ cup olives, of your preference
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
500g Risotto / Paella rice
Sofrito (recipe above)
1 small can cannellini bean, drained
1 cup of peas, mushrooms, beans or corn
To serve: salt & pepper, parsley leaves, lemon wedges and cherry tomatoes
STEP 1. ROAST CAPSICUM
Pre-heat your oven to 220C on grill.
Cut capsicum in half, brush with olive oil and grill skin side up until the skin is completely black. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Once it is cooled, peel off the charred skins, cut into long strips and set aside.
Then bring the oven down to 150C fan bake.
STEP 2. SOFRITO
Blitz all sofrito ingredients into a paste and set aside.
STEP 3. STOCK
Make your vegetable stock and add the saffron or turmeric into the stock so that it turns yellow in colour.
STEP 4. PAELLA
In a large frying pan, add the olive oil and gently fry the garlic and spring onions on low heat until soft (about 3 minutes). Add the paella rice and stir for a few minutes on a low heat until the rice is slightly translucent. Add the paprika and cumin and stir the rice for 30 seconds.
Add the sofrito paste as well as your choice of vegetables (e.g. beans, mushrooms, corn or peas).
Cook stirring for a few minutes. Once the sofrito has cooked into the rice, pour in the hot vegetable stock, red capsicum slices and drained canneloni beans. Season with salt and pepper and spread the rice out evenly to cover the bottom of the paella pan.
Bring the paella to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes on high.
Then place the pan straight into the oven. Cook for 12 minutes (or until the top looks baked).
Allow the paella to rest for 5 minutes before serving garnished with chopped fresh parsley, cherry tomatoes and lemon wedges. yum!
Related Tag: Online Masterclass on Menopause