The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen, includes healthy, meatless recipes like Cashew Cream; Beet Ravioli with Balsamic Pickled Figs and Green Garlic Oil; Agave-Lime Grilled Tofu with Asian Slaw and Mashed Sweet Potatoes; and Paella with "Sausage," Nori-Dusted Oyster Mushrooms, and Wine-Braised Artichoke Hearts.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Prep time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
The sausage I use in this recipe is made by a great company called Field Roast. It's made from wheat protein, kind of like seitan, which is a protein developed 2,000 years ago by Buddhist monks. I usually opt for Field Roast's Italian sausage, but if you want some extra spice, go for the chipotle. It's fine to use canned artichoke hearts-get the ones that are packed in water, not oil, and rinse and dry them well. You can add a light taste of the ocean with nori dust.
Seitan is just gluten—the protein that's left after the starch is removed from wheat. Thanks to its chewy, sometimes stringy texture, it's evocative of meat, and you'll find lots of seitan-based meat replacements in the fridge at places like Whole Foods. You can make your own seitan, but it's pretty complicated; I tend to use packaged options. Plain seitan takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in. It's really high in protein—with about 30 grams per serving it's near the top of the list of plant-based sources. Packaged seitan products are great for adding a hefty, meaty bite to a vegan dish, and a nice transitional option for meat-eaters venturing into new territory.
For the rice:
For the toppings:
1. Make the rice: Place a 15-inch paella pan or a large sauté pan over medium heat.
Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.
2. Add the onion, garlic, and parsley and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and a splash of water and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick like jam, about 10 minutes. Transfer this sofrito to a bowl. Wipe the pan clean.
3. Return the pan to medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then add the red and green peppers and sauté for 5 minutes.
4. Return the sofrito to the pan, along with the rice. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock, saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Stir well, then bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes without stirring. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking, uncovered and without stirring, for 15 minutes.
5. Make the toppings: Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. Add the sausages and cook until crisp on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Remove to a plate. Wipe the pan clean.
6. Return the pan to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil, then add the mushrooms and sauté, seasoning with the nori dust and salt and pepper to taste, until they have released their liquid and are nicely browned and crisp on the outside, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe the pan clean.
7. Return the pan to medium heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then add the artichoke hearts and sauté, seasoning with salt and pepper, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has almost completely evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
8. Increase the heat under the rice mixture to high and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until you smell the rice toasting (but not burning) on the bottom. Remove from the heat.
9. Sprinkle the peas over the top, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and scatter the sausage, mushrooms, and artichokes over the top. Serve with lemon wedges.
This page created April 2010
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