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When I was born we lived in a trailer park called Cadillac Estates that is mostly burned down now.  Today I am a vegetarian living in Los Angeles learning how to love vegetables.  

  • Writer's picture CJ

Paella - Sort of

Vegan and Gluten Free Saffron Walnut-Chorizo Paella

Last year I tried one one of the meal prep services when I was very busy. I was very excited to try purple carrot because they had vegan options. I decided to go for the TB12 version that Tom Brady put his name on. I know, I know as a Bears fan it felt so wrong. However, his recipes were vegan AND gluten free as well as high in protein.

The recipe that I fell in love with was the Saffron Walnut-Chorizo Paella. I have made it several times since then and it seems to always be a big hit when I share it at a dinner party.

The original version requires that fresh fava beans be used which adds a lot of steps to have to boil, peel, and re-peel the beans. I found a great brand called Melissa's that has peeled and steamed green fava beans in a box in the produce section of Gelson's. If you can't easily find fava beans, just substitute cannellini (white kidney) beans. If you are using canned, try for sodium free and be sure to rinse the beans before using.

Also, I used my Green Pan for this Paella. I love it because it is oven safe as well as non-stick without using teflon.


Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

4 oz cherry tomatoes

1 yellow bell pepper

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

4 artichoke hearts

1/2 cup brown basamati rice

Saffron threads

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 tsp chorizo chili spice (I used a mix I made of ancho chili, paprika, chili powder and cumin)

1/4 tsp taco spice (I used a low sodium mix taco season packet from Trader Joe's)

Fresh Parsley

8 oz fava beans

1 lemon


1. Rinse and dry the tomatoes and bell pepper. Trim, de-seed, and thinly slice the bell pepper. Peel and chop the onion. Slice the garlic. Drain the artichoke hearts and cut in half lengthwise.

2. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the pepper, onion, and garlic, and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until shiny, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Stir in the saffron, paprika, and cumin and cook, stirring frequently, until the spices are fragrant, about 1 more minute. Add 2 1/4 cups water and 1 tsp salt to the skillet. Bring rice to a boil. Add the tomatoes and artichokes on top of the rice. Place paella in the oven and roast, undisturbed, until rice is tender and pan is dry, about 22 to 25 minutes. (if you use 10 minute rice you might be able to reduce the time)

4. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, chorizo chili spice, taco spice, and 1 tsp olive oil. Pulse until well mixed and walnuts and coarsely ground. Season with salt. Rinse, dry, and chop the parsley leaves.

5. I use the pre-cooked fava beans that are in a box in the fridge section. If you are using fresh Favas you have to remove the favas from their large outer pod and the smaller inner shell.

6. Rinse and halve the lemon. Once the paella is finished, top with the juice from half of the lemon, favas, walnut chorizo, and garnish with parsley. Serve with extra lemon.

#paella #vegan #glutenfree

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