Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Busy Cook's Paella

I'm a sucker for anything Spanish. I credit that with studying in Spain for a summer while in college and going on great culinary and cultural adventures with my friends (and even venturing in to Portugal)! When my mom first showed me Vigo Saffron Yellow Rice, I was sold. There's a flamenco dancer on the front - of COURSE I want to eat this! She said that she and my sister love it and it can easily stand on its own. Thankfully, the rice is gluten free (per other places on the web) and I'm super gluten sensetive and have been eating it no problem. And my mom is right - it IS super tasty!

But on a gluten free diet, one can only eat plain rice so many times before wanting some variety on the variety. And it is so hard to pack a lunch with "sides". Most of my food is easy to pack in a square ziplock container and heat at work for a minute or two in the microwave. One dish grains/meat/veggie meals are my speciality.

Here's my favorite way to cook the Vigo rice and have a super simplified paella for lunch:

Prepare the rice per the directions on the bag, substituting homemade chicken broth for the water for extra nutrients.
In a large pan, heat Spanish olive oil (thank you, Trader Joe's!) and saute three cloves of minced garlic and one thinly sliced onion. Cook until the onion is tender.
Add the fully cooked rice, frozen peas, and small pieces of already chicken (from the fridge). Cook for a few minutes on medium heat until the peas and chicken are warm.
Serve and enjoy su comida deliciosa.

(And I promise, I'll have a real paella dish one day this winter! I have some saffron on my counter I have been eying for far too long.)

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