- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
- 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- dash cayenne
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 14-ounce can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 3/4 – 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and cut into quarters
I watched FOK on Monday and it has changed my life forever, bit dramatic but true. Having been a vegetarian for 7 years and a vegan for about a year you’d think that there would be nothing new but it was a revelation. I became a vegetarian for ethical reasons and thought that the health benefits would come flowing along with it – sure have you ever seen a fat vegetarian. Well, even after 7 years of “eating right” my doctor still wants me to lose 20 lbs and so do I. FOK really changed my view to a vegan diet – whole foods are now my focus.
Coming from a family with a history of heart disease (both parents have multiple stents and a brother with a triple bypass plus stents) I worry about my heart health. So the past two days I’ve abandoned processed foods and cooked real, whole and tasty meals. The kids are a little confused but they’ll come around (they are not vegetarian but I won’t cook meat as the smell turns my stomach).
Last nights dinner was from the Fat Free Vegan blog – perfect since I was craving paella but wanted something lighter than rice. This Quinoa Vegan Paella has a subtle flavor and is suitable for people who don’t like spicy food, bit too mild for me so next time I’ll punch up the garlic and cayenne.
Quinoa is a wonder food with a higher protein content than most grains and critically for vegans it has a balanced essential amino acid content making it a complete protein source (also gluten-free). I used it as a replacement for rice and love its nutty flavor and bite. It does need a bit of extra care in preparation and normally needs washing. If you like sprouts in your salad it will sprout in 4-5 hours (very fast).
Happy that now I’m on the way to leading a healthier vegan life!
Photo ©2011 Pat Moroney