Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Healthy Paella

This is kind of embarrassing, but my favorite paella recipe came out of my mom's February issue of McCall's from 1997. Is that magazine even in print anymore? Even better is that McCall's used a recipe from Joan Lunden's Healthy Cooking. Stay with me here.

This paella is so delicious and easy to make that you will forgive me for getting it from a magazine article about Joan Lunden in 1997. The best part is that it is super healthy. The recipe makes six servings and has only 280 calories and 4.9 grams of fat per serving. I make this all the time and when I don't feel like being particularly healthy, I throw in some tasty chorizo to kick it up a notch.

Is this the most authentic paella? Definitely not, but it's so good that I do not care.

Healthy Paella
*Recipe courtesy of Joan Lunden's Healthy Cooking and McCall's

  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb sea scallops, halved
  • 1/2 lb chicken cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 - 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 - 14.5 oz can tomatoes diced, juice reserved
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 dashes hot pepper sauce or more to taste
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 - 13.5 oz can low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 - 4 oz jar sliced pimentos, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen green peas or corn kernels (I like to use peas)
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and saute for 1 - 2 minutes, until they just turn pink. They will be underdone. Remove to a bowl. Add 1 tsp oil and saute scallops for 1 - 1.5 minutes until they are very lightly browned. Remove to a bowl. Saute chicken for 2 - 3 minutes until no longer pink. Remove to a bowl.

Add onion and garlic to skillet; reduce heat to low. Cook for 6 - 8 minutes until onion is lightly colored. Stir in tomatoes, saffron, paprika, and hot sauce. Simmer 3 minutes. Stir in rice and add broth. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 18 minutes. Stir in shrimp, scallops, chicken, pimentos, and frozen peas. Cover tightly and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice until rice is tender and chicken is fully cooked. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
(If you want to use chorizo, cook it in the skillet after you cook the chicken and set aside. Throw it back into the dish at the end with the rest of the proteins.)

We completed our meal with a California sauvignon blanc. There is a lot going on in this paella, so you don't want to pick a wine that will overpower the flavors. If you want to do a red, a Spanish rioja or tempranillo would be great as well.