Paella is one of the most famous Spanish dishes, and it’s one of my favorite ones because I love the rich flavors that soak into the rice. This is not the traditional recipe that uses meat and seafood; however, my Medical Medium® friendly vegan saffron paella while different, still packs an incredible punch with flavor, and it tastes amazing!
You need to give this awesome vegan saffron paella try.
The beauty of vegan saffron paella is the varying array of veggies you can use. You can change it up – different seasons bring new bounty…experiment and have fun. You can even throw in some Atlantic seaweed to give it the seafood flavor.
Traditional paella is made with chicken or fish broth, but I use a flavorful vegetable broth that is healthy and delicious. I also use pumpkin tofu (pumfu) as a meat alternative – my whole family gave it two thumbs up (and I have some picky people).
Paella is historically rooted in celebration, a meal to be shared with friends and family – big parties, bringing people together. This meal and its flavors originated in Spain, but you will see variations worldwide.
Vegan saffron paella is an excellent way to get many healing foods with the flavors of saffron threads into a one-pot – incredibly flavorful, packed with powerful nutrients, and very satiating. Vegan saffron paella is a home run!
Onions contain sulfur compounds that strengthen the immune system, brain, and nervous system. These compounds also help to detoxify heavy metals from the body such as mercury, cadmium, and lead.
Furthermore, onions are the highest food source of quercetin, a potent antioxidant that can help prevent blood clots, asthma, sinus infections, bronchitis, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.
The addition of garlic, onions, and cilantro to the avocado makes this dish an incredible powerhouse against pathogens. Not to mention, garlic contains impressive antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, and anti-viral properties.
“One raw crushed clove of garlic contains the antibiotic equivalent of 100,000 units of penicillin and has been proven to be more effective than both penicillin and tetracycline in suppressing certain types of disease-carrying agents.”
Anthony William, Life-Changing Foods
Tomatoes are such a powerful healing food. They contain their own variety of vitamin C that is bioavailable to the liver and lymphatic system. Tomatoes also support the immune system, helping it to remain strong to fight pathogens.
Tomatoes contain fruit acids that help rid sludge from the gallbladder and reduce the size of gallstones, helping to keep the gallbladder healthy. The mineral content in tomatoes is abundant, these can reach the deep inner core of the liver, helping to prevent disease where it commonly begins. Additionally, tomatoes are high in lycopene which is a favorite nutrient of the liver. The liver uses lycopene to prevent cell damage, and to help detox red blood cell safely.
“Tomatoes grow at night, under the moonlight, and the liver also responds to moonlight—when it’s a full moon, the liver tends to work harder at cleaning, filtering, and processing in the wee hours of the morning. When organic or heirloom tomatoes are in the diet, the full moon energy that they collected during their growing cycle works with the liver’s ability to cleanse.”
-Anthony William, Fresh Salsa Blog
Carrots refuel the liver with the essential glucose and vitamins it needs. They also inhibit the growth of unfriendly microorganisms and rejuvenate your hair, skin, and nails.
Crimini (or baby portobello) mushrooms are packed with nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamins E, B12, and D as well as minerals like zinc, selenium, iron, and calcium. They also contain a compound called conjugated-linoleic acid (CLA) which is well known for its preventative properties and ability to prevent high levels of estrogen from circulating in the body.
Mushrooms are very beneficial for those who suffer with arthritis, heart disease, asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease as they have strong anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to regulate inflammation in the heart, joints, organs, and tissues. Furthermore, mushrooms contain L-ergothioneine which is important for cognitive function, eye health, reproductive health, and lung health.
They have also ben shown to significantly strengthen the immune system, making them a preventative powerhouse against colds, flu, chronic infections, etc. Additionally, they contain tryptophan which plays an integral role in serotonin levels helping to stabilize mood swings and balance sleep patterns.
Green peas have incredible healing properties. They are abundant in antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K, and B-complex and minerals like zinc, iron, calcium, and manganese. They are also a fantastic source of omega-3 fats in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), making them an ideal brain food.
Peas have the ability to satiate your appetite for long periods of time which makes them ideal for weight loss. Additionally, they contain anti-inflammatory properties which is critical for those suffering from auto-immune disorders such as arthritis, COPD, heart disease, lupus, fibromyalgia, and bursitis.
Furthermore, green peas have a low glycemic index and have been shown to help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Artichokes are among the top 10 most powerful healing foods on the planet. They are packed with nutrients – phytochemicals such as lutein and isothiocyanates; vitamins A, E, and K; amino acids and enzymes. They enhance the properties of B-12 and are excellent at helping to balance the gut.
Artichokes are also packed with minerals such as silica (critical for hair, nails, bones, etc…a building block for collagen and so much more). They also contain large amounts of magnesium as well as sedation phytochemicals and calming minerals that help to calm all body systems.
Artichokes are extremely nourishing to the liver, spleen, pancreas, brain, adrenals, and thyroid as they help to replenish our foundational nutrient reserves. Because artichokes are so helpful to the pancreas, they are a powerful healing food for people who suffer from blood sugar imbalances. Additionally, artichokes help protect the body from the damage of radiation.
1 onion, diced
1 leek, diced and rinsed
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup vegetable broth (instead of oil for sauté)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 small carrots, diced
1/2 cup pumfu
1/4 cup olives
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 pinch Saffron
1 cup round short-grain rice (any short-grain rice will do)
3 cups vegetable broth (see notes)
1 cup frozen green peas
Sea salt to taste
lemon juice to taste
1–2 fresh rosemary sprigs
Garnish: Fresh parsley and lemon slices
Vegan Saffron Paella
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 leek, diced and rinsed
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup vegetable broth (instead of oil for sauté)
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 small carrots, diced
- ½ cup pumfu
- ¼ cup olives
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 pinch Saffron
- 1 cup round short-grain rice (any short-grain rice will do)
- 3 cups vegetable broth (see notes)
- ½ cup artichoke hearts
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- Sea salt to taste
- lemon juice to taste
- 1-2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- Fresh parsley and lemon slices
- Sauté the onions, leek and garlic in vegetable broth until soft. Don’t add all the vegetable broth at once to the pan. Add it one tbsp at a time to prevent sticking. You may to need the whole one cup, but if you have leftovers, you can use them to cook the rice.
- Open up the packet of artichokes. I recommend Melissa’s Produce because they are steamed and vacuum sealed with only the addition of sea salt. Chop the artichoke hearts in half.
- Then add the carrots and mushrooms to the pan and sauté for 4 - 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Next add the tomato sauce and tomato paste and the chopped artichokes and olives.
- Prep a pinch of saffron in ¼ cup of hot water and mix evenly with a wooden spoon. Keep it for later.
- Add the rice to the pan.
- Add vegetable broth to the pan.
- Increase the heat to let the broth get hotter. Once it’s bubbling, turn the heat down to a low simmer.
- If the rice is not cooked through once you have simmered for about 15 minutes, you can add more vegetable broth and let it simmer until the rice is fully cooked. In my experience, it takes a bit of trial and error to get this part of cooking paella just right. The biggest risk is undercooked rice, but that is easily fixable by adding more broth to cook it with. Also if you run out of broth, you can even just add water.
- Add the prepped saffron water to the rice and mix evenly.
- Open your packet of pumfu and crumble it and add it to the paella and finally add the green peas on top. Mix gently through.
- To serve, add parsley, lemon juice and enjoy hot!
For more incredible recipes your whole family will love, check out my Flourish Kids Recipe Book. Included in this book are:
- Drinks: 7 Recipes
- Smoothies and Breakfast: 20 Recipes
- Snacks, Sides and Appetizers: 11 Recipes
- Soups and Salads 5 Recipes
- Desserts: 12 Recipes
- Dinners/Entrees/Quick Meals: 16 Recipes
Please leave me a comment below letting me know if you make this vegan saffron paellaor any of the recipes from the Flourish Kids Recipe Book. I would love to know how it turns out – your feedback is always appreciated.
To your health & happiness,