Sorry for the crazy photo. My laptop is at the Apple Hospital for a few days, so I took a photo with Phil's phone and downloaded it directly to the blog. Somehow the photo got turned on to its' side and I have no idea how to fix it. Also, the color looks neon! It actually looked more like this:
That is a photo I copied from Food Network's website.
This paella delivers a ton of flavor and it is much healthier than a traditional paella. We used low calorie shrimp and chicken sausage in place of the more calorie rich chicken and sausage in a traditional paella. If you are not a shrimp fan, you could certainly use chicken or any other shellfish in place of the shrimp. There is only 3 T. added oil in the entire dish and we use pearl barley in place of the white rice in regular paella. One cup of pearl barley has 6 grams of fiber as opposed to white rice which only contains 2 grams. Adding more fiber to your diet is one of the easiest things you can do to eat healthy in 2012 and beyond.
Full disclosure: I did not make this recipe, Phil did. I wasn't even in the kitchen while he prepared it.
You see, this weekend we had planned a relaxing "Stay-cation", which for us means making NO plans. We went out on Friday night to tapas and a movie with some friends (Girl With the Dragon Tatoo...worth seeing) when I began to sneeze. By the time I got home, my head and nose were completely stuffed and, long story short, I woke up Saturday morning to a nasty cold. So much for a relaxing "Stay-cation".
Luckly for me, Phil's idea of relaxing is spending the day in the kitchen cooking complicated, time consuming recipes that I would never take the time or effort to make. Since we had no dinner plans, and he was going to be in the kitchen any way, I showed him this recipe, which I was going to try next week, and asked if he would make it. He said he would and off to the grocery store he went.
Later that night, when we sat down to the paella, we were all thrilled that it turned out delicious (you never know with healthy recipes...) Joey didn't like the olives, so he picked them out, and I added the chicken sausage. You can do whatever you want to make this recipe your own.
I asked Phil how time consuming this recipe was, and he said the biggest task was prepping all of the ingredients. Looking at the recipe, I noticed that everything could be prepared in advance. It comes together pretty quickly, so depending on how many pockets of time in the day you have to get some of the prep work done, this could be a quick, weeknight meal.
NOTE: I purchased the chicken sausage from Costco. They have several flavors and I think I used the Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Chicken Sausage. Each big link has only 120 calories and 15 grams of protein. It comes fully cooked, all you have to do is slice it and brown it in a pan. This would be great to use in a lighter version of a traditional Sausage and Peppers recipe.
5 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable stock, divided
3 T. EVOO
1 onion chopped
1 c. red peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 c. yellow peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 small fennel bulb, stalks removed, sliced into strips
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. each smoked paprika and ground turmeric
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
¼ c. white wine vinegar
1 pinch saffron
2 ¼ c. hot chicken or vegetable stock
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. fresh geound pepper
¾ # shelled large shrimp (about 16 shrimp)
1 c. peas, fresh or frozen
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
6 marinated artichokes, drained and quartered
15 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
optional: 2 - 3 links chicken sausage, sliced and browned
Bring barley and 3 c. stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover and boil for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat. Let sit, covered for one hour, or until all liquid has absorbed.
Heat oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat and cook onion until softened, 5 minutes.
Add peppers and fennel, cook 5 more minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute.
Add bay leaves, paprika, turmeric and cayenne. Mix in barley and cook 2 minutes. Add vinegar, saffron, 2 c. stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a vigorous simmer.
Stir and cook until liquid reduces by half, 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard.
Stir in shrimp, peas, tomatoes, artichokes, olives, remaining ¼ c. stock and chicken sausage (if using).
Simmer for 2 minutes then turn off heat. Cover tightly and let rest 10 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through.
Makes 4 servings.