Delicious Paleo Seafood Paella
I love a challenge. So while I’m planning my recipes for the week I will ask the hubby if he is in the mood for any particular meal. Of course he didn’t pick something easy like salad, he picks paella. Thanks hubby. Challenge accepted.
Of course I wasn’t going to make the traditional paella that is made with rice. Since I replace rice with quinoa in my other recipes like paleo “faux” fried rice, I knew it could be done. The secret is in the spices. I found this awesome recipe on www.skinnyms.com as a great starting point.
Since quinoa is so versatile and absorbs any seasoning or flavoring you incorporate into it, I was pretty sure this would work. Off to the laboratory (kitchen) I went.
We used shrimp and sea scallops for the protein but by using quinoa, the protein levels gets kicked up even more! Quinoa is just so super awesome. I could eat it every day (and almost do).
- 1 sweet vidalia onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (I use the kind from a jar)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (separated)
- 1½ cups dry quinoa, rinse well if not using the already rinsed kind like I do
- 6 cups chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads (optional, Tumeric)
- ½ teaspoon Spanish paprika (can sub with regular paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- ½ cup sliced roma tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded & membrane removed, diced small
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 3 teaspoon seafood seasoning - separated (2 teaspoons and 1 teaspoon)
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed
- 1 pound sea scallops, thawed and rinsed
- Before starting anything, place the shrimp and scallops in a bowl, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of seafood seasoning, mix it around so all of the seasoning touches everything. Place in fridge until ready to use.
- Start your quinoa. I use the pre-rinsed kind but if you don't, make sure to rinse your quinoa so it doesn't have any bitterness.
- Put 1½ cups of uncooked quinoa and 3 cups of chicken broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, add ½ teaspoon of saffron threads, spanish paprika, black pepper, a dash of salt and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 4 or 5 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, in a LARGE skillet (I used a heavy cast iron one), heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute your diced onion for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once your onion has been sauteed add another tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, red bell pepper and tomatoes, stir and continue to saute for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Add quinoa, 3 cups chicken broth and bay leaf to the onion mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the other ½ teaspoon of saffron threads, 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low boil and cover for 10 minutes.or until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add peas, shrimp and scallops. Sink them down into the quinoa mix so that the seafood is surrounded by the quinoa. Cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes while still covered.
- Remove bay leaf and serve.