Here in South Florida rice and beans is a common dish. In fact, if you look all around the world, most cultures have some kind of a rice and beans dish. That is because the amino acids present in rice and the amino acids present in beans combine to make a perfect protein. That makes this Vegetable and Bean Paella not only delicious, but highly nutritious and satisfying. The vegetables add some extra fiber for a happy colon and happy tastebuds and the smoked paprika adds a little exotic flavor.
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup brown rice
Pinch of salt
2 cups boiling vegetable stock
3/4 cup cannellini beans
8 grape tomatoes, halved
4 small artichokes in oil from jar, drained and quartered
6 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
1 lemon wedges
Heat up the olive oil in a large shallow skillet, and gently cook the onions for about 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the bay leaves, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne and stir.
Add the rice and stir thoroughly. Add the vegetable stock and a pinch of salt, cover. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for about 45 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
Once the rice is cooked, remove the paella pan from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed (without stirring the rice and vegetables much).
Scatter the peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, and beans over the rice and cover the pan tightly with foil. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Take off the foil and scatter the olives on top of the paella and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.