Friday, July 6, 2012

Seafood Spaella (Spelt Paella)

Traditionally, paella is made with a spanish style rice which has little to no nutritional value, along with a mix of veggies and protein of some sort- seafood paella was always my favorite, and when I entered the low-carb world, I thought paella was something I would never eat again; however, once I decided to reincorporate grains into my diet, paella became less of a no-go, especially since I could make it with whatever grain I wanted. Really, what makes paella true paella is the Saffron, and after a trip to a taping of The Martha Stewart show a few months ago (she taped a paella special), we left with a nice size jar of Saffron. I tell you all of this because after my mom broke the jar of Saffron, it reminded me I wanted to try making paella with it, and I finally got around to testing out a recipe (which came out delicious!)- Just a warning, this recipe takes a bit of prep-work, and if you don't have all of these ingredients on hand, feel free to sub whatever veggies or protein you want- this is just what I had/used!

You will need:
1 serving Spelt
3-4oz mixed seafood of your choice (I'll admit, I used a frozen blend from Trader Joes which contained scallops, shrimp, and calamari)
3 T peas
4 T chopped tomatoes
1-2 t chopped olives
3 T chopped jalepenos/banana peppers
3 T chopped onions and mushrooms
1/4 t saffron threads (really even less than this)
Seasoning of your choice for the seafood (I used a mix of chili powder, paprika (I would have used smoked paprika if my dad wasn't eating the dinner, but he doesn't like smoked paprika), onion powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and a touch of cayenne pepper)

First, soak the spelt overnight or as far in advance as you think of it. Thaw your seafood if frozen and season it accordingly and allow to sit in the seasoning for a few hours to really absorb the flavors.

When you're ready to cook, drain the spelt and rinse, and then cover it in water and let it simmer for about 35 minutes at which point you will add 1/2 of the saffron. Let that cook for another 10 minutes, or until the spelt is almost cooked all the way through. Then add the seafood and the rest of the saffron (and whatever liquid formed from the marinade) and cook for another 10 minutes before adding the rest of the vegetables. Let simmer for another couple of minutes until the veggies are cooked to your liking. If you like your peas cooked thoroughly, add them before the other vegetables.

Just a disclaimer, I made this recipe for 3, so I tried to scale the recipe above for a single serving, though the numbers might be slightly off. Each serving should have less than 250 calories if you follow the serving size listed on the packaging, though it really depends on the spelt, veggies, and seafood that you use. Pin It

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