I love the stories behind dishes. This one starts out with having saffron in the pantry, and not knowing what the heck to make with it. After a brief search, it became apparent that saffron is used mostly in paella, and rice dishes.
It was then that I knew that this vegan paella was in my future. I’ve got a love affair with Beyond Meat lately too, and knew that this plant-based sausage would be a match made in heaven. But first, a little history.
This is definitely a bastardized version of the dish, I ain’t gonna lie. Traditionally, paella refers to the pan it is cooked in – which is shallow, flat, and has two handles. In the photos here, you’ll see that the pan is indeed shallow, with two handles. It is merely a prop, and not a cooking vessel. I used a 3.5 quart saute pan for this recipe, as you’ll see in the video. It worked beautifully!
Short grain white rice is the tradition in paellas, but here, again, I switched things up. For my household, it’s all about using what you’ve got, and thanks to Melissa’s Produce, millet is abundant in the house right now, so there you have it. If you’d like to make this recipe, use the grains you have, unless you’re absolutely dying to try millet. I love millet. Plus it’s more nutritious for you too.
Ah yes, the meat part of this “Veggie Paella” is Beyond Meat’s Beyond Sausage! Going back again to tradition, way back in the 1800’s, paella was made with water vole meat. I don’t know what the heck a water vole is, though it looks like a beaver/otter. It went on to use rabbit, chicken, and duck when living standards improved, and then on to what we are used to today (except myself apparently), with shellfish, and sausages.
This is my own take on paella, and I couldn’t be more pleased. The broth is very flavorful with the smoked spices and saffron, and hearty with a robust mix of vegetables, nuts, and the star – Beyond Sausage. With it, you don’t miss the meat at all. It’s perfectly seasoned on it’s own, lends a chewy texture with a protein kick, making this dish complete and delicious.
This plant-based version of the classic Spanish dish will not disappoint!
- 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil Extra Virgin
- 1 Package Beyond Sausage
- 1 Cup Onion , diced
- 2 Tablespoons Garlic , finely chopped
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Black Pepper
- 1 Whole Enjoya Pepper , 1 inch dice
- 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes , halved
- 2 Cups Millet
- 4 Cups Vegetable Broth Low Sodium
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Saffron
- 1/2 Cup Green Olives , halved
- 1/2 Cup Peas , frozen
- 1/2 Cup Almonds , roughly chopped
- 1/4 Cup Parsley , Italian flat leaf, roughly chopped
- 1 Whole Lemon , cut into 8 wedges
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. The pan should have straight, tall edges, and a lid.
Cut the Beyond Sausage into coins on a bias, about 10 slices per sausage. Add olive oil to the hot saute pan, and sear the sausage on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, and reserve.
Reduce heat to medium on the pan, and add the onions. Stir, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook 1 minute more.
Add in the Enjoya pepper, tomatoes, and millet. Stir, toasting the millet and vegetables for 3 minutes. Add in the vegetable stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get up all of the good bits.
Turn the heat up to high, then add in the smoked paprika, saffron, olives, peas, and cooked sausage. Stir to distribute evenly, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until the millet is tender.
To serve, garnish with chopped almonds, parsley, and lemon wedges.