Our Quinoa and Shrimp Paella is adapted from the traditional Spanish version. Normally, paella is made with rice, but we decided to use quinoa and it turned out wonderfully. We love the versatility of paella, because it can be made with chicken, lobster, sausage, green beans, fresh tomatoes, and lima beans.
Yields: 7 servings | Serving Size: 1 cup | Calories: 273 | Total Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 125 | Carbohydrates: 33 g | Sodium: 412 mg | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Sugars: 3 g | Protein: 22 g | SmartPoints: 7 |
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa, rinse well
- 3 cups chicken broth, fat-free, low-sodium
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (optional, Tumeric)
- 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Kosher or sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded & membrane removed, sliced into 1/2" strips
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (click for recipe)
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed
Tip: If saffron is available, it's recommended because of it's distinct Spanish flavor, making it perfect for this dish. Be sure to rub the threads for flavor release when adding to the chicken broth. Saffron is a little on the pricy side but well worth it.
While preparing quinoa, sprinkle shrimp with a pinch of salt and seafood seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large skillet, heat oil to medium-low and sauté onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Add sliced bell pepper strips and sauté an additional 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add quinoa, chicken broth, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, saffron, paprika, black pepper and salt. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil, and continuing cooking approximately 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Add sun-dried tomatoes, peas and shrimp, cover and continuing cooking 5 minutes. Remove from heat, leave covered and allow to set 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve.