To whomever looked at rice, tomatoes, peas, shrimp and chicken and thought “Eureka! Throw it all in a pan, put the top on and cook it all at once! It’ll be killer!”, I tip my hat to you sir-or-ma’am. I mean, who would have thought that you could make such a perfect, nutritious, substantial, leftover-friendly meal by literally throwing stuff together in a pan* and letting it, essentially, cook itself into a comforting meal that can warm you up even on the most single-digit of days? The Spaniards, that’s who.
But, in true UN-worthy cross-cultural cooperation, leave it to the Italians to improve it. Wait, let me back up. You see, I’m not entirely sure what kind of rice is traditionally used by Spanish grandmothers and other authentic-Paella-makers, but I am here to tell you that arborio rice – yes, that very starchy variety with the plump and tender little grains that create the delicious foundation of a perfectly cooked, warm and comforting Italian meal – makes the perfect base for this easy dinner.
If you’re sitting here side eyeing this post because where have you heard of arborio rice before?? it’s because it is probably more commonly known as “risotto rice” (ooohhh yeeeeeaaaah…) but it’s given name, if you will, is arborio. And Village Harvest‘s arborio rice is the perfect jumping off point to build this killer one pan meal.
It’s worth noting the brand of the rice because not all rice is created equally, and you already know I am really limited in the volume and variety of grains that I can eat, so when I do eat grains, I make sure to choose the best I can find. Village Harvest’s arborio rice is the highest quality available; it is natural and unprocessed, “superfino” (superior) grade and sourced directly from the Po River Valley in Italy. All this means that, if you’re eating grains as part of your healthy diet, Village Harvest products make it easy to stay on track with exciting, versatile recipes. With plentiful antioxidants, fiber and vitamins, Village Harvest offers varieties that satisfy your desire to explore new flavors and dishes in a healthy way.
Not only do they offer top quality products, but Village Harvest also does a lot to improve the communities that they operate in, from the farmers growing the rice to the schools that the farmers’ children attend.
In their own words,“Village Harvest is dedicated to exploring innovative change, whether it’s new ways to help the farmer, or discovering new possibilities in the kitchen: it’s more than just rice, it’s global goodness in every bag. Not only is Village Harvest invested in exciting changes in the kitchen, they support communities through social development and sustainability projects. Village Harvest sends funds that help build schools and education programs, provides clothing and food for children and pledge to donate 1% of profits to support these global programs.”
So, supporting a company that makes the world a better place with every purchase, while enjoying a healthy, hearty winter meal? Talk about having your paella and eating it too.
*A brief aside on the staggeringly compelling (but, here, relevant) subject of pans: Paella, the dish, is named for the Spanish word for pan, generally, not specifically a paella pan. If you have a paella pan, great! Here’s a chance to put it to good use. I don’t have a paella pan, but used this three quart stainless steel saute pan worked great for this recipe. Any heavy-bottomed pan with high-ish sides will work, as long as it has a top.
Also, while we’re on the subject of expensive tools and ingredients, this recipe calls for saffron, which is one of the most expensive ingredients known to man short of, maybe, edible gold leaf. But it’s up there. It only calls for a few threads, which will not break the bank, but if you don’t have it on hand and don’t want to spend the money, just skip it.
Nutrition Information: Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 656Saturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 1018mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 7gSugar: 12gProtein: 27g
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.