When we got gifted a big bag of fresh, locally caught shrimp from Cody’s brother, we knew we had to think of something special to cook with it. We’d been toying with the idea of doing a Paella recipe, but couldn’t decide if we wanted to make it low-carb or indulgent. The low-carb version would be made with cauliflower and the “indulgent” version with quinoa. After much deliberation, and convincing from Zellie, we decided to go with cauliflower. It was definitely the right decision. Easy Cauliflower Paella.
Paella is defined as “a Spanish dish of rice cooked with chicken, seafood, vegetables, etc., and flavored with saffron”. What I take away from that is that Paella can pretty much be made however you want. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible, of course, and decided to go with two meats and two seafoods: chicken, chorizo sausage, baby scallops and baby shrimp. For veggies we went with tomato, onion, and peas. For flavor: garlic and saffron.
We came very close to substituting the saffron for turmeric, since we couldn’t find any smaller quantities of it for sale and didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg to do one meal. Finally, after visiting a third grocery store in search of it, we found a 0.4g pack by Badia that cost only about $3. Yay! It still has enough for 4 recipes since you only need a pinch of it. Not bad at all. We were extremely happy to find it, because if we were going to do a simple and easy Paella with cauliflower instead of rice, we at least had to have the correct authentic flavor to it. Badia for the win!
Although our Cauliflower Paella doesn’t fall under the “Chirpy fast meal” tab, it’s still decently quick to make and can easily be served as a midweek dinner if you’re feeling like treating your family/friends to a special (healthy and lip-smacking) meal.
Easy Cauliflower Paella
- 1 cup chicken (cut into bite size cubes)
- 1 cup chorizo sausage (cut into slices)
- 1 cup frozen baby scallops
- 2 cup frozen baby shrimp
- 1 onion (finely diced)
- 2 tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 cups cauliflower rice
- 1/2 cup broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 pinch saffron
- to taste salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sauté the onion over a medium high heat until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken and chorizo sausage. Season and cook until it is all evenly seared.
- Add the tomato, garlic, saffron, cauliflower and a little splash of broth (not the entire 1/2 cup). Be very careful with the broth as all the veggies release their own liquid and you don't want the dish to be too watery. Only add more if needed.
- When the cauliflower is just about cooked, after about 6-8 minutes, add the scallops, shrimp and peas and cook for another minute.
- Lastly, add the butter and check the seasoning and adjust if needed. Stir until the butter is melted.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and servee immediately. Add lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over.
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