Rona's Favorite Healthy (And Not So Healthy) Recipes

Almost Guilt-less Paella

Guilt comes in many forms, doesn’t it?  Health-wise, you can cheat on your workouts, cheat on your mileage and the biggest one….cheating on your food. (notice I didn’t say “diet?”  I HATE that word!)

As an advocate of the lower carb lifestyle, I only have the occasional dinner that includes starchy carbs.  When I don’t use spaghetti squash, I tend to use whole wheat pasta and make a chunky sauce with lots of veggies and protein.  This way, I can eat a lot of sauce and just a little pasta.

In the cast of paella, the usual way to cook this is with rice as the main ingredient and fattier cuts of meats and sausage to flavor it.  Here, I use brown, Jasmine rice and, like my pasta serving, have a lot of protein and veggies to fill in.  It’s really flavorful and doesn’t have a lot of extra fat.  I like this dish because it’s all in one dish and is fancy enough to serve to guests….but try it for yourself first, just in case!

Rona’s Skillet Paella


4 large chicken breasts halves, cut in large chunks

Black pepper

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 medium onion, diced small

1 red pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces

3 cloves of garlic, minced

Big pinch of Saffron threads

Big pinch of cayenne powder (use your discretion depending on your preference for heat)

1 1/4 Cups brown rice

1 lb spicy chicken sausage, cut to 1/2″ slices

1 14oz can of low salt diced tomatoes, liquid included

2 1/2 Cups low sodium chicken broth1 Cup frozen peas

1 lb raw shrimp or mixed seafood (shrimp, clams, scallops, etc)

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a large oven-proof skillet or wok, heat the oil and add the chicken.  Season with pepper and cook over med-high heat until just browned all over.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the onion and red pepper and lower the heat to medium.  Cook until vegetables are softened, 5-8 minutes.  Add the garlic, saffron and cayenne and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes.

Add the rice and stir for 3 minutes. Add the chicken sausage and tomatoes.  stir and cook for anther 2 minutes.  Add the chicken stock.  Increase flame to med-high and simmer until the liquid has reduced a bit-about 5 minutes.

Put the chicken back in the pan, mix well and cover the pan with foil.  Put the pan in the center of the ovn and cook for 20 minutes.   Take the pan out and turn the oven up to 450.  Add seafood and peas to the pan.  Mix and re-cover pan.  Put back in oven for another 8-10 minutes.

Take the paella out and loosen foil.  Let dish sit for 5 minutes.  Serve.

Enjoy and talk to you soon!


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