We have a cute Spanish Tapas restaurant named Barlata pretty close to the house and they have really delicious food. They happen to have an excellent happy hour (I must write a post about that one), and they have a whole section on their menu for the variety of paellas – 9 to be exact! Paella is a flavorful rice dish – kind of like a Spanish version of fried rice, but way more refined. It’s full of exotic spices – saffron is a must here, and some vegetables, but is also loaded with delicious proteins. I’ve seen so many different types of seafood, chicken, chorizo, andsometimes game meat such as rabbit. Below is my take on making this keto-friendly with a couple of swaps.
Naturally we subbed the rice for cauliflower. Our local grocery store sells it already cut up in the produce department called ‘Cauli-bits’ and it’s perfect for that rice-like size without any effort. What a convenience for that grab and go kind of day where you don’t want to do it yourself or the dinosaur you’re married too complains that it’s too much chopping for his short arms. 😉
I was trying to find Spanish chorizo for more authentic flavors, but I couldn’t so I used regular Mexican chorizo which I love anyway. Peas are real common in Paella, however they are high in carbs due to their natural sugars so we used edamame instead. I think that pop of green is needed for this dish and the swap worked out really well. It not only adds some fiber, but some extra protein too.
Seafood and Chorizo Paella
2 c. cauliflower, cut rice sized
½ lb chorizo, Spanish if you can find it
½ c. onion
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp tumeric
½ c. fresh parsley (save some for garnish)
pinch of saffron threads
½ c. chicken broth
½ c. frozen edamame
16 large shrimp, fresh or frozen
1 c. bay scallops, fresh or frozen
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Heat a cast iron pan to medium heat, add in olive oil. Brown the chorizo. When mostly cooked, add in your onion and celery. Once the onions are softened and mostly translucent, add in your garlic and other spices except saffron and parsley. Let toast for a minute or two till fragrant. Add in the tomatoes, saffron, parsley, edamame and broth. Reduce to low, cover and cook for 6 minutes. Add in your shrimp and scallops, cover and cook for another 8 minutes until seafood is cooked. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedge (the lemon really brightens the dish).
Note: Mine was more of a stew when it was done. If you want it more traditional, don’t cover the 6 minutes prior to adding in the seafood so the liquid evaporates.
Estimated Nutrition Stats: Calories – 325 | Carbs 13g | Net carbs – 8g | Fat 18g | Protein 25g | Fiber 5g.