winter mom

So, thats my mom^^…. you’ve seen her many times on the blog before… cause well… I love her (obviously, she’s my mom). You’ve seen her Florida visits, and my trip to visit her, and her beautiful home. She is pretty amazing and all the great things a mother should be: loving, strong, beautiful, unconditionally supportive, and of course: a great cook. Today my mother will be posting with a vegan recipe she prepares especially for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 🙂

-Please note when she says: “especial” instead of “special”… you gotta love hispanic mothers 🙂
-my mom wanted you to know the colors are off on the final dish. The peppers and tomatoes aren’t supposed to be a weird pink color.
-she also wanted you to know… she doesn’t care for the fake sausage (neither do I), and she never actually uses it, but thought it might be a good addition to the dish for those of you who enjoy mock meat.
-my mom’s photos may have made this recipe seem much more intimidating than it actually is. This recipe does require a lot of love and a bit of time… but I’m sure with a bit of patience anyone can make this wonderful dinner (or lunch… or breakfast) dish.


The “Vegan Paella” post I promised to my daughter a couple of weeks ago it’s finally here. I am happy to share it because I absolutely love Paella and everything that it represents to me. I can’t think of Paella without thinking of especial moments with family and good friends together around the dinner table always with Spanish music, a good red wine, (a Spanish Rioja is always best) and of course…in a nice wine glass. Also, candles, laughter and more laughter, the aroma of saffron, the flavor of a thick and extra virgin olive oil and everything else that always brings me back to my Spanish heritage.


Getting Ready

For the ones than don’t know me, I absolutely love cooking… cooking for me goes beyond the simple preparation of a meal to become an expression of art in many forms, colors, flavors, textures. To me, it is a way to express love and a way to nurture the ones I love  … my kids and my husband are witness to that.  I love cooking from scratch and I am all about using fresh herbs and ingredients and organic when possible.    I support regional farmers, I like the little meat and eggs I eat to be grass feed, antibiotic and hormones free, cage free and organic fed. I am not vegan but I consider myself a 90% vegetarian.  I have always been or at least try to be a healthy eater  but my awareness and  appreciation for even healthier food choices these days is all thanks to my daughter ‘s influence .  She is my inspiration to healthy living and healthy eating and I have nothing but respect for her values against animal cruelty and for her profound appreciation and respect for nature.  I Love you Andreita, this recipe for Vegan Paella is dedicated to you.

Finished Paella
Fresh Ingredients
Ingredients two
 1/4 cup of extra virgin Olive Oil
 5 cloves garlic sliced
1 sweet onion chopped.
1  red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1/2 cup of chick peas
1/2 cup of navy beans or fava beans
1 small jalapeno seeded and chopped very fine
4  small tomatoes chopped and one large for garnish
Green Onions. (Save some for garnish)
2 cups of Jasmine rice. (I love the aroma and flavor of Jasmine rice)
4 cups (32 fl. oz) of water or vegetable broth. (You can also substitute 1 cup with wine)
2 cups artichoke hearts. (I did not have any for  my dish)
Fresh herbs, (Thyme or oregano)
Sea salt, Black Pepper
 1/12 Tsp of Smoke paprika (a must)
 1 Tsp Saffron (Saffron comes in very small amounts and it may be rather expensive $7 aprox for small container. However, I consider it to be the most important spice in paella)
 2 small envelopes of Sazon Goya without achiote. (achiote only adds color to food and the saffron, besides its wonderful flavor, will also give a nice goldfish color to the paella)
Lemon or lime wedges to garnish

Optional Ingredients
    2 TB spoons of “Red Pepper Spread” with Eggplant and Garlic from Trader Joes
    1 Cup of white wine
    Vegan Chorizo in pieces
Paella is traditionally cooked in a “Paellera” which is a round flat pan with two handles – which is then put on the table.  However, you can use a round casserole with a lid that you can then bring to the table when ready.
 ** In many Spanish villages, especially in coastal areas, they use a giant paellera to cook paella on festival days which is big enough to feed everybody.
Step one
Step two
Saute the onion and garlic until the onion is transparent and tender, about 5 minutes.
Step three
Add the peppers, jalapeno, chick peas, and navy beans and continue to sauté over medium heat for three minutes.
Add the rice, cubed tomato and the “Red Pepper Spread” (if available in your area). Stir gently for 1 minute at low heat.
Step four
Step five
Add water or vegetable broths (substitute one cup of either one with white wine if you wish) add smoke paprika, saffron, Goya seasoning, fresh herbs and salt and pepper to your taste.
Step six
Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer for a couple of minutes. When the surface is still a little bubbly, add the chorizo in pieces and arrange the artichokes around the top. Cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  *** Traditional Paella is cooked in the Paellera open without the lid. However, I prefer to cover mine as I find it to be moister and the rice to be softer***
Remove the lid, stir the rice gently with a fork, squeezed the juice of half of lemon or lime. Add extra virgin olive oil around, sprinkle some fresh oregano and garnish with sliced tomato, green onions and red pepper strips.
Finished Paella Two
Bring the Paella dish  to the table, open a bottle of Spanish red wine, light up your candles, play Spanish music and ……. “Salud y  buen apetito”


  1. Thank you ladies!

    @KotkiDwa Thank you for the bit of information! I new I should have looked into it before posting it. I never had before since I don't have it in my house and I never purchased it! My mom said she also learned something new and will be staying away from it 🙂

    @mami: she's from colombia 🙂

  2. It looks so good! I will try it on my next day off.
    Where is your mother from?

  3. What a lovely recipe, I will definitely give it a go. I also love that your mum uses Vegeta, its something that my mum uses in EVERYTHING she cooks and I didn't realise that anyone else used it as I thought it was only really used in Bosnia.

  4. I have purchased all ingredients to make it tonight. I will be replacing Goya seasoning with Cajun seasoning because Goya's main ingredient is MSG and I couldn't find anything that would come close to it. I hope it still tastes good with Cajun spices. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. I have purchased all ingredients to make it tonight. I will be replacing Goya seasoning with Cajun seasoning because Goya's main ingredient is MSG and I couldn't find anything that would come close to it. I hope it still tastes good with Cajun spices. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. mmm that looks so good. i'm saving this recipe for one of my next days off when i feel like spending some time in the kitchen.

  7. My favorite part of this post is the "especial." My own mother is Cuban and I understand all about "especial" women. 🙂 I will DEFINITELY be trying out this recipe. Thanks for the post.

  8. Drea, I love this post. Having a Spanish background I KNOW that feeling that is aroused with the smell of saffron that emerges from the kitchen. For me, it's also blended with chorizo, octopus and other meaty ingredients that find their way into my parent's paella. Oh, and I do love a good Rioja or Argentina wine. There is something about having a passion for food and wine……glad we have that in common 🙂

    take care lady. have a great weekend.

    p.s. i think our moms would get a long!