A couple of weeks ago we had a wonderful family beach day at our favorite beach. This is actually the beach where we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary and later on that night found out we were expecting. A couple of months later we set up our pregnancy announcement there and took pictures to let everyone know we were going to be parents! So exciting!
I’ve actually been going to this beach since I was a kid. I used to go with my family all the time and remember always stopping by the fish market that’s right across the street. My mom would buy fresh seafood and then cook a delicious meal for everyone. I sort of have continued the tradition as I grew up and kept going there every summer. This is my absolutely favorite fish market and their seafood really is very fresh. They catch it themselves so it’s a lot cheaper too.
Whenever I buy seafood from this market my go to meals are either lobster or paella. Paella is one of my all time favorite dishes. I love seafood and Paella is one of the most delicious ways to enjoy it in my opinion. This time however, I wanted to try something a little different. Instead of rice I wanted to use quinoa to add an extra hint of nutrition.
Substituting quinoa for rice in Paella is an idea I’ve had in the past but never actually tried it. This time I decided to just go for it and it actually worked out and came out pretty great. I used all of the same ingredients I usually use when I make Paella. So all the flavors where the same and the texture didn’t change that much since everything gets mixed in together anyway. I always omit to use sausage or chorizo in my Paella because I personally don’t like it that way. Chicken and seafood are enough protein for me and keeps my Paella clean and healthy.
This recipe uses fresh ingredients and authentic flavors. Using fresh seafood and saffron are the key to making a successfully delicious Paella. The quinoa gives this dish the added nutritional value to make it the perfect filling and healthy meal. It’s perfect for a summer Sunday dinner to enjoy with your family outside while creating endless memories. Give this recipe a try and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Quinoa Chicken and Seafood Paella
- 1 lb large shrimp (peeled and devined)
- 1 lb scallops
- 6-8 clams
- 6-8 mussles
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 2 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 tomatoes
- 4 green onions
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp saffron strings
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable butter
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- rice vinegar to taste
- juice from 1 lemon
- lemon wedges for garnish
- fresh parsley for garnish
Start by washing and rinsing your seafood. Chop up all your vegetables.
In a paella pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat. Cut chicken into cubes and brown on heated pan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove cooked chicken from pan and keep warm.
Add another tbsp olive oil to paella pan and heat. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with rice vinegar to taste.
Remove shrimp from pan and keep warm.
Add butter and another tbsp olive oil to paella pan and heat up. Add scallops and drizzle with rice vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Sear scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove scallops from pan and keep warm.
Add last tbsp olive oil to paella pan and heat up. Sautee Onions, tomatoes and red peppers for 2-3 minutes.
Add uncooked quinoa to sautéed vegetables. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
Add saffron, turmeric, paprika and salt.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Bring heat down to low and cover pan with aluminum foil. Enough to cover the whole pan. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Add green onions, garlic and peas and stir. Add cooked chicken, shrimp and scallops. Mix everything together.
Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork.
Place Clams and mussels around paella and drizzle with lemon juice. Cover again and continue simmering on low for another 12-15 minutes or until clams and mussels open.
Remove Paella from heat and garnish with lemon wedges and fresh chopped parsley. Serve immediately.