Paella is a fantastic way to upgrade what can be a blah side into a tasty, crowd-pleasing, weeknight meal. Thanks to cauliflower, a member of the brassica family, this dish is low in carbs... and calories, but high in fiber and cancer-fighting phytonutrients. Combined with lean protein from the shrimp, this easy dish is a boon for those undergoing treatments for which they may need to manage their weight. With its complex flavor, this paella in no way feels like deprivation — only just delicious and satisfying.
In a large oven-proof sauté pan over medium heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add onions, tomatoes, peppers and kale. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add saffron and smoked paprika and stir to combine.
Add cauliflower rice and about ¼ cup water. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
Smooth the top of the cauliflower and vegetables into an even layer. Place the shrimp on top of the rice and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
Transfer pan to oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and fully cooked. Garnish with the parsley and serve.
Alexandra Zeitz, Drexel Food Lab
Try to use saffron if you can. Its sweet mellow flavor works beautifully with the smoked paprika. If you can’t, instead use ½ teaspoon of turmeric in step 2. It will give your cauliflower rice paella its beautiful classic yellow color.
In the winter, when tomatoes aren’t in season, use 2 cups of canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh, and if you use a 28-ounce can, freeze the leftovers for another meal.