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Have you ever tried red rice before?

April Cooking By Color – Red

Hey blissies! You asked to know what I usually eat day to day and I told ya! Be sure to leave a comment to tell me how you eat and give me ideas for quick meals. I’m getting sick of salads and tacos everyday lol!

I’m happy to announce that April will be red month here on the blog! We’ve got some delicious recipes waiting in the wings for you, but first tell me:

What are YOUR favorite red foods and what do you like to make with them!?

moroccan red rice paella

Have you ever tried red rice before? I love me some whole grains in many varieties. The first time I had Bhutanese red rice was many years ago from Lotus Foods. They have exquisite grains! This red rice came from the bulk bin at my local natural food store, so be sure to check there for a variety of whole grains (I love black forbidden rice too!) at great prices. Red rice has a somewhat nutty and richer flavor than say brown rice.

paella spices

This red rice was calling to be made into paella. I looked into my spice cabinet and grabbed every red spice I could find. Saffron, smoked paprika, and cinnamon sounded perfect. Combined with fire-roasted tomatoes and roasted red pepper, we’ve have a beautiful red dish on our hands!

paella fixins

The Gardein is totally optional and you could even use a different kind of alternative meat. Artichoke hearts would be nice too. I found that the gardein gave this dish a heartier, almost umami-like flavor and was really comforting. Paella is traditionally made with meat or seafood so the Gardein is a nice spin on that. This would be perfect to serve to a meat-eating friend or family member and lovely to take to a potluck to share.

paella prep

Many sources online said that red rice takes 20 minutes to cook. That was not the case with this rice! I guess red rice can be sold hulled in such a way that cuts down the cooking time. Make sure you look at the package or label on the bin and follow the directions according to that for water to rice ratio and cooking time. Enjoy!

Red ruby moroccan red rice paella

Red Ruby Moroccan Paella
Makes 4 to 5 servings

2 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon saffron
Dash cinnamon
1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1 cup red rice, washed and drained
2 tablespoons dried cranberries (fruit-sweetened if possible)
Pinch sea salt
2 roasted bell peppers, chopped (I used the jarred kind not in oil)
About 1 cup Gardein beef tips, chopped (optional)

Heat a small amount of veggie broth in a medium deep saucepan (fitted with lid) and bring to a boil. Add carrot, garlic, and spices and saute for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, red rice, cranberries and salt to the saucepan. Add the remaining veggie broth and bring to a boil. Simmer on low with the lid on for 40 minutes. Top with roasted red pepper and Gardein, if using, return the lid and cook for another 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

What kinds of dishes do you make when you want something hearty and comforting?