Chicago Whole Foods Market Vegetable Paella

12-31-12 Christmas, Paella, eBay 018

This dish is delicious, healthy, and gluten free. I love it, and it is one of the few dishes I make at home that rivals restaurant food. It is great for winter and fall as you have the oven at 350° C (176.67° F) for about 45 minutes. It warms up the house. The recipe is from one of those Whole Foods Market recipe cards they have in the stores for free. This is completely copied from the card and I was unable to find the recipe on their website! You can see the card from the Whole Foods Market in the picture on the right. Even the Taste For Life magazine at Whole Foods is not online, you have to go to store every month to get it, and sometimes they are all out before the month is over. I was concerned it may not be allowed or considered plagiarism if I put the recipe here, but when I went on the Whole Foods website forum they replied that it was fine especially because the pictures are my own and the recipe is modified to the locale and that I may post a link to a recipe on the Whole Foods site. Below are the links to the forum and a paella recipe on the site:


  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced 1/4″
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 8 oz seitan or optional diced chicken breast
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups long grain brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • Optional: 1 lb mussels, cleaned and beard removed
  • 1  14 oz can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamatta olives drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1   15 oz can garbanzo beans no salt added, drained
  • 1   15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes no salt added
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 T tamari, low sodium


    • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
    • Heat the wine in an ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and sweat 3-5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
    • Add the chicken or seitan, rice, vegetable stock, water and saffron to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven and bake 45 minutes until most, but not all, the liquid is absorbed.
    • Stir in the diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, garbanzo beans, paprika, pepper and tamari. **If desired place the mussels on top of the rice. Cover and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and mussels have steamed open (if added).

I have made this several times and am happy not adding the mussels, chicken, and or seitan. Even the saffron I have skimped on due to the price. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice because it is labor intensive and does not grow well in most 12-31-12 Christmas, Paella, eBay 026areas outside of Spain. I am sure the saffron is good for you, but I did not notice it in the taste and have added less or none at all and the dish is still delicious. It is embarrassing, but one time I left the mussels in the fridge for too long and they started to smell really bad. Seafood will smell bad. One time a shrimp plate was left in the garbage and it caused the kitchen to smell bad until it was disposed of outside. Use seafood quickly and make sure any packaging is placed in the garbage outside. The chicken is not necessary, you can put it on the side. Seitan has gluten, and it is possible I have a sensitivity to gluten so decided against it. If you start this at 3:00 pm it should be done by 5:00 pm and be fresh out of the oven for dinner. I like listening to the radio while I am prepping the food. The smell of the food is uplifting too; cooking probably could help with depression. The one picture also has avocado. It is in a molcajete from the Sur La Table store and has parchment paper because of concern the pumice could have bacteria especially because it says not to use soap to wash it. I used to follow a nice guacamole recipe from but now only do that occasionally. The avocado is what makes the guacamole taste great and I just smash the avocado and add garlic and lemon juice and pepper, chile powder, whatever is in the kitchen that is a common ingredient for guacamole. It still tastes great because of the avocado mainly. You can stock up on a lot of the ingredients and then just buy the some of the ingredients fresh at Whole Foods Market like the kalmatta olives and red pepper. I did cook the paella in a wok, I just like using the wok. It is different and I find it fun. Not sure what they use in Spain to cook paella, though. Looking at Wikipedia this looks like at least a slightly Americanized version of paella, but it is still delicious if you ask me. The seafood paella with shrimp probably tastes better, and the mixed paella also has my interest.  This is not authentic, but healthy and delicious and gluten free. Nevertheless, this recipe tastes good and I would make it again.

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