An non-standard version of Spanish Paella

Pork and Squash PaellaI was inspired to try modifying a paella dish recently.  I was flipping through my Better Homes and Gardens recipe e-mail and came across their Pork and Butternut Squash Paella.  I thought, I love pork and butternut squash and both are healthy to begin with.  But I also wanted to challenge myself to use something I don’t normally use, which is white rice.  I am using a white risotto rice instead of a Spanish style paella rice because that’s what I’m trying to use up.  If you want to check out paella rice here’s the Wikipedia page that lists them.  So now on to our challenge.  I am not changing the butternut squash, pork tenderloin or risotto rice.  I also don’t have a paella pan.  I’m using a Dutch oven (which after reading many people in Spain use).  With the initial look at this recipe, the stats are ok, but because of the rice the carbohydrates and calories are sky-high.  Here are the original stats:

  • 616 Calories
  • 13g Fat
  • 41mg Cholesterol
  • 290mg Sodium
  • 299mg Potassium
  • 96g Carbohydrate
  • 29g Protien
  • 172% Vitamin A
  • 33% Vitamin C

Here’s what I’m changing:

  • I increased the servings to 15
  • I reduced the olive oil to 1 tablespoon
  • I added 7 red bell peppers for vitamin C
  • I added one can of low sugar diced mango for vitamin C
  • I increased the pork to 2 lbs
  • I increased the butternut squash to 2 lbs
  • I added 3/4 cup of brown lentils to increase the protein without the high calories
  • I deleted the tomatoes

Here’s updated recipe:

Pork and Butternut Squash Paella

  • 2 pounds butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1.5 inch chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 7 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 15 ounce cans of low sodium chickpeas
  • 1 can reduced sugar diced mangos
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Toss squash in pan with some cooking spray.  Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender and browned; set aside. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine saffron and 1/4 cup hot water; let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Bring the lentils and water to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes covered.  Turn off the heat and set aside, covered
  3. In a 15-inch paella pan heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add onion and garlic to pan. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Add red bell pepper and paprika. Cook and stir 5 minutes more or until the peppers have softened.
  4. Add chicken broth and saffron mixture; bring to boiling over high heat. Add rice, chickpeas and lentils to pan, stirring to evenly distribute. Cook, without stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the liquid, 10 to 12 minutes. (If your pan is bigger than your burner, rotate it every few minutes to ensure the rice cooks evenly). Reduce heat to low; return pork and squash to pan, nestling down into the rice mixture. Cook, without stirring, 5 to 10 minutes more until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is al dente. Add in the canned mango.  Turn heat to high. Cook, without stirring, 1 to 2 minutes more (edges should look dry and a crust should form on the bottom). Remove from heat. Cover pan with foil. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
 Here are the final stats:
  • 288 Calories
  • 3g Fat
  • 32mg Cholesterol
  • 135mg Sodium
  • 352mg Potassium
  • 48g Carbohydrate
  • 20g Protien
  • 145% Vitamin A
  • 97% Vitamin C
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