Baa Baa’s veggie paella

Baa Baa’s veggie paella

Recipes From a Normal Mum
David Loftus

Baa Baa is my dad. Much as he has tried to get the boys to call him Grandpa they persist in this baby name they conjured back when ‘P’s caused much trouble and strife. My dad makes this to use up any veggies on the verge of being sacrificed to the compost heap. It is a great way to get little ones preparing vegetables and there’s no raw meat to stress out the food hygiene inspector in all parents. This doesn’t for a second even pretend to moonlight as a proper paella. Can be eaten cold as a rice salad the next day.


Quantity Ingredient
1/2 red pepper
3 tomatoes
30g frozen peas
2 tablespoons tinned sweetcorn kernels, drained
1 spring onion
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pinch turmeric
100g paella rice
330ml vegetable stock, made using a low-salt stock cube
ground black pepper, (optional)


  1. The first and most important job is to prepare all the vegetables, be that cutting, snipping, weighing or tasting; let the kids get as involved as you dare. Deseed and chop the red pepper, quarter the tomatoes, measure the peas and sweetcorn and slice the spring onion into rounds. Usually as the last vegetable is being prepared they get a little bored and wander off. This is your cue to begin the less child-friendly frying part.
  2. Gently heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic, spices and rice and fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the red pepper, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let gently simmer for 10–15 minutes, uncovered, without stirring.
  3. Towards the end of the cooking, add the peas and sweetcorn. When the rice is cooked through (try it for bite – if your child will only eat it very soft then you may need to add a little more water) remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Divide between bowls, sprinkle with the spring onions and a little black pepper and serve.
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