Vegan Paella

October 30, 2012

This incredible vegan paella comes from Mariel Hemgingway – actor, presenter, author, speaker, environmental activist, yogi, and holistic living goddess.

Yes, Mariel is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. However, Mariel has become famous in her own right for her talent as an actor, as well as her expertise in holistic living. At the age of thirteen, Mariel took Hollywood by storm with her debut performance in Lipstick. Four years later her work in Woody Allen’s Manhattan earned her an Oscar nomination. She has since appeared in thirty films, made numerous television appearances, and hosted several environmental and humanitarian documentaries.

For over twenty years, she has been pursuing her passion for yoga and health (have you seen her poses?!) and has established herself as one of the most respected voices of balanced health and well-being, speaking and leading wellness retreats all over America. Her website is a great resource for natural living with home and lifestyle tips, healthy recipes, and more.

Mariel is the author of four books, including: Finding My Balance Mariel Hemingway’s Healthy Living From the Inside Out, Mariel’s Kitchen, and The Willing Way with her partner Bobby Williams.

With an emphasis on fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, Mariel’s Kitchen shares 75 super easy, nutritious, delicious, gluten free, sugar free meals that are organized by season. These fresh dishes contain simple accessible ingredients. There are easy summer breakfasts, hearty winter dinners, delectable desserts, snacks, salad dressings and marinades, as well as delicious drinks. Some of my favorites include: Jicama, Carrot and Cucumber Salad; Roasted Artichoke, Eggplant, and Tomato Stacks; Warm Mediterranean White Bean Salad; Chocolate Almond Walnut Brownie Cake; and this delicious Vegan Paella I’m sharing today.

This paella is super quick and easy, and is absolutely incredible. I’ve served this to many dinner guests, and it always gets rave reviews. This recipe is really flexible and forgiving, too. Add in any veggies you have on hand.

Mariel’s Kitchen is not a vegetarian cookbook, but Mariel is mindful about offering vegetarian substitutions. She also shares a comprehensive list of seasonal fruits and vegetables, some great tips on going green, how to best utilize local resources, shopping tips for purchasing organic and sustainable foods, a pantry staples list, and her favorite core recipes that become the foundation for multiple dishes.

One of my favorite things about this book is how Mariel stresses the importance of creating “a repertoire of doable, nutritious recipes that are tasty enough to repeat and that share lots of ingredients.” I really think this is the secret to success in any healthy kitchen for busy people.

All of the recipes are accompanied with beautiful images, easy-to-follow instructions, and heartfelt stories about Mariel’s love of fresh food, passion for the environment, and the connection between mind, body and spirit. It’s really inspiring.

Learn more about Mariel Hemingway.


Vegan Paella

This vegan paella is ridiculously good and has something for everyone to enjoy.

Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Tess Masters


  • 2 cups  vegetable broth
  • bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon  sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon  cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon  saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 6 oz  sliced shiitake mushrooms (or cremini)
  • 1 tablespoon  Celtic sea salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rice
  • 1 pack frozen thawed artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 cup organic shelled edamame 
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed, and diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste


  1. Steep the bay leaf, paprika, cayenne pepper, and saffron threads in the vegetable broth. 
  2. In a large work over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, and sauté the onion, garlic, bell pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt for 5 to 7 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent, and the mushrooms have given up most of their liquid.  
  3. Add the broth mixture, rice, artichokes, and 2 teaspoons of salt, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a medium simmer, cover the wok, and cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through.
  4. Remove the wok from heat, discard bay leaf, and stir in the edamame, tomatoes, and parsley. Stir through the lemon juice, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Season with salt to taste, and serve with lemon wedges.   

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Mariel's Kitchen copyright © 2009. Published by Harper One, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Photo by Trent Lanz and styling by Alicia Buszczak


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