Brown Rice & Fish Paella

One of the best recipes I’ve had since I started my elimination diet was prepared by my father.  He’d given us a cast iron skillet, and when he and my mother visited us last he wanted to try it out.  As I was already limited in what I could eat, we had to get creative with recipes, and this paella resulted.  It was delicious, I was satiated, and it made amazing leftovers!  My parents aren’t usually brown rice people, but they also loved all the flavor packed into this dish.


  • 6-8 2 oz. fillets of fish of choice.  (Cod and salmon work well here, but more traditional shellfish could be used here, as well.)
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 8 oz. mushrooms of choice, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups short grain brown rice (Long grain can be substituted, but I prefer the texture of the short grain here.)
  • 1 container reduced sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced finely
  • 1/3 c. fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. lemon peel
  • dash of paprika
  • 1 package frozen peas


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. In saucepan, heat broth to boiling over high heat.  Stir in saffron threads.  Cover and remove from heat.
  3. In cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot.  Add fennel, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook until the fennel softens.  Add tomatoes, red pepper, and mushrooms.  After cooking for one minute, add the rice and stir well.  Add the warm broth and lemon peel, and heat skillet to boiling.  Boil for approximately 3 minutes or until the liquid thickens slightly.
  4. Place skillet in oven and bake uncovered for 20-23 minutes.  Add the frozen peas.  Top with the fillets of fish, then dust with paprika.  Pop skillet back in the oven, and back 8-10 minutes longer until rice is done and fish is just cooked.
  5. Let rest for 5 minutes, and garnish with remaining parsley.

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