Having just returned from a brilliant week away assisting and teaching on the Be-Yoga Holiday in Spain, I’m full of gratitude for those who joined us and enjoyed their time away in the sunshine! A Yoga retreat is dependent upon so many things, and the people who choose to come on it are definitely one of the biggest factors in whether the week runs smoothly….
Beginning each day with an energising Yoga practice, the rest of our time at the very special Suryalila retreat centre was filled with wholesome, nourishing food, walks in the Spanish countryside, trips to nearby white-washed and cobbled-street towns, meditation, massage, a chance to explore lots of different
aspects of Yoga through evening sessions, ranging from Yin, restorative, partner-Yoga, yoga nidra, and even discussions delving into the often overlooked aspects of Yoga philosophy. Of course, there was plenty of time to relax by the natural salt water swimming pool, or spend some time in one of Suryalila’s secluded seating areas and hammocks, overlooking awe-inspiring views across southern Spain.
Based on the times I have stayed there – the staff at Suryalila ensure all guests feel completely at home as soon as they arrive, and you’ll discover that there’s no better place to watch the sunrise or set.
With organic wine and beer on offer throughout the week, there’s no need to feel as though you have to strictly detox while away on this retreat, although the wholesome atmosphere and completely natural meals will leave you feeling healthier and happier in no time.
Suryalila are very well known for their gourmet vegetarian and vegan dishes, and every day, breakfast, lunch and dinner holds something new, delicious and completely healthy. Although we’ve been pestering them for a recipe book, it may be a while until one is on the shelves, so until then, here’s one of Suryalila’s special recipes – straight from the kitchen to you….
Paella is a dish we might all think of when envisioning trips to Spain, but it’s usually not vegetarian. Since the Suryalila kitchen is dedicated to preparing healthy vegetarian and vegan meals, we were treated to a special Suryalila spin on the classic Spanish dish.
Taken from a blog post via the Suryalila kitchen, here’s the recipe for their very special paella, a wonderful treat for Spring and Summer gatherings!
Suryalila Vegetarian Paella for 10
Prepare all ingredients and set aside…
- 3 cups Bomba rice (similar to arborio rice, and traditionally used for Paella)
- 6 cups good vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron
- 1 cup fresh fava beans, peeled, lightly poached in salted water or broth until their skins split.
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed into 5-6 inch lengths, and lightly coated in olive oil and salt
- 2 fire-roasted red peppers, one cut into long decorative strips, and 1 diced finely
- 8-10 wedges of marinated artichoke hearts
Marinate the Tofu (optional)…
- 1 pound of tofu, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 t oregano
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1/2 t salt
- 3 T smoked paprika (or sweet)
Fry tofu in olive oil until slightly brown on some sides, add all seasonings and toast on low heat for a minute or two. Let marinade for up to a day at room temperature if possible.
Sauté the Oyster Mushrooms…
- 1 pound oyster mushrooms, torn into pieces
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 t crushed garlic
- 1/2 t salt and pepper
Sauté oyster mushrooms slowly in a non-stick pan with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic until browned and flavorful on all sides. If not using tofu, add paprika and oregano to mushrooms instead of tofu.
Make a Kick-Ass Sofrito…
- 1 cup onions, diced
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 cup green peppers, diced
- 1 T garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 cups cubed or crushed tomatoes, bottled or fresh
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- In one medium-sized paella pan or large skillet, saute onions with olive oil and salt until soft. Add garlic, green peppers, finely diced roasted red pepper and saute for 5 or more minutes until soft and onions start to brown. Add chopped parsley and tomatoes to middle of pan and cook n medium flame for another 5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to caramelize slightly.
- Add dry bomba rice and stir into sofrito until rice is thoroughly hot and just starting to stick to bottom of pan, (about 2 minutes).
- Add hot saffron broth slowly to paella pan, allowing the broth to completely cover the rice. Add mushrooms and tofu and push them gently into rice and broth, without stirring. Shake pan to even out rice level and make sure the liquid just covers everything, adding more if necessary.
- Cover paella pan with foil and allow to cook over a medium flame for about 10 minutes.
- Remove foil and arrange red pepper strips, artichoke hearts, and asparagus spears decoratively on top of rice.
- Sprinkle fava beans over top, cover again with foil and simmer slowly for another 10 minutes*, or until water is completely absorbed and rice is cooked al dente. Don’t be afraid to add a bit more broth if your paella is starting to get crispy on the bottom but is still not cooked on the top or sides.
- * If your paella pan is much larger than your burner, place it on 2 lit burners for the last 10 minutes, and rotate every minute, so the sides of the pan also get cooked.
- Stick a fork into the middle of the pan and try the rice to test if it’s done. The bottom should be sticking to the pan a little, and the top should be al dente, but not actually crunchy.
- Take off heat, remove foil, and serve with lemon wedges. Buon Provencho!
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien