Paleo Pen Pals and Paella (Low Carb and Paleo)

Paleo Paella

This month I participated in Paleo Pen Pals.  I had participated in a foodie pen pal group before, but I was looking for something a little more low carb/paleo friendly.  Luckily, Tarah from What I Gather and Brittanie from Three Diets One Dinner had the great idea of forming a Paleo Pen Pals exchange.  Basically each month you are paired up with another Paleo blogger or someone that follows the Paleo diet (you don’t have to have a blog to participate, just a love of cooking healthy, delicious food) and you exchange a unique, paleo-friendly ingredient/local item that your partner can use to create a delicious Paleo recipe. If you are interested in joining the fun, you can sign up at the Paleo Pen Pals Facebook Page or by sending them an email at paleopenpals[at]gmail[dot]com.

My Pen Pal this month was Jeremiah over at Minimalist Nutrition and  he sent me an ingredient that I’ve wanted to try for awhile….saffron!  I knew right away that the first thing I wanted to try with the saffron was Paella….paleo style.  Paella is a Spanish style dish typically made with rice, but I used cauli-rice for mine.  The Paella had so much flavor and was a perfect hearty meal.  I can’t wait to try some more dished with saffron!


Paella (Low Carb and Paleo)


  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/2 lb large shrimp
  • 5 oz ground chorizo sausage (with no filler ingredients)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth
  • 4 1/2 cups cauliflower rice*
  • 3/4 tsp salt (plus salt for seasoning the chicken)


  1. Season the chicken with the paprika, oregano, and salt to taste.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chicken (skin side down first) and the chorizo and brown for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, and saffron and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the onions have softened.
  5. Place the chicken on a plate and then add the chicken bone broth to the pan (scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan)
  6. Add the cauliflower rice and salt, then stir to combine.
  7. Add the chicken back into the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Nestle the shrimp into the cauliflower rice and cook for another 6 minutes or until the shrimp and chicken are cooked through. If all of the chicken bone broth is absorbed and the pan starts to get dry before cooking is finished, add another 1/4-1/2 cup of broth.


To make cauli-rice, cut one head of cauliflower into florets and place the florets in a food processor or blender. Pulse until the cauliflower is the size of grains of rice.

Net Carb Count: Paella: 9.5 net carbs (per serving--serves 4)

*Note carb counts are estimated based on the products I used. Check nutrition labels for accurate carb counts and gluten information.


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