My brother is wasting away to nothing.

He has sat on the couch in my parents’ basement since Tuesday. And my mother has not bought him even a single milkshake.

I’m not sure what she’s thinking because he doesn’t even have any pounds to spare.

I tried to offer him some of mine.  “See this bit in the right lower quadrant?” I said.  “It’s all yours.  Totally free of charge.  And because we’re related, I’ll even through in some left lower quadrant for free.”

I really am such a thoughtful sister sometimes.

He must be too hopped up on Vicodin to understand.  Because he refused.


This is why I’m keeping all my wisdom teeth.

There’s no point in getting oral surgery if you’re not going to overindulge your milkshake dreams and desires.  (Of which, mine are vivid.)

No. Point. At. All.

Although I guess you could just sit around and eat peanut butter out of the jar.

On that note.  I might reconsider.


Or if I could convince my mother to make me paella every day.  This paella, to be precise.

It’s definitely soft enough for post-wisdom teeth eats.  And it’s so chock full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals, that I’m sure my surgical wounds would be healed in no time.

She’ll whine and moan and try to say things like, “But I don’t know how to cook!”

I’ll say, “I know.”  And then I’ll throw the Fannie Farmer Cookbook at her head.

Because, thanks to Miss Farmer, there is nothing to “know” other than where your measuring spoons and cups are.  Awesome.


You see, before Fannie Farmer came along and standardized measurements everywhere, people used things like pinches and handfuls and fingertip-lengths in order to dole out ingredients.

Cooking was an art.

And now it’s a science, at least if you want or need it to be.  You can pick up a cookbook, follow it’s instructions to the letter, and come out with nearly the same results that I would if I did the same.  It’s perfect for those who are unsteady and unsure in the kitchen (mom, I’m talking to you) and made life easier for home cooks everywhere.

So thank you Fannie Farmer, not only for this absolutely delicious recipe, but also for making it so that my brother, and countless other wisdom tooth extraction survivors, will be able to endure and persevere through their swollen oral cavity experience.  No milkshake required.

This is my entry to Week Three of the 50 Most Influential Women in Food Cook-A-Thon.  Check out Mary of One Perfect Bite, Val of More Than Burnt Toast, Susan of The Spice Garden, Heather of Girlichef, Claudia of A Seasonal Cook in Turkey, and one of my med school friends, Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed for some more Fannie Farmer inspiration.


Vegetable Paella
Serves 6, adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb tomatoes, chopped
6 medium artichoke hearts, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup peas
5 1/2 cups veggie broth
zest of 1 lemon, cut into strips
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch saffron
1/4 cup parsley, minced
salt to taste
1 lb arborio rice

1. In a large, wide flat-bottomed pan or paella pan (or pot), heat the oil on medium-high.  Add in the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the artichokes, peppers, string beans, peas, and 2 cups of the veggie broth.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add the lemon zest, paprika, turmeric, saffron, parsley, salt, rice and the remainder of the veggie broth.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the rice is done and the liquid has evaporated.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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78 Responses to Fannie Farmer’s Vegetable Paella

  1. Looks great, Joanne! My first meal after my wisdom tooth extraction was soft-serve ice cream! And then I went to clinic the next day to work. 😛

  2. So random but after I had my wisdom teeth out I lived on chocolate sorbet with cool whip- actually quite delicious.

  3. Kelly says:

    Well cheers to Fannie Farmer and this lovely paella! So many good things going on in here: artichoke, saffron, smoked paprika… yum! Arborio is nice choice – light and airy for balance. Beautiful photos too. I wish your brother a speedy recovery (I still have all my wisdom too 🙂

  4. Joanne says:

    I’m calling my dentist. Surely there’s something he can do with my teeth so that I can enjoy this for days …

  5. Now I’m wondering why I’ve never made a vegetable paella. I need to do this! I also need to find a reason to drink milkshakes nonstop for a few days, but I really don’t want to have my wisdom teeth pulled.

  6. Getting my wisdom teeth out was probably one of the worst things ever (although I certainly took advantage of the milk shake offerings)… Maybe if I had something delicious like this to munch on, I wouldn’t have hated it so much! Looks fantastic!

  7. bellini says:

    A large bowl of this is required today!!!!! I have all of the ingredients I need!

  8. Simply Life says:

    oh wow, I think I’d consider having surgery just to be able to eat this!

  9. Candace says:

    I don’t think I ate for an entire week after I had my wisdom teeth out in 1985. I would wake up and my mom would give me a Percodan and I would go back to sleep….for an entire week….on the sofa. No ice cream….no fabulous paella. This looks so delicious that I would happily skip the ice cream…and the Percodan. 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

  10. All I needed to convince me to make this were the words “artichokes” and “paella” in the same recipe. Yum!

  11. Anonymous says:

    How dare he not take those quadrants when they were so generously offered up? What kind of a brother DOES that?! The horror.
    What a fabulous spin on paella! I can’t say I’ve ever made it but if I do it will be packed with veggies just like this!


  12. I’ve certainly got a quadrant or two to spare. This looks great! Love a good dish loaded with veggies!

  13. Molly says:

    We were in Spain in April, and since I am not a shellfish eater, I would have killed for a dish like this. OK, maybe not killed, but it would have been nice…

  14. Shannon says:

    I wish you had been around when I got my wisdom teeth out. I think I survived on plain pasta and pudding. Woof.

  15. girlichef says:

    Not to mention, that just looks like a bowl full of comfort! I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll never have to get my wisdom teeth pulled. I know, you’re probably thinking, ummm…if you were gonna have ’em pulled, shouldn’t you have done it when you were younger!? Perhaps. Anyhoo…YUM!

  16. Amy says:

    Ah, wisdom teeth. I had mine pulled when I was in high school. I looked like a truck hit my face. Good times. Tell your brother he can have my belly fat…I’m totally okay with that.

  17. What a beautiful confetti of color! Lucky brother to have a sister looking out for him! I was really excited to see this post, Joanne. Vegetable season is really coming on and this will be such a great addition to the summer menu, thanks to you … and good old Fannie!

  18. Marisa says:

    Yay for Fannie and vegetable packed recipes, boo for silly siblings who don’t understand the value of a double thick milkshake. *tsk tsk*

  19. The paella looks colorful and healthy. The recipe suggests both turmeric and saffron, or was it your modification?

  20. Cate says:

    I adore paella… this looks awesome.
    I still have all my wisdom teeth and I’m really hoping they stay where they are so I don’t have to have surgery, although I wouldn’t be that sad to subsist on milkshakes for awhile

  21. Haha, I’ve tried to do the ‘weight transfer’ deal with many friends–like “I’ll take your extra fat if we can put it in my boob area.” I’ve also tried to con away some of my height in exchange for some more chest, but somehow those deals never seem to actually work out. =)

  22. Kristin says:

    Your paella looks really good. Lately I have been in a veggie fix, maybe it is the heat here?

    The Mr. had his wisdom teeth removed this past weekend. He wouldn’t eat anything all day. I made smoothies and milkshakes and for the first half of the day he wanted nothing. I was shocked my the refusal of the shake since he can sit down with a gallon of ice cream and polish it off in record time.

  23. Mary says:

    You picked a terrific recipe, Joanne. It looks delicious, and it has gone on my to-do list. I hope your brother soon feels better.Have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  24. The vegetarian Paella looks splendid! And speaking of wisdom-tooth extraction, my hubby has an appt scheduled for 29th. I am more nervous than him!Lol!
    Happy weekend!

  25. Eliana says:

    OMG – if your bro is in need ot some extra pounds – I’M HIS GIRL!!! I have plenty to spare all over.

    I am a huge paella fan but I would have never thought of a veggie one. Thanks so much for sharing…you genius you 😉

  26. I am going to bookmark this as I have always wanted to try paella 🙂

  27. Thanks to Fannie Farmer and YOU for sharing this. I am thinking I should trade you a place on my sofa in sunny So. Cal. and you can cook a little while you take in the sights. Deal?

  28. sofia says:

    my wisdom teeth haven’t even grown in (nor do i think they ever will, i hope?) but if by chance they do, i’m eating this, followed by gelato for dessert, for every single dinner.

  29. My grandmother used to get so mad at some of my cousins because they said they couldn’t cook. She said, “If you can read a recipe, you can cook!”

  30. Nicole says:

    Yummy for my tummy! Looks great!

  31. I wish I’d had this when my wisdom teeth were pulled! 🙂 Your poor brother. I do feel his pain.

  32. Sheesh. I would get more teeth taken out if it means losing weight like I did with my wisdom teeth. HAHA. No I’m completely serious. I need to get the stomach flu or something. This paella looks fantastic =)

  33. Looks so good. Now you best go out and get your brother a milkshake!

  34. Looks so good! What a good sister you are.
    I wouldn’t turn down a plate of vegetable paella. Or a milkshake for that matter!

  35. Raina says:

    Yes, we definitely need a milkshake when ever we have a procedure like that. It helps make us feel better. This paella would definitely do the trick too. It sounds great. I love all of the flavors, especially the smoked paprika:)

  36. Not a fun thing to go through but leave it to Big Sis to ease the pain 😉 This looks great!

  37. I just bought an old FF cookbook at a thrift store! 🙂 This paella looks yummy, and I haven’t even had oral surgery recently. I can’t imagine not wanting a milkshake. 🙂

  38. Hannah says:

    That’s easily one of the best looking veggie paellas I’ve ever seen… It’s so different from my typical set of flavors, but I’d love to try it! Sounds like a nice change of pace, and so healthy, too.

  39. Nelly says:

    Tell your brother to read “The Tao of Pooh. Lovely little book when you’re sober. MIND-BENDINGLY INCREDIBLE when you’re hopped up on pain meds. If he doesn’t like to read and feels up to watching something instead, I recommend the Star Wars Holiday Special (yes it’s real).

    PS this looks awesome. As always 🙂

  40. Viv says:

    for years i put off paella making just coz i didnt have a proper paella pan! maybe thats just an excuse and im too lazy.

    where were you when i got my wisdom out last month!!? huh? haha. such a sweet older sis (but not the fat transfer part)!

  41. Angela says:

    You are a genius. I have to have surgery and was ordered to eat “soft food” afterword. “What?” I was thinking, “Milkshakes and pudding?” Peanut butter out of a jar!!!! Freaking brilliant. It may make all of the pain worth it.

  42. Tammy says:

    Looks moist and delicious, Joanne! I love the coloring of your photos- it all looks beautiful!


  43. Johanna GGG says:

    never made a fannie farmer recipe but I remember a friend being in awe of her at uni and her name was particularly memorable – paella sounds great – much better than the baby food my dad tried to feed me when I had my wisdom teeth out

  44. Nadji says:

    Bon courage à ton frère. Ca doit faire mal encore quelques jours.
    J’aime beaucoup cette paella végétarienne.
    A très bientôt.
    See soon.

  45. Ada says:

    Aww your poor broither:( But seriously, how can he resist milkshakes?? That’s the best part about oral surgery! You’re such a good sister for making something he can enjoy:)

  46. Shannon says:

    yeah, wisdom teeth extraction is purely for milkshake indulgence 🙂 this paella looks tasty though as well!

  47. Lea Ann says:

    If he has any vicodin left over please ask him to share. 🙂 Your photos are gorgeous as always Joanne. My husband loves paella and I’ve never made it. If I do, it will have all the seafood goodies in it.

  48. Jeanette says:

    I am a huge fan of Fannie Farmer – I reference her cookbook whenever I’m looking for a basic recipe. This Vegetable Paella looks great – a nice way to use some of the CSA vegetables I’m going to get throughout the summer. What a lucky brother to have such a thoughtful sister who can cook!

  49. What a healthy treat! I love paella, and this veggie version looks terrific.

  50. daphne says:

    What a good looking Paella- with the story to boot! Hey, your family better be counting their blessings to have you! 😉

  51. That Girl says:

    I wanted to keep my wisdom teeth also. But the doctor said something about my mouth being too small. I know. Hard to believe.

  52. polwig says:

    This is great since my tween all of a sudden told me that she is a vegetarian (she will however eat sushi), this will be a great meal to try with her, or should I say throw at her to make for us too.

  53. Barbara says:

    I think it’s a fabulous idea for a cook-a-thon, Joanne. We owe these women so much.
    And ouch, I sympathize with your brother. I had all mine pulled too. Bet he appreciated this dinner! As I recall, I existed on ice cream. 🙂

  54. We [i mean indians] hardly use all these teaspoons and measuring cups during cooking- its all approximation and lots of tasting while cooking.I m so scared at times while writing recipes coz converting into teaspoons is not something I grew up with 🙂 Its lunch time here and I wish I cud drop by for that bowl of paella- I m so lazy to cook and this looks outta this world!

  55. I still have yet to get my wisdom teeth taken out…I’m dreading the day! And am secretly praying I just might not need them out.

    I love paella. This looks so good with all the veggies!

  56. great paella and lucky bro to have such a good cook as a sister

  57. Pam says:

    Your paella looks terrific, Joanne! And I’m sure your brother thinks you’re the best! I love my Fannie Farmer cookbook!!! It was the first one I ever owned and is looking a little raggedy now.

  58. Reeni says:

    I saw Fannie’s biography on tv – she was a woman before her time! I love your veggie packed paella! Good sustenance for your brother.

  59. aki! says:

    I have never heard of this dish called paella before! It looks very good and healthy!

  60. I adore a good paella, but it’s so hard to find it without meat. This looks wonderfully delicious!

  61. Where would we be without written recipes? How would I spend my weekends without all of my cookbook and food blog reading material? It would be a sad existence, that’s for sure.

  62. Maria says:

    Such a lovely, colourful and flavoursome paella! This certainly sounds delicious!

  63. Veronica says:

    I don’t envy your brother! Poor guy. I lost weight after having mine extracted too, but I WAS indulging in ice cream. I just got sick of it after the first day and didn’t want to eat anything since the only things I could have were soft. I remember blending up some refried beans and cheese with salsa because I was so sick of sweet stuff, and I think I hated it and just stopped eating after that. lol. The paella looks amazing! I really want to get a Fannie Farmer cookbook, and this post cemented the desire.

  64. This looks like total summer comfort!

  65. Michelle says:

    That Fannie Farmer is something else!
    When I had my wisdom teeth pulled, my days were filled with soup. I’m not big on soup. Would have much rathered this paella!

  66. This looks SO good. And is definitely as good a reason as any to get wisdom teeth removed 🙂

    Hope your brother is feeling better!


  67. katiez says:

    Love the paella – Fanny Farmer or not ;-))
    As to the wisdom teeth – I seem to remember milk shakes…. chocolate milkshakes.

  68. tigerfish says:

    I do not mind a vegetably paella anytime! Much easier to whip up 🙂

  69. I may die of an overdose if I had this…it looks SO good!

  70. Carolyn Jung says:

    I dunno if this would beat a thick, creamy milkshake, but in my book, it’s pretty darn close. 😉

  71. theUngourmet says:

    My mom had this cookbook when I was a kid. Great recipe! 🙂 Hope all is well over your way.:)

  72. What a fantastic and healthy one pot meal!

  73. Lori says:

    Love the artichoke hearts in this! It sounds so good, but it would be a tough decision were I also offered a milkshake. 😉

  74. Love this veggie version! I saw some at the farmer’s market recently but couldn’t eat it b/c it had meat.

  75. I say skip the wisdom teeth removal and have the milkshakes anyway. 😉 I’ll take a serving or two of this with my milkshake please!

  76. Lynn says:

    Mmm, this looks healthy and tasty. The perfect combination 🙂

  77. Lora says:

    I was looking for a good veggie paella recipe. This is perfect. Thanks!

  78. I love all the veggies in this!

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