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Shakshuka

Eggs are not as bad for our heart as research once suggested. In fact, the cholesterol in eggs we are finding in most cases gets metabolized and doesn't raise blood cholesterol. However, there are still some of us out there with more of a sensitivity to high cholesterol and need to be extra careful.


Do you love eggs, but not by themselves? Do plain eggs get a little boring for you?

Who loves eggs? ME ME ME!! #eggfanatic I enjoy making and eating eggs in all ways. Though most recipes require usually require adding oil or butter, but in my house i typically poach them to be a tad healthier, and add them to avocado toast. We #milennials love our #avocadotoast. But seriously how many healthful ways can you enjoy poached eggs before they get boring?


Avocado toast. Add a poached egg and you got a trend. Make shakshuka (below) and you have a following.

Last week I had family come for brunch, and I wanted to make a healthy dish with eggs that still makes cooking for 15+ people worthwhile and relatively simple. Shakshuka was my M.O.

Some people call this dish North African, some insist its from the Levant... Many people would insist to eat this as a #healthybreakfast dish (it has eggs, right?) but in many regions, this is eaten as a dinner with a side of pita bread to soak up the sauce.

A little bit tart, a little sour, and with the tomatoes a little sweet. This dish has it all.

What things to most households usually have on hand? Tomatoes, tomato sauce or paste, eggs, and onions. Put it all together and bake it in the oven. It's literally that simple. I add a little extra flair to mine with sauteed sweet bell peppers and little crumbled bits of goat cheese or fat free feta.


So if you like eggs, go ahead and try this. Make a big batch to share (or not). It keeps well in the fridge and it tastes awesome as leftovers.



Shakshuka- poached eggs in tomato sauce

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • (to taste) ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 24-28oz canned chopped tomatoes with juices, or tomato sauce + 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed

  • 5 ounces feta or goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

  • 8 large eggs

  • Chopped cilantro, for serving

  • 4 loaves of pita bread or one sourdough baguette for serving


Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes.

  3. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute.

  4. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top.

  5. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven, cover with a lid and bake until eggs are just set, 12-15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.


pair this dish with pita or a tasty olive bread or sourdough baguette for a well-rounded gourmet levantine meal. Then invite me over. Hope you love this little cultural treat from your Dietitian behind #bespokenutritionconsulting. Stay healthy.


One serving, 1 cup contains about 160 calories and 7g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 8g total fat, 2g saturated fat, and 15g protein.

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