Shakshuka

A wonderfully rich and tasty dish, perfect for a weekend brunch or a tasty lunch or supper… in fact a perfect one pot meal for anytime. Tomatoes are a fantastic source of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to reducing heart disease and cancer, they are also a great source of vitamins C and K, the B vitamin folate, and potassium, one of the most important minerals which helps to regulate fluid balance and muscle contractions, including the heart. Eggs are a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals including selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, zinc, iron and copper.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tins of chopped tomatoes – or use 1 tin and add some fresh chopped tomatoes if you have them
1 clove of garlic
1 red pepper
2 shallots – or 1 onion, red or white
1 tbsp olive oil
100g cooked yellow lentils – rich in iron and a great source of folate
200 ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp smoked paprika – sometimes called Spanish paprika, but normal paprika is great too
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper – not just for the fiery kick, but also for its metabolism boosting properties
Salt and black pepper, to taste
4 eggs

Method

  • Using a heavy based pan, suitable for the oven, finely chop the shallots and pepper and fry gently in the olive oil for 5 – 6 minutes until tender. Use a heavy based pan, suitable for the oven
  • Add the crushed garlic, tomatoes, lentils, stock, tomato puree and spices and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes until you have a thick, rich and deep red sauce. Add a sprinkle of salt and plenty of black pepper
  • Make four deep wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each. The traditional method of cooking is to cover and poach gently for 3 – 4 minutes until the white is set and the yolk still runny, alternatively, pop in the oven at 180°C, uncovered, and bake for 5 – 6 minutes until the eggs are to your liking
  • And serve… try sprinkling with chopped coriander or chives for zing of colour

Not that it needs it, but this basic recipe can be jazzed up in a number of ways – try sprinkling with crumbled feta cheese or adding chickpeas for a protein boost, or stir in some fresh spinach leaves before adding the eggs. For an extra special touch of luxury, use quail eggs. If you have some left over pesto, add a few spoonful’s to the sauce, or drizzle over the eggs. However you serve it, this rich and tasty dish is a treat – for your taste buds and your body. Enjoy.

2020 © Boutros Bear

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