Shakshuka: The best breakfast you’ve never heard of!

Friday, March 20, 2020
Shakshuka for Breakfast Served Up on Livliga! (photo curtesy of @BariatricFoodie)

Shakshuka.

I’m here to tell you it’s as fun to eat as it is to say, folks. But to get ourselves in the festive spirit, let’s just say it a few more times.

Shakshuka. Shakshuka. Shakshuka, Shakshuka, Shakshuka!

There. I feel good already. How about you?

Now you may be wondering, “Fun name aside, what exactly is Shakshuka?” And that’s a great question!

Shakshuka is a dish that is eaten for breakfast in parts of North Africa and the Middle East. It doesn’t have to be breakfast food, but it’s got eggs and tomatoes and onions and spices so it’s a great alternative if you are bored of typical American breakfast fare.

I like this dish for any meal for three reasons:

  1. I must reiterate the name. It’s just fun to say!
  2. It doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, and most of the ingredients are stuff I already have in my pantry or refrigerator.
  3. I like this recipe for others because this is an easy, low-stress way to make poached eggs if you like them but have ever been scared to make them at home yourself. 

So let’s get started, shall we?

At its core, Shakshuka is simply tomatoes and onions, infused with spices, with poached eggs in it. You make it all in one skillet and simmer it until the tomato sauce has thickened a bit, making it almost the consistency of chili.

I personally use a combination of canned and fresh tomatoes. I especially love a product called “fire-roasted tomatoes.” Look for them in your grocery store! To save yourself some time, you can also get canned tomatoes that already have spices, such as Italian style canned tomatoes. The fresh tomatoes just bring a bit of brightness into the dish.

You start off by sautéeing your onions and garlic in a little bit of olive oil, until soft, then adding in the fresh and canned tomatoes, along with any spices you’ll use. Let it come just to a boil before dropping down your heat, making a few indentations in the mixture and adding your eggs. Then put a top on it and let it do its thing. It’s really that simple!

My family likes to eat this on whole wheat toast or an English muffin. I like to eat it as-is. Whatever you choose, do try this flavorful and fun dish – and don’t forget to serve yourself on a beautiful Livliga dish!


Nik’s Take on Shakshuka

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion cut into slivers
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 oz. canned tomatoes (I used fire roasted tomatoes from ALDI)
  • 2-3 fresh tomatoes (roma, on the vine, etc.) diced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. paprika (I used smoked paprika but be warned: it packs heat!)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 bunch cilantro and/or parsley

Directions:

  1. Set a skillet over medium heat and allow it to get hot before adding olive oil and then onions. Sautée about 2 minutes until they are softened.
  2. Add the garlic and sautée another minute before adding the canned and fresh tomatoes and stirring.
  3. Add the spices, including salt and pepper and stir again. Allow the mixture to come just to a boil, then drop the heat to low. 
  4. Make four "holes" in the tomato mixture. Crack a whole egg into each hole. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the pan.
  5. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until eggs are poached to your liking. Turn off heat and allow the pan to cool. Tomato mixture will thicken upon standing.
  6. Serve by itself, or atop a slice of whole wheat toast or a whole wheat English muffin and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:
Serves: 4. Serving size:  ¼ of the Shakshuka mixture. Calories: 294. Total Fat 10.3g; Saturated Fat 2.3g; Sodium 739mg; Total Carbohydrate 44g; Dietary Fiber 11.4g; Total Sugars 3.4g; Protein 15.8g.

Guest Blogger Bio

Nikki Massie is a rising star in the bariatric community. She is a gastric bypass patient (January 8, 2008), mother, writer, and author of the BariatricFoodie, where she helps post-ops learn to play with their food!



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