Shakshuka – the hot new breakfast trend
Last Sunday, I woke up to the sound of the children arguing over whether or not to wake me. It was 7.43am.
I’d said any time after 7.30am and Belle had been pacing the hallway for 13 minutes absolutely desperate to give me a huge teddy bear … mainly so that she could start playing with it herself but, still, super cute.
Chloe was adamant they should wait till 8am, but when the volume reached a few hundred decibels, I yelled down the hallway, “unsurprisingly, I M awake!”.
Maybe it wasn’t the best start?
However, I held in all the swear words so that was a win. And despite me yelling, there was then an avalanche of kisses and cards.
I am always amazed at how quick and willing children are to wipe the slate clean and forgive.
Fortunately, they hadn’t tried to make me breakfast.
They’ve been watching The Great British Bake-Off on Netflix recently and there had been some talk of homemade meringue nests and chocolate croissants.
I was worried I would come down to Armageddon in the kitchen, so the night before I had practically begged them not to cook for me.
I know that’s the opposite of what I’m supposed to do, but can you imagine how far and wide children are capable of spreading icing sugar?
In the end, we made breakfast together and it was a weird combination of pancakes, berries, bacon, avocado and salad (true story).
I really wanted to make this shakshuka recipe, but given that we’ve just graduated from scrambled eggs and moved on to omelettes, I thought this might be pushing it a little.
In case you didn’t know, shakshuka is basically eggs baked in a tomato sauce in a large grill pan with lots of flavour and spices.
Some recipes include nuggets of melted cheese, which is an amazing idea!
You can serve it with wilted spinach, grilled polenta or wholewheat bread.
It’s on almost every brunch menu overseas and it’s completely delicious. It’s the hot new trend in breakfasts, but there’s no reason why you can’t have it for dinner instead. There’s a little debate online about exactly where the concept originates — lots of countries in the Mediterranean have their own versions and it’s really popular in the Middle East and North Africa especially.
Eggs have always been a good idea for breakfast — they’re rich in protein and brain-boosting phospholipids — but now you can expand the cultural diversity of your palate too. Enjoy!
3 tbs light olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
28oz diced tomatoes (1 small or 2 large cans) — Eden organic or Pomi brand
½ tsp salt, more as needed
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ tsp black pepper, more as needed
5oz organic feta cheese or goats’ cheese, crumbled (large lumps!)
6 large eggs
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Pre-heat oven to 375F. Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until tender (approximately 20 minutes). Add garlic and cook until tender (1 to 2 minutes).
Stir in cumin, paprika, cayenne and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Simmer until tomatoes have thickened (about 10 minutes). Add in large lumps of crumbled feta. Don’t over-stir.
Gently crack eggs into the skillet over tomatoes. Season with extra salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set — approximately 7 to 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with cilantro before serving and dish up as they are or with some wilted spinach, organic wholewheat bread or grilled polenta to mop up the sauce.
The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. For details: www.natural.bm, 236-7511 or, Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda