I love brunch as much as the next guy, but the old bacon and eggs just doesn’t cut it for me. I need a kick of flavour to get the day going and can never say no to a bubbling skillet of Shakshuka when it’s on a menu. A Turkish version called Menemen is also one of my favourites. Baked eggs all the way!
If you’ve followed me on Instagram for a while, you might’ve picked up on the fact that I’m pregnant with my first baby and that I’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It’s a huge stresser, but for the most part I’ve got it under control.
Luckily for me I find making new recipes and trying new food a positive challenge and enjoy it, but I have to admit that breakfast has become SUPER mundane.
Poached eggs on low GI toast, an omelette on low GI toast, low GI toast with boiled eggs, scrambled eggs and, you guessed it, low GI toast... ANNNNND repeat.
So, this morning I’d had it and while wandering into the kitchen was fantasising about throwing that toast on the floor.
Lucky for the toast, and my floor, there wasn’t any. Now what would I hatefully eat?
It was a blessing in disguise really and got me thinking of a million possibilities.
After a quick look in my relatively bare cupboards I found everything for a basic Shakshuka. It really is such a simple and delish Middle Eastern breakfast. You can make it with your pantry staples and it tastes AMAZING!
I even found a tin of chickpeas to satisfy the carbohydrate serves I need to satisfy my dietician and my companion: GDM. Perfection.
GDM REMINDER: 1/3 cup of chickpeas is a carb serve. So if you are also controlling GDM with diet, make sure your serve has 2/3 cup of chickpeas in it, as the carbs from the tomatoes will also add to your meal count. This way, you’ll have the right portion for your blood sugar levels.
There’s more than one way to make Shakshuka, but this simple recipe is a good base.
You can omit the chickpeas and add eggplant if you’re able to grab some crusty bread or flatbread to eat with it. Add cauliflower or zucchini instead and sprinkle crumbled feta or haloumi on top, and even add or remove chilli to suit your taste. The choice is yours, just make sure you give it a go!
You won’t be sorry.
SPICY CHICKPEA SHAKSHUKA
You’ll need individual baking dishes or a giant lasagne dish for baking and serving.
1 brown onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and finely chopped
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
1/2 tsp, dried chilli flakes
1/2 tsp, cayenne pepper
1 tsp, paprika
1 tsp, ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt flakes
Pepper to taste
400g can whole tomatoes
250ml of passata
400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 eggs per person
1. Preheat oven to 180-200 degrees celsius.
2. Heat a non-stick frypan over a medium high heat. When heated add a good amount of olive oil. Add the onion, fresh chilli, garlic and about 2-3 tablespoons of the chopped coriander. Stir together till onions are just beginning to turn translucent, but are still firm.
3. Add the chilli flakes, cayenne pepper (if using), ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Stir through and cook till aromatic.
4. Add the can of tomatoes and passata. Mix well through the onion and herb mixture. Bring to the boil and let simmer for a few minutes.
5. When bubbling and hot, turn off the heat and add the drained chickpeas. Stir through.
6. Transfer the tomato and chickpea mixture into the dishes (or large lasagne dish) you’re using to bake the Shakshuka.
Create “wells” in the mixture with the back of a spoon, evenly spaced throughout the dish. Crack the eggs into the “wells” and sprinkle with an extra pinch of salt.
TIP Making the wells forces the eggs to stay in the right place while baking.
7. Place the dishes/dish into the oven and bake till the whites of the eggs are cooked, but the yolks still have a slightly runny consistency.
8. Remove from the oven.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a heap of the chopped coriander, extra chilli (to taste) and serve with juicy wedges of lemon.
This one will be gone in a flash once it’s on the table, so make sure you run out and join everyone before they eat it all!
Being breakfast, the Shakshuka goes perfectly with a good cup of tea or coffee.
If you’re entertaining and want to do something a little more exciting, create a homemade iced tea using a citrus based tea such as Green Tea and Lemon, or a straight herbal mix. Allow it to steep and then cool before pouring into a large jug filled with fresh mint leaves, slices or lemon and lime and a heap of ice.
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