To eat a Primal/Paleo aligned diet is often viewed as expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. The following recipe is a great way to eat clean and healthily whilst keeping a firm hold on the purse strings.
I spent the first three quarters of my life unable to eat eggs. I could eat the yolk no problem, but struggled with the white. I don’t know if it was the texture, the taste, or what, but I could not do it. Even scrambled eggs and omelette were off the menu for me.
When I switched to a more Nutrivore and Primally aligned way of eating I could see that eggs would be a huge boon to me, nutritionally speaking, as well as a cheap and sustainable source of good protein. And so I embarked on the long journey of trying to acquire a taste for eggs. Like the Dread Pirate Roberts (from The Princess Bride) building an immunity to iocaine powder, over a number of years I slowly introduced small amounts of egg white to my diet, building up a tolerance to the substance.
And Lo! I now can eat eggs every day. I don’t just tolerate them, I love them. But I still draw the line at quiche.
So with eggs back on the figurative and literal menu, I set forth on an adventure of ovate discovery that led me to North Africa and the dish, Shakshuka.
This dish originated somewhere in North Africa or the Middle East. It’s so good that many areas want to lay claim to inventing it. Shakshuka (or Shakshouka/Chakchouka) comes from the Maghrebi Arabic word meaning “a mixture”.
In its simplest form it is eggs poached in spiced tomatoes, but as the name implies, the variations of the ‘mixture’ are only limited by your imagination and ingredients on hand. You get super hot versions, sweet ones, meaty ones, veggie ones. People have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner; as a main course or as a side.
It’s cheap and it’s infinitely variable, and I bloody love it. So let’s get to it.
- 1 Medium Onion
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- ¼-½ tsp Chilli Powder
- 2 tsp Paprika (I liked smoked)
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 Red Pepper
- 2 cans Chopped Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 4 Eggs
- Pinch Salt (to taste)
- Pinch Fresh Black Pepper (to taste)
- 1 tsp Xylitol (or sweetener of your choice)
- Pinch Chopped Fresh Parsley or Coriander (Optional)
- Pinch Crushed Dried Chilli (Optional)
- 1 tbsp Oil (I like Coconut Oil) for sauteing
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on a medium heat. Add the diced onion and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
- Add the finely chopped garlic and spices to the pan. Stir in and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato puree, stir and bring to a simmer. Season as needed with the salt and pepper. If the sauce tastes too 'tart' add a tsp of Xylitol or other sweetener. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid reduces down slightly.
- With a spoon, make a small 'well' in the sauce towards the outside of the pan and crack an egg into the space. Repeat around the pan with the other eggs.
- Cover pan with a lid and cook gently for another 8-10 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked the way you like them.
- Garnish with the chopped herbs and crushed chilli and enjoy.
And that’s it. We sometimes add kale to it towards the end, or green beans. It goes great with sausages. In fact it’s great with everything.
So give it a go, and don’t be scared to play around with the recipe. Let us know in the comments how you get on.