breakfast

Shakshusha - a simple & satisfying breakfast dish at last

Breakfast is often my most perplexing meal of the day. Still half-asleep I roll out of bed at 6AM sharp to a house full of screams of “MAMA!” Oliver is a morning person unlike the rest of the household. Even our dog, Ralphie, won’t stroll into the kitchen before 9AM.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It breaks my heart when I hear people say they DON’T EAT BREAKFAST! Breakfast sets the tone of the rest of the day and for me, cereal just doesn’t cut it, a yogurt is not enough. I need my breakfast to be fulfilling & delicious. I’m a big fan of preparing my breakfast the night before and putting it in the oven in the morning giving me time to doquick yoga routine (if the boys are cooperating that day). But there are only so many things you can make ahead and sometimes a freshly cooked breakfast is what your body needs. I came across this Israili recipe and it looked so intimidating and time-consuming, I didn’t even give it a try. However, it kept popping up in my facebook feed from cooking groups and pinterest and emails and I just thought it was a sign. This recipe was stalking me, it was BEGGING me to try it and how glad I did. It is SUPER simple, SUPER delicious, SUPER filling and SUPER customizable.

This is a basic, simple shakshuka recipe, not spicy and kid friendly. For variety, different ingredients can be added to the tomato base—jalapenos, green chilies, parsley, red pepper flakes, or anything else that sounds tasty to you. I sprinkled my shakshusha with nutritional yeast and served it with a side of Horseradish Leek Sauerkraut (not pictured here, but did I tell you my latest fascination with Farmhouse Culture’s variety of Sauerkraut? OMG, they are just so delicious! I eat it for breakfast, lunch & dinner). Use your imagination!

Serves: 4 (2 adults + 2 kids)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Himalayan Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5-6 eggs (depending on how many people you are feeding that day)
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped dill or parsley for garnish
  • 1/2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • a spoon full of sauerkraut. Get fancy with flavors like Smoked Jalapeno, Spicy Wakame Ginger Kimchi or my favorite Horseradish Leek.
  • side of lox

DIRECTIONS:

  • Add chopped onion to a deep, large skillet or sauté pan with grapeseed oil, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Sprinkle some turmeric and the onions become this beautiful golden color and are infused with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.
  • Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.
  • Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka (be careful with the cayenne... it is extremely spicy!).
  • Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center. The eggs will cook "over easy" style on top of the tomato sauce.
  • COVER THE PAN! Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes on LOW, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to make sure that the sauce doesn't reduce too much, which can lead to burning.

Scoop onto plates divided, garnish with some fresh dill or parsley, nutritional yeast, side of lox and some sauerkraut and you’ve got yourself a winning breakfast that will keep you full all the way until lunch.

What's your favorite breakfast dish?

Don't skip breakfast

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I know mornings can be hectic and I hear this WAY too often than I want to: " I just don't have time for breakfast!" But what people dont realize is breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so MAKE TIME! Eating a good breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day!

Skipping breakfast is a common strategy for losing weight, but not a smart one. Many people believe that they will lose weight if they skip meals, but that just isn't true; the body expects to be refueled a few times each day -- starting with breakfast.

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Actually, eating breakfast is good for weight loss. In fact, people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, because you will be able to control your appetite until midday and overeating throughout the day is also less likely.

  • Eating breakfast increases your metabolism (or calorie-burning – rate)
  • Increased your learning ability and attention span (especially for kids).
  • It has been shown that breakfast eaters tend to have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) than breakfast skippers.
  • Studies also show that obese people are prone to skip breakfast, leading to a high caloric intake at nighttime, while normal weight persons’ caloric intake is more evenly distributed throughout the day.

Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger. Several studies suggest that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals.

What you choose to eat for breakfast makes a big difference for your health. A healthy breakfast should contain some protein and some fiber. Protein can come from low fat meats, eggs, beans or dairy. Fiber can be found in whole grains, vegetables and fruits. A variety of fruits can bring you near the minimum number of five (5) daily fruit and vegetable servings recommended. Here is a recipe for a hearty shakshusha breakfast

Stay away from the sugary cereals, syrups, pastries, and white breads because they are digested quickly and will leave you hungry and tired in a couple of hours. Protein and fiber satisfy your hunger and will keep you feeling full until lunch time.

Breakfast on the Go

To resist the temptation to grab a donut, shop smart. Stock your pantry with healthful ingredients, like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, garlic, shallots, wheat germ, nuts and canned or dried fruit. And your fridge with organic eggs, lots of veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, arugula, peppers etc. Anything can be cut up into an omelette 

Flaxseed from health food stores is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which you can grind and add to  yogurt, cottage cheese and smoothies. Some other quick and healthful ideas are:

  • A nonfat or low-fat yogurt parfait layered with fresh fruit and cereal, nuts or raisins
  • Low-fat yogurt mixed with fresh fruit in a blender for a vitamin-rich smoothie
  • Whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter and banana slices
  • Instant or quick-cooking oatmeal or whole grain cold cereal with raisins or fresh fruit and low-fat dairy or soy milk
  • Fish, such as leftover salmon or cured salmon lox, on a whole grain bagel with reduced or nonfat cream cheese
  • My favorite: Veggie Omelet with salad: red peppers, scallions, grilled onions, tomatoes etc (You can get really creative here)

Bon appétit! Kalí óreksi! Bonum appetitionem! Сайхан хооллоорой! Poftă bună!Приятного аппетита! ¡Buen provecho! Yoqimli ishtaha!