Monday, May 26, 2014

Spinach Egg Shashuka

Chopped Tomatoes, Chopped Garlic, Sliced Onions, Spinach, Rosemary, Oregano and Eggs for a Shashuka
Prepping for the Shashuka

So last week, I was flirting with the idea of doing the Buzzfeed Clean Eating Challenge. However, I changed my mind because I just don't do diet ever. I have had my issues with food in the past and anything that has to do with food restriction scares me as a trigger. I just prefer to eat in moderation and be able to eat everything. Although I ultimately decided not to do the diet/challenge, there are some recipes in there that caught my attention and I wanted to give them try.

Last week, I had the Asian Chicken Salad in the challenge for lunch. I changed it up by adding cilantro to my slaw of cabbage and carrot. I also switched the peanut for walnut. The big change though was my choice of a Ginger Mandarin dressing from Brianna's Homestyle range instead of the lemon and oil that they advocated. I actually enjoyed the salad and I might make it again soon. It is a good summer salad.

All week I had thoughts of the shashuka in my imagination. I had seen a similar recipe for Shashuka in Saveur magazine or Bon Apetit recently and I had thought to myself "I ought to try making that." For some reason though I never got around to it then. This weekend though I finally followed through and made shashuka.

Shashuka is a recipe with roots in the middle east. It is a tomato and egg dish basically that gets customized with the addition of different types of vegetable. I really connected to this recipe because I grew up eating tomato egg sauce in Lagos. On Sundays, for breakfast, we would often have egg scrambled into a tomato sauce with yam. The shashuka I imagined would give me a similar taste experience.

Tomato, Onions, Spinach and Eggs for Shashuka
The Stars of the Shashuka

Spinach Egg Shashuka

Ingredients (serves 1)
2 Eggs*
1/4 Small Onion (Sliced)
1 Clove of Garlic (Chopped)
2 Medium Fresh Plum Tomatoes (chopped)
1/4 Cup of Crushed Canned Tomatoes (optional)
1 Cup of Fresh Spinach
1/4 Tsp of Dried Rosemary
1/4 Tsp of Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
Black Pepper


sauteing onions and garlic
Sauteing Onions and Garlic

1. In a small non-stick pan, heat up the olive oil. Once the olive oil has expanded fully, add in the onions and garlic to saute on low heat. Saute until the onion looks translucent. If you have sliced the onion finely, this step should take no more than a couple of minutes.

Onion, garlic and tomato slowly cooking in a pan
Breaking Down the Fresh Plum Tomatoes
2. Add in the fresh plum tomatoes, then stir in the sauce with the spices and a bit of a salt. Keep cooking until the tomatoes start to break down and become really thick. You want to concentrate the tomato sauce as much as possible. If you are using the canned tomatoes, add it here after the tomatoes have dried up. Let the sauce re-concentrate after adding the canned tomatoes.

Wilting fresh whole spinach leaves in a concentrated tomato sauce
Fresh Spinach Leaves in a Concentrated Tomato Sauce

3. When tomato sauce is ready, add in the spinach whole. You want to turn up the heat this point as you move the spinach leaves around the pan.

Partly Wilted Spinach Leaves in Tomato Sauce
Partly Wilted Spinach Leaves in Tomato Sauce

Eggs encased in surrounded by partly wilted spinach in tomato sauce
Last Assembly Stage for Shashuka

Covered saucepan with foil to allow eggs in Shashuka cook fully
Covered my pan to allow eggs cook all the way through

4. When the spinach is only partially wilted, create two holes in the pan and break in the eggs directly. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the eggs in the pan. Cover the pan for about 4 minutes while the eggs set and cook.

Fully cooked Spinach Egg Shashuka in a saucepan
Done! Spinach and Egg Shashuka
5. Serve the shashuka either in the pan with bread or in a plate.

*This recipe is for one person. If you want to make shashuka for two, increase the number of eggs to four but leave the sauce amount as the same. Of course, if you are similar to me in your love of vegetables, you can go ahead and increase the sauce portions as well.

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