Shakshuka has always been one of my favorite go to “one pot wonder” meals.  After all, how can you go wrong with a lovely warm, satisfying savory sauce of red peppers, tomatoes and loads of seasoning topped with perfectly poached eggs?!

As I continue through this journey of trying to live well and healthfully I find I’m not only a work in progress (as we all are) but so is my way of thinking about food and how it relates to fueling my body with efficiency and a mindful balance of nutrients.

With increasing inflammation in my arthritic joints I’ve decided to shift things over to a more plant and fish based diet.  Enter the all mighty fiber rich, filling little morsels known as lentils.  Lentils are a great source of steady slow burning energy as they are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates.  They are a great source of iron, protein, vitamins and minerals and one cup of cooked lentils have virtually no fat and are about 230 calories.  That’s a lotta bang for your nutritional buck!

I took my original Shakshuka recipe and put a new spin on it, by adding lentils and leafy green vegetables I’ve upped my fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and even phytonutrients all in one pot!  The reason I say “leafy greens” is because this recipe is like any other…a guideline only.  Perhaps you favor spinach over kale or bok choy over spinach etc.  Please use whatever makes you happy.  If you want to halve the recipe you certainly can but I would suggest making the entire recipe and having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  It reheats beautifully!

So delicious and satisfying, I hope you give it a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LENTIL & LEAFY GREEN SHAKSHUKA
Serves 3 people  (2 eggs per person)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ red bell peppers, seeded and cut into small dice
1 medium onion about (1 cup), finely diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes, (up to 1 tsp. but remember the earlier you add heat the hotter it gets! So go easy)
1½ tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. smoked paprika
Kosher salt, to taste
1½ cups cooked green lentils
About 4 cups baby spinach and kale
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 28oz. can tomatoes with juices, broken up into smaller pieces
½ cup of water
6 large eggs
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Warm pita bread or a lovely French bread for serving

  • In a large deep skillet over medium heat add oil, red pepper, onion, garlic, hot pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, smoked paprika and a little salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften, adding a little warm water as needed to stop veggies from sticking, about 7 minutes
  • Stir in tomato paste until fully combined and dissolved
  • Add tomatoes and their liquid plus the ½ cup water, bring to a slow boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce has thickened
  • Add the cooked lentils, add the spinach and stir to mix thoroughly, good idea to check for seasonings and adjust now, because once you add the eggs you cannot stir.  More salt, pepper, etc…
  • With the back of a large spoon, make an indent in the sauce for each egg
  • Carefully crack an egg into each opening, or put in a small bowl and pour into sauce.
  • Cover skillet and simmer for about 8 minutes (do not stir the sauce at this point)
  • Cook until the egg whites are set, but the yolks are slightly runny – you can cook longer if you want yolks well done
  • Uncover the skillet and sprinkle with parsley
  • Serve warm with bread

Chef Lorraine Powell, March 2017