“The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire“.
Pamela Hansford Johnson
With people growing more health conscious, Mediterranean cuisine has become the new rage all over the world. Chakchouka/Shakshuka or eggs with vegetables is a North African recipe which is simple to cook and generous in the use of proteins, fresh vegetables and healthy fats like olive oil.
With all the goodness from vegetables and eggs, Shakshuka is already a very healthy meal. With a few tweaks to the basic recipe we can make it more ideal for weight watchers.
As I’m trying to cut wheat and rice carbs from my diet for past few weeks, this time I made Red Beans Shakshuka so that I could enjoy it without any bread and still feel full and satisfied for a longer time.
Red beans are not only protein rich but help you feel full more quickly, because the rich fiber content fills your stomach and causes a slower rise in blood sugar. That keeps away hunger for longer hours and gives you a steady supply of energy to kick start the day and keep going. Don’t like red beans? Add any beans or legumes to enrich your Beans Shakshuka.
Along with red beans, I increase the quantity of garlic and red chillies in the recipe – two metabolism boosting and fat burning ingredients. A little crumble of protein and calcium rich but low calorie cheeses like feta, cottage or paneer can complete the meal. If your cheese is salty you can skip adding salt to the dish.
You can also add shredded chicken, fish or shrimps to it. Shakshuka is a very accommodating recipe when it comes to incorporating different ingredients. The best thing is that the base can be prepared ahead of time and the eggs dropped in and cooked just before serving which makes it ideal for Sehri and iftar in Ramadan.
This Red Beans Shakshuka has become my go to weekday meal as well as favourite weekend brunch.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup boiled or canned red beans
1 onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper ( capsicum) cut into long, narrow strips
6 tomatoes, diced or pureed
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt to taste
This Is What You Do :
In a large non-stick frying pan over medium low heat, warm 2 tablespoons of oil.
Add onions and garlic, sauté for a minute, add tomatoes, continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
Cover the pan and simmer over low heat until tomatoes are diluted into a thick sauce like consistency.
Add red beans and season the dish with salt, red chillies, paprika and cumin.
Remove the lid, make 4 hollows in the vegetable mixture using a spoon. Break one egg into each hollow.
Add bell pepper strips. The heat should be low. Cover and cook until the eggs are set to suit your taste and bell peppers are crisp tender, 4-5 minutes.
Serve hot with toasted bread or dig in with a fork.