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All About You – Mood Boosting Food

6 MAY 2021 - MAX - TIPS AND ADVICE

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A quick Google search when researching this topic has already told me I might go down a different route to the apparent norm -  I saw article upon article about the benefit of eating dark chocolate and making overnight oats. 

If I am down in the dumps I do not think “You know what will perk me up – making porridge and topping it with chia seeds”. No no, ya boy wants a fried cheese sandwich that if you drop one half, the cheese-stretch is still connected. 

I’m a fervent believer of using fresh ingredients and cooking everything at home, it’s cheaper, relaxing and more beneficial for your body as you know what’s going into it. Linked to that, a lot of the time I try to cook food that is good for the soul. I know, that sounds like the sort of wishy-washy nonsense that doesn’t usually exit my too-big-for-its-own-good-mouth. However if you’re telling me that the thought of Sunday morning pancakes doesn’t bring you a Marie Kondo level of joy, then go to the doctors.

Without further rambling, below is a recipe for Shaksuka – one of my go to foods for breakfast, brunch, lunch, supper or dinner. Originally evolving from an Ottoman dish, it’s a great healthy way to use up old veg, and if you really want to treat yourself, grab some of On the Huh’s sourdough for some serious dippage.


Kit    

12 inch frying pan, preferably a deep one
A lid that sort of fits

If it’s a pan you can stick in the oven, even better


Ingredients    

Garlic
Chillies
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp Cumin
1tsp paprika
Onion
Veg to bulk it up, I can recommend peppers and broccoli
Tomato paste
1 tin of chopped tomatoes 
4 eggs/feta cheese/vegan cheese
Coriander

Everything here is optional – the wonderful thing about shakshuka is it’s a “wing it and win” kind of recipe where once you’ve got the gist, you can do whatever you like.

Method    

•    Fry off the onions and once they’re starting to soften, add your spices, chilli and garlic for a couple of minutes.
•    Once you’ve started to smell your aromatics cooking, add your extra veg and cook until it starts to soften.
•    At this point add the tomato paste, stir to incorporate and continue cooking for a few minutes.
•    Then add your tinned tomatoes and reduce down until it’s thick and saucy.
•    If you’re using eggs then make a shallow well for each one and crack the egg into it.
•    If you’re using cheese then liberally sprinkle on top.
•    There are two ways it can be finished off, you can either stick it in the oven for 5-10 minutes at about 180°C, or you can cover with the best fitting lid you can find and let the steam do its thing – I’ve always found the oven treats me best.
•    You’ll know its done when the egg whites are set or the cheese has melted.
•    Finish with liberal amounts of salt, pepper and coriander.

 

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

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