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Shakshuka is full of exciting flavors

Linda Gassenheimer

Spicy stewed tomatoes topped with eggs is a Middle Eastern dish that is becoming popular in the United States. This is a filling vegetarian dish that works well for brunch or dinner.

The tomato base can be made several hours in advance. If made ahead, to finish the dish, warm the sauce and add the eggs. You can shorten the preparation time by using ready-prepared diced fresh onion and red bell pepper from the produce department of the market.

Ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika add exiting flavors. You can also use them to flavor rice, or cooked vegetables.

Serve with a bag of prewashed salad to complete the meal.

Helpful hints:

Have the eggs at room temperature.

A small amount of tomato paste is used. Freeze the extra for another time.

Use a large skillet to help the sauce reduce quickly.

Shakshuka

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup diced onion

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 cup seeded and diced red bell pepper

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 cups canned reduced sodium, diced tomatoes with juice

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 tablespoon honey

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

4 slices whole wheat baguette

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion, garlic and red bell pepper. Saute 5 minutes, stirring to keep them from burning. Add the cherry tomatoes, diced canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to blend the ingredients. Add the cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne and honey. Stir again. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Using the back of a spoon, make 4 wells in the sauce. Break one egg into a small bowl and slide the egg into a well. Continue with the remaining 3 eggs, filling all the wells. Cover skillet with a lid and simmer 10 minutes for a runny yolk, simmer 15 minutes for a firmer yolk. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top and serve. Serve with baguette to dip into the sauce.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 494 calories (35% from fat), 19.4 g fat (4.6 g saturated, 7.9 g monounsaturated), 372 mg cholesterol, 22.7 g protein, 60.6 g carbohydrates, 11.3 g fiber, 457 mg sodium.

— Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, “The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook.” Listen to Linda on www.WDNA.org and all major podcast sites. Email her at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.