Shakshuka. A North African dish long popular in the middle east, a sensation here in the west. It’s rich, it’s bold, it’s spicy, and it’s not just for breakfast. I have been salivating over this dish on the web for months but haven’t made the leap because of one key ingredient.
Eggs. Synonymous with breakfast in North America (and elsewhere across the globe). They are delicious. They are nutritious (they really are if they come from a free range naturally foraging chicken). I also understand there is a moral and ethical argument against them (I hear you my vegan friends), and I understand it. That said, I love’em. Can’t eat’em. My body is intolerant to them. Will it last forever? No. But can I go back to eating half a dozen a week. Likely not. So what does one in my predicament do, when staring at the latest internet breakfast sensation, knowing you can’t eat the star ingredient? Or don’t want to eat the star ingredient? You find an amazing substitute of course.
Vegan Shakshuka. Rich in tomato, rich in flavour, rich in health and completely guilt free. But what about the eggs? Finding a substitute was a tough challenge for me. The avocado was a no brainer as a substitute. I have always called it the vegan egg. Cut it in half lengthwise and look at the half with the pit, and it even looks like an egg. A green egg(insert Dr Seuss here). Easy peasy. Even the pit hole makes a great nest for a vegan “yolk”. But what to do about that “yolk”? I stared down the produce aisle for a good 20 minutes pondering that one and grabbed everything from mushrooms to zucchini in an effort to fill that little void. None of it connected with me. It wasn’t until I was at home, putting groceries away when I saw a can of chickpeas and my wife’s newly purchased hummus (yes it was staring at me in the grocery cart) that it clicked. HUMMUS!!!! That is perfect! It works with all of the other ingredients, it spoons neatly into the avocado holes, and rounds out the flavour profile perfectly! Stick a fork in me, cuz I’m done!
So there it is. Vegan Shakshuka with vegan “eggs”. So easy. SO delicious. This recipe doesn’t include a lot of spice as I can’t eat spicy food, but I did give it a slight kick and smoky flavour with some smoked paprika. Swap the paprika for your heat of choice (careful with quantities of course), or leave it in and bring the heat as well. It’s up to you. Give it a go. I know you’ll love it. We scraped the pan clean. As per the usual, leave your comments below. If you mod it, don’t forget to share your results!
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 2-3 servings
- 4 cups diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 diced red bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/16 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- 1-2 avocados cut into rounds about 1/2″ thick
- Hummus for the avocado holes (the avocado yolk if you will), store bought or homemade
1. Dice the tomatoes or pulse in a food processor until finely chopped.
2. Finely dice the onion.
3. Finely chop or grate the garlic.
4. Dice the bell pepper.
5. Add onions, peppers to an oiled skillet and fry until golden.
6. Toss in the garlic and stir quickly for 30 seconds or so.
7. Add tomatoes then spices and incorporate.
8. Allow sauce to reduce on med-low until thickened. Stir often to keep from burning the sauce.
9. Once thick, turn off heat and add the avocado rounds.
10. Put hummus in the center of the avocado as desired
12. Be a little frustrated when you go back for seconds and there is none left.
13. Double recipe next time.
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