Fresh Shakshouka

This version of shakshouka makes a great topper for crusty bread, uses a good blend of fresh + pantry ingredients – and makes a bonus second meal if you swirl some of your leftover sauce in with noodles.

It’s also DH approved, and he’s not a fan of skin-on tomatoes. He could live without the spinach, but we had greens and needed chlorophyll.

This would also be great with chickpeas for added protein and either scrambled or poached eggs/substitute cooked in the sauce. I wanted to keep my eggs separate to maximize leftovers. Scrambled soft tofu would be fantastic.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, halal

Fresh Shakshouka

1 small jar fire roasted peppers in oil

2 hands cherry tomatoes

1 large onion

4 Tbsp. zaatar

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 c. tinned tomatoes (I used crushed but use what you have)

2 tsp. sambal olek (this is my favorite)

1/2 c. parsley

Baby spinach


Crusty bread

3 – 4 cloves garlic – 2-3 minced and 1 or 2 whole with the end sliced off

Thinly slice the onion and sauté on medium in 1 Tbsp. of the oil that comes from the jar of peppers until soft and lightly brown in spots.

Add the sambal and 2 – 3 cloves minced garlic. Sauté a minute or two more to meld together.

While that is working, remove the peppers from the oil and roughly chop.

Add the tomatoes and peppers and sauté until the tomatoes burst.

While the tomatoes are doing their thing, roughly chop the parsley, slice the bread into thick slices and drizzle with some of the pepper oil.

Broil the bread until your desired toast level has been reached. Remove from the oven and rub with the cut end of the reserved garlic clove. Set aside.

When the tomatoes have burst (with or without a little help), add the Zaatar, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Stir to combine and let sauté a minute or so to meld.

Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and half a cup of water. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat, add the spinach + half the parsley on top, and simmer 7 – 8 minutes. As soon as that spinach wilts and can be thoroughly mixed in is the time to add eggs if you are cooking them like a traditional Shakshouka.

If you are not, fry your eggs separately in a little of the pepper oil to your desired doneness.

Serves 2 for a light dinner + makes enough sauce to be used for another night’s pasta

Italian Sausage and Zucchini Ragout with A Fried Egg

This is another example of a recipe that came about due to leftovers in the fridge + it’s cold and I need comfort + I want some freakin tomatoes in my life. One of my Nerd Fitness buddies said the description looked like exactly what he was wanting, so I figured you guys might like it too.


Italian Sausage and Zucchini Ragout with A Fried Egg

Tomato sauce – I actually used a sugar and crap-free jarred prepared variety of marinara (a standard sized glass jar full) and doctored it up with spices because I wanted to see if it could be done without tasting horrible. It wasn’t bad, but I would have much preferred the fresh marinara from this recipe – sans wine, or from this recipe as-is

1 – 1.5 lbs. hot Italian sausage (check your ingredients!)
10 ounces to a pound of crimini (or button) mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 eggs
Salt & pepper
Coconut oil or grassfed butter
Red pepper flakes

Set a large tall-sided pan over medium heat. Slip the sausages out of their skins into the pan and break up with a spoon into small bits. Brown. Drain most of the fat and add the onions and mushrooms. Sautee until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are beginning to break down.

Add the tomato sauce and stir. Taste for seasoning – add salt, pepper and red pepper as needed. Cover. Drop the heat to a simmer and let go 20 minutes to half an hour.

In a separate pan, heat 1 Tbsp. coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, hit with salt and pepper and sautee – stirring frequently – 5 minutes or until al-dente. Add to a bowl.

Heat a Tablespoon or so of coconut oil or butter over medium heat. Add the eggs and fry to your liking, seasoning with salt & pepper as you go.

To assemble: zucchini chunks on the bottom, top with a generous half cup or so of sauce, and top with the eggs.

January 2, 2011

I knew there was some reason I married him. My dearest husband (DH) making his signature marinara sauce.

This is it. This is the best marinara I have ever had; a sauce I wake up craving; a game changer. And it just so happens to be one of the many reasons I married him.

I Knew There Was A Reason I Married Him Marinara

1 15 oz. can unseasoned tomato sauce

6 oz. tomato paste

3-4 Tbsp. good red wine

1 Tbsp. dried oreagon

2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried garlic

1/4 tsp. black pepper

slack pinch salt

optional pinch red pepper flakes

Stir to combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once thoroughly incorporated and the mixture starts steaming, reduce heat and cover. If you are adding meat, add it now. Simmer at least 10 mins. If sauce starts to dry out, add a little more wine.