It’s a wonderful thing to be optimistic. It keeps you healthy and it keeps you resilient. – Daniel Kahneman
Whatever you’re working on, struggling with, fighting for right now, think positive. You GOT this.
I’ve been working on a number of things (as usual). One big one is staying in shape. Exercise is an important part of my life, but I’ll admit that often I rely of it not just as a fun activity and a stress reliever, but also as a weight management tool. I still find myself falling back into my old mental attitudes of punishing myself with exercise for eating too much, or criticizing myself for indulging too often and not hitting the gym enough due to a busy schedule. I know all the ladies are with me on this one – being kind to yourself, especially in matters of physical appearance, is a tough one! It’s so easy to fall into patterns of negativity, yet takes a lot of work and attention to be kind and encouraging. This self talk is so extremely important. It shapes our entire attitude, our entire day, our entire life. As I tell myself when I notice the negativity in my thoughts, you are great. You are enough. You GOT this.
I’ve seen this Israeli recipe floating around the internet. It looked like something that was right up my alley – lots of vegetables, eggs for protein, the option of a nice crusty piece of bread to help me dig in. When I finally got around to making this last night, it did not disappoint. Healthy, full of flavor, and so satisfying. Even my meat-eater of a husband approved!
This reminds me a lot of one of my favorite recipes, a Spanish dish called pisto. Although I usually easy pisto by itself, I’ve often fried up an egg to eat on top of it. I followed this NYT recipe for making shakshuka but modified it based on how I like my pisto, namely adding wine and vinegar and allowing it to simmer for about 20 minutes and the flavors to develop. I also ate it with torn off pieces of a fresh baguette, making it even more Middle Eastern- European fusion. I’m sure it taste great exactly the way it’s made traditionally, but for me those added European touches are the epitome of delicious.
I’ve organized this recipe under brunch, but we had it for dinner. Any meal of the day, this one is a winner!
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 3 medium red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, half-seeded and thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
- 5 ounces (about 1 cup) feta cheese, crumbled
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro to garnish
- Baguette for serving
Heat large skillet (I used my cast iron) over medium heat. Thinly slice onion and red peppers. Add olive oil to skillet and the the onions and red peppers. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring every couple minutes. If they begin to brown, lower heat a little. You want them to caramelize.
Remove half the seeds from the jalapeños (the dish will be spicy, so if you'd like it more mild remove more seeds as desired). Slice. Chop garlic. Add to the pan with the paprika, lemon pepper and crushed red pepper. Saute for a minute or until fragrant. Add juices of tomato, coarsely chopped tomatoes, wine and vinegar. Salt. bring to a rolling simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes until thickened.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Stir in feta, reserving a little for garnish. Use a spoon to create 6 shallow wells in the shakshuka. Crack eggs into the well and transfer to oven. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes (I cooked mine 9 minutes) or until eggs looked cooked though as desired.
Top with reserved feta and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a fresh baguette!