Red vs Green.

I’m more of a Blue person but today’s all about Red and Green.

At the beginning of last week, I found myself dreaming of Shakshuka and rather than spend getting this dish at a cafe, I decided to whip it up at home for dinner. This dish was exceptionally simple although rather than serve it in the skillet, I found myself eyeing the little Chestnut Pumpkin sitting on our kitchen counter.

Now this Pumpkin was a bit of a splurge but being the Pumpkin-eating fiend that I am, I couldn’t help but want to buy it just to see how special it was given its price tag. Anyway, I thought I’d be creative and serve Shakshuka in Pumpkin Bowls.

I got my recipe off NYT Cooking but made a few changes.

Shakshuka (Serves 2):

Small Pumpkin (If you choose to serve them in a pumpkin bowl), halved and seed removed

1/2 Onion, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp Garlic, sliced thinkly
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
360g canned diced tomatoes
Handful of Baby Kale
Pinch of Salt
Black Pepper to taste
Goat’s Cheese as needed
2 Eggs

  1. Warm oven to 180deg C and place halved pumpkins onto a lined baking tray. Bake for 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the pumpkin until tender.
  2. Heat olive oil in pan and saute onions and red bell peppers until softened, approximate 15-20min.
  3. Add garlic and stir another 1-2min.
  4. Stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper and cook another minute until fragrant.
  5. Pour in the tin off tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to simmer and allow sauce to thicken.
  6. I had a handful of baby kale left and some basil so I threw both in to wilt.
  7. Fill cooked pumpkin cavities with some sauce and top with an egg. Bake 7-10 minutes depending on how set you like your eggs.
  8. Garnish with crumbled goat’s cheese and basil.

Unfortunately, my little pumpkin halves were too small so not a lot of sauce could fit in and some of the egg white overflowed when I cracked the eggs in. And I ended up having to add more sauce around the pumpkin bowls so perhaps a kind of squash with a bigger cavity might be better, or just a bigger pumpkin altogether. Also, I added some sausage to our Shakshuka just for the extra protein and served it with some homemade Pumpkin Bread that I made earlier that day – I’ll share the recipe soon!

Flo loved the tomato sauce and it was lovely eaten with the fresh bread. The pumpkin bowls made it a very filling meal though and we were well-stuffed after cleaning our bowls. As for the pumpkin itself, it was sweet and flavoursome but not worth its weight in cash – our local pumpkin tastes just as good!

Following the success of the Red Shakshuka, I decided to make a Green Shakshuka last Thursday night for my dinner. Flo was out with some colleagues so I made it a single serving using Jamie Oliver’s Recipe and downsizing it a little.

Mum is a ardent fan of Jamie Oliver’s recipes and so far, they have proved to be very good. So with such a wide repetoire of Green Shakshuka recipes online, I thought that his would be quite reliable. Of course, not being able to gather all the ingredients meant that I had to improvise here and there.

Green Shakshuka for 1:

1/4 Onion, diced
1 tsp Garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1/4 tsp Ground Oregano
60g Baby Spinach
60g Baby Kale
Pinch of Sea Salt
50ml Vegetable Broth
1/4 wedge of Lime
Bunch of Mint
Bunch of Basil
Blue Cheese

1 Egg

  1. Heat oil in pan and saute onion and garlic until softened.
  2. Add dried spices and herbs and cook for a minute.
  3. Add spinach, kale, mint and basil and season with sea salt and pepper. Stir for 2-3 minutes until wilted.
  4. Stir in vegetable broth and lime juice.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the vegetables and crack and egg into it. Cover pan with lid to steam the top of the egg just to cook it slightly.
  6. Season egg with some salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle blue cheese on top and serve with bread of choice.

I ate this with more of my pumpkin bread, toasted, but because it wasn’t so much of a saucy dish, the bread didn’t quite make a good vessel for scooping up the greens. Also, I added the vegetable broth because I felt that the dish as a whole was a little too ‘dry’ and some smoked salmon for extra protein. Altogether, it was a nice dinner experiment but I think Red Shakshuka has my heart in this fight between Red and Green…

At least until I baked up a batch of Matcha Avocado Muffins the other day. I know that most sweet bakes feature Chocolate along with Avocado but I decided to keep the Superfood Greenies together and allow for the Antioxidants to mingle with the Healthy Fats.

With butter being replaced by avocado, I didn’t have too high hopes for these muffins because of my previous attempt at doing the same thing. Looks like it was second time lucky for me because these muffins turned out really well! Again, more dense than their buttery counterparts, but really tasty in a fudgy blondie kind of way. Me likey! Also, I tend to be quite restrained with the amount of sugar that I put into my bakes so the addition of dark chocolate chips to sweeten things up certainly did the trick.

So it’s back to the drawing board in this battle between the Reds and the Greens. But where Shakshuka is concerned, red. It has to be red!

5 thoughts on “Red vs Green.

  1. Pingback: Squash ’em. | Chewing On Life

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