Shakshuka is a veggie-packed meal featuring eggs cooked in a mixture of tomatoes, onions, peppers and spices. It’s often served for breakfast or lunch in North Africa and the Middle East.
The combination of eggs, tomatoes, and spices create a balanced dish that harmonizes Yin and Yang energies in the body. Achieving this balance is essential for maintaining optimal health in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Let’s discuss the potential health benefits of the key components in this dish from a TCM perspective:
Nourishing Yin and Blood: Eggs are considered a balanced and nutrient-dense food in TCM. They are believed to nourish Yin, which is associated with cooling and moisturizing qualities. Nourishing Yin is essential for overall well-being.
Tonifying Kidney Essence: In TCM, the Kidneys are considered the foundation of vital essence. Eggs, with their rich nutrient profile, are thought to tonify Kidney essence, contributing to overall vitality and reproductive health.
Cooling Nature: Tomatoes are considered to have a cooling nature in TCM. Cooling foods are believed to help balance excess heat in the body, making them potentially beneficial during periods of heat or inflammation.
Promoting Blood Circulation: Tomatoes are associated with the Heart and the Blood in TCM. Foods that promote blood circulation are thought to contribute to heart health and overall vitality.
Spices (e.g., Smoked Paprika, Crushed Red Pepper, and Cumin):
Warming Nature: These spices, with their warming nature, may be considered beneficial for individuals who need warmth in their diet, especially during cold seasons. Warming spices are believed to promote circulation and dispel cold, contributing to overall well-being.
Supporting Digestion: Warming spices are thought to stimulate the digestive fire, helping the body efficiently break down and absorb nutrients. Improved digestion is essential in TCM for maintaining the balance of Qi, or vital energy, within the body.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped red sweet peppers
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 3 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- Snipped fresh parsley
- 2 whole-wheat pita bread rounds, halved crosswise and warmed
- In a 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium. Add the next five ingredients (through crushed red pepper). Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, cumin and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down.
- Make four indentations in tomato mixture. Break an egg into a custard cup or small bowl and slip into an indentation. Repeat with the remaining three eggs. Simmer, covered, 4 to 6 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.
- Top with yogurt and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with pita bread.
Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Recipe by Eating Well