The Mediterranean Diet has been around for decades and only recently recognized here as a delicious, healthy cuisine. Its benefits are numerous and filled with nutrient-rich foods linked to eliminating diseases such as heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.

The Mediterranean Diet consists of mainly fresh ingredients including fruits and vegetables and heart-healthy seafood.

Try this traditional North African and Middle Eastern breakfast dish called shakshuka. A tasty blend of tomatoes, spices and eggs, shakshuka contains many ingredients of the Mediterranean diet and is a delicious break from the traditional western breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes, fire-roasted
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • Feta cheese, for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm the oil in a large, cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, well blended, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes with their juices and add the cilantro. Stir, and let the mixture come to a simmer. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes to give the flavors time to blend.
  4. Remove from heat. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Use the back of a spoon to make a well near the perimeter and crack the egg directly into it. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the eggs.
  5. Carefully place the skillet to the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, checking often once you reach 8 minutes. The dish is done when the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a bit but are still soft and jiggly. NOTE: If you don’t like runny eggs, you can fry the eggs in olive oil or scramble them before placing them in the tomato mixture.
  6. Remove the skillet from the oven with oven mitts. Top with the crumbled feta, fresh cilantro leaves, and more red pepper flakes for extra spice. Serve in bowls with crusty bread on the side.

Serves 2-3. Enjoy!

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