Shakshuka on a Budget

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This is the second post in our new series; Healthy Eating on a Budget. Your enthusiasm and encouragement in the first one overwhelmed us. It seems like we are not the only ones thinking about how to eat healthy without burning a hole in the wallet. You also shared so many great budget-tips of your own in the comment section. We hadn’t planned it at first, but we have compiled a new list with all our favorites here. You guys are so resourceful. What a list!

Healthy Eating on a Budget – Part 2 (Click here for part 1).

  • Weekly meal-planning and lunchboxes are my best budget tips! –Maria Calpén
  • My best advice for decently priced, healthy food is to join a CSA and then prep and freeze the excess produce. And if you’re a college student, or really on a budget, split the subscription with another friend or house. Heather
  • What I do twice a year is to empty my cupboards. I always have a bit of this a bit of that, products that I bought for a special recipe but didn’t need to use everything. It helps me throw away less products. –Elsa
  • I like to go to the farmer’s market right before it closes. I can usually get some good deals on fruits and vegetables and then bring them home and either freeze them or cook up batches of things to go in the freezer. –Alice
  • Whenever possible, walk or ride your bike to market. Riding your bike forces you to be more mindful about what you are purchasing since you have limited space to carry things and you may make healthier choices. –Nicole
  • Great tips on freezing/storing beans is on Naturally Ella! –Bell
  • I sometimes buy my veggies at this kind of farmers cooperative, where they sell the vegetables that don’t quite fit the required sizes or standards to be sold at a supermarket. They are local, just as good and half price!  –Sil
  • Local farmers’ markets and ethnic stores are worth visiting too. You can often buy fresh and dry produce for less than what you’d pay at the super market. Medha
  • My first tip would be to take time to make a “market inquiry”, because prices change a lot between shops or products. Then we have to make like the bees, take a little of everything in the different places (it is easy in a short area). Nina
  • Health food stores can be really costly, Asian and international food markets can have bigger and cheaper bags of beans, quinoa ect. Natalie
  • My favourite way of saving money is making things on my own eg. plant milks, nut butters and even bread and ordering some things on the Internet like coconut oil. Usually it’s a little cheaper. Aleksandra
  • One advice is to purée leftovers. The other day I had some lentils, not enough for a meal, I pureed them with some cooked potatoes and offered it with a veggie-burger and salad. You can also purée sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, beans and so on.  Gabriele
  • In addition to the ideas already mentioned, we save on storage containers by re-using glass jars to store beans, pastes, snacks and drinks, etc. Erin
  • My tip is that I make jam as I think it tastes better and often is much cheaper that even basic bought jam. I made plum and amontilado jam last weekend (sounds odd adding sherry to plum jam but it is sublime) and I couldn’t get organic plums so I used the supermarket basic ones and it made very good jam and despite not being organic a lot better than all the additives in commercial jam! Lorna
  • When you think you need to go grocery shopping, wait it out a day or two. I usually can make 1-2 pretty darn good pantry meals even after thinking “I’m out of everything”. Tammy
  • My tip would be to try to grow at least some of your veg and fruit wherever possible. Even in an appartment, you can grow some herbs and these are both easy to grow and expensive to buy. If you can’t invest money in eating healthier, maybe you can invest time? In this post I highlighted some vegetables that are especially profitable to grow yourself Vera

We have a few exciting ideas on how we to develop this theme in the future. So stay tuned. Now, let’s get cooking!

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This recipe is a real darling of ours. We bet some of you have heard of Shakshuka before, but if you haven’t, you are in for a treat. Eggs are slowly cooked in a cumin flavored tomato sauce and it all becomes a sweet, spicy and protein packed one-pot-dinner that you eat with a piece of rye on the side. It’s a great and simple budget recipe that easily takes care of any leftover vegetables you might have lying around. All you need are a few very basic ingredients; onion, garlic, clove, basil, chili, 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes and eggs. If you got that, you are good to go. Now if you can find some fresh kale, fresh spinach (or frozen), bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, cauliflower or any other type of vegetable, they can be added as well. Be inventive. Try new variations. If you would happen to find a pinch of saffron in your budget pantry (mmm likely), it takes the tomato sauce to another dimension. Sometimes we also do a greener Shakshuka, where we replace canned tomatoes for fresh and use more kale and fresh herbs.

This recipe is also featured on WWF. They asked us to share a week of vegetarian recipes in support of Earth Hour. You can find the rest of the recipes here (in Swedish).

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Shakshuka on a Budget
Serves 2 very hungry persons or 4 normal servings

2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper (optional)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin

½ chili, or more to taste
2 cups / 60 g kale (about 2 large leaves without stems) or spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 large handful fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried basil
2 x 400 g (14 oz) cans whole plum tomatoes
4-6 free-range eggs, depending on how many that can fit in your skillet

Finely chop onion, garlic and bell pepper. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat, add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, cumin and paprika and cook for another couple of minutes. Meanwhile place kale and tomatoes in a food processor or blender and process until you reach the consistency of a finely chopped tomato sauce. Pour the tomato sauce mixture in the skillet and let cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Make small divots in the sauce for the eggs and carefully crack the eggs into them. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 5 more minutes, until the egg whites have set. Serve with a few leaves fresh basil and whole grain brown bread or pita.

PS! Our first book is now also available in Dutch. Look for it in book stores all over the Netherlands or order it here!

88 Comments

  • Alice
    Great discovery for me! I never heard about it and was not in a hurry to try. But today, feeling tempted by it, I bought some local Nappa cabbage (my winter isn't that generous with leavy vegetables), put a bit of chili paste (that I always have in the fridge) and the result was a nice and easy dish, which turned to be quite hot by the way. Thanks for sharing!
  • Charlotte
    Hej! Vilken inspirerande blogg! Men jag har en fundering på om Cumin är kummin eller spiskummin. Jag har använt mortlad kummin, fast nu i efterhand tror jag att det kanske är spiskummin det ska vara. Mvh Charlotte
  • Marije
    Hello! I bought your book in Dutch, it's such a great books with awesome pictures, thank you!
  • Sophie Lund
    Hi! It looks amazing! I was wondering if you could serve the shakshuka for dinner?
  • Veralyn
    Burning a 'whole' in the wallet takes that statement to a whole new meaning - burning a 'hole', however, does not. :-)
  • healthy, hearty, and most importantly delicious! shakshuka is a regular in my kitchen - for all these reasons. your photography is as gorgeous as ever. X
  • Just making it, tastes great, but I used spinach and after blending it shortly with the tomatoes, everything was really green! Now after cooking it for a bit, it turned greenish brown. Smells and tastes delicious, but I would have loved your glowing red color. Next time I'll just chop the spinach by hand.
  • Pat
    I made this recipe last night. It is fast, fun and easy on the pocketbook but most important is it is delicious. This blog has opened my eyes to a new way of eating. I have made many of the recipes and haven't been ever disappointed. I am very grateful :)
  • I had never heard about shakshuka, but the photos and recipe are even more convincing than the name. The pictures are mouthwateringly beautiful as always and the recipe will be tried out tonight. Thanks also for the budget tips, my wallet is certainly resenting the healthy food... Your blog and cookbook are just great, I'm already impatient for book nº2! Actually I used to look at cookbooks only for inspiration, after looking at several recipes I usually came up with something totally different, but your recipes are so exactly what I like that I started measuring and following the instructions because I want them to be exactly the way you describe them and they look on the photos. Thanks for sharing, love, Lenka
  • Bianca
    Beautiful recipe and photography. I made this last night and it was certainly inexpensive yet so fulfilling, nutritious and tasty; Bravo! I often make your roasted tomato and chickpea soup, from your book, as a relatively inexpensive and hearty meal. Love your creativity :)
  • Anna
    I love this recipe, and although it is a weekend staple in our home, it never accord to me to add safron. Will definitely try next weekend.
  • That looks just s t u n n i n g...
  • I just made this today - so good! My family agreed; I think it's a new favorite!!
  • Jennifer
    First time commenter, but just couldn't resist letting you know just how much I enjoyed this recipe. I added some bulgar and added some extra green chilies to it as well and we devoured it for dinner last night! Can't wait to eat leftovers for lunch in a tortilla. Thank you!
  • Jami
    My boyfriend and I have been looking for new vegetarian, wallet-friendly recipes and we were both super excited when we saw this one! We ended up making it for dinner tonight. We've already decided to make it a "regular." Delicious, easy and lots of room for making changes depending on what's available for herbs and produce. You have two very happy new readers looking forward to more in this series :)
  • I made this last week for a group of girlfriends, one of whom had just turned onto being vegetarian. Obviously I wanted to show her just how tasty this life can be. You guys, SO GOOD, everyone was blown away! Can't wait to remake this, again and again and again. Total winter comfort food, especially paired with a hearty Emmerys pumpkin seed loaf.
  • Camilla Jilderup
    I adore!
  • This looks so colorful, filling, and tasty. I can't wait to make it! Just got some saffron too.
  • Patricia
    The epitome of deliciousness! Like happiness in a bowl!
  • Marieke
    For a student like myself this topic is so great! And Shakshuka is one of my favourites so it's double the amazingness. I love your blog!
  • malak marwan
    It's an arabic recipe I love it we r always make it in Egypt
  • Vickie
    Sounds wonderfully yummy! Cooking just for me, so was wondering if this is a re-heatable meal? I don't like to be wasteful.
  • His is my most favorite middle eastern breakfast treat. Beautifully photographed.
  • Kalen
    This new series is wonderful! Next cookbook, perhaps? :)
  • Looks amazing! I always love making shashuka with leftover tomato sauce I've made, and I love adding vegetables to it, like aubergine and kale! So yummy!
  • Eva
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your book! So happy it is available in the Netherlands!
  • Yi Leng
    Love the tips from everyone!! Thanks for compiling them! AND thanks for this beautiful recipe <3
  • never heard of shakshuka before. can't wait to make this sounds delicious.
  • Sophia
    This looks so tasty and it's so accessible as well! As a student I struggle to find recipe's that are cheap and don't require too many fancy ingredients to warrant making a meal for one person. So this looks perfect and I've already got all the ingredients in my fridge!
  • Amanda
    My best budget tip is a bit of a downer for all of the pro-organic eaters out there! I work in a chemistry lab where I test foods for pesticides and other additives. Often organically grown has more pesticides than conventional! Once produce is put on a truck, there are no regulations in the US that keep haulers from spraying foods to keep them longer while in transit. So my best budget tip is don't spring for organic unless you are buying directly from a farmer!

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