Chickpea and Chard Shakshuka

Aside from food, my greatest passion is travel.  There’s a quote that I love that sums it up pretty nicely for me: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

I’m especially infatuated with travel to places where I feel like I’m really far from home – somewhere with an entirely different language, set of customs, and – of course – an exotic (to me, at least) food scene.  When I’m daydreaming of driving to the International Departures terminal but life dictates that I stay home instead, I crack open my cookbooks and cook something with its origins someplace very far from my New Jersey kitchen.

Shakshuka is a traditionally North African dish (also very popular in Israel) that is essentially poached eggs in a spiced tomato sauce.  It’s often eaten for breakfast, but really can be enjoyed all day long.  I’ve been long wanting to try Shakshuka, so when I was recently asked by a client to make a veganized version, I was excited to get to work on developing my spin on the recipe.  Since I love chickpeas pretty much any time of day, I used them as my replacement for the eggs.  A meal doesn’t feel complete to me without some sort of green vegetable, so I wilted earthy Swiss Chard into the pot as well, and the result was something really comforting, subtly spicy, and really nourishing.  I love that you can eat this year round, any time of day, and it only uses one pot!  Feel free to sub in any dark leafy green for the chard – thinly sliced collards or spinach would both be excellent.

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