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A warm lockdown lunch that warms you from top to toe...

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Happy New Year, Happy New Lock Down, Happy Working From Home and Happy Home Schooling!! I have to say, I hate the end of any school holidays but... homeschooling means that dry January is a nonstarter in this house. Not that it was ever really on the cards..

I am really thinking hard on what to feed my darlings at lunch now they are at home again. Suppers I am fine with, but lunches are just annoying as they mean we all have to stop what we are doing. That in itself is a good thing I have come to realise. Stop, take a breather, nourish your body and head, listen to what the children have to say, go for a walk, and get back to the rat race feeling a little more human.

It took me four hours to do the horses today. Removing ice from concrete with no grit is no fun. But my angel son hacked away at it with me, so big brownie points for him. Snow is great, slush, sleet and freezing rain is miserable. Luckily, there are loads of rabbits in the bank where I school the horses so the dogs exercised themselves, I am really enjoying schooling the horses again, although I am irritated that I was a little stiff this morning...must be my age creeping up on me! Another year older today so luckily no cooking for me tonight, Yay!

Back to lunch - I ate this the other day as a dip with toasted ciabatta chunks and it was the bomb. Shakshuka is from North Africa and also the Middle East - you can add pretty much anything to it and it's a lovely brunch with eggs poached in it. If you are using it as a dip, I dollop tahini in it and skip the eggs and spinach. But for breakfast or brunch, I add eggs and spinach back in - be careful not to overcook the eggs so the yolk runs into the tomato sauce.


If using as a dip with toasted ciabatta chunks...

Olive oil

1 medium onion - thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves minced

1 red pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika - 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1tsp ground coriander

2 tbsp harissa paste

800g tinned tomatoes

1 can of water (from tomato tin)

If using as a dip a few dollops of tahini mixed with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper and a splash of water - leave out tahini if using as brunch.

Chopped parsley or coriander to garnish.

Add on's if for breakfast, brunch or lunch...

Eggs, Spinach, Crumbled Feta, Sliced Avocado

Cook the onions and red pepper in a little olive oil over medium heat until really soft. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for a further 30 seconds.

Add the paprika, cumin, coriander and cook for a further 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, water and harissa and bubble away for 15 minutes until the sauce as reduced and is a little thicker. *at this stage season, taste and I usually add a tsp of maple syrup*

If using as a dip, remove from the heat and put a few dollops of tahini over the Shakshuka, allow to cool a little and tuck in.

If using for brunch add spinach now - about 4 handfuls for 4 people, stir it until wilted. If using eggs make 4 little nests and pop and egg in each - you can either put the pan in the oven at 200c for a few minutes or put a lid on the pan and bubble until the white of the egg is set (cover with foil if no lid). I usually slice up an avocado at this point and decorate the top, sprinkle with herbs. You can crumble feta over too which really makes this a filling little number. Serve with good chunky slabs of toasted delicious bread!


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