Inspired living

Shakshuka: a winter nutrition idea


Credit: istock

Now, I know I’m an osteopath, but I’m also a foodie. I find the term “foodie” endearing rather than arrogant, (despite many others feeling otherwise), as it sounds a bit like “chewy”, “gooey” or “nudie” – all things I like my food to be. (Although, not all at once!)

Today’s blog is a light hearted post – I’ve been in my kitchen all week after being inspired at a local Turkish restaurant’s cooking demonstration.

For breakfast, serve with warm crusty bread or pita that can be dipped into the sauce, for dinner, serve with a green side salad for a light, easy meal.

We osteo’s know about nutrition. We wouldn’t usually write out menu plans or diet restrictions like an accredited dietician would (which is exactly why we refer to them if necessary), however we can advise you on basic nutrition principles – such as macro nutrients (protein/carbohydrate/fat), micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and ways at which you can improve your overall health though common sense advice.

Here’s a recipe that I LOVE. It’s incredibly warming (handy coming into winter!) PACKED with nutrients, relatively low in kilojoule count and really yummy!

It’s an Israeli dish called Shakshuka (a type of baked egg dish) and is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’m obsessed.

  • The eggs provide us with protein, vitamin D and vitamin B-12.
  • The Tomato provides us with Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
  • The spinach and capsicum provide us with Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
  • The ricotta provides us with Calcium.

My inspiration was this recipe, which I’ve tweaked a little bit. I know this isn’t as traditional as it could be, however my dad was enamoured with the inclusion of ricotta and ham hock when I made it for Christmas breakfast.

I imagine it would be yummy with the exclusion of eggs and ricotta, and the inclusion of mushrooms and vegan cheese if you’re vegan.

Enjoy this nutritious winner of a dish!

(serves 4 for breakfast or 3 greedy people for dinner)



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red capsicum, chopped
  • 4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (low sodium is preferable)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste– spicy!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Good handful of spinach leaves
  • 5-6 eggs
  • ½ tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
  • 150g ham off the bone – sliced into hunks
  • 150g ricotta
  1. Heat a deep sauté pan on medium. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.
  2. Add the red capsicum, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.
  3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce.
  4. Add the ham off the bone into the sauce. You can have big or small chunks, depending on your preference. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the spinach and stir around a bit. Simmer for 2 minutes or until wilted.
  6. Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center. The eggs will cook on top of the tomato sauce.
  7. Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the eggs are almost cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. At this point add the ricotta in dollops around the eggs. Cook for another 2-5 mins, or until the eggs are cooked and the ricotta has started to get a bit melty.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Servings: 5-6



Garnish with the chopped parsley, if desired. For breakfast, serve with warm crusty bread or pita that can be dipped into the sauce, for dinner, serve with a green side salad for a light, easy meal.

Until next time,

Stay warm!!




Dr Claire Richardson loves what osteopathy offers her patients and how it can help people of all different ages and backgrounds. Claire treats a wide range of patients, from the young through to the elderly, including office workers, athletes, pregnant women and tradesmen. Claire enjoys treating all musculoskeletal ailments, from sports injuries to postural problems. She employs a wide variety of techniques in her treatment, including soft tissue massage, dry needling, and joint and muscle manipulation where appropriate. As part of her treatments, Claire advises on contributing lifestyle factors such as activity and diet which enables her patients to have an optimal and speedy recovery.