I’m all for Meatless Monday, especially at dinnertime, but I have a caveat:
Monday should be given equal consideration with Meatless.
Mondays do not need to be capped off with complicated ingredients, hours of shopping, chopping & cooking, nor extensive notations regarding how, when and where to serve.
What Mondays do need is change-into-comfy-pants, put-on-favorite-playlist, no-fuss, sure-thing, meatless recipes.
For example, my Avocado & Chickpea Shakshuka.
Shakshuka is a Middle-Eastern dish, made of eggs, which are gently poached in a chunky, spicy tomato sauce and spangled with fresh herbs leaves, such as parsley, cilantro or mint.
It’s a gorgeous, easy dish, and everything I want to eat.
Except for the eggs.
Egg dishes just aren’t my thing (never have been). So, I decided to make my own spin on shakshuka, with chickpeas (for protein and heartiness) and creamy avocado for the unctuous contrast. It looks and tastes like California in a bowl, so I’m calling it California Shakshuka.
I am keeping my promise to balance the Monday in this meatless dish, too. At first I thought the whole thing was too ridiculously easy to share, but soon realized there is no such thing as a too-easy Monday dinner dish.
Here’s what I mean by ridiculously easy: zero chopping is involved in the production of the dish. That’s right, zero. You’ll slice the avocados, yes, but even the herb leaves are unchopped (a rough tear is perfect).
To create the super-easy, chunky tomato sauce? End-of-a-long-Monday easy: combine 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes with 1-1/2 cups chunky marinara sauce (I used one with peppers and onions), plus some spices. Add the chickpeas and let simmer for a short spell to blend the flavors.
Next, top with the avocadoes. I like to let the avocadoes sit on the simmering sauce to get warmed through, but you could serve them room temperature, too, adding them just before serving. Alternatively, slide the whole thing under the broiler to give the avocadoes a slight char (which is crazy delicious).
Last, sprinkle with herbs and serve with some sort of bread to mop up the sauce. Dinner is done!
I designed this dish to serve 4, but it is so good, I ate half the pan for lunch once I finished photographing this batch. I regret nothing, and, moreover, felt ready to conquer everything in my path upon finishing!
This isn’t feel good food, it’s feel amazing food.
Happy Monday, everyone!Print
California-style Shakshuka, made with chickpeas and avocado in place of the usual eggs. It is vegan, grain-free, & gluten-free.
- 1–1/2 cups chunky, good-quality marinara sauce (I used one with peppers & onions)
- 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes & their juices
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium avocado, halved, peeled, pitted
- Optional: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- large handful of fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, roughly torn
- Serving suggestion: Crusty bread
- In a 9- or 10-inch skillet, stir together the marinara, tomatoes & juices, cumin, paprika, pepper and chickpeas. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until the sauce just begins to bubble, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- While sauce simmers, thinly slice each avocado half, dividing each portion in half (four quarters total); fan out each 1/4 portion.
- Place each portion of avocado evenly on surface of tomato sauce; drizzle avocado with olive oil, if using. Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes longer to warm the avocado. Sprinkle with parsley.
- Serve with crusty bread!
Smoked paprika substitution: An equal amount of sweet paprika or chili powder can be used in place of the smoked paprika.
- Category: Entree, Dinner, Lunch
- Serving Size: 1/4 of dish
- Calories: 230
- Sugar: 6.2 g
- Sodium: 712 mg
- Fat: 10.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 30.3 g
- Fiber: 10 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg