This Shakshuka recipe, a traditional Israeli breakfast dish, comes from The Fertility Foods Cookbook by Elizabeth Shaw, RDN and Chef Sara Haas, RDN.
As a woman with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), I lived with a nagging fear of infertility in the back of my mind for five years between my diagnosis and when I conceived my daughter. I still remember the consuming desire for children, the fear and pain of hearing the doctor say "you likely won't be able to conceive naturally when you're ready to start a family", and the wonder of if and when a family would happen for us. It got to the point where the fear and the unknown surrounding our future made me anxious to even start trying to get pregnant. Fertility treatments can be expensive (to say the least). Did we have enough financial resources stored up? Were we emotionally ready to start this journey? Were we physically ready?
I can't even explain how grateful and blessed we are that the extent of treatment interventions we needed were a couple rounds of Clomid. I know for many women, including friends, it's a far longer and immensely more taxing journey.
Every women's journey to motherhood looks different, but I'd wager one thing that's the same no matter what: a desire and need for support, for companions to travel the road with you. After all, it's your companions that make a road trip both bearable and memorable, right?
That's why I am happy to share a new resource today from two wonderful dietitian colleagues, Elizabeth Shaw and Sara Haas. They've combined their immense research and experience in fertility nutrition to write Fertility Foods: 100+ Recipes to Nourish Your Body While Trying to Conceive.
Sara and Liz wrote The Fertility Foods Cookbook to help women seeking better results by changing their diet. During a time of such significance in your life that can be full of ups and downs, it's a wonderful gift to yourself, your partner, and your future children to make sure that your body has everything it needs, at the proper times and in proper quantities.
The Fertility Foods Cookbook is one that I wish I had before I became pregnant with my daughter. Liz and Sara have created The Fertility Foods Cookbook to be a companion on your journey to conception. They offer heartfelt support and guidance as women who themselves have struggled with infertility, in addition to the following:
- 100+ nourishing dishes to boost your fertility
- Dietary breakdowns to help you understand what will help your body conceive, and why
- Tips on managing stress and other lifestyle factors
- A how-to guide on putting together a healthy kitchen
The recipes in The Fertility Foods Cookbook are beautiful, delicious, and completely nourishing without being too involved or crazy time-consuming (aka NTF-approved!). They gave me their blessing to share one of the recipes with you guys today, so I picked a dish that I've been looking to try for a while: Shakshuka! Shakshuka is a traditional Israeli breakfast dish, but given my love for eggs at any time of day, I say it's a perfect any time dish! It's basically eggs in tomato sauce. I followed the recipe exactly with the exception of adding one NTF twist - spinach! I always have a ton of spinach on hand and love adding it to many of my meals morning, noon, or night!
Sara and Liz suggest pairing it with their Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette, Herb Roasted Potatoes, or toasted bread (gluten-free for me, please!). (Oh, and you can find the salad and potatoes recipe in The Fertility Foods Cookbook, too!)
Fertility Foods Cookbook: Shakshuka
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ⁄2 cup 2 ounces onion, chopped
- 1 medium 5 ounces bell pepper (any color), chopped
- 3 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, chopped (*optional NTF add-in!)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ⁄4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 ⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 can 28 ounces diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 4 large eggs
- Red pepper flakes optional garnish
- Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Add olive oil, onion, bell peppers, and optional spinach. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the minced garlic, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and kosher salt. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes. Turn heat to medium, cover, and let cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid and create four small holes in the tomato mixture.
- Crack an egg into each hole*, then cover and cook for an additional 6 minutes, until white is firm and yolk is set but still able to be punctured with a fork. (If you prefer a set egg with a firm yolk, cook for 8 minutes.)
- Remove from heat and serve with roasted potatoes, toasted bread, or salad.
- *Kitchen Tip: Crack each egg into a small dish before adding to each hole. This makes it easier to pour and to remove any rogue shell.