I’ve done some thinking. The more I work and photograph for my blog, the more I wonder where all this is going. Or better said, where I want to take it. So far most things just happened naturally. I have a passion for food and travel. So obviously I post about recipes, publish food guides and give some tips for destinations I’ve recently been to. But I wanted to give my blog a deeper focus. I feel like that even though I have my own style and my content is unique my vision is still too generic.
So consequently, yes, I’ve done some thinking. I want to take my blog to the next level. I want to broaden our cultural and culinary horizon, write about places less covered, challenge traditional recipes by veganizing them and only cook with ingredients that are widely available for everyone (sorry, no acai bowls for now). It’s my goal to create food that tells a story about my travels, about nation’s traditions and about personal experiences. I don’t know much else yet. Just that the focus will be more on food as a way to bring people together, to share their passion and to unite different cultures through cooking. Does that make sense? My recipes are and will be still all vegan, often gluten-free and mostly healthy. I’ll just add a little international touch. Like I did for this Israeli Vegan Skakshuka with Tofu.
I haven’t been as excited about a new recipe in a long time as I’v been for this Israeli Vegan Shakshuka. On my recent trip to Tel Aviv I ate all kinds of amazing foods but one really stood out. The vegan shakshuka from Orna and Ella. I first got to know shakshuka when I was living in Egypt. We often would order one shakshuka for the whole table together with Egyptian falafel (recipe coming soon), hummus, tomato parsley salad and freshly baked bread. It’s a great breakfast dish to share but I also love eating it for dinner.
Up until now I’ve only eaten shakshuka in restaurants (I can highly reommend the green shaksuhka of Bluestone Lane Collective Cafe in NYC) and only the traditional version with eggs. But I had never seen a vegan shakshuka on the menu, so I was very surprised to see it more than once in Tel Aviv. With the inspiration in my mind I headed back home. Two days later and couldn’t believe how easy and delicious it is to make vegan shakshuka in your own kitchen.
Now, I’ve done a little research and there are quite a few recipes out there. However must of them don’t use simple soft tofus as an egg replacement but usually some sort of dough or baked tofu. I found that the version with soft tofu sprinkled on top of the hot shakshuka tasted the best in terms of flavor but also texture of ingredients. I also highly recommend to drizzle some tahini on top before serving it. it makes a big difference in and adds to the Middle Eastern flavour.
Israeli Vegan Shakshuka with Tofu
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/2 – 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ⅛ tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 big or 2 small can (around 800 g) diced plum tomatoes with juices
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 400 gr / 1 block /14 oz firm tofu
- Chopped parsley for serving
- Tahini for serving
- 2 – 4 pita bread
- Heat oil in a large pan over low-medium heat
- Add leek and bell peppers
- Cook for about 20-30 min or until soft (if you prefer crunchier pieces of pepper, only cook for 20 min rather than 30 min)
- Stir in garlic powder, cumin, sweet paprika and chilli flakes and cook for 1 minute
- Pour in tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for 10 min or until tomatoes have thickened
- Cut the tofu in 4 big chunks and take each chunk and crumble it over the tomato sauce (I like my tofu crumbs to be very small but bigger chunks taste great too)
- Cover pan and cook for up to five minutes so the tofu softens a little and warms up
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve with freshly baked pita and a good amount of tahini sauce
*Recipe for the Vegan Skakshuka with Tofu is inspired by NY Times Cooking’s Shakshuka With Feta