Vegan Shakshuka for my Hashimoto’s
Healthy eating for an autoimmune disease
by Dr. Vedrana Högqvist Tabor
When fighting Hashimoto’s I had to give up on a lot of food that I thought my life depended on. Luckily, some of my favorite dishes are still available in variants that will not cause any problem with my digestion. I prepared shakshuka for our family brunch today (bank holiday here in Germany), and I cannot feel any pain in my stomach! Good eating is a prerequisite for a pain free and a productive day.
But….there was one dish, where less than perfect red peppers and tomatoes were used. It was a mishmash of vegetables, with an egg on top of it. When my grandma was making it I did not have a specific name for it, until one of my Israeli friends made it for one of our dinners.
It is funny how a leftover vegetable dish became one of my favs: it does not cause any pain in my stomach, and my palate is satisfied.
My grandma used to prepare this dish once a week, it would come together with a piece of warm bread.
Here is my favourite version, it is vegan friendly and pain free:
(enough for one very hungry person, or to be shared among the two medium hungry people)
Take one big onion, it does not matter what kind, my grandma always took whatever was ready from the drying place on the windowsill.
Chop it finely.
Heat up well about 100 mL of olive oil (or a pumpkinseed oil, it gives such a rich nutty taste). You can do more oil, but preferably not less, since the onion will soak most of the oil, and not sauté nicely.
Leave the onion to sauté for 5–10 minutes, when it starts looking glassy it is time to add the next batch of ingredients.
Take one red and one yellow pepper and cut them into thin strips (thanks to “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi), add it to sautéing onion.
Add 2–3 bay leaves, 1 tsp of thyme (fresh is preferred over the dried one) and 2 tsp of chopped up parsley (you can do more, I often do) and ½ of tsp of crushed chili.
Leave it on a relatively high heat for 10 minutes, stir once a minute.
Next are tomatoes, my grandma used any that were ripe and not pretty, today I do not have that luxury. I take 8 mid-size tomatoes (they have almost the flavor of cherry tomatoes, without being too small and contain enough juice inside), I cut them into quarters and add to the onion & pepper mix. I cook for further 20 minutes over low heat, and stir every 5 minutes, this way liquids leaving veggies are kept in the pan (lower layers will release more liquid that will precipitate as upper layers prevent the evaporation). It creates a nice soup or a sauce like consistency, and the veggies are super soft.
When the cooking part is done I add a scoop of Oatly iMat Fraiche, and voila!
It does take 40 minutes to prepare, but in the between the cooking I get to play with our dog, read a chapter of a good book or skype with my sister (and she shows me the biggest pumpkin/tomatoe/cucumber or whatever vegetable she has found in her garden that morning).
I found this dish to be great as a comfort food when the autumn rain comes, and I have no particular wish to go out.