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Vegan shakshuka (gluten-free, soy-free)

I never got to try shakshuka before I became vegan. It only really popped up on my radar in the last five or so years. I got to work on veganising it because I felt like I was really missing out. The only problem? What to do about the egg component.

I was just going to use avocado to replace the egg but it’s just not the same. On my third attempt at this dish, it came to me – I make these great savoury crepes from chickpea flour and they sometimes have an egg-like texture. What if I used that for the ‘egg white’, and nutritional yeast, olive oil and turmeric for the ‘yolk’? The first go was too bitter from the turmeric, the second go was better – but I added the ‘yolk’ too soon and it sunk into the ‘white’. Then, I cracked it (pun intended). The trick was to let the ‘white’ cook for almost a minute before adding the ‘yolk’.

It’s the closest I’ve come to a vegan fried egg, and I think it’s the closest I am ever going to get without having to add tofu. It’s easy, soy-free and chickpea flour has a good amount of protein, which always helps a vegan out. I still can’t believe I did it, and I’m sharing it with you with a huge smile on my face.

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Vegan shakshuka
Serves 2

1 brown onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp powdered vegetable stock
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
Pinch salt and pepper
8 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup water
3 sheets lasagna pasta, broken into small pieces
1 tbsp coconut sugar *optional
Pinch sumac, to serve
Pinch nutritional yeast, to serve
Pinch white sesame seeds, to serve
Pinch black sesame seeds, to serve
Avocado, to serve
2 fried ‘eggs’, to serve (see note)

Saute brown onion in coconut oil over a medium heat. Once starting to brown and caramelise, add the tomato paste and mix into the onion for one minute. Add the spices and stir until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and water and mix until even then add broken lasagna sheets. Let cook fifteen minutes until reduced slightly. Gently loosen the ingredients in the pan while cooking to avoid it catching on the bottom but try not to mix the pasta into itself as it may stick. If it gets too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water then add coconut sugar – if using – towards the end.

Serve into a bowl topped with two fried ‘eggs’, avocado, sumac, nutritional yeast, and black and white sesame seeds.

NOTE: Whisk 1/4 cup chickpea flour with 1/4 cup water, 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pour half into a hot nonstick pan with coconut oil and let cook for 1 minute. Mix 2 tbsp nutritional yeast in a small bowl with a pinch of salt, 2 tsp olive oil, 4 tsp water and a pinch of turmeric, then carefully spoon half of it into the centre of the chickpea batter that is cooking. Let cook a minute longer then carefully transfer it to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter and ‘yolk’ and serve.

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