Written by osteopath Claire Richardson
Osteopaths know about nutrition. We wouldn’t usually write out menu plans or diet restrictions like an accredited dietician would (which is exactly why we refer to them if necessary), however we can advise you on basic nutrition principles – such as macro nutrients (protein/carbohydrate/fat), micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and ways at which you can improve your overall health though common sense advice.
Here’s a recipe that I personally love. It’s incredibly warming, packed with nutrients, relatively low in kilojoule count and really yummy. It’s an Israeli dish called Shakshuka (a type of baked egg dish) and is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- The eggs provide us with protein, vitamin D and vitamin B-12.
- The Tomato provides us with Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
- The spinach and capsicum provide us with Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
- The ricotta provides us with Calcium.
I imagine it would be yummy with the exclusion of eggs and ricotta, and the inclusion of mushrooms and vegan cheese if you’re vegan.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium brown or white onion - peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- 1 medium red capsicum - chopped
- 4 cups ripe diced tomatoes - or 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste - low sodium is preferable
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- Pinch cayenne pepper - or more to taste– spicy!
- Salt and pepper to taste
- spinach leaves - Good handful
- 5-6 eggs
- 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 150 g ham off the bone – sliced into hunks
- 150 g ricotta
- Heat a deep sauté pan on medium. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.
- Add the red capsicum, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.
- Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce.
- Add the ham off the bone into the sauce. You can have big or small chunks, depending on your preference. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the spinach and stir around a bit. Simmer for 2 minutes or until wilted.
- Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the centre. The eggs will cook on top of the tomato sauce.
- Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the eggs are almost cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. At this point add the ricotta in dollops around the eggs. Cook for another 2-5 mins, or until the eggs are cooked and the ricotta has started to get a bit melty.
- Garnish with the chopped parsley, if desired. For breakfast, serve with warm crusty bread or pita that can be dipped into the sauce, for dinner, serve with a green side salad for a light, easy meal.
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