I started incorporating more savory breakfasts into my routine a couple years ago. At first, it was just a handy way to use up leftovers more quickly. Over time, I started to really enjoy the variety that savory breakfasts afforded me—so many new options to try, a welcome change of pace from my usual routine of oatmeal or toast.
Savory breakfasts have stuck around, and I find that it’s especially easy to love them as the weather gets cooler. Leftover soup and bread is pretty great fortification for a frigid, windy morning. So is any time of dal, or chana masala with homemade chapati. If I’ve got random odds and ends of meals, like the last cup of a bean dish and some leftover cooked grains, it’s easy enough to throw them into a whole grain tortilla with a few avocado slices. These meals keep me full for hours.
This tofu red lentil shakshuka is my latest favorite savory breakfast or brunch. It’s a very simple and plainly non-traditional spin on shakshuka, a popular Northern African and Middle Eastern breakfast that usually features eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.
My version is mild, which is my preference first thing in the morning, but you could certainly give the dish more heat by finishing it with crushed red pepper flakes or adding a couple finely chopped jalapeno peppers with the onions (traditionally, both onions and peppers are used to start the sauce). I added seasoning to the dish in the form of garlic, coriander and cumin, as well as a generous handful of chopped fresh parsley leaves at the end.
To prepare the sauce, I used organic, strained tomatoes from Pomi, which are some of the freshest and most flavorful I’ve tried. The strained tomatoes have a smooth texture, like sauce, so if you can’t find the product itself, you can replace it with a 28-ounce can (or three cups) of your favorite, store-bought tomato sauce. I added red lentils to the sauce to give it extra protein and fiber, and I loved the texture they added.
The tofu slices—a vegan spin on the traditional poached eggs—are prepared simply, just sliced and seared. If you’d like to create a super authentic, egg-y flavor, you can use the suggested kala namak, or black salt. It’s a type of salt that has high sulfur content, which gives it a pungent smell and a flavor that’s reminiscent of eggs. It’s a handy “secret weapon” ingredient for vegan scrambles or breakfast sandwiches! I get mine on Amazon, but you can also find it through online spice retailers or in specialty food stores.
I love the staying powder of this protein-rich morning meal, and I’ve been enjoying it either with cooked whole grain couscous, as you can see, or (now that I’m out of cooked couscous) pita wedges. It would be great over toast, too. I’ve also been topping it with a little sprinkle of za’atar.
You can find the recipe today on the Pomi website. If you try it, I hope it keeps you warm and nourished and satisfied as you go about your day. In the meantime, I’m wishing you all a promising start to the week and continued good holiday wishes to those celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday. I’ll be circling back with a simple, veggie-forward winter bowl recipe on Friday. Till then, be well.
This post is sponsored by Pomi. All opinions are my own, and I love the quality and freshness of these tomatoes. Thanks for your support!