Shortcut Shakshuka Recipe

Easy and fast shakshuka is ready in 7 minutes with 0 prep time. you have to try this tomato and egg bake that is vegetarian an healthy! Yum!  | themillennialmenu.com

Let's be honest here - it's time for a Shortcut Shakshuka recipe. Shakshuka is a baked egg and tomato-based dish of Tunisian and Moroccan Jewish origin, served both as a breakfast dish as well as at dinnertime. It's all the rage right now, but every time I tried to make it, I got frustrated - this was not a quick and easy dinner. The concept behind shakshuka is baked eggs, meaning you need to put your skillet into the oven to cook the eggs in the tomato sauce. This takes forever to do. And it also means you need to have an oven safe skillet so you don't burn your hand off. I have no patience for all of this, and I also hate undercooked eggs. BUT, I do love shakshuka - it's a savory, smoky, and inexpensive meal. SO, I bring you my solution: Shortcut Shakshuka. I whip up the fried eggs in a separate pan in 3 minutes and am so. much. happier.

This recipe also has ZERO prep time. You add your ingredients to a saucepan, fry a few eggs, and you're sitting down to a delicious dinner in 7 minutes. This is mostly made possible by the existence of Trader Joe's - particularly their Eggplant Garlic Spread with Sweet Red Peppers. I love the inclusion of the sweet red peppers to classic Shakshuka recipes like this one from the New York Times - but that's one more step. This spread adds garlic and the sweet red peppers to your recipe with no extra work - plus the eggplant adds a delicious depth of flavor without overpowering anything.

If you want, you can add some prep time by sautéing a bit of onion in the bottom of the pan before adding the sauces, but I've found you don't even need it. The spices are also optional - the Trader Joe's spread is flavorful enough that you don't need them, but they are good spices to have on hand anyways if you want to purchase a set for your pantry. Either way, you'll be enjoying a budget-friendly and really healthy dinner in no time. 



Shortcut Shakshuka Recipe

makes 2 servings
Other recipes with these ingredients: Farro: Middle Eastern Grain Bowls
Prep Time: 0 minutes (add 25 minutes if making farro)
Cooking Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked farro *Optional*Substitute: white beans, quinoa, wild rice, etc.
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Eggplant Garlic Spread with Sweet Red Peppers
  • 2 eggs (Note: this recipe makes 2 servings. I eat 2 eggs per serving, but I cook my servings of eggs one at a time. If you're making 2 servings, you will eventually need 4 eggs in total)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish Optional
  • Oil, butter, or non-stick spray (for frying eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika Optional
  • 1 teaspoon cumin Optional




Dietary Substitutions
Vegetarian!
Dairy Free: No feta cheese.
Gluten Free: If you choose to add a grain, make sure to add a gluten free one like quinoa
Vegan-Friendly Not super vegan friendly because you'd have to leave out the eggs and feta, but you could add extra grains and chickpeas for protein.

Directions

OPTIONAL: MAKE YOUR FARRO (or other grain)
1. Add 1/2 cup of dry, pearled farro and 1 cup of water to a pot. Bring to a boil. Turn down to low heat, let simmer for approximately 25 minutes, until farro is tender [Important Ratio: 1:2 dry farro:cooked farro, 1:2 farro:water].

MAKE THE SAUCE
2. Turn the burner on to medium. Add 1 cup tomato sauce and 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Eggplant Garlic Spread with Sweet Red Peppers and warm.
3. Add the 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cumin to the sauce, stir to combine.
4. Once the farro is cooked, stir the farro into the sauce. 
5. Add 1/4 cup feta cheese and stir. 

FRY THE EGGS
6. *In a separate pan* heat the burner to medium heat and add a bit of oil, butter, or non-stick spray.
7. Crack 2 eggs into the pan. Cook the eggs to desired doneness. Check out How to Fry an Egg for guidance.

TOP & ENJOY
8. Once the eggs are done, slide the finished eggs on top of the tomato mixture. Top with cilantro or parsley and enjoy.

Yum.

shortcut shakshuka is on the table in 7 minutes with 0 prep time. Enjoy a healthy vegetarian meal in no time! | themillennialmenu.com

Lunch Tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - While I've enjoyed the tomato sauce/farro/feta mixture leftover, it's best to fry the additional eggs separately. This means that this recipe isn't the best option to bring for lunch (although you could enjoy it without the fried eggs) but it's perfect for another dinner. Just warm up the sauce and fry a few more eggs fresh!

STORING - Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Again, you don't want to have any leftover cooked eggs.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS -  Feta is great in salads, a pasta dish, or over a Mediterranean-inspired chicken dish. Cilantro can be used in my Five Minute Fish Taco Bowls and parsley in the Middle Eastern Grain Bowls. Try the Eggplant Garlic Spread with Sweet Red Peppers as a pasta sauce, over grilled veggies, as a topping for bruschetta. Use any extra tomato sauce to make homemade pizzas!


Chickpea Chicken Curry Recipe

Simple Chickpea Chicken Curry takes just minutes and is the perfect weeknight dinner! My family LOVES this recipe! | themillennialmenu.com

If you're using a rotisserie chicken that's already cooked (and you should be, since I wrote 7 Reasons Why You Should Always Have a Rotisserie Chicken In Your Fridge) you can have this Chickpea Chicken Curry Recipe on the table in 10 minutes. TEN! MINUTES! It simply involves throwing everything together in a pot (or a pan - this is flexible, guys) and warming it up. Nothing can go wrong, I promise.

What I love about this recipe is it's a no-recipe recipe - start with some coconut milk & curry powder and add anything you want. While I suggest chicken, chickpeas, spinach, and farro, there's nothing stopping you from doing tofu, quinoa, and kale. Or quinoa, farro, swiss chard, and adding in some onion. Or ....the possibilities are endless. Note: This is definitely a simplified version of curry (not claiming it's authentic by any means) but in this case, that's the point - simple. If you want to make it a bit more exciting, you can use curry paste instead of powder and sauté onion to add into the curry.

One of the best parts is this recipe almost tastes even better LEFTOVER. The curry powder infuses into the coconut milk and everything soaks up this delicious broth. You can make a big batch for the week and enjoy a healthy, filling lunch every single day.



Chickpea Chicken Curry Recipe

makes 1-2 servings
Other recipes with these ingredients: Rotisserie chicken: Middle Eastern Grain Bowls, Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza // Coconut Milk: coconut rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 - 15.5 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (flexible, to taste)
  • 1 cup shredded chicken (rotisserie recommended - Read the 7 Reasons You Should Always Have a Rotisserie Chicken to be convinced) 
  • 1/2 of a 15.5 oz. can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup cooked grains (farro,quinoa, etc.) Optional
  • 2 cups spinach Substitute: swiss chard, kale, anything green, or another veggie - get creative!
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste.




Dietary Substitutions
Dairy Free
Gluten Free (If you choose to add a grain, make sure to add a gluten free one like quinoa)
Vegetarian-Friendly Add extra chickpeas, substitute tofu for chicken
Vegan-Friendly Combine dairy free & vegetarian recommendations.

Directions

MAKE THE BROTH
1. Turn on the stovetop to medium heat.
2. Add 1 can of coconut milk to a pan (any size or shape pot/pan will do as long as it can fit everything). The coconut milk may be separated in the can - use a whisk to whisk together in the pot/pan if needed.

ADD EVERYTHING, HEAT, & ENJOY
3. Add 1 teaspoon curry power (add more if desired) and mix into the coconut milk.
4. Add 1 cup of shredded chicken.
5. Add 1/2 of a 15.5 oz can of chickpeas
6. Add 1/2 cup grains (optional - I always add a 1/2 a cup of farro to mine)
7. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, to tasteWarm ingredients until the ingredients are steaming and heated through. 
7 1/2. If you would like a thicker curry, let the curry bubble and cook a bit more on medium-high heat to thicken it up. 
8. Add 1 cup of spinach and stir into the curry.

Yum.


Lunch Tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - Some recipes taste better the next day, and this might be one of those recipes. The curry has time to soak into the mix-ins and the curry powder infuses into the coconut milk even more.  Since this recipe makes either one really big serving or a dinner-sized and a lunch-sized serving, you'll probably be able to bring leftovers to work the next day. If you want to ensure you'll have leftovers, you can just add more chicken, chickpeas, and spinach and you'll just have a smaller stuff:broth ratio.

STORING -Store in an airtight container and enjoy within 3-4 days. This also freezes well, since coconut milk is non-dairy. Frozen best without the spinach and added later, but it's also fine to freeze all together, too.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - You're going to have some rotisserie chicken leftover, but this is far from a bad thing - find out 7 Reasons Why You Should Always Have a Rotisserie Chicken in Your Fridge anyways. HINT: One of them is because you can make BBQ Chicken Pizza. You'll have 1/2 a can of chickpeas left, which freeze really easily. Or, you could toss them in a salad for lunch for extra protein - with some of the bag of spinach you'll have leftover. You could also toss your spinach in a smoothie or in your eggs at breakfast.

The Secret to Cooking with Herbs and Spices

The secret to cooking with fresh herbs and spices is in your supermarket - herb pastes! Great for cooking for one or cooking on a budget. | themillennialmenu.com

Nothing completes a dish like adding in just the right combination of herbs and spices. But if you're cooking for one and/or cooking on a budget, dinner can fall flat because you don't want to spend money on ingredients that will turn brown before you can use them. Never fear - I've got the secret to using herbs and spices when you're cooking for one and watching your wallet.

We've all been there. You see "parsley" on an ingredient list and groan - do you really need to buy a whole bunch of parsley for this one little recipe?  You need like one leaf for your shrimp scampi. For the record, I try to mark when a spice or herb is optional in a recipe here on the blog, or suggest some more common substitutions - and I note when it really makes or breaks the dish (as you can probably guess, Coconut Lemongrass Salmon really just isn't the same without the lemongrass). Even when you're cooking for more than one person, there's rarely a recipe that uses a whole bunch of herbs. What are you supposed to do with the small parsley tree leftover? Do you skip the herbs altogether or splurge on something you'll use 1/20th of before it goes brown and slimy in the back of the fridge?

the secret to cooking for one with fresh herbs and spices! | themillennialmenu.com

The solution to this dilemma comes in simple and inexpensive plastic tubes: Gourmet Garden Stir-In Herb & Spice Pastes. Or, as I like to call it, squeezable flavor. Gourmet Garden has a line of 12 flavorful herb and spice pastes that allow you to always have the right flavors on hand to create delicious and easy meals. Flavors range from the basics (like basil and garlic) to more exciting (like lemongrass and ginger) to all-purpose (like the Italian Herb blend and Thai seasoning blend). I love that the pastes have no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Hey, they save you time on chopping, too! The best part for the money-savvy and small-quantity chef (that's you!) is that the pastes last a full three months in the fridge *even after opening* (!) and they only come in 4 oz. tubes, so you'll definitely be able to get through one before it goes bad. To use, simply squeeze into a dish, taste, and adjust to your personal preferences - just like when cooking with fresh herbs! They pack much more flavor than dried herbs and can replace both dried and fresh herbs and spices in recipes. Pro-tip: They're all gluten-free.

Gourmet Garden Stir-In Herbs and Spices are the ideal solution to EXPENSIVE, wilted fresh herbs. Yum on a budget! | themillennialmenu.com

In terms of price, you'll definitely get your money's worth because you won't be buying fresh herbs for just one recipe or throwing away unused herbs that have gone bad. Plus, you can often find a deal, like the 2 for $7 I found at Stop & Shop when I stealthily went in to take pictures of the herb display with my DSLR camera...yep, the things I do for food. Sure, it's not as cheap as leaving the herbs out or using dried, but I'm trying to strike a balance between delicious and budget-conscious on the Millennial Menu, and Gourmet Garden hits the spot.

Wondering what to make? The Stir-In Pastes work in just about anything - sauces, soups, marinades, dressings, stir fry, pasta, and more. Personally, I always have Parsley and Lemongrass tubes in my fridge. Parsley for shrimp scampi (a Millennial Staple meal in my house) and lemongrass for recipes like Salmon in Coconut Lemongrass broth and lemongrass shrimp over coconut rice. Subscribe to the blog to get access to these recipes in a future post. Garlic can go in just about anything you want to make. Ginger is delicious on salmon and in stir fry. The Gourmet Garden website has a great Recipe archive where you can browse by herb - check it out!

 
 

Note: this is NOT a sponsored post. I just love my squeeze tubes and think they're a must-have in any millennial kitchen.

Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

This Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe takes only 15 minutes to pull together, using pre-made naan breads as the delicious, fluffy crust. | themillennialmenu.com

This BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe might be the easiest homemade pizza recipe out there. It's on the table in 15 minutes - you toss 5 things on top of a delicious Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads pre-made Naan bread and 10 minutes later, you're sitting down to an oozy, tangy, nourishing dinner. 

What I love about this recipe is the foundation - literally. Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads makes perfect cooking-for-one sized Naan breads that are just begging to grow up and become pizza. If you're not into the shape, size, or taste of Naan, they make larger rectangular Flatbreads as well as Pizza Crusts. While you can use just about any pre-made crust/flatbread/dough product, I love this brand because it tastes like real food and doesn't have that crumbly, dry texture of other pre-made dough products I've tried. The second star of the dish is rotisserie chicken - find out 7 Reasons Why You Should Always Have a Rotisserie Chicken in Your Fridge. Add one more reason: to make this recipe!

My BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe is also perfectly suited for lunch leftovers tomorrow - the Naan breads come two to a pack, which allows me to make Naan pizzas at least once a week with different topping combinations to bring for lunch or to have as a quick dinner (remember I said ready in 15 minutes?!) There are endless variations on these pizza/flatbread-type recipes. Make sure to subscribe to the blog to get firsthand access to some of my other favorite Naan Pizza recipes, featuring super easy to use and delicious Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads, coming soon!



Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

makes 1 serving of a Stoneware Naan-sized pizza
Other recipes with these ingredients: Rotisserie chicken: Middle Eastern Grain Bowls // Cheddar cheese: nachos
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-made pizza/flatbread crust - I recommend any Stonefire Authentic Flatbreads product (read why on the Grocery Guide page)- I always use their Naan for the perfect cooking-for-one size. Note, if you use any of their bigger flatbreads or pizza crust, double the rest of the ingredients to make sure you have enough to cover the pizza. If you want leftovers for lunch, use a Stonefire Flatbread, which is about the perfect size to cut in half and have half for dinner and bring half for lunch the next day!
  • 2-4 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar or Mexican blend)
  • Handful of shredded chicken (I recommend rotisserie chicken, which is basically 0 prep time since it's pre-made and you just need to shred some. If you'd like to bake your chicken, use 1 chicken breast. Add 15 minutes to prep time.)
  • 1/8 of a red onion
  • Cilantro or chives to garnish, Optional




Dietary Substitutions
Dairy Free: Skip the cheese, or use a dairy-free cheese!
Gluten Free: Grab a gluten-free pre-made pizza crust, like this crust from Udi's.
Vegetarian-Friendly Substitute tofu
Vegan-Friendly Combine dairy free & vegetarian recommendations. Note, this is not the best recipe to adapt for vegans.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Spread 2-4 tablespoons of BBQ sauce (to taste) evenly onto your Stonefire-brand crust.
3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese onto the pizza.
4. Add a handful of shredded chicken, distributing evenly.
5. Slice 1/8 red onion thin and sprinkle onto the pizza.
6. Warm the pizza in the oven until cheese is melted and pizza is hot, about 10 minutes.
7. Top with chives or cilantro to garnish.

Stonefire Naan Bread is the foundation of all of my easy pizza recipes. cooking for one made easy. | themillennialmenu.com
BBQ Chicken Pizza is ready in 15 minutes with easy pre-made STONEfire Naan Breads. weeknight dinner made easy! | themillennialmenu.com

Yum.


Lunch tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - The awesome thing about both the Stonefire Naan and Stonefire Flatbreads come in 2-packs, which means you can double the recipe and bring one for lunch the next day, too. I usually eat them cold for lunch, but you can also pop them in the microwave at work/school. If you don't want leftovers, buy the Stonefire Pizza Crust, which comes in a single pack.

STORING - If you do have extras, enjoy within 3-4 days due to the cooked chicken. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also store ingredients separately and assemble the day you're going to eat it. You can warm up in the microwave, but to keep them from getting soggy, try reheating in the oven for 5 minutes at 425°F.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - If you use a rotisserie chicken, you'll have almost an entire chicken left to do whatever you want with - and the options are endless. Start with a batch of my Middle Eastern Grain Bowls and then head over to 7 Reasons Why You Should Always Have a Rotisserie Chicken in Your Fridge for more inspiration. There will be a lot of extra red onion, but that ingredient is really necessary to bring the whole flavor profile of this super easy pizza together, so get creative with using the rest. I've always been surprised at how long onions last in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of my fridge - up to 10 days according to the USDA. Try using up the rest in quesadillas or tacos, whip up a batch of homemade salsa, caramelize them, or make super easy picked red onions for topping burgers and sandwiches. You'll have part of a bag of shredded mexican or cheddar cheese leftover, which is prime for nachos. And cheesy eggs/egg sandwiches of any kind. That bottle of BBQ sauce you bought can be good for anywhere from 4 months up to a year if stored in the fridge. You'll want to make this recipe again and should have no problem using up the bottle in other dishes like pulled pork, a bbq chicken sandwich, on a burger, and more. Lastly, if you have chives, try them on your eggs in the morning, and use up cilantro on nachos, fish tacos, guacamole, or salsa.


7 Reasons You Should Always Have A Rotisserie Chicken In Your Fridge

 
7 reasons why you should always have a rotisserie chicken in your fridge. This item is on my grocery list EVERY WEEK. There are millions of recipes for it plus you can make homemade chicken broth!
 

Prepared rotisserie chicken, or "roaster chicken" as we call it in my family, is a relatively inexpensive and convenient way to eat healthfully and tastefully. It comes pre-cooked at the grocery store and is juicy, savory, tender, and delicious. Not to mention the crunchy, golden, totally-not-good-for-your-body-but-good-for-your-soul chicken skin (obviously the best part). And I've got 7 reasons why it's the perfect item to put on your grocery list if you're a millennial, post-grad, college student, working professional, or busy parent!

7 Reasons You Should Always Have Rotisserie Chicken In Your Fridge

Rotisserie chickens are a cheap and easy way to eat a meal at home. find out the 7 reasons why you always need one in your fridge! | themillennialmenu.com

1. It costs less than cooking a whole raw chicken from scratch yourself. How is that even possible, you ask? A rotisserie chicken is a loss leader for grocery stores - it brings you into the store and entices you to make the purchase in the hope that you'll buy other things while you're there (the grocery store hopes that this is most likely a tub of potato salad and a liter of soda to go with dinner, conveniently placed right next to the chicken display. Don't fall for this! Stay in budget and choose healthier, real-food options). 

2. It's versatile. Dinner possibilities are endless - from to my Middle Eastern Grain Bowls to endless varieties of salads, tacos, soups, quesadillas, chicken pot pie, flatbreads, curry, pizzas, burritos, sandwiches, casseroles. Hey, even if you're at the most beginner level of home cook - get a little gourmet and simply add it to your mac & cheese or Ramen. Or just enjoy a rotisserie chicken plain with some roasted vegetables and a glass of wine. BuzzFeed has 24 Easy Meals You Can Make with Rotisserie Chicken if you're looking for more inspiration.

3. It's cheap. A whole rotisserie chicken is only $4.99 at Costco, and Costco loses $40 million a year to keep it that way. Note: it's also sometimes $4.99 at my local Stop & Shop, and I've seen chickens at this price at many other stores in different states, from CT to MA to CA. I would say the average price is about $6 or $7 for a non-organic rotisserie chicken. Remember, this way is cheaper than buying one raw and cooking it yourself.

4. You can buy it organic! An organic rotisserie chicken costs about $8.99 at Whole Foods (sometimes they're even on sale for $6.99). 

5. You can make homemade chicken broth which is super simple and tastier, healthier, and cheaper than buying it already made in a can, box or cube. Learn how: throw it on the stovetop to simmer for a few hours, pop it in the crockpot and forget about it, or go the most flavorful and quickest route with the pressure cooker (using your Instant Pot, if you have one!). Freeze the broth in muffin tins and pop out to put in a plastic bag (or, even better, vacuum seal them with your FoodSaver!) and you'll have 1 cup servings of delicious, homemade chicken broth on hand any time you need. 

6. You'll have leftovers. If you're cooking for 1 (or even 2), you'll have leftovers that you can use throughout the week and it definitely won't feel like you're eating the same old boring thing every night. To use up leftovers, I love using shredded rotisserie chicken for homemade chicken salad to bring for lunch, adding in either curry powder, celery, and raisins for a curry chicken salad or grapes, apples, and craisins for a fruity chicken salad.

7. You can freeze it. The perfect reason to snag a few while they're on sale or when you're at Costco - that $4.99 price is unreal. I break down the chicken and shred mine and pack them up in little freezer packs with my FoodSaver vacuum sealer. It tastes like it's fresh out of the oven even when I'm enjoying the chicken weeks later.

How to Buy a Rotisserie Chicken

Rotisserie chickens can be found in the deli section of your grocery store, usually near where the hot food is prepared (the pizza counter, the prepared potato/macaroni salads, and near the deli meat counter). They're often under a warmer, so look for a stand-alone display or a display along the counter. Some stores sell different flavor varieties, like Barbecue, Lemon Pepper, or spicy versions, but I always stick with the Original Recipe because it's the most versatile, meaning I can incorporate it into any type of recipe I want. 

How to Break Down a Rotisserie Chicken

This process is pretty easy, especially if you just decide to shred the chicken like I do rather than break it down into thighs, breasts, etc. You're going to want to get every delicious piece of chicken off the bone, which is easiest to do while the chicken is still warm from the deli counter where you picked it up. Do it right when you get home as you're putting away groceries anyways. Start by pulling off the skin. From there, I usually just use my hands to shred the chicken off the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. There are plenty of videos on the internet about how to properly break down a chicken if you'd like to keep the breasts, thighs, drumsticks, etc. intact. Good luck! 

How to Store Rotisserie Chicken

Like I said in #7 above, I love storing single-serving shredded chicken in the freezer for quick meals using my FoodSaver vacuum sealer. It's just so convenient to pop one of these in the fridge the night before to defrost and come home with endless healthy and tasty possibilities for dinner. If you're going to eat your shredded chicken within 4-5 days, simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge.

 
Rotisserie chickens are the perfect protein to always have on hand in your fridge or freezer. Keep them fresh using a vacuum sealer like the foodsaver! | themillennialmenu.com
 

It's that simple.

I spend $5-6 a week to have easy lunch and dinners on hand, plus, homemade chicken stock anytime I want. A rotisserie chicken is truly the ultimate Millennial Fridge (& Freezer) Staple! 

To see all of my recipes with rotisserie chicken, head on over to the Recipe Index of Rotisserie Chicken Recipes.  I'll be posting many more recipes featuring rotisserie chicken in the coming weeks & months on the blog, so be sure to subscribe to be the first to get these recipes in your inbox!