Egging it on

It is that time of year. Relentless heat still pounding down upon us while we are setting up and settling in to the back to school routine. I’m ready for autumn to be here while holding onto the sweet memories of our summer and not wanting to wish time away any faster than it is currently clicking. My oldest is a high school senior and our remaining weekends before he ventures out likely total less than 50.

Shakshuka - a seasonal transition meal

Shakshuka – a seasonal transition meal

I’m determined to prepare him before he leaves. He’s clever and kind and all that I could have hoped to achieve with my clumsy parenting and learn as you go style. What skills must he have? The laundry and ten recipes. That will be my endeavor over these next few weeks but for today, I’ll let him sleep in while I make breakfast.

It’s a great time of transition in food as well. We have the last of the summer tomatoes yet you can smell the smoky aroma of roasting green chiles in the air on weekends. I adore the change into autumn; new school supplies and warm casseroles. The science of Ayurveda encourages us to be mindful of what we eat when the seasons are changing. By fueling our bodies with warm, light, highly nutritious foods such as soups, or light meals of mildly spiced vegetables we help burn away toxins rather than accumulate them. Imagine that we are strengthening our immune systems by the foods we choose and spice it with cumin, fennel, coriander, turmeric, ginger and black pepper.

The flavors and the change cause me to wish it here more quickly but then I remember how precious today is and I will stop egging it on.


From the Perfect Pantry
Serves 4-6


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
5-6 roasted green chiles, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
28 oz canned chopped tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Fresh black pepper, to taste
3 large eggs
2-4 Tbsp microgreens or fresh herbs


Heat the oil in a large pan over low-medium heat. When hot, add the onion, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and red bell pepper, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Mix well, and let the spices cook for 30 seconds. Then, add the green chiles and cook that for another 30 seconds. Next, stir the tomato paste into the mixture.

Last of the tomatoes with the first green chiles

Last of the tomatoes with the first green chiles

Finally, add the chopped tomatoes. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook, stirring often until the sauce comes together and reduces. When most of the liquid has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat. At this point, you could let all of the sauce cool completely, and refrigerate or freeze it in airtight containers.

While the sauce is warming, crack each egg into its own small bowl. If there are any pieces of shell, now is the time to remove them.

Make indentations in the sauce, and gently slide an egg into each one. Cover the pan, and cook until the eggs are as runny, or firm, as you like them.

Garnish with microgreens and serve right away. Enjoy during the seasonal transition.

How do you prepare for autumn? More importantly, have you prepared a child for life outside your home?

Leave a comment


  1. I would love this for breakfast any day. We are preparing for spring, lucky us. I think it is great to teach your children how to cook, clean up after themselves and be true to who they are 🙂

  2. It does seem that your summer went by very quickly. Good luck teaching your son laundry and 10 recipes – my son left school nearly three years ago and he doesn’t do laundry and has about two recipes to his repertoire xx

  3. Changing seasons. It’s wonderful that you are helping prepare your son, and yourself, for the next chapter, by sharing your food wisdom. That is a gift he will carry with him throughout his life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your delicious recipes 🙂

    • Did you work to impart food wisdom Mary? What were the key recipes that you sent kids off with?

      • I didn’t consciously work to impart food wisdom, but I felt incredibly proud when I saw organic produce and whole grains in my children’s college kitchens. They have helped in the kitchen since they were toddlers, so have always been adept at cooking. The key recipes they told me about were pasta with homemade sauce, lentils with rice, and vegan nachos, which they refer to as their comfort foods.

  4. Lisa H

     /  August 26, 2014

    It is so hard to believe that you have a senior this year! I have enjoyed watching the kids grow into such wonderful young adults. You have done well, Tammy!

  5. I bet that would be delicious over rice, quinoi, or farro.

  6. Sapna

     /  August 26, 2014

    What a great post. The recipe reminded me of my father preparing delicious masala omelets with onions, garlic, tomatoes and peas on weekends.

  7. Love your post Tammy. And your shakshuka version with all those green chiles. Yum!

  8. Well, I must be too emotional today, because just thinking about you and your senior son brought tears. Praying for this year to go slow for you! :). I was /am such a mess, but the oldest adapted to live away and is a better cook than I am! Beautiful recipe and post!

  9. I love this line, Tammy. ” Imagine that we are strengthening our immune systems by the foods we choose and spice it with cumin, fennel, coriander, turmeric, ginger and black pepper.” Yes!

    Also, I’m obsessed with eggs since I finally learned how to fry them without breaking the yolks. This is an egg recipe I can’t wait to try. Thanks!

    • I love eggs. I know there’s a limit but honestly, they are such a complete protein and so filling that I could enjoy them every meal. What’s your favorite way to prepare them Melissa?

      • Omelets are absolutely my favorite way to make eggs. I love that I can use leftover odds and ends to fill them and it’s always good! Breakfast, lunch and dinner. 🙂

  10. OMG that looks sooooo good! Gotta try that. Hope the end of summer finds you and your family well.

  11. Aren’t transition times bittersweet? I keep watching my youngest and going “This is the last time, I’ll ever (fill in the blank…)”

  12. I was in Santa Fe once and got to experience that wondrous aroma of open-air roasting chilis. Shakshuka is a terrific recipe for your son to have in his kit. Happy Labor Day, Tammy. I too enjoy this month of transition.

    • I love that smell and I always will. We bought 70 pounds of chiles and gave half away. The friend that we gave them to doled them out amongst his neighbors and had everyone come over with their chile creations. It was such fun.


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