Mindful Vegan Meals: Food is Your Friend

Mindful Vegan Meals: Food is Your Friend

by Maria Koutsogiannis
Mindful Vegan Meals: Food is Your Friend

Mindful Vegan Meals: Food is Your Friend

by Maria Koutsogiannis


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Nourishing Vegan Recipes for a Healthy, Confident You

In this fearless cookbook, Maria Koutsogiannis, creator of FoodByMaria, shares the vibrant vegan recipes that paved her way to healing and self-acceptance.

Every nutrient-packed recipe marks a milestone for Maria—follow along as she makes delicious discoveries. Mushroom and White Trufe Oil Risotto is a reminder that carbs are not the enemy, Self-Love Buddha Bowl with Baked Falafel is Maria’s go-to when she needs an energy boost and Easy Thai-Infused Coleslaw Salad represents a trip abroad that changed her whole way of thinking. Find recipes for fun homemade sauces and dressings, as well as naturally sweetened juices, snacks and treats to fuel your body and mind.

By opening up about her battle with bulimia—with honest accounts from the ups and downs of recovery and advice on creating a healthy, meaningful relationship with food—Maria’s story is that of a hopeful, supportive friend. Her heartfelt stories and flavorful recipes will inspire confidence and joy in and out of the kitchen.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624145759
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 06/12/2018
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 1,185,515
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

MARIA KOUTSOGIANNIS is the blogger behind FoodByMaria. Her recipes have been featured by Impact magazine, Whole Foods and Food Network Canada. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Read an Excerpt


Carby, Hearty and Comforting Mains

If you feel like taking a personal day and feeling sorry for yourself (we all do it, no shame, baby) then these recipes are for you! I used to fear food with every bone in my body but I remember when I was having a bad day all I wished I could eat was something hearty, carby and thick! I would sit in front of the refrigerator wishing I could have a piece of toast or bowl of spaghetti, whip up a burger or even order in pizza. I never understood that carbs were fuel or a form of energy; instead, I thought they were the highway to fat thighs, a flabby stomach and a fat ass. Can you believe that since then, I have thick thighs, love my stomach, have a big booty and EVEN EAT ALL THE CARBS? It took many years of education and food-eating practice but I no longer have uncertainties when it comes to foods like pizzas, burgers and pastas. I know these recipes will help you see that with a few tweaks and tricks you too can achieve the kitchen and body confidence you've always deserved!

Mushroom & White Truffle Oil Risotto with Vegan Cheese


This is comfort food at its finest but with a Maria untraditional twist — after all, I am not Italian, nor am I a risotto expert! This dish is extremely decadent from the richness of the truffle oil to the silkiness of the beautiful mushrooms. I love making this at home for Andrew and myself when it is super cold outside and we're hungry for something that reminds us of the peaceful cabins in the mountains.

When I am feeling guilty or unsure about a certain meal I try to remember the happy memories certain foods bring me. Sure, eating carbs isn't grade A healthy but for me I think it's important. Keeping myself happy keeps my mind at ease, which in turn helps me maintain the healthy relationship I've developed with my body!

4–6 cups (1–1.5 L) vegetable stock, unsalted
In a saucepan or pot over high heat, add the vegetable stock. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer.

In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat it up for about 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are translucent and golden brown. I like to use a wooden spoon to stir them occasionally while they brown. When the onions and garlic are brown, add in the mushrooms and cook them for 2 to 3 minutes. You want a golden color to develop, but you also want some depth to them otherwise they will just disappear during the cooking process.

Add the rice to the pot and give it a good stir. Using a ladle, add 1 cup (240 ml) of the warm vegetable stock to the pot and stir until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Repeat this step until the rice is cooked. I like my risotto ultra-creamy so I make sure to stir throughout this whole process.

Just before serving, add the coconut cream, lemon juice, truffle oil, spinach and seasoning. Stir until the spinach has wilted, then serve with fresh chives, thyme, lemon wedges and vegan Parmesan cheese!

Did You Know?

"Real" truffle oil — yes not all truffle oil is real, so pay attention when purchasing — is extremely high in antioxidants? It is also a neat source of magnesium, zinc and iron!

A Taste of Thanksgiving Meatballs


There is really just something to be said about eating a "meat" ball but without the meat, and it still looking and tasting just as good as the "real" thing. I love eating this dish with pasta but feel free to swap that out and enjoy it with quinoa, barley or chickpeas. I also like to pair every dish with loads of greens, like salads or steamed vegetables, so enjoy this alongside a gorgeous green salad, green beans or broccoli. I find that if I pair my heavier pasta dishes with light, airy salads, my mind finds a comfortable safe space in that meal and I don't freak out about the fact that I am eating a nutrient-dense dish that society has made out to seem like the enemy.

The no-beef base is optional, but highly recommended as this stuff is amazing! It's perfect for soups, stews, potpies, meatloaves and more. Note that you must use dehydrated mushrooms; fresh won't work! Place all the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until well-combined. Put in a jar and store in the refrigerator for future meals. This base will last you a few months in the refrigerator, in a tightly sealed container.

For the meatballs, in a cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil for 30 seconds. Lower the heat and add the onion, garlic and no-beef base and sauté until translucent and slightly golden. While the onions are cooking, add ½ cup (42 g) of oats to a food processor and pulse until they develop a flour-like consistency. Then add the beans, cilantro, walnuts, lemon juice and the onion mixture (excluding the remaining ½ cup [42 g] of oats), and blend until the mixture is well-combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the remaining ½ cup (42 g) of oats and stir until well-combined. Using a spoon, create tiny "meatballs," making sure to roll them really nice and tight, so they stay in good form! You should have about 24 meatballs. Cook them in the pan you previously used to cook the onions, using as much oil as you desire (I use around 3 tablespoons [45 ml]). Cook the meatballs over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown, then put a lid on, turn it to low and give it a shake every couple of minutes.

For the sauce, sauté the olive oil, onion and garlic in the same way you did previously for the meatballs, on medium-to-low heat, until translucent and slightly golden. Add the mushrooms and let them cook down for at least 10 minutes. When your mushroom and onion mixture has reduced by half or more, add the red wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook down, without a lid, until all of the liquid has absorbed. When the liquid has absorbed into the mushroom mixture, add the coconut cream or almond milk and reduce heat to low. Add the nutritional yeast, arrowroot powder, vinegar and salt and pepper, stirring constantly until you notice a thicker consistency developing. The longer you cook down the arrowroot, the less you will be able to taste it in the sauce. Add the sauce to a blender (I use my Vitamix), and blend until completely smooth and creamy.

Add the sauce to the pan with the meatballs and stir until hot throughout. Garnish with parsley, walnuts and lemon zest. Enjoy immediately and be prepared to fight for these bad boys!

Did You Know?

Beans are well known for their role in finding a balanced, healthy weight. One reason for this is they contain inhibitors that stop the body from absorbing carbohydrates quickly and prevent blood-sugar spikes.

Greek-Style Jackfruit Gyros with Vegan Tzatziki and "Fries"


Ya'll didn't think I was going to write this cookbook and not include some sort of Greek gyros memoir, did you? I hope not because gyros are probably one of the most memorable and special recipes that my family would enjoy every summer back in Greece. We would line up behind tons of people and wait patiently on the streets of Astros at the shop where they prepared all our food. Traditionally gyros are made with pork, tzatziki, fresh veggies and even crispy French fries. I realize this recipe is far from traditional, so I hope my Greek folks will forgive me, but I think you'll enjoy these just as much or perhaps more.

There is nothing more special than being able to bring memories back into your own home in the form of food. I infused today's food trends and my own preferences into this dish to make it as fabulous as possible. I know you'll love it!

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the potatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano and salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir really well. If you really want things to be out of this world you could marinate this mixture for an hour before baking but if you're in a hurry just stir. Transfer to the baking sheet and cook for 35 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and steamy on the inside.

While the potatoes cook, put the jackfruit, green pepper, mint, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, onion powder, olive oil, cumin, jalapeño, cloves, cinnamon, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Combine the ingredients until the jackfruit is completely coated. Transfer the mixture to a nonstick frying pan and cook on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, using the back of your spatula to press down on the jackfruit as it cooks.

While the jackfruit cooks, prepare the pickled onions. Put the onion, vinegar, parsley, mint, oregano, salt and lemon juice in a bowl and stir well. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours — the longer you let it sit the better.

When you are just about ready to serve the dish, warm the pitas in the oven at low heat. Fill the pita however you wish (reference the photo to see how I enjoy mine). Either fold the pita into a wrap or fold and wrap in a piece of paper and tie with string. Enjoy!

Did You Know?

Jackfruits are basically a spa in a fruit! This interesting yet adaptable fruit is amazing for hair growth and skin health — it even helps reduce wrinkles. So, if you're tired and want a pick-me-up then this is your meal. Jackfruit is packed with vitamins and minerals — it is especially high in copper, a mineral vital for thyroid metabolism and hormone production. It is also high in protein and a great source of energy!

"I'd Rather Be in Mexico" Vegan Tacos


When I was a teen the only way I would eat tacos was if they were slathered in a guacamole, sour cream and some sort of citrusy salad. Safe to say my palate has shifted quite a bit and I now turn to cashew cream for that heavy topping and lentils and red cabbage salad for taco fillings.

Green French lentils may seem like a weird addition to the taco family but I promise you, it works. They're really easy to make, fun for the family and they allow you to pick and choose what you want in your meal. Throughout my bulimia journey I would sometimes find myself feeling pressured into eating foods when there were no other options. Foods like tacos, salad bars and big Greek feasts really helped me ease into the idea of eating what I wanted and making the right choices for my body based on what I was craving, or how I was feeling that day!

The taco "meat" is best if you make it the night before you plan to use it. To make it, cook the lentils, olive oil, bay leaves, veggie stock cube, maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cinnamon, lime juice and salt and pepper over medium heat in a frying pan until crisp, around 10 to 12 minutes. Remove bay leaves. If you are making it ahead, store the cooked taco "meat" in the refrigerator. At the same time, you can soak the cashews in the refrigerator overnight.

For the pickled cabbage salad, put the cabbage in a large bowl with 4 cups (1 L) of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let this combination sit for 30 minutes. While the cabbage is soaking, place the shallots, maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of salt, ginger and lime juice in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. When the cabbage is finished soaking, drain it and add the cabbage back to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix well with your hands.

For the cashew cream, strain the cashews you soaked overnight in the refrigerator.

Put the drained cashews in a high-speed blender along with the cilantro, water, garlic, salt and pepper and lime juice and blend for 2 minutes. To serve the cashew cream, you can either dollop it out from a bowl or transfer the mixture into a sauce bottle.

To make the crispy corn, add the corn to a skillet and toast over medium heat, shaking for around 15 minutes, until crispy and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serving the tacos is as simple as grabbing a taco shell; use whatever kind you prefer, it can be whole wheat, corn, homemade — it is your choice! Begin by adding the lentils, topping with the beautiful cabbage salad, fresh pico and your favorite garnishes. Dress the taco with the cashew cream.

Did You Know?

Fun fact: Canada is the world's largest producer of lentils! Lentils have an incredibly impressive nutrition profile and it's no surprise they are a staple food in cultures around the world. With almost 19 grams of protein per serving, lentils can help curb hunger sustainably and aid the body in daily muscle repair.


Excerpted from "Mindful Vegan Meals"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Maria Koutsogiannis.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

My Story 11

Carby, Hearty and Comforting Mains 17

Mushroom & White Truffle Oil Risotto with Vegan Cheese 18

A Taste of Thanksgiving Meatballs 21

Greek-Style Jackfruit Gyros with Vegan Tzatziki and "Fries" 23

"I'd Rather Be in Mexico" Vegan Tacos 27

Lentil Burgers with Italian Bread Crumbs 29

Skip the Dishes One-Pot Mushroom Spaghetti 33

The Perfect Pesto Pasta Dinner 34

Roasted Red Pepper Rigatoni Cake 37

Healthy Alfredo Sauce (It's Possible!) 38

Cauliflower Greek Burgers 41

Team Pizza! Simple Pizza Dough 43

When Greeks Marry Italians Pizza 44

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites with Spinach and Capers Pizza 47

The Creamiest Mushroom Soup 48

Hearty Vegetable Minestrone 51

My Travels in a Little Memory Bowl-Lime Coconut Curry Soup 52

Back to My Roots 55

Rice & Dill Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolmades) 56

Spinach Pies (Spanakopita) 59

Green Beam Casserole (Fasolakia) 63

Yummy Stuff (Yemista) 65

Ass Patties (Kolokithokeftedes) 66

Protein-Packed Bean Soup (Fasolatha) 69

Warm Tomato & Spinach Rice Salad (Spanakorizo) 70

Fuck Yes! Traditional Lentil Soup 73

Traditional Greek Lemon Potatoes 74

Energy-Packed Salads 77

Self-Love Buddha Bowl with Baked Falafel 78

All Hail the Kale Caesar Salad 80

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad 83

Summer Salad Rolls with Walnut Beef and Peanut Sauce 86

Bulgur Wheat Salad 89

Creamy Orzo Pasta Salad 90

Israeli Couscous Salad 93

The Works! Fully Loaded Quinoa Greek Salad 94

Easy Thai-Infused Coleslaw Salad 97

Cool Cabbage and Seed Salad 98

Falling in Love With Breakfast 101

Green Waffles with Creamy Corn Salsa 102

The Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes 105

Carrot Banana Crumble Muffins 106

Breakfast Cake 109

Stuffed Avocado with Fresh Pico de Gallo 110

Ultra-Simple Banana Bread 113

Caramelized Bananas & Chocolate Chip Oats 114

Confident Kick Black Bean & Sweet Potato Breakfast Burrito 117

Rise & Shine Smoothie Bowl with Homemade Granola 118

Creamy Autumn Chia Pudding 121

Rich & Fruity Chia Pudding 122

My Weekender Hash Browns 125

Ultimate Gooey Energy Bites 126

Super Power Chaga Latte 129

Must-Make Anti-Inflammatory Golden Milk 130

Kickin' It Snickers Bar Smoothie 133

The Two Best Friends Smoothie 134

Fueling & Refreshing Beverages 137

Fresh Mint, Berry, Watermelon & Lime Juice 138

Turmeric Celery Chia Water 140

The Greek Green Goddess 141

Gingery Orange Explosion 143

Apple Pie Juice 144

Almond Milk 147

Coconut Milk 148

Cashew Milk 151

Oat Milk 152

Treat Yourself, You Deserve It 155

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake 156

Nice Cream 159

Little Puffed Kamut Bars 160

Nanny Matilde's Apple Crumble with a Twist 163

Hunger Bars 164

Nourishing Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cashew Frosting 167

Peek-a-Boo Chickpea Fudge Bites 170

Someone Give Me a Damn Chocolate Cake, Okay? 173

Raw Brownies for Nanny Joan 174

Add Pizzazz to Your Food 177

Strawberry Cashew Basil Dressing 178

Spicy Chili Peanut Butter Lime Dressing 180

Roasted Red Pepper & Sundried Tomato Dressing 181

Creamy Greek "Feta" and Oregano Dressing 183

The Nutella Imposter 184

Vegan Parmesan Cheese 187

Butternut Squash No-Cheese Sauce 188

Creamy Roasted Cashew Nut Butter 191

I'm Sorry Grandma, it's Vegan Cashew Tzatziki 192

Maria's Pantry 195

Tools & Gadgets 199

Shopping List 201

Acknowledgments 203

About the Author 205

Index 206

Customer Reviews