The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook with Neda Varbanova

The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook with Neda Varbanova

The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook with Neda Varbanova

We’re in for such a deal with at the moment as a result of Neda Varbanova is right here to speak about her new cookbook and provides us a style with FOUR of her favourite recipes from it. (Did you notice the 2 puns?)

Anyway, you might know Neda as @healthywithnedi on Instagram the place she shares tons of wholesome cooking concepts, simple recipes, the cutest ever journeys together with her Grandma and likewise her tremendous cute outfits too.

Lauryn and her met years in the past in New York Metropolis over cucumber martinis (Nedi’s specialty), and since then Neda has come on the weblog twice, right here and right here, to share wholesome recipes with The Skinny Confidential neighborhood. She is a shiny gentle within the influencer house, that means she is so optimistic & encouraging. We’re so completely happy to welcome her again to the weblog at the moment.

Let’s let Neda take over to speak about The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook.

The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook with Neda Varbanova


Inform us about The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook – who’s the viewers?

Neda Varbanova: I’m so excited to have printed The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook. The ebook is a fruits of a complete lifetime of cooking Mediterranean-inspired recipes within the kitchen with my mom and grandmother from Bulgaria to Athens and New York Metropolis, and my work creating Wholesome with Nedi – my wholesome way of life and diet model.

The recipes aren’t simply salads and smoothies (although it does embrace just a few), slightly a group of hearty, scrumptious, Mediterranean-inspired recipes that additionally occur to be wholesome. Some recipes are low-carb, some are gluten-free, and the entire recipes are created from contemporary and healthful meals. As well as, the recipes are simple to comply with and will really please anybody. 

I created the ebook in order that anybody can take pleasure in it — from the on a regular basis wholesome eater to individuals who merely love good meals. For those who’re attempting to eat more healthy in 2023, this ebook is ideal for you. The recipes are wholesome with out sacrificing taste and the advantages are great. In truth, I’ve seen individuals who shift to a Mediterranean-inspired way of life to expertise all types of advantages, together with feeling happier, changing into extra energized, getting higher sleep, experiencing radiant pores and skin, and enhancing digestion and weight reduction efforts. 

What if we need to eat wholesome, however discover it troublesome?

NV: Simply begin cooking one healthful meal a day and even as soon as per week. When you begin maintaining a healthy diet meals, you’ll begin to really feel extra energized and also will be inspired to begin incorporating wholesome meals into all components of your day. The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook additionally features a thirty-day meal plan to assist information you thru creating habits round good meals selections for individuals who wish to have their meals scheduled. 

What’s your high advice for consuming more healthy in 2023?

NV: Purchase my ebook! Lol, however in all seriousness, for me it comes right down to consuming actual meals, spending extra time within the kitchen and sharing meals with individuals that you just love. Consuming a Mediterranean-style eating regimen is among the finest issues you are able to do on your well being. Yr after 12 months The Mediterranean Food plan is voted considered one of the-if not the– healthiest eating regimen and the perfect factor about it’s all you could do is eat actual meals.

Consuming a Mediterranean-inspired eating regimen contains consuming meals which are stuffed with contemporary greens, entire grains, nuts and seeds, and lean meats, in addition to a little bit of indulgence. This model of consuming is much less about counting energy and extra about having fun with the abundance of contemporary meals. So in case you begin consuming contemporary, healthful meals for each meal, it’s virtually assured that you just’ll really feel extra happy and stuffed with power. 

Once you prepare dinner your individual meals and share it along with your family members, not solely are you able to take note of what’s going into your meals, you may as well discover extra pleasure and connection in what you eat.

♡ What are the commonest elements in The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook?

NV: The commonest elements within the ebook are in all probability high-quality extra-virgin olive oil (look into excessive phenol olive oil for well being btw — the advantages are unbelievable), leeks, spinach, feta cheese and lemons. These elements are merely the meals that I exploit essentially the most in my kitchen at house and so in fact they made their approach into all of my favourite dishes.

To say that I’m a feta cheese lover is an understatement, lol. In truth, I can have feta anytime of the day and I really love to combine it with candy and savory dishes. Strive the Orange French Toast from my cookbook and sprinkle feta cheese over it. It’s so heavenly! 

One in every of my favourite parts of The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook is a chart that helps you make more healthy swaps for widespread elements akin to refined white bread, white sugar and dairy merchandise, simply to call just a few. I actually wished to present the readers all of the instruments that they should eat properly, really feel nice and likewise look fabulous. 

Recipes from The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook

I’m so excited to share just a few recipes from the cookbook with you. Listed here are recipes for a low-carb breakfast, a heartwarming starter (the stew), a vegan entrée and a gluten-free dessert that might get you thru an entire day of consuming the Mediterranean approach! Strive them out and let me know the way it goes — I really like to listen to about individuals’s favourite Wholesome with Nedi recipes.

Greek Fashion Eggs with Spinach and Leeks 

Greek Style Eggs with Spinach and Leeks | The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook

{Picture credit score: Oksana Pali}

These eggs are the proper dish for breakfast, brunch or a light-weight dinner. There is no such thing as a higher style than creamy feta with spinach and leeks. It jogs my memory of spanakopita, however with out the additional energy or carbs. This dish can also be filled with antioxidants and fiber and should cut back irritation and assist weight reduction. Once you prepare dinner the eggs, watch them rigorously, as they’re simple to overcook. Flip off the warmth when the whites are agency and the yolks are tender and runny. However in case you favor the eggs properly achieved, prepare dinner them for just a few further minutes.

Makes 6 servings

+ 3 tbsp (45 ml) further virgin olive oil

+ 3 leeks (white and light-weight inexperienced components), chopped

+ ¼ cup (60 ml) water

+ 1 lb (454 g) contemporary child spinach

+ 3 tbsp (12 g) chopped contemporary parsley

+ 2 tbsp (7 g) chopped contemporary dill, plus extra for garnish if desired

+ Sea salt and pepper to style

+ 6 eggs

+ ⅓ cup (50 g) crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for garnish if desired

+ 1 tsp dried oregano

+ ¼ tsp chili flakes

+ Lemon zest, for garnish, optionally available


+ Warmth the olive oil in a big skillet over medium warmth. Add the leeks and prepare dinner for 1 minute, lined. Then add the water and proceed cooking for five to six minutes, stirring sometimes, till the leeks are gentle. Add the spinach, parsley and dill, and season with salt and pepper. Flip the warmth to excessive and prepare dinner for five minutes, till the water begins to evaporate. Then convey the warmth again right down to medium.

+ Utilizing a big spoon, type six nests within the combination and crack one egg into every nest. Sprinkle the feta across the eggs, then do the identical with the oregano and chili flakes.

+ Cowl the pan and prepare dinner for 3 to five minutes, till the egg whites are cooked however the yolks are gentle. (Prepare dinner for longer in case you favor the eggs properly achieved.) Serve scorching, topped with lemon zest, feta and chopped dill.

Nedi’s Tip:

♡ Frozen spinach can be utilized rather than the contemporary spinach if wanted. Thaw it in a bowl or colander and squeeze it with paper towels or your palms over a strainer to take away extra water earlier than utilizing on this dish.

Yiayia’s Meatball Stew with Artichokes

Meatball Stew with Artichokes | The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook

{Picture credit score: Oksana Pali}

I’ve been dreaming about this stew since I had it final 12 months. I had spent a complete day on the airport in Greece, attempting to get on my flight again to New York Metropolis. The flight saved getting delayed and eventually was canceled within the night. So I headed again to my grandma’s home and he or she had simply completed cooking this meatball stew. I used to be ravenous and it felt like essentially the most comforting meal one might have. The following time I visited my yiayia we made the stew collectively and I’m so glad I received to be taught her method. Cooking collectively creates so many particular recollections for me that I do know I’ll treasure without end. So I hope you take pleasure in this dish as a lot as I do.

Makes 6 servings

+ 2 tbsp (30 ml) further virgin olive oil

+ 1 leek (white and light-weight inexperienced half), chopped

+ 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

+ 1 massive carrot, chopped

+ 1 purple cubanelle or bell pepper, chopped

+ 8 artichoke bottoms, minimize in half (see Nedi’s Ideas)

+ 1 massive russet potato, peeled and chopped

+ 2 qt (1.9 L) low sodium vegetable broth

+ 2 cups (480 ml) scorching water

+ 1 lb 2 oz (500 g) floor beef

+ ½ cup (90 g) dry chickpea rice or common dry rice (see Nedi’s Ideas)

+ 1 tsp cumin

+ 1 tsp pepper

+ ½ tsp turmeric

+ ½ tsp cinnamon

+ ½ tsp smoked paprika

+ ½ tsp oregano

+ ¼ tsp chili flakes

+ Sea salt to style

+ ½ cup (75 g) gluten-free all-purpose flour mix

+ 3 tbsp (12 g) chopped parsley


+ Warmth the olive oil in a big pot over medium warmth and add the leek, onion, carrot and pepper. Sauté for a couple of minutes, till tender. Then add the artichoke bottoms and potato and sauté for one more 2 minutes. Pour within the vegetable broth and water.

+ In a big bowl, add the bottom beef, chickpea rice, cumin, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, oregano, chili flakes and salt. Combine properly and type small meatballs, about 1 tablespoon (15 g) every. Unfold the flour on a plate after which evenly roll every meatball within the flour to forestall them from falling aside.

+ Gently toss the meatballs into the stew. Carry to a boil then decrease the warmth to medium. Prepare dinner for an hour, evenly lined. Garnish with the chopped parsley on the finish and switch off the warmth. Serve whereas scorching and luxuriate in!

Nedi’s Ideas:

♡ Artichoke bottoms could be bought in cans from Amazon. I at all times have my pantry stocked with them. They’re filled with fiber and vitamins and likewise make an excellent low-carb substitute for potatoes. For those who can’t discover artichoke bottoms, one or two extra russet potatoes can be utilized as a substitute.

♡ Chickpea rice could be discovered from the model Banza. I additionally like to make use of it because it has extra protein and fiber than common rice.

Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Bolognese 

Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Bolognese 

{Picture credit score: Oksana Pali}

This lentil Bolognese sauce is filled with nutritious elements akin to onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and lentils. The meatless sauce is tasty, hearty and likewise meaty sufficient {that a} meat lover received’t complain that something appears lacking. Spaghetti squash is a nutritious winter vegetable that gives a lot of fiber, beta carotene and folate. 

Makes 4 servings

+ 1 massive spaghetti squash

+ Sea salt and pepper, to style

+ 4 tbsp (60 ml) further virgin olive oil, divided

+ 1 medium white onion, finely chopped

+ 1 carrot, finely chopped

+ 3 cloves garlic, minced

+ 2 cups (140 g) cremini mushrooms, chopped

+ 1 (14-oz [397-g]) can cooked lentils, drained and rinsed

+ 1 (14-oz [397-g]) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

+ 1 cup (240 ml) tomato sauce

+ 2 tsp (8 g) coconut sugar

+ 1 tsp dried oregano

+ 1 tsp dried basil

+ ¼ tsp chili flakes

+ ¼ cup (10 g) chopped contemporary basil, plus extra for garnish

+ ½ cup (56 g) shredded plant-based mozzarella (I used Daiya)


+ Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).

+ Lower the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Season with a light-weight pinch of salt and pepper, after which drizzle with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the olive oil. Place the halves cut-side down on a big, rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, till tender. (Smaller squash shall be achieved before bigger squash.) Set the squash apart to chill. When cool sufficient to deal with, use two forks to interrupt up the squash into noodles after which place the noodles on a serving plate.

+ In the meantime, make the lentil Bolognese. Warmth the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil in a skillet over medium warmth. Sauté the onion, carrot and garlic for 4 minutes, stirring sometimes. Then add the mushrooms and sauté till they start to melt. Add the lentils, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to mix.

+ Stir within the coconut sugar, oregano, basil and chili flakes. Simmer the sauce for quarter-hour, till it thickens, and all of the greens are tender. Then season to style with salt and pepper. Flip the warmth off and add the contemporary basil. Stir and put aside.

+ Spoon the lentil Bolognese over the spaghetti squash noodles after which sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Garnish with extra contemporary basil and luxuriate in.

Nedi’s Tip:

♡ Do this lentil Bolognese over zucchini noodles, gluten-free spaghetti or in a lasagna.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Walnuts

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Walnuts

{Picture credit score: Oksana Pali}

That is essentially the most scrumptious, decadent, flourless chocolate cake that you’ll ever style. My mother used to make this cake for birthdays and particular household gatherings on a regular basis. In truth, we’ve got made the proper tweaks to verify it may be loved on this Mediterranean meal information. The elements consist primarily of chocolate, walnuts, eggs, butter and coconut oil. In spite of everything, there isn’t any higher mixture than chocolate and coconut. Chocolate lovers will love this dessert!

Makes 8 servings

+ 6 eggs, at room temperature

+ Pinch of sea salt

+ ½ tsp contemporary lemon juice

+ 1½ cups (180 g) walnuts, finely chopped

+ ½ cup (1 stick/114 g) gentle butter, plus extra to grease the pan

+ ¼ cup (60 ml) coconut oil

+ ½ cup (96 g) coconut sugar

+ 2 tbsp (30 ml) honey

+ 2 tbsp (10 g) cacao powder

+ 1 oz (50 g) darkish chocolate

+ Sliced strawberries, for serving, optionally available


+ Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease an 8-inch (20-cm) cake pan with butter after which place a chunk of parchment paper on the underside. Lower the paper to suit precisely within the pan.

+ Separate the yolks from the egg whites after which place every in separate bowls.

+ In a big mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and the lemon juice utilizing a mixer till they develop into white and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then add the walnuts to the bowl with the egg whites.

+ In a smaller bowl, beat the gentle butter, coconut oil, coconut sugar and honey with a mixer. Add the egg yolks and cacao powder and beat till combined properly.

+ Take half of the combination from the egg yolk bowl and add it to the bowl of egg whites and walnuts. Put aside the opposite half of the egg yolk combination.

+ Add the egg white combination to the ready pan and bake for 15 to twenty minutes. Insert a toothpick within the cake; if it comes out with no crumbs, the cake is prepared.

+ Let the cake cool utterly then switch to a serving platter. When utterly cool, unfold the remaining egg yolk combination on high and over the edges. Then grate the darkish chocolate on high and serve with sliced strawberries in case you like.

Nedi’s Tip:

♡ If the walnuts aren’t already chopped, then add them right into a small meals processor and pulse till they develop into finely chopped.

♡ These sound superb, the place can we purchase the ebook?

NV: You should purchase The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook: Easy, Nutritious Recipes to Eat Effectively, Really feel Nice and Look Fabulous in most bookstores nationwide.

 I’ll even be internet hosting just a few ebook signing occasions within the coming months, comply with me on @healthywithnedi to remain up to date on new happenings. I’m so excited for everybody to strive my recipes and discover new favourite meals to eat properly, really feel nice and look fabulous. xo

Mouth. is. watering. That chocolate cake anybody? To die for. We’re simply so excited to strive a few of Nedi’s recipes from her model new cookbook. Remember to comply with Nedi on IG the place she shares so many enjoyable cooking movies, and our favourite… grocery retailer hauls! She finds the best stuff.

And bear in mind, attempt to help your native bookstore in case you can! In the event that they don’t carry The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook: Easy, Nutritious Recipes to Eat Effectively, Really feel Nice and Look Fabulous you’ll be able to ask them to order it in.

x, The Skinny Confidential workforce.

+ checkout Nedi’s favourite recipes for colder climate right here.

++ in case you’re into cooking, stalk this strawberry cake recipe.

+ Reprinted with permission from The Mediterranean Meal Plan Cookbook by Neda Varbanova. Web page Road Publishing Co. 2022. Photograph credit score: Oksana Pali.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *