Next Week's Meal Plan

5 Heart-Warming Meals from Maya Feller’s New Cookbook “Eating from Our Roots”

published Feb 18, 2023
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Silo of foods from Maya Feller's NWMP article
Credit: Christine Han

When things feel stressful, it’s difficult to feel motivated to make a delicious and not-so-boring meal completely from scratch. While reaching for pre-made food items or ingredients definitely can save time and money, there are, in fact, simple ways to use whole and raw ingredients to make a tasty meal while also honoring a wide range of flavors, cuisines, and cultures.

Maya Feller, a registered dietician, nutritionist, and the voice behind Maya Feller Nutrition, is dedicated to making wholesome meals without any of the added stress that often comes with making meals from scratch. Additionally, Feller develops recipes you’ll not only feel good about, but also ones that utilize a wide range of ingredients from different cuisines and cultures from around the globe.

Credit: Photography copyright ©️ 2023 by Christine Han

At the start of 2023, Feller published her brand-new cookbook, Eating From Our Roots, which is all about showcasing delicious meals that represent the beauty of all different cultures. The book is filled with flavorful favorites like Cajun Gumbo, Sweet Potato and Leek Soup, Pao de Queijo, and much more.

In other words, you don’t have to stick to brown rice, vegetables, and baked chicken to make a wholesome meal at home. With just a little bit of exploring, you can discover a world of flavor and develop an unending supply of recipes to try! Below, Feller shares five recipes from her new cookbook with us.

Credit: Christine Han

Credit: Christine Han

Chili Coconut Crab Rice

Coconuts are reminiscent of coastal Africa, and okra is a staple vegetable as well — both boasting an array of health-supporting nutrients. The use of vadouvan curry imparts warm, sweet, and smoky notes all at once, while the crab brings the brine of the ocean. All of the components make for a nourishing and tummy-warming dish.

Credit: Christine Han

Ital Stew

Rastafarianism is a faith-based movement steeped in politics and encompasses much more than the stereotype of people with dreadlocks who listen to reggae. Ital is the core of the whole foods–based vegetarian eating patterns that Rastafarians follow. Ital food is said to contain the vital and beneficial essence of plants. This Ital stew is literally loaded with a variety of nutrient-rich plants.

Credit: Christine Han

Sweet Potato and Leek Soup

Inspired by Nigerian yam production, this simple soup boasts complex flavors and a good dose of fat-soluble vitamins along with phytonutrients. It’s hard to find yams in America — yams are larger than sweet potatoes and have a rough, dark skin — so in this recipe sweet potato is used. Whiskey imparts some herbal and citrusy notes when paired with the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. The entire soup comes together topped with flavorful crispy potato skins.

Credit: Christine Han


The first time I made gravlax, a type of cured salmon, was with one of my closest friends, Marsa, who is quite the home cook. She talked about growing up in a Finnish-Austrian home where dishes like gravlax and mustard were always made from scratch. Cooking at home was a staple in her family. This dish is surprisingly simple and quite flavorful. If you prefer a hard cure, you can leave the fish to set for 24 to 30 hours.

Get the recipe: Maya Feller’s Gravlax

Credit: Christine Han

Gemischter Salat (Mixed Salads)

Taking a lunch break is a significant part of Swiss culture. This always gave me great pleasure to see people meeting midday at restaurants, where there is a choice of menus offering warm and cold meals. Among my favorites is the mixed salad plate that is made with an assortment of vegetable-based salads all plated together for a colorful and texture-filled meal. All of the salads can be enjoyed alone or together.