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Published on September 13th, 2013 | by Andrea Bertoli

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The 30 Minute Vegan Cookbook Series Review

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recipes for soups, salads, snacks and meals!

The 30 Minute Vegan cookbook series is a great way for anyone to begin their journey into the healthful and delicious world of vegan cooking. The creators of this series, Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray, are both wondrous chefs. Together they created the first book in the series, The 30-Minute Vegan and the second, Taste of Asia. The third in the series, Taste of Europe, was written by solely by Reinfeld.

All of these books contain a thoughtfully crafted collection of recipes from their years of cooking in restaurants. Both are founders of the famed Blossoming Lotus restaurant in Kauai, now closed; Mark’s company, Vegan Fusion, is world-famous for immersion cooking classes and workshops which he hosts around the world. Their time in restaurants has sharpened their senses for good food, but the long hours made them appreciate the importance of quick meals. All the recipes, with the exception of some soaking or baking times, can be prepared in about 30 minutes, leaving you time to do really important things (like make your own kombucha or plant an organic garden).

{Interested in learning more about Mark’s Vegan Fusion courses? Check out the Vegan Fusion class and workshop schedule here}

All of the books contain over one hundred easy to read, easy to prepare meals for all cooking skill levels. The 30-Minute Vegan contains recipes from around the world, showcasing their expansive knowledge of international cuisine. Yet this is also the most ‘American’ of the books, featuring recipes that any newbie chef would recognize– tacos, burritos, pasta and sandwiches are rounded out with curries and stir-fries. There’s even a chapter for kids, featuring treats and snacks that will please the picky eater in all of us. After the generous forward including  kitchen skills and shopping tips, the feasting begins! The chapters include smoothies, breakfasts, snacks, kids treats, lunches (with wraps, rolls, bowls and more!), salads soups, small plates, suppers and comfort foods and desserts. The condiments chapter includes kitchen basics like nut cheeze, aioli sauces, spice blends, pickles and more to make your kitchen that much more complete. 

Some of the standout recipes from The 30-Minute Vegan include a vegan take on BLT using dulse, the Zen simplicity of a the Monk Bowl, Mexican Salad with Carob Mole Dressing, Live Mango Gazpacho, Raw Cilantro-Cucumber Soup and great collection of recipe collections for all your parties.

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India, Thailand, China, Indonesia and more!

The second book in the series, The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of Asia, is probably my favorite of the three. The book highlights culinary traditions and features recipes from a wide range of Asian cultures: Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese… even Central Asian recipes are featured here. In the chapter entitled Asian Fusion, Reinfeld and Murry travel through the culinary traditions of Vietnam, Indonesia, Tibet and even Central Asia. Ever tried Tajikistani Pilau or iranian Lima Bean and Dill? Well, they look amazing, and you should buy the book just to try it!

Some of the standout recipes from Taste of Asia include Tamarind Sweet Potatoes, Shahi Paneer, Semolina Cashew Halva, Thom Kha Pak, Spicy Peanut Noodles, Roasted Eggplant with Black Sesame Sauce, Pumpkin Pine Nut Soup, Homemade Dim Sum, Indonesian Coconut Tempeh (we love tempeh!), Mung bean pancakes and so. much. more!

The third in the series, Taste of Europe, at first seems not quite as adventurous as the Taste of Asia, but it doesn’t mean that the recipes are not equally delicious. Many of the foods that feature prominently in our American foodscape come from European traditions, and so some of the recipes in the Italian chapter are vegan versions of classic foods: fettuccine alfredo, gnocchi, etc. The really good recipes come after in the chapters of France, Spain and Portugal, UK, Greece, Germany and beyond with European fusion. There are recipes from Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania and even Iceland (and beyond)! This book will keep your belly full and your kitchen busy (but not too busy) during the cooler months when deeply nourishing, rich foods are needed.

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France, Germany, Italy and even Poland!

And if you are interested in learning even more about international vegan cuisine, stay tuned to Vegan Fusion. Recently Mark finished up a Kickstarter campaign to fun his new culinary travel show! They successfully raised enough funds, so hopefully we’ll be seeing more from Mark very soon. (And I looked on the publisher’s site and it looks like there might be a new book coming very soon!)

Vibrant Wellness Journal would like to thank De Capo/Lifelong press for review copies of these books. Images from Powell’s, my favorite indie bookstore.



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About the Author

A vegan chef, cookbook author, educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in San Francisco, Andrea is also the Accounts Manager for Important Media. Follow her foodie adventures at AndreaBertoli.com, Vibrant Wellness Journal, Green Living Ideas and Eat Drink Better. Find more from Andrea on Facebook and Instagram



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