30 Minute Vegan has lots of tasty, quick, easy recipes, but so do other vegan cookbooks. This one stands out as a teaching cookbook with basic cooking techniques and tips for healthy eating.
Authors Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray are a husband and wife cooking team, and they understand that "one of the most pressing issues of our time is how to deal with our busyness" and that at the same time we "crave more health and vitality".
30 Minute Vegan successfully solves that conundrum with quick easy vegan recipes.
Mark and Jennifer's joy in creating good food together is infectious, and they give thorough, thoughtful directions in all their recipes, plus recipe tips and variations.
They also teach basic cooking techniques, astutely guessing that many of their readers may not know basics like how to use a chef's knife, or cooking techniques like steaming, sautéing, blanching, roasting, marinating.
Shopping & stocking your pantry, live or raw foods, superfoods, cooking tips and tricks, food and your health. 30 Minute Vegan includes charts and directions for grain and bean cooking, a glossary of ingredients, online resources and a reading list.
The recipes progress from light, with lots of live or raw, to heavier or more transitional foods for those who haven't quite shaken the cheese addiction.
The first chapter is a divine collection of juices, smoothies, non-dairy milks and teas. Then breakfast and brunch, with creative cereals, tempeh bacon, cosmic crepes, tofu scramble, pancakes, french toast, and live cinnamon rolls. Snacks, lunches and salads follow, then soups, including many live soups.
Appetizers, Sides & Light Dinners includes yummies like Tofu Satay and Coco Rice & Beans. The last two chapters are Wholesome Suppers and Guilt Free Comfort Food. Thai Green Curry and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes had me salivating. In fact, all the recipes in the book sound absolutely delicious!
For me, one of the nicest chapters in 30 Minute Vegan is Condiments, Infused Oils, and Spreads ... "the subtle touches that will transform any dish. They are there for you in those moments when you just need to throw something together or eat something simple without sacrificing satisfaction and flavor."
As someone who could live on pesto and hummus sandwiches, I so appreciated these simple recipes: spice blends, gomasio, thai curry paste, hot sauce, infused oils, tapenade, chutney, pickled beets, vegan mayonnaise, aioli, nut cheese! YUM!
The colored pictures in the middle of the book are just amazing. I really wanted ALL the recipes to be in color! Another Big Bonus is that many of the recipes in 30 Minute Vegan are Perfect Kid Food, which vegan parents will deeply appreciate.
I had a hard time deciding on a sample recipe, but finally went with Barbecue Tempeh Sandwich, mainly because we had no such recipe. Actually, we had no tempeh recipes, period!
I still have not quite accepted tempeh, but this sandwich was very good, and satisfying. We had it on buns, as shown in the picture. I would not only eat it again - now I can't wait to try more tempeh recipes!
One of the best things about 30 Minute Vegan is that its happy, adventurous, nurturing spirit leads you to try new foods, new ways of cooking, new ways of thinking about food, without realizing that your precious food boundaries are being broken. You forget that you ever had food boundaries!
What 30 Minute Vegan doesn't include is lectures on why you should be vegan or eat raw. The food speaks for itself. Mark and Jennifer's light hearted approach to cooking, their loving and supportive attitude, their easy familiarity with green living, healthy eating, and vegan diet, are powerfully persuasive. Looking at their blissful faces, you want to BE them - Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian