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on July 10, 2009
As soon as I heard the title, The 30 Minute Vegan, I fell in love with this book. As with any great page-turner, I settled into a comfy chair and read through it from cover to cover. Every recipe beckoned to me, and just reading through the ingredients, I knew that these were going to be some very impressive dishes. Discovering a book filled with 175 mouth-watering recipes that could be made in 30 minutes or less was like a dream come true. If I could prepare great-tasting, satisfying, hearty vegan meals in much less time than I was accustomed to spending in the kitchen, then The 30 Minute Vegan would be a godsend.

But where to begin? Because I happened to have some nice, juicy ripe mangos on hand, I started with the Live Mango Gazpacho Soup. While most gourmet raw food dishes are time consuming (all that soaking, chopping, dehydrating, etc.), and high in fat from nuts, seeds, and avocado, this delightful little soup turned out to be a wonderful surprise! It's actually simple to prepare and made for a sensational low-fat summertime dish. As I have a garden full of mint, I substituted it for the cilantro called for in the recipe, and it blended quite nicely with the lime juice and mangoes. That's one of the things I love about The 30 Minute Vegan: Unlike most other cookbooks, the way the recipes are presented, you are actually encouraged and inspired to add your own culinary creativity. I love that feeling of freedom. I wasn't afraid to experiment on the first go-round with any recipe. The authors made me feel like I couldn't mess it up.

The Monk Bowl's, "Zen simplicity," as it is described in the book, is also co-author Mark Reinfeld's favorite meal to prepare. So I couldn't resist trying such an enlightened and inspired recipe. It's made with quinoa, which is noted for containing more high-quality protein than any other grain. I love it's lighter-than-brown-rice consistency, although this dish would be wonderful with any kind of rice, too. I chose to use roasted tempeh instead of tofu, (one of the suggested variations on this recipe), and added sliced red bell pepper and edamame to the mix of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. Served with nutritional yeast, soy sauce, flax seed oil, and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, the lightly-steamed veggies and fluffy quinoa made for a hearty and satisfying meal. I think that the next time I make this dish, I'll try it with the peanut sauce suggested as another variation of this recipe.

I was thrilled to see that a simplified version of the prize-winning recipe from last year's Most Remarkable Vegan Recipe Contest was thoughtfully included in The 30 Minute Vegan. Live Un-Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice was as fun to prepare as it was vibrantly eye-appealing and palate-pleasing. The cauliflower "rice" really fooled my taste buds, and the spicy vegetable dressing had just the right balance of sweetness and piquancy.

Extremely helpful sidebars are peppered throughout the book: "Quicker and Easier," "Tips and Tricks," "Superfoods for Health," and "If You Have More Time" enhance the value of this book a thousandfold. As do the opening chapters, "Getting Started" and "Preparation Basics," which includes grain and dried bean cooking charts. It's wonderfully time-saving to have all of this information in one place.

Since I feel the need to get my hands on a copy of every vegan cookbook that comes along, I have a stack of them collecting dust on my bookshelf. But like the authors' earlier books, Vegan World Fusion Cuisine and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw, The 30 Minute Vegan has found a permanent home in my kitchen, where its pages will quickly become worn, torn, and stained. And I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this book. Can you say Chocolate Ganache Pie?
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on August 20, 2009
The 30-Minute Vegan showed up at my local bookstore and I immediately bought it and tried a recipe from it that evening--we were not disappointed! (I also own Vegan Fusion--another wonderful cookbook by Mark Reinfeld.) My first recipe, The Seitan Curry Bowl was wonderful and full of fragrant spices and veggies that combined to make a superb meal. The Vegan Ranch Dressing will not disappoint as it is creamy and flavorful enough to be a stand-in for any non-vegan ranch recipe. Also delightful and yummy--the Mushroom-Onion Gravy. This is our new go-to gravy recipe! Other recipes we've tried and loved: Tuna-Free Tempeh Salad--wow--what a great flavor and texture this recipe offers; Fajitas Bonitas--terrific! Living up to its title, these creative vegan dishes can really be made in 30 minutes--and are all delicious. The authors also offer serving suggestions (to round out the meals) as well as variations in making the recipes offering alternatives for ingredients and such. As you explore the cookbook, there are unique and tasty raw dishes to try as well--for instance: Live Macadamia Nut-Ricotta Veggie Towers--yum! I can say with confidence that I have this cookbook nearest to me most evenings when I feel I need a quick vegan meal that offer both flavor and speed. I highly recommend this amazing vegan cookbook!
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on December 8, 2009
So many vegan cookbooks spend the majority of their recipes trying to recreate non-vegan foods by using various soy products and faux meat and cheese alternatives, but not The 30 Minute Vegan. Honestly, this cookbook was breath of fresh air.

First, it is packed with recipes. But second, there doesn't seem to be a specific agenda beyond good vegan food. Yes, there are some recipes that use dairy or meat alternatives and yes, there are some recipes that are variations of "old favorites," but there are also countless recipes that pair delicious seasonings with fresh produce, and even numerous unintimidating raw recipes. In other words, there really is something for everyone in this cookbook ... and the recipes really do take less than 30 minutes! At first pass, I encountered so many recipes that captured my attention that my copy was already riddled with dog-ears within 24 hours of receiving it.

I started with the Seasoned Spuds. Rather than roasting, these taters are steamed and then bathed in a unique mixture of seasonings and a little bit of oil just before serving. This different technique intrigued me, especially since you could actually use high quality oil without fear of its smoke point or breaking it down. I was amazed by the delicious smoky taste that did make them seem somewhat roasted. Plus, this dish, along with the rest of our lunch, came together in no time.

For my second recipe, I made the Chocolate Sesame Bonbons. These babies could be in The 5 Minute Vegan cookbook (if it existed of course)! I wasn't sure how they would turn out, so packed full of seeds and with so little sweetener, but they were positively delicious. The sesame seeds gave these little snacks a delightful rice crispy-like crunch. I have already made variations of these three times!

In the end, what impressed me most about The 30 Minute Vegan was how well thought out and executed the recipes were. The ingredient amounts and instructions were spot on and well-tested, no adjustments needed (surprisingly rare among the sea of cookbook errors and untested recipes). Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray have really delivered in this cookbook.
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on August 30, 2009
I'm just learning to cook Vegan food and this is the first cookbook where every recipe I've tried has turned out and been really good.
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on August 15, 2010
I was looking for a book to help me get vegan dinners together quickly. This book leans towards raw food, and most of the recipes are for smoothies and salads. Some of the dinner recipes require other recipes and so there is no way you could make an actual meal in 30 minutes. If you are looking for snacks, light lunches, desserts or more involved raw meals, this book may be good for you. I collect vegan cookbooks, but the 30 Minute Vegan will not be part of my collection.
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on September 7, 2009
Even if you're not vegan, you NEED this cookbook. Why? Because Reinfeld and Murray have created a masterful medley of recipes that anyone, no matter their tastes, can enjoy. The recipes in THE 30-MINUTE VEGAN are quick, easy, and delicious. So delicious, in fact, that vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy them and know they're eating healthy without even a hint of that stereotypical "health food" taste!

I have had this book for only a few days and am already completely attached to it. I continue to try new recipes from it daily and haven't been disappointed. Most of the ingredients are already on hand in my house, or can easily be found at local markets, farmer's markets, and co-ops. Other high points of the book are the authors' frequent inclusion of quinoa and seitan, two things which older vegetarian and vegan cookbooks tend to overlook. Several interesting and delicious-looking raw food recipes can also be found, giving yet another dimension to this already amazing book.

Whether you're a vegetarian, an vegan, or an omnivore, I highly recommend giving this book a try. It will open your eyes to great new flavor combinations, easy recipes, and ingredients you may not have thought to put together before. THE 30-MINUTE VEGAN is a definite winner!
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on December 7, 2009
What I like best about this cookbook is that it covers all diet preferences. Some recipes are raw and fat heavy while others are raw and low fat. Then there are low fat cooked meals and of course, more decadent cooked meals. The 30-Minute Vegan has something for everyone and enough variety to keep us happy, fed and inspired.

As a girl on the go, I knew this cookbook would be great for me, I can come home from work and have dinner on the table for my family in 30 minutes flat. So many other vegan cookbooks have 2 hour recipes or recipes that take days and multiple steps to prep & I just don't have time for that every night.

I'm inlove with their collard greens recipe and live cinnamon rolls. Usually I shy away from raw food bc its so fat-heavy but most of their raw recipes (& cooked recipes) are low in fat and very healthy. They don't use processed foods much at all (so many other vegan cookbooks rely on that stuff). I've made 9 dishes and loved every single one -- that has never happened before. I usually like 50/50 from cookbooks, but not this one!

30-Minute Vegan is a must-have for anyone who wants healthy, quick meals.
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on October 12, 2009
This is a wonderful cookbook. The recipes might seem different or difficult, but they really aren't. I looked through the book many times before trying some of the recipes. We have now tried several and they have all been wonderful! The recipes use fresh, flavorful ingredients which result in delicious food. I know there are many great new vegan cookbooks out... I have them all. But some of them have the same recipes, only bland. In this book, the food seems balanced and just comes to life. It's not what you would expect from a "30 Minute" cookbook. There are many tips on how to expand most recipes into a more gourmet meal. My children have even enjoyed the meals I have prepared. I made a healthier version of "Ramen Noodles" from the book and they have loved it! I can make theirs plain, like the recipe is written, or add veggies and extra lime to mine... everyone is happy! I hope more people will get this book. It's just as good, if not better, than the similar books with more reviews. Enjoy!
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on March 12, 2010
I love this book. Although I've only made five recipes so far, each has turned out beyond my expectations. While the ideas and actions have appeared simple, and truly take 30 minutes or less, the results have been nothing but. The red lentil dahl was subly mild and excellent, the barbecued tempeh outrageously substantial and almost decadent, the coconut rice turned an everyday staple into something special, and the chocolate ganache pie was a revelation. All my life I have thought that "pie" meant flour rolled out into a pastry crust, and that decadent chocolate desserts meant "butter," pickiness and time. But this pie and its live crust blew my mind. That is the quality I am trying to express with this review: that the recipes, by extrapolation, teach. The authors are creative with food in a way I have never encountered. This book is a gift to the world.
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on July 6, 2009
I received this book as a birthday gift a few days ago. I have barely put it down. The food really is quick and taste wonderful. You should buy the book for the Mexican Salad with Carob Mole Dressing alone. The Maple Almond French toast is wonderful. As always with Mark Reinfeld the book is beautiful.
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