Monday, December 17, 2012

The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe
Book Review and Giveaway

I cannot believe it's been almost two months since I posted my last review! My little tumble at Sawyer Park in Bend, Oregon just before Thanksgiving and resulting broken wrist, surgery (complete with stainless steel screw!), and bruised/cracked rib made typing more than a wee bit challenging. But I'm on the mend (in my snazzy blue arm cast!) thanks in no small part to the love and nurturing I received from my dear friend, Judy Petullo. I don't know how I would have gotten through the initial trauma and first few days of pain and dis-ability without her warmth, caring, kindness, and hospitality. There are truly no words that can adequately express my deep feelings of gratitude.

I am delighted to get back to the joy of sharing my favorite new discoveries with you! (Although for awhile at least, my posts may still be few and far between.) This book review was pretty much in the can before my little walk in the park. I had prepared and tasted several of the recipes and had taken photos to share. So here I am drooling all over the photos and reliving the pleasure of eating these tasty dishes in my mind. (Chopping, slicing, dicing, lifting heavy trays, pots, or pans, and washing dishes are currently not within the scope of my abilities.) So without further ado, please allow me to introduce you to The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe: 150 Plant-Based Makeovers of Classics from France, Italy, Spain ... and Beyond! 

I'm a huge fan of Chef Mark Reinfeld and his The 30 Minute Vegan series of books. The recipes in The 30 Minute Vegan and The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of the East are simple to prepare and taste amazing. Mark never fails to deliver no-fail recipes that inspire even the most hesitant home cook's creativity. His lastest gem, The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europewhich features a collection of old-world recipes that are not always easy to veganize—like Moussaka, Bocadillos, and even Bouillabaisse, will surprise and delight readers with the complexity of flavors that can be achieved in so little time.

Feast your eyes on a few of the delectable dishes I prepared from the recipes found within the pages of The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe ...

Scottish Currant Scones, which I transformed into Cranberry Pistachio Coconut Nog Scones ...

Italian Tempeh Neatballs are seriously the best-tasting vegan meatball adaptation ever! (I just had to share the recipe below!)

So good I had them for lunch the next day with Mark's Roasted Tomato and Garlic Sauce.

Dating back to medieval Spain and Portugal, who doesn't love Empanadas? I served these tasty stiuffed-bared pockets with more Roasted Tomato and Garlic Sauce ...

Making cruelty-free French Faux Gras ...

A colorful and delectable fusion of flavors: Bruschetta with Faux Gras ...

You'll gain a whole new appreciation for paprika after your very first bite of this fabulous Hungarian Goulash ...

A sensuously sweet, yet light Spanish dessert, Vegan Flan, served with raspberries and a drizzle of caramel syrup ...

Tempeh Neatballs 
reprinted with the kind permission of the author and the publisher,
Da Capo Press. ©2012 by Mark Reinfeld 


2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
16 oz tempeh, diced finely
1/4 cup oat flour
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbs wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground fennel (optional)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Oil for sautéing
1 12-oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce or the Roasted Tomato and Garlic Sauce from The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe


1. Combine all the ingredients, except the oil for sautéing and the pasta sauce, in alarge bowl and mix well. Form into 10 equal-size balls (think golf ball size) and set aside.
2. Pour the oil into a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh balls and cook until slightly crispy and browned, about 7 minutes, gently flipping to ensure all sides are cooked.
3. Lower the heat to simmer, add the tomato sauce, and cook for 5 minutes, gently stirring, occasionally.  Serve over pasta or make your own tempeh neatball hero sandwich.


• You can also bake the tempeh balls. (This is how I prepared them.) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the balls on a well-oiled baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Gently flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes. If you wish, you can flip every 5 minutes, rolling the balls on a different side with each flip.

If you've been yearning for Yorkshire Pudding or craving kielbasa soup, The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe was written for you! It will also make the most wonderful holiday gift for your favorite foodie, vegan or not.

Update: Congratulations Kelly G! You are the lucky winner! Please email me with your postal address, so I can arrange to have your book sent to you. Thank you, everyone, for a fantastic giveaway! Stay tuned for the next one, and in the meantime, I'm wishing you all a very happy, healthy, and delicious New Year!

For a chance to win your very own copy, simply leave a comment below, and tell me your favorite European regional cuisine.* 

You can also earn additional entries: choose any or all of the following, and please leave a comment for each item you complete:

1. Like Vegan Fusion on Facebook.
2. Follow @veganfusion on Twitter.
3. Follow this blog by clicking the "follow" link in the upper left-hand corner of this page, subscribing via email, or through Networked Blogs.
4. Follow @Vegiegail on Twitter.
5. Tweet the following message: Win a copy of @veganfusion's The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe via @vegiegail 4 u or someone u ❤! #vegan #giveaway

Please make sure I have a way to contact you when you win, (leave me your Twitter handle or email address or make sure it's linked to your blogger account.) Good luck!!!

*Sorry international friends. The giveaway is open to US residents only.