The 30-Minute Vegan

Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking


By Mark Reinfeld

By Jennifer Murray

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Busy vegans, rejoice! award-winning husband and wife chefs/authors Reinfeld and Murray present 150 delicious, easy-to prepare recipes for everyday vegan cooking — all dishes that can be prepared in a half-hour.

Sections include The Lighter Side of Life: Smoothies & Satiating Beverages; Snacks, Pick Me Ups & Kids’ Favorites; Lunches: Wraps, Rolls, Bowls, and More; Extraordinary Salads; Sumptuous Soups; Small Plates: Appetizers, Side Dishes, Light Dinners; Wholesome Suppers; Guilt-Free Comfort Food: Healthy Translations of Old Stand-bys; and Divine Desserts.

The 30-Minute Vegan also provides at-a-glance cooking charts, kids’ favorite dishes, and exciting menu suggestions for every occasion — making this an essential cookbook for busy vegans who want to enjoy delicious, healthful, whole-foods vegan fare every day.


Praise for The 30-Minute Vegan:
"The 30-Minute Vegan is not only a culinary delight for vegetarians and vegans, it appeals to people who relish a meal that luxuriates the palate and satisfies the spirit."
—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul's Potential
"Don't let a lack of time keep you from making a healthy choice! These quick, delicious recipes will see you through even the busiest mealtimes with good taste and style."
—Jennifer McCann, author of Vegan Lunch Box and Vegan Lunch Box Around the World
"Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray have written a classic, practical guide to preparing exquisitely tasteful, healthy vegan food that is ideal for busy folks of today. Every home will be enriched by having this book in the kitchen. It is suitable for daily meals prepared for family members, as well as special holiday celebrations."
—Arthur H. Brownstein, M.D., M.P.H., author of Healing Back Pain Naturally and Extraordinary Healing

Also by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw (with Bo Rinaldi)
Also by Mark Reinfeld
Vegan Fusion World Cuisine (with Bo Rinaldi)

For busy people who love to eat good food and enjoy experiencing cutting-edge cuisine. Here's to your vibrant health and satisfaction—and to spending less time in the kitchen!
With many thanks for your support.

By Deborah Madison
Imagine starting the day with a luscious "galactic" smoothie that's filled with dates and papayas, or a chai latte made not from a tea bag or a mix, but from black tea simmered with ginger and spices, the way it's done traditionally. For something more substantial, you might add a southwest scramble—of not eggs, but tofu and herbs and spices—filling, yes, but it's also light. For lunch, you might dip into a warm bowl of soba noodles or make yourself a wrap (add a side of pickled beets here) and, come dinnertime, you may anticipate tucking into a red lentil-infused quinoa kitchari or a warm African sweet potato soup. Need a snack between meals? How about some toasted pepitas, crispy kale (now this is good!), or flavored popcorn? Do you have children? There are recipes just for them. Open The 30-Minute Vegan and you might well be surprised—and no doubt pleased—by what's inside. A host of appealing recipes can be found between the covers of this book, as well as a lot of good information about food and cooking in general, surprisingly realistic approaches to thirty-minute cooking with real food, and more, from glossaries to Web sites.
The authors, Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray, know that I'm not a vegan and probably you should know that, too. Although butter and cheese find their way into my vegetarian cookbooks and my kitchen, quite a few of my recipes are vegan, too, simply because many dishes I love happen to be so. Traditional, largely plant-based food cultures are full of dishes that today could be called "vegan," and they are the dishes I turned to when I opened Greens restaurant in 1979. Like our vegetarian dishes, they were greeted with enthusiasm, not because they were lacking dairy, but because they tasted good and were familiar to our mostly nonvegetarian customers. (Who didn't know pesto?) Looking back to that time, it would have been difficult to imagine a vegan menu, or a book like The 30-Minute Vegan, which often overlooks traditional flavors in favor of a more carefree blend of elements and ingredients. But I'm open to being open, and I'm delighted to have Mark and Jennifer's book in hand. It's introduced me to some new dishes and although I may never be a full-time vegan—I did grow up on a small dairy farm, after all, and cream is in my veins—I can certainly appreciate recipes that sidestep some ingredients we may well benefit from setting aside at least from time to time, while retaining flavor and appeal.
What I especially appreciate in The 30-Minute Vegan is the effort Mark and Jennifer make to woo, albeit gently, the reader away from highly processed convenience foods even if they are vegan, toward foods that are whole, fresh, and minimally processed, which means, one really does need to do some cooking. Although they live and cook in Hawaii, The 30-Minute Vegan is not too Hawaii based, which makes it ultimately practical for the home cook who happens to live on the mainland. Add to these virtues the knowledge that you're not going to be spending all day in the kitchen and you have a very useful book, indeed. Because Mark and Jennifer are so committed to helping you put real food on the table in a half hour or less, they provide various tips and tricks, including encouraging readers to hone their knife skills, which is good advice for anyone, but especially for people who haven't spent much time in the kitchen. They also know that if you aren't linear about how you think of cooking and organize yourself, you can accomplish a lot more quickly—more good advice and the kind that's often lacking in thirty-minute cookbooks.
This practical book is also a friendly one. "Use what you have and what you love," the authors advise if you can't find a particular ingredient—a relief for many, I'm sure. And although vegan food may be different from mainstream food, who says that vegans don't want to have some egg(less) nog during the holidays, a chocolate-covered strawberry now and then, or lemon bars? ... They do, and even if they're not quite like what the rest of us are familiar with, the authors are generous in their offering of vegan approaches to familiar dishes such as corn on the cob, pizzas and pastas, BBQ sauce (for tempeh), polenta, as well as desserts.
For me as a cook, the goal of any cuisine, especially one that omits culturally mainstream ingredients, like animal products, is to come up with food that is delicious and a joy to eat. My favorite comment from customers at Greens was, "Oh, I forgot that there wasn't any meat." You want your eater, even if it's just you, to come away from a meal having forgotten all about those missing ingredients. It's not enough to exclude the shunned ingredient—that's only going partway. The food has to sing, too.
So I especially appreciate that The 30-Minute Vegan emphasizes building blocks for flavor, such as herb-infused oils, and even the uses of herbs, so important and so often ignored. That there's an emphasis on food that's fresh, local, seasonal, and organic speaks, not only to our concerns about the environment, but again to the quality of the foods we cook. If you want to cook simply and well, you'll be best off if you cook with the most flavorful ingredients, which, as it happens, tend to be fresh, seasonal, local, and organic. A useful glossary of foods and tools says that cooking know-how is taken seriously here, and it needs to be if you want to be self-reliant and free of processed foods. And I am forever happy that there are no breakdowns of recipes to keep readers obsessive about things one needn't (and no doubt shouldn't) be obsessing about.
Despite the challenges afoot with embracing a vegan lifestyle—not only the decision to be vegan but to fully enjoy eating this way—Mark and Jennifer offer a calm sense of purpose, unquestionable joy, and warm encouragement to those who want to cook and eat this way—especially those who find time in short supply.
Deborah Madison
author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

One of the most pressing issues of our time is how to deal with our busyness. No matter where we go these days, people feel busier than ever. It affects our health, our happiness, our relationships, and virtually every part of our lives. Too often it feels like a stretch to even spend time with the people we love—not to mention learning a new way of eating, even if we do crave more health and vitality.
We created 30-Minute Vegan out of a sincere desire to address this issue for anyone willing to devote just a little bit of their precious time. This book is a bounty of quick and easy, delectable vegan cuisine for busy people. We are a husband and wife team living in Hawaii. We enjoy spending time in the kitchen together and we never tire of bossing each other around. We aspire to impart some of our culinary enthusiasm to you.
We've selected recipes that illustrate the diversity yet simplicity and ease of vegan food preparation. Here you will find healthful recipes for every occasion—from romantic dinners for two to slumber parties for your children. You'll find lots of suggestions for recipe modifications; you can be adventurous and still be time savvy. If you're a novice in the kitchen, playing with these recipes will help you become more comfortable with cooking. Seasoned chefs can delight in some of our time-saving techniques while discovering new tastes by being inventive with the variations.

Superfoods for Health

One of our guiding principles is that food is best when enjoyed in its whole, natural state. This goes for both flavor and nutritional quality. Superfoods are those foods that are packed with nutrients and have been shown to have outstanding health benefits. Many of these are ancient foods that have been revered for thousands of years for their healing qualities. They are high in disease-fighting antioxidants, which are known to protect cells from damage, even slowing down the aging process in many instances. We highlight these wonder foods throughout the book and show how they represent the wave of the future in terms of reclaiming our health.
Organic food is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, many of which have not been fully tested for their effects on humans. Although people continue to debate whether these chemicals are harmful, we know they are not necessary, so we don't take the risk. We highly recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible in our recipes.
Raw or living foods are nutrient-rich foods that have not been heated above 116°F. Live food cuisine is a growing trend in the culinary world. People who eat raw foods report feeling increased energy, weight loss, healing, and a host of other benefits. We indicate the raw food recipes in the book with a ♥
The importance of eating locally grown foods whenever possible cannot be overemphasized. Locavore was even recently selected as "new word of the year." It refers to one who eats only local foods. Eating local foods ensures freshness and saves those resources involved in shipping across long distances.
Growing foods in your own garden or participating in community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs) is the best option if you have the opportunity. It's very rewarding to see something grow from seed to plant. Farmers' markets are the next best choice. Make friends with the people growing your food! Many of the recipes in this book can be adapted to include whatever fresh ingredients you have on hand.
Our general approach in the kitchen emphasizes minimizing the use of processed and packaged foods. Not only is this much better for your health, the reduction in packaging is good for the planet as well. In our recipes, we often list homemade alternatives to packaged products, such as to canned beans, commercially made vegan mayonnaise, or sour cream. For your comfort and pleasure, we do include some of our favorite processed "transition foods," such as vegan cream cheese and vegan butter for those just beginning to include more plant-based foods or for special occasions.

Going Green with Vegan Cuisine

A vegetarian diet is one that does not include meat, fish, or poultry. Vegan food contains no animal products or by-products. It's vegetarian without the dairy or eggs. For this reason, vegan cuisine is often referred to as "plant-based." The reasons people choose to enjoy vegan foods are many. First and foremost, vegan foods taste incredible, as you will discover when you sample the recipes in this book. People also turn to vegan foods for weight loss and disease prevention. Numerous studies show that many illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and obesity can be prevented and reversed with appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle.
A plant-based diet also helps protect the environment. Now with more attention than ever on global warming and greenhouse gases, people are realizing that making changes to our diet is the most effective impact we can have on our planet. The environmental footprint of a vegan diet is a fraction of that of a meat-based diet. A recent United Nations report, Livestock's Long Shadow, shows that 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the livestock industry, more than the entire world's transportation industry combined!
Vegan foods represent the best utilization of the earth's limited resources. It takes 16 pounds of grain and 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. It's astonishing that the beef industry continues to flourish when we see so much in the news about food and water shortages and people going to bed hungry. For more information on veganism and organic foods, please see appendix A.


Vegan Fusion World Cuisine is a style of food preparation that draws upon culinary traditions from around the globe. In our books and classes, we share tips and tricks based on years of experience at our restaurants and feedback from countless customers.
Visit our Web site,, to learn about the vegan lifestyle, sign up for our free newsletter, and find out more about our books: Vegan Fusion World Cuisine (the winner of nine national awards, including a Gourmand Award for Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA, Best New Cookbook by PETA, and Cookbook of the Year by VegNews) and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw.

How to Use This Book

The recipes in each chapter are more or less listed from "lighter" to "heavier." Virtually all of the recipes can be completed in less than thirty minutes, including preparation and cooking time. Several recipes do have cooking or baking times that exceed this time frame, but the labor time is under thirty minutes in every case. You'll find that we've also included many exciting variations to the recipes, some of which may also take longer than thirty minutes. These are clearly noted. The clock starts ticking once the ingredients have been gathered and are ready for use. The time doesn't include searching through the cabinets for tools or ingredients.
Read through the recipe carefully, perhaps even twice. Make sure you have everything you need and gather it before you begin. Also remember that with practice, everything becomes easier. The more you make a recipe, the faster you will become.
Use these recipes as a starting point for creating your own versions and specialties based on your preferences and whatever ingredients you have on hand. We strongly encourage creative expression in the kitchen; don't just try to stick to the recipe. Never let one or two missing ingredients stop you from making a recipe. There is always something you can substitute—be creative!

Create the Space

We encourage you to create an inspiring ambience when you prepare your meals. Listening to your favorite music and bringing flowers or other objects of beauty into the kitchen will help spark your culinary creativity. We sincerely hope that 30-Minute Vegan motivates you to prepare more of your own vegan food and to share a meal with loved ones. Celebrate the flavors and the ease of these recipes. Have fun and enjoy the process!
To Life!
Mark and Jennifer

Getting Started
Before you dive into the recipes, let's go over some essentials. This chapter highlights our favorite ingredients to help you set up a rocking vegan pantry. We also go over some of the kitchen gear that will help you along your way. Finally, we have a list of tips and tricks for kitchen efficiency and tastiness. Consult this list frequently!
As you go through the recipes, you will be learning many of the basic techniques involved in natural food preparation. These techniques are detailed in chapter 2.


Try shopping on your least busy day and make an adventure of it. If you become familiar with your local farmers' market and health food store, you'll find shopping is an enjoyable adventure. Spend lots of time in the produce aisle and sample different fruits and vegetables as they become available seasonally. Educate yourself by reading labels. If you are having trouble pronouncing ingredients, it could be that artificial ones lurk within the package.
When shopping for produce, look for vibrant colors with a bit of firmness. When shopping for nuts, seeds, grains, and beans, purchase only what you're going to consume within a few weeks. Nuts and seeds should have a crunch to them.
We always recommend enjoying foods as soon after preparing them as possible. Some dishes actually do taste better the next day, once the flavors have had a chance to deepen. The recipes in this book generally keep for at least two or three days if stored properly, and certain items such as dressings keep for up to a week or longer.

The Vegan Pantry ... Ingredients Galore!

So many awesome flavors await you! You don't need to go out and purchase all of these ingredients at once. Build your pantry over time. The more variety of foods you have access to, the more motivated you will be to try new dishes. All of these ingredients are available at health food stores. Many large supermarkets now have a "natural food" section (makes you wonder what kind of food is in the rest of the store) or integrate natural foods throughout the store. You can also check out appendix B for Web sites where you can place special orders online.
Remember to go for local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Visit ethnic markets to experience the diversity of culinary traditions. See the glossary for more information on many of these ingredients.
Consider stocking up on some of these essentials:
Fruits: Fresh fruits are the ideal snack. You will appreciate having many types on hand, including lemons and limes, which are excellent on salads and with drinking water. Dried fruits are also fabulous for quick snacks and natural sweeteners. Sample some of the many dates available, such as Medjool, Deglet Noor, or Barhi. We like to keep dates soaking in water in the refrigerator, for use in smoothies and desserts. We also love figs (black mission, Turkish, Calimyrna), raisins, apricots, and cranberries. Store dry fruits in an airtight glass container in a cool, dry place, or in the refrigerator.
You may also wish to have some store-bought organic lemon or lime juice on hand, especially when making larger batches of dishes that call for the juice. The Santa Cruz Organic juice company puts out a good product.
Vegetables: Staples include mixed salad greens, kale, carrots, onion, celery, potatoes, and garlic. A steamed veggie medley is just moments away with such veggies as broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini. You may wish to consider stocking some frozen vegetables, such as peas, carrots, corn, and spinach, for when you are really in a crunch for time. Dried chiles are an amazing addition for Mexican, Indian, and Southwestern dishes. Try different varieties, such as Serrano, chipotle, ancho, and guajillo.
Herbs: You'll be surprised when you find out how easy it is to have your own herb garden right in your kitchen. Most herbs grow well in pots and have a long history, rich with folklore and medicinal use. Sample herbs one at a time to learn their characteristics. Try different combinations to discover flavors you like. It's a trialand-error exploration, so have fun with it. Consider experimenting with fresh culinary herbs such as basil, dill, oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemongrass, chives, mints, cilantro (coriander), marjoram, sage, chervil, turmeric, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, tarragon (French and Mexican varieties), Thai basil, and flat-leaf Italian parsley.
If a recipe calls for fresh herbs and all you have is dried, you can substitute. Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb for every 1 tablespoon of fresh herb called for in the recipe.
Spices: Getting to know your different spices and spice combinations is an ongoing adventure. Expertise comes with practice over time as you build upon your knowledge. Consider stocking your pantry with these popular dried culinary spices: cumin, chile powder (see Note), cinnamon, cloves, curry powder, turmeric, ginger, coriander (dried cilantro), cardamom, fenugreek, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, nutmeg, black pepper, saffron, cayenne, paprika, allspice, and aniseed.
Note: For recipes that call for chile powder: you can use the available chile powder blends, which contain ground chile as well as cumin, garlic, and other spices. If so, make sure you are using a salt-free variety. You can also use pure ground chile powder (molido), which is made only with ground chiles. Please keep in mind that this pure ground chile is spicier than the blends.
Nuts and Seeds: Purchase the raw varieties and store them in airtight glass jars in a cool, dark place, even the refrigerator or freezer if you have the space. Some of our favorite nuts include almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, and almonds. For seeds, try sunflower, pumpkin, sesame (the unhulled variety), flax, and hemp. We also like to have ground flaxseeds on hand for juices and for several recipes in this book. Place flaxseeds in a blender or spice grinder and grind to a fine meal. Store the flax meal in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Grains and Legumes: Quite a few grains can be cooked and enjoyed within thirty minutes. These include quinoa, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, and white basmati rice. Other important grains to include are short-and long-grain brown rice, brown basmati rice, black rice, and barley. Although these grains take longer than thirty minutes to cook, the amount of time required to prepare them is actually less than five minutes. Please see the grain cooking chart in chapter 2 for more information on cooking grains.
Regarding legumes, red lentils can cook in less than thirty minutes. Other favorites that take longer than thirty minutes include black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans, lentils (green, yellow, and French), and mung beans. Prepare beans in advance or have cans on hand for when you are pressed for time. Refer to the legume cooking chart in chapter 2 for information on cooking legumes.
Salts: We recommend sea salt over iodized table salt, which is highly refined and contains anticaking agents. Celtic sea salt is a widely acclaimed unprocessed whole salt from France. Himalayan crystal salt is another popular choice. For brevity, in our recipes, we list salt as "sea salt" to distinguish it from table salt. Most of the recipes that call for salt suggest adding it to taste.
Sweeteners: Refined white sugar is implicated in many illnesses. The good news is that there are many natural sweet tastes to choose from. Try these less-refined natural sweeteners: agave nectar or syrup, stevia leaf, maple syrup, Sucanat (stands for sugar cane natural), turbinado sugar, molasses, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup, and yakon syrup. See the glossary for more explanation of these natural sweeteners.
Sea vegetables or seaweeds: These make an important addition to the vegan pantry. In addition to providing vital minerals and nutrients, they also impart a seafood flavor to dishes. Try dulse, arame, hijiki, kombu, wakame, nori sheets, and kelp. Store sea veggies in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Also, a versatile new product is on the market: kelp noodles from Sea Tangle Noodle Company, which is a refrigerated item.
Oils: For maximum freshness, to minimize oxidation and prevent the oil from becoming rancid, be sure your oils are cold pressed and stored in dark jars.
Choose cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil. It's from the first pressing and is rich in flavor and nutrients. Other oils to consider include sesame (toasted and light), coconut, sunflower, and safflower.
For salads, we like flaxseed oil and hemp oil. These oils have a nutty flavor and are plant-based sources of essential fatty acids. They require refrigeration and are not meant to be heated. You can also try borage and pumpkin seed oils.
Vinegars: Most vinegar lasts about two years in a cool, dark place. Once opened, use within six months to a year, for best flavor. Our favorite vinegar is raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, which also has a rich folklore for treating many ailments. Other vinegars to sample include balsamic, red wine, unfiltered brown rice vinegar, umeboshi plum vinegar, and more exotic vinegars such as raspberry or champagne. See page 284 to discover how to create your own herbal vinegars.
Water: We cannot overstate the importance of using pure, clean water. We recommend using filtered water for all of our recipes. High-quality tap water can be used if filtered water is unavailable. In the interest of reducing plastics and waste, consider investing in a water filter available through Web sites in the "Eco-Friendly Products & Services" section of appendix B. Contemplate this: Our body is comprised of 70 to 80 percent water. We are what we drink!
Breads and Flours:


On Sale
Jul 7, 2009
Page Count
376 pages

Mark Reinfeld

Mark Reinfeld

About the Author

Award-winning vegan chef Mark Reinfeld is the creator of Vegan Fusion, a platform for plant-based, vegetarian, raw, and gluten-free cooking classes and recipes. Reinfeld is the author of seven books, including the bestselling 30-Minute Vegan series, and offers food counseling services for companies like Google, Whole Foods, and Bon Appetit Management. He is the 2017 inductee into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame.

Ashley Boudet, ND, is a graduate of the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), one of the world’s most respected naturopathic medical schools. She is on the board of the International Congress of Naturopathic Medicine and is passionate about sharing easy ways of incorporating simple and powerful self-care practices into our lives.

Learn more about this author