The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of Europe

150 Plant-Based Makeovers of Classics from France, Italy, Spain . . . and Beyond


By Mark Reinfeld

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Named One of the top five cookbooks of 2012″ by Vegetarian Times magazine and One of the top 10 Vegan Cookbooks of the Year by VegNews magazine

A Culinary Tour de Force of Europe’s Most Treasured Dishes

Are you looking for delicious and healthy cuisine that can fit into your busy lifestyle? Do you long for the robust flavors of Italy, France, Spain, or Greece but haven’t found tasty animal-free recipes? Look no further! The 30-Minute Vegan is where the Joie de vivre meets la dolce vita to satisfy even the most discriminating palates. Award-winning author and chef Mark Reinfeld tackles the meaty fare that is European cuisine, offering inspired plant-based versions of everything from manicotti to French onion soup, moussaka to “notwurst.” Including key pantry ingredients (with a special section on herbs), raw and gluten-free options (virtually all of the recipes are gluten-free), and suggestions for wine and beer pairings, Taste of Europe is a revolutionary cookbook that will help you to recreate all of your favorite classic European dishes in 30 minutes or less.

The book consists of seven sections:

1. Italy with recipes including Fire Roasted Minestrone, Fettucini Alfredo, Tofu Scallopini, Gnocci, Manicotti, and Vegan Gelato.
2. Francewith recipes including French Onion Soup, Quiche Monet, Seitan Bourguignon, and Chocolate Hazelnut Crepes.
3. Spain and Portugal with recipes including Gazpacho, Empanadas, Artichoke Heart and Saffron Paella, Tempeh Romesco, Almond Brittle, and Horchatta.
4. United Kingdom and Ireland with recipes including Irish Stew, Scottish Crumpets, Yorkshire Pudding, Vegetable Pot Pie and Currant Scones.
5. Greece with recipes including Stuffed Grape Leaves, Tzatziki, Moussaka, Spanikopita, and Baklava.
6. Germany with recipes including Beer Soup, Vegan Schnitzel, Tempeh Sauerbraten, Apple Strudel, and Black Forest Parfait.
7. Europe Fusion with an assortment of recipes from Poland, Iceland, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and more!


Prepare to Rock Your World with the Tastes of Europe!

Europe holds a special place in everyone's heart. The medieval castles; the narrow cobblestone streets, robust farmers' markets; and the richness and history of the arts, culture, and cuisine can awaken the wonder in anyone. It is truly a gift to experience the beauty and romance of the Old Country. I invite you to prepare for an adventure of a lifetime, for through the pages of the Taste of Europe you will be guided on a journey of culinary exploration through this magical and wondrous world.

While there are many cookbooks that focus on a single European ethnic cuisine, this book is unique in that veganized regional favorites from many European countries are shared. It's where the joie de vivre meets the dolce vita. The revered cuisines of France, Italy, and Greece; the boldness of Spanish and Portuguese foods; and family favorites from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany are all represented. I've also included a sampling of dishes from Eastern and Northern Europe, such as the cuisines of Romania, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland.

Through Vegan Fusion cuisine, you'll learn that seemingly disparate flavors and ingredients from various cuisines can actually complement one another and enhance your dining experience. With the recipes of the Taste of Europe, you can dine on Italian Minestrone and Fettuccine Alfredo by the shores of the Mediterranean, enjoy a Chocolate Fondue from the Swiss Alps, and finish it off with a Ginger Brew from the land of Stonehenge.

From the subtle herbes de Provence to the sharper Hungarian or Spanish paprika, the depth of ingredients and flavor that comes to us through Europe is immense. Please see the Taste of Europe Pantry section (page 245) to learn about some of the more popular regional favorites. Fortunately, virtually all of these ingredients are easily accessible at most markets. There are some specialty items that can be found at your local natural foods store, ethnic market, or online. Please see page xxi for a list of those items to stock up on your next visit to your local natural foods store. And feel free to ask your grocer to carry certain products; you will be surprised how accommodating markets can be. Check out some of the online resources listed in Appendix D.

Veggie Europe—From Pythagoras to Sir Paul McCartney

The earliest records of large portions of a population embracing a vegetarian diet come to us from ancient India, where ahimsa, or nonviolence, became a way of life for many. You might be surprised to discover that there is also a rich history of vegetarianism in Europe, dating back to 500 BC and the times of Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher, scientist, and mystic. Apparently Pythagoras took a trip to India and was greatly influenced by the lifestyle of the sages and philosophers he came across. He brought this knowledge back with him to southern Italy and insisted that all of his students follow a vegetarian diet. In fact, the earliest vegetarians in Europe were called Pythagoreans. This may explain why the cuisine of Italy is perhaps the most vegan-friendly of all of Europe. Other ancient Greek philosophers, including Empedocles, and many of those at Plato's Academy likewise embraced the vegetarian lifestyle.

Fast forward to the Renaissance, when cool bros such as Leonardo da Vinci, Pierre Gassendi, and English writer Thomas Tryon were proponents of the lifestyle. In the nineteenth century and the Age of Enlightenment, England begins to take center stage on the veggie scene. These are the times of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and Reverend William Cowherd, the latter of whom was one of the forerunners of the Vegetarian Society that formed in England in 1847. In another step forward, almost one hundred years later, Donald Watson coined the term vegan and helped form the Vegan Society in England in 1944. Of course, this is an extremely brief history of a robust movement. For a more in-depth exploration, please check out The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to the Modern Times by Tristram Stuart.

Vegan Fusion

The style of my cuisine is Vegan Fusion. This means that I often combine ingredients from different culinary traditions in the same dish or menu. Quinoa is a South American grain, yet it complements a dish of Italian ratatouille or Hungarian stroganoff just as well as does any rice. I also find that wheat-free tamari, a soy sauce used extensively in Asian cuisine, creates a layer of flavor and helps accentuate the flavor of other ingredients, regardless of the ethnicity of the dish.

I highly recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible in these recipes. Organic food is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, most of which have not been fully tested for their long-term effects on humans. For maximum food safety, go organic. Please see Appendix C for more information on organics.

I also recommend using a minimum of processed and packaged ingredients. This is much better for your health and the reduction in packaging is good for the planet. Most European cultures have rich traditions of using fresh local and organic produce. While the image of a Frenchwoman carrying a baguette in her bag is somewhat of a cliché, daily trips to the local olive vender, baker, and produce market are a part of life.

When you eat locally grown foods whenever possible, it ensures optimal flavor and freshness and saves all of the resources involved in shipping over long distances. Growing foods in your own garden or participating in community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs) are 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. Get to know the people growing your food! Many of the recipes in the Taste of Europe can be adapted to include whatever ingredients are fresh and available.

Having said that, I would like to point out that many of the recipes in the book contain what I call "transitional" ingredients. These are ingredients that I consider healthier than their animal product equivalent, though not necessarily foods that I would consider healthful enough to include on a daily basis. I refer to them as transitional because I feel that certain products, such as vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, vegan sausages, and even seitan, can greatly help people transition to a plant-based lifestyle by satisfying cravings for animal products. My main goal with the Taste of Europe has been to create vegan makeovers of classic European dishes to demonstrate the incredible versatility of plant-based cuisine. These transitional products have certainly been crucial in helping me accomplish this. As an advocate of healthy eating and living, I do encourage you to enjoy these products on special occasions.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step

This book has deep personal meaning for me. My love of international travel, culture, and cuisine was awakened during extended stays in Europe. During my junior year of college at the London School of Economics, I traveled extensively: I experienced the cuisine throughout England, Wales, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Israel, and the Soviet Union. My wanderlust—and my palate—were awakened!

After graduating from the State University of New York at Albany, I took a year off before entering law school at New York University and returned to the life of the traveler. I worked as an au pair in Paris, hitchhiked from Amsterdam to Germany just in time to witness the opening of the Berlin Wall, witnessed the student revolution in Prague, and was there for a democratic revolution in Nepal. I visited several Eastern European countries, including Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Yugoslavia. I concluded the trip with travel through Israel, the Sinai Desert, and India, and a four-week trek to Mount Everest.

This time period also corresponds to when I began my personal journey toward the vegetarian lifestyle. While I was working on a kibbutz in Israel, I would walk through the valley and encounter cows, goats, and chickens. I began to feel that they had just as much of a right to live their lives on the planet as I did. In fact, I started feeling the same love toward them that I felt towards my pet dog. It was then I began to question how comfortable I was eating them.

What sealed the deal was when I was asked to remove chickens and place them in crates so they could be sent to slaughter. After several minutes in that environment I realized that I would not participate in the process of slaughter. That day began my Veg Journey.

My recent return visits to Europe have led to the final offering of the book. The last three-month trip in particular was truly an epic journey of culinary discovery. I learned so much in my research. I offered classes and workshops in England and Paris, participated in the Paris Vegan Days where over eight thousand were in attendance, and met incredible people who passed on secret family recipes and culinary tips that I'm thrilled to be sharing with you. The richness of the European culinary traditions can now be yours for the taking.

Contributing Chefs

While the pantry lists will keep you more than adequately stocked for your culinary travels, there are a few additional elements that will help heighten your experience. I am very happy to be including contributions from some amazing chefs I have had the pleasure of working with. Jennifer Murray, coauthor of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw, The 30-Minute Vegan, and The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of the East, has created a comprehensive resource on European culinary herbs (page xxvii); in it, you'll learn a bit more about various combinations and flavor profiles that have long been used in these regions. Patrick Bremser, former head chef of the Blossoming Lotus restaurant on Kauai, shares his expertise on wine pairing, offering suggestions for types of wines and beers to use in the recipes in this book (page xxxix). Colin Patterson, another former head chef of the Blossoming Lotus, shares a fascinating section on wild mushrooms, ingredients that feature prominently in many European cuisines (page xxxv).

Peace Begins in the Kitchen

Preparing food can be a sacred and healing time for you to connect with nature in your own kitchen. It can be a time when you leave all of your cares at the door and focus on creating delicious meals. It is also so much fun! Whether you're preparing a meal for yourself or for twenty, experimenting with different ingredients and culinary traditions is one of life's greatest gifts.

I encourage you to cultivate as much mindfulness, calmness, and love when you prepare your meals, creating an inspiring and uplifting ambiance in the kitchen. Get your groove on by listening to your favorite music. Bring flowers, favorite photos, or other objects of beauty into the space to awaken the creative chef within. May you be inspired by these recipes and the information in this book to take your health and vitality to the next level in the most creative and delicious way possible!

With deep thanks and aloha,


Want to Know More?

Our company, Vegan Fusion, promotes the benefits of vegan foods for our health, the preservation of our planet, and to create a more peaceful world. In addition to our award-winning cookbooks, we offer workshops, chef trainings and immersions, and vegan culinary retreats around the world. We also offer consulting services, and can assist in menu and recipe development with this Innovative Global Cuisine. For inspiration surrounding the vegan life-style, to check out our online culinary course, and to sign up for our free online newsletter, please visit our website:

How to Use This Book

Virtually all of the recipes can be completed in less than 30 minutes, including preparation and cooking time. Several recipes do have cooking, baking, freezing, or refrigerating times that exceed this time frame, but the labor time is almost always under 30 minutes in every case. I've also included some of my favorite variations to the recipes, some of which may also take longer than 30 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. The addition of ingredients that are listed as optional will also add to the preparation time. Read through the recipe carefully, perhaps even twice. Make sure you have everything you need and gather it before you begin. Remember that with practice, everything becomes easier. The more you make a recipe, the faster you will get and the more likely you will be able to fit it into the 30-minute time frame.

In each section, the recipes are listed in the order you might find them on a menu—appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes, entrées, breakfasts, desserts, beverages, and condiments. Within that structure, for the most part recipes are then listed from lighter to heavier. Use these recipes as a starting point for creating your own versions and specialties based on your preferences and whatever ingredients are fresh and available. I'm a strong believer in creative expression in the kitchen; don't just try to stick to the recipe. If you love garlic, add more garlic. If you like it hot, up the quantity of chiles. Never let one or two missing ingredients stop you from making a recipe. There is always something you can substitute; be creative!

Throughout the book, I introduce many of the techniques of vegan natural food preparation. These techniques are also highlighted in Appendix B. For a more thorough exploration, including tips for stocking your kitchen, as well as for an extensive resource guide, please check out The 30-Minute Vegan. Be sure to take a look at the Appendix A, too—there you'll find lists of some key ingredients for these recipes, as well as common ingredients for many vegan dishes.

While each country has developed its unique culinary traditions, there are many ingredients that transcend borders. For instance, you will find olive oil is used in several countries. Similarly, those countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea have developed comparable culinary traditions. Please visit the Taste of Europe Pantry (page 245) for a wide selection of these ingredients.

As far as the shelf life of the dishes, I generally recommend enjoying the food the day it is prepared and for the next day or two after that. Some recipes, such as salad dressings and desserts, may last a bit longer. Please check daily to ensure freshness. Store leftovers in a glass container in the refrigerator.

The Theory of Relativity—Different Nutritional Theories

Having completed a master's degree program in holistic nutrition, one of the first things I realized is that there are many conflicting nutritional theories out there, each with their own body of evidence to support their theory. You'll find variations on the ways of eating mentioned throughout the book. Here's a quick overview of some of the more popular nutritional theories:

Raw Foods: Raw foods are nutrient-rich foods that have not been heated above about 116°F. Many feel that heating food beyond a certain temperature begins to diminish the nutrient content in the food. Live food cuisine is a growing trend in the culinary world. Those eating raw foods report feeling increased energy, weight loss, healing, and a host of other benefits. While most of the recipes in this book are cooked foods, I have provided several raw food recipes and those that are adaptable to being raw. In some cases, I provide a cooked and raw variation of a dish so you can compare the different flavors. The raw food recipes in the book are indicated with a .

Gluten Free: Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and other cereal grains that is responsible for the grains' elasticity. More and more people are being diagnosed with celiac disease—or are simply cutting gluten out of their diet, for overall health. I have used spelt flour in all of the recipes in this book. Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat, which does contain gluten, though in a form that many with wheat allergies can tolerate. Those with celiac disease are unable to tolerate gluten in any form. For a gluten-free flour mix, please see page 260. Every recipe in this book, with the exception of two recipes using phyllo dough, is either gluten free or can be easily adapted to gluten free. I have noted on the recipes including a gluten product what to use as a replacement. For the gluten intolerant, please remember to use gluten-free tamari as the soy sauce, and to purchase a gluten-free variety of nutritional yeast—two common ingredients used in the book.

Oil Free: Many people feel that including processed oils in our diet is less than optimal for heart health. If you wish to eliminate processed oils, especially when sautéing, please use the water sauté method discussed on page 253. You can also replace the olive oil called for in the recipes with a higher-heat oil such as grape-seed or coconut.

Low Sodium: If you wish to reduce your sodium intake, please use a low-sodium soy sauce, add salt to taste instead of following the recipe's recommendation, and/or replace the sea salt with kelp granules.

Soy Free: If you wish, you may replace the soy sauce called for in the recipes with coconut aminos, available at your local natural foods store.

Sugar Free: Refined white sugar is implicated in many illnesses. For several dessert recipes, I list organic sugar as an ingredient to indicate my recommendation to use an alternative to white sugar. Please see the sweetener chart on page 262 for some healthful alternatives to white sugar and visit your local natural foods store to discover several natural sweeteners on the market.

Specialty Items

Although most foods can be purchased at your supermarket, some items may require a trip to the natural foods store. Here is a list of the ingredients to stock up on to complete the recipes.

Arrowroot powder: A powdered starch made from the root of the arrowroot plant. Used as a thickener in sauces, soups, and desserts. Dissolve arrowroot with an equal amount of cold water before adding to the mixture being thickened.

Brown rice pasta: The premier choice for gluten-free pasta. Tinkiyada brand is recommended.

Coconut oil: Made from the popular coconut.

Egg replacer: Because flaxseeds are highly nutritious, the recipes in this book use ground flaxseeds as an egg replacer. The standard ratio is 1 egg = 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons of water. Feel free to replace the flaxseeds with another egg replacer.

Gardein products: This company produces several animal product analogues that can be used in many of the dishes in the book, to replace the tofu, tempeh or seitan called for in the recipe. They have products that replicate beef, turkey, chicken, and fish. Please visit for a complete list of products.

Kudzu root: A starchy tuber used to thicken sauces.

Miso paste: A salty paste made by fermenting soybeans, grains, and other beans. Purchase unpasteurized for maximum nutritional benefits.

Nutritional yeast: A plant-based culture consisting of up to 50 percent protein. The Red Star brand is a source of B vitamins, including B12. It imparts a nutty and cheeselike flavor to dishes. Go for the large-flake variety.

Raw apple cider vinegar: The raw variety is said to contain the highest nutritional value.

Organic sugar: See page xxi.

Quinoa: Botanically a seed, though commonly referred to as the ancient grain of the Incans, quinoa is high in protein and may be used to replace rice in any of the recipes in the book.

Salt: Consider purchasing gourmet salts such as Celtic or Himalayan, which are higher in mineral content than most commercial salts. You can also experiment with smoked salts, which add an additional depth of flavor to your dishes.

Silken firm tofu: A creamy variety of tofu that is wonderful for puddings and sauces; see page 249.

Tempeh: A soy product similar to tofu, though with a heartier texture and nuttier flavor. Turtle Island brand recommended (see page 250).

Vegan butter: Try Earth Balance brand.

Vegan cheese: Try Daiya brand or Follow Your Heart.

Vegan mayonnaise: Use Vegenaise, or make your own (page 261).

Vegan sausages: Tofurky and Field Roast have good products.

Wheat-free tamari: A by-product of the miso-making process, this is the recommended soy sauce for all of the recipes in the book.

White spelt flour or gluten-free flour mix: Bob's Red Mill has a wonderful gluten-free baking mix that can be used one for one to replace the flour called for in the recipes. For gluten-free baking, you will also want to pick up xan-than gum as a specialty product. This is a substance to replace the gluten in other flours that can contribute elasticity to the recipes.

Sidebars and Symbols

Throughout the pages you will see the following sidebars and symbols:

Quicker and Easier: While virtually all of the recipes in this book may be considered quick and easy, these dishes are even more simple to prepare.

If You Have More Time: These recipes and variations of recipes take longer than 30 minutes. Give them a try when you have more time to explore them!

Chef's Tips and Tricks: We share the secrets that make your life in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable.

Chef Patrick Recommends: Suggestions from Chef Patrick Bremser, our resident sommelier for the type of wine or beer to use in a recipe.

Indicates a recipe that is 95 percent or more raw, or can be easily adapted to raw. See page xx for information on raw foods.

This recipe or variation may take longer than 30 minutes if you count baking, refrigerating, or freezing time. Some recipes may take longer than 30 minutes until you are comfortable with the steps of the recipe. With practice you will find yourself preparing them at a much quicker pace.

Chef's Tips and Tricks

Keys to Success in a 30-Minute Kitchen:
Guidelines for the Efficient Chef

Preparing food is an art form; these tips will help you have great success in the kitchen and will enable you to enjoy yourself. If you're having a good time, this good juju will be imparted to the food and everyone will enjoy it!

•Read each recipe thoroughly. Look up words and ingredients you are unfamiliar with. Understand the process involved. Understand when multitasking is necessary rather than waiting for each step to be complete before moving on to the next step.

•Before beginning any preparation, create a clean work area. Gathering the ingredients in the recipe before you begin ensures that you have everything you need, know what you will be using as a substitute, and eliminates time spent searching through cabinets. Gather your measuring spoons and cups, tools, and appliances. Preparing food in a clean and organized space is always easier.

•Having the proper tools is essential to being able to whip food up quickly. It may increase your cooking time if you don't have tools such as a garlic press, zester, citrus juicer, or blender. Work up to a fully stocked kitchen.

•Although the recipes are designed to taste their best by following the exact measurements, eventually you will learn to discover acceptable approximations. At some point you will be able to look at two different cloves of garlic and know that one is about 1 teaspoon, and the other is about 1 tablespoon. In cases like these, don't worry too much about measuring everything with ultimate precision. With baking, however, measurements need to be precise since leavening is involved.

•Some herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or fennel, don't need to be plucked from the thin part of their stems before mincing or chopping. Just keep them bundled together and chop into the whole bunch at once. The thin parts of the stems generally have the same flavor, and once minced, basically taste the same.

•Cut stacks of veggies rather than each individual piece. Don't separate celery stalks when you can cut into the whole bunch at once. The same goes for heads of lettuce and cabbage. Stack tomato, potato, or onion slices and cut them simultaneously.

•The easiest way to sift flour is with a fine-mesh strainer. For accuracy, always sift baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and any spices that have lumps.

•You don't need to peel organic carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, zucchini, or beets unless specified; just wash them well. This is not only quicker, but also helps preserve the nutritional content of the food.

•Many of the recipes, particularly the soups, call for adding vegetable stock or water to a pan that already has vegetables cooking in it. You can save on cooking time by heating the stock or water in a separate pot while you get the other ingredients ready. This way, when you add the liquid to the vegetables, it will already be at the temperature of the rest of the ingredients and will avoid the cooling and reheating that occurs when a colder liquid is added.

•Most blenders have cup and fluid ounce measurements right on the pitcher, so no need to dirty more measuring cups.


On Sale
Sep 4, 2012
Page Count
352 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