Friday, January 18, 2013

Tempeh Neatballs Recipe & The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe Review

When I first became vegan, I immediately tried to recreate my favorite meat dishes into meatless meals. It didn't go well! In fact, it's a true testament to my stubbornness that I didn't give up the whole vegetarian idea ... those early meals were that bad. Oh how I wish I would have had The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe by Mark Reinfeld. This book is terrific! Mark Reinfeld and his contributing chefs, people who really know what they're doing, have come up with plant-based makeovers of the classics from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom and more. These are the foods which many of us grew up with ... foods like Cacciatore, French Onion Soup and Bangers & Mash ... foods which, before now, many vegans had pretty much given up hope of ever eating again.

Like any cookbook, the recipes in The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe are the "stars". But this book is so much more. In a section entitled "How To Use This Book" the author discusses various dietary choices and how the book accommodates them. There's a section for those who are gluten free, those who have given up sugar and those who have adopted a raw-foods lifestyle. I've recently chosen to go oil-free in my cooking and was happy to see that the author shares information on how I can accomplish that when preparing his recipes ... or any recipes, for that matter.

The last part of the book contains valuable information, including a conversion chart ... important for those who are more comfortable with the metric system. It also includes one of my favorite parts of the book ... grain and dried bean cooking charts. Both of these charts include a wide variety of items and offer cooking times, ratio of water to grain/bean and approximate yield. And finally, under "Supplemental Information", one will find discussions on on topics like preserving the environment, going organic, and GMOs.

Now for the "good" part ... I've tried several of the recipes in this book and they are delicious. Each one was easy and quick to prepare. I have the pleasure of sharing one of them with you today. Let's get the legal stuff taken care of:

From the book The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe by Mark Reinfeld. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2012.

I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe!

Serves 6 to 8


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
16 ounces tempeh, diced finely
1/4 cup oat flour
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground fennel (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Oil for sauteing
1 (12-ounce) jar pasta sauce or Roasted Tomato and Garlic Sauce (page 35 in the book)

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the oil for sauteing and the pasta sauce, in a large bowl and mix well. Form into ten equal-size balls (think golf ball size) and set aside.
  2. Pour the oil into a large saute 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 stiring occasionally.

  • You can also bake the tempeh balls. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 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.

To order this book (including ebook versions, domestic & international orders and options to order both online & offline) click HERE.

I received a copy of "The 30-Minute Vegan’s Taste of Europe" in order to write this review. I received no other compensation. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and reflect my honest opinion of the material reviewed.