The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Vegans Know How to Party Limited Time Special Discount Offer

Posted on November 21, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Between now and December 15th, 2014 we are offering a holiday discount on multiple copies of Vegans Know How To Party, written by Chef Nancy Berkoff and published by The Vegetarian Resource Group. You can order 2 copies of this book for $35 (30% off) or 4 copies of this book for $50 (50% off). One copy of this book retails at $25. Place your order here and indicate in the comments section what your are ordering and the number of copies:

Vegans Know How to Party is a 384-page book with color photos. It would be a wonderful gift during the holiday season. Not only will you find incredible recipes for baked goods such as pies, tarts, cakes, muffins, cookies, and other desserts, you’ll also enjoy recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes, and more. In addition, there are chapters on basic party planning, entertaining children, cooking for a crowd, working with a caterer, and party planning for people with diabetes.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Meals and VRG’s Pre-Thanksgiving Vegan Potluck Featured

Posted on November 21, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Vegetarian Thanksgiving meals and VRG’s Pre-Thanksgiving Vegan Potluck was recently featured in the Baltimore Messenger! You can find the full article at the following link:

*Please note some of the poll information was cited incorrectly, you can find the true numbers at the following link:

For more information about veggie Thanksgiving meals, see:
For more information about VRG’s Pre-Thanksgiving Vegan Potluck, see:

Kristina of fullyrawkristina Shows Off VRG Merch

Posted on November 20, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Everyone here at The Vegetarian Resource Group was pleased to see Kristina of fullyrawkristina showing off our Be Kind to Animals bumper sticker at this years Texas Veggie Fair. If you would like to purchase one yourself, visit our online catalog or send payment to The Vegetarian Resource Group, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

We would like to thank our amazing volunteer, Whitney Blomquist, for bringing this photo to our attention.

VRG Thanksgiving Events 2014

Posted on November 20, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Check out these VRG holiday events you will not want to miss this month!

VRG’s Pre-Thanksgiving Vegan Potluck: Baltimore, MD
Sunday, November 23; 5pm-8pm

Please join us at our 33rd Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Vegan Potluck co-hosted by our friends at Bmore Vegan Drinks.The event will be held at the cozy North Baltimore Mennonite Church (4615 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210). We welcome vegans, vegetarians and the veg-curious alike to join us for an evening of delicious food and company!

Admission is $4 per adult; children are admitted free. Please bring a vegan dish – made without meat, fish, fowl, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, or other animal-derived ingredients – that serves four as a contribution from each member of your party. If you are unable to cook, you may bring a prepared vegan dish for four from a local natural foods store or restaurant.

To reduce waste, we encourage you to please bring cutlery and your own plate to fill up with tasty vegan dishes! Don’t worry, we will have disposable ones available for those who forget. We also welcome you to bring a non-perishable vegetarian canned food item to donate to the church, who will distribute it to those in need.

“GREEN is the New BLACK Friday” Shop, Spa and Benefit Day at Shankara Vegan Restaurant: Bethlehem, PA

Friday, November 28; 10am-4pm

Please join VRG at the “GREEN is the New BLACK Friday” Shop, Spa and Benefit Day at Shankara Vegan Restaurant (201 East 3rd Street Bethlehem, PA, 18015). The Lemongrass Spa and Origami Owl will be featured vendors. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the VRG so don’t miss your chance to get some of your holiday shopping done while also supporting a good cause!

If you have any questions about these events or would like to discuss opportunities to volunteer, please contact Nina at

We are looking forward to having you join us!

You may also be interested in the following veggie Thanksgiving resources:
Veggie Thanksgiving Events in the US
Restaurants Serving Veggie Meals on Thanksgiving Day
Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes


Posted on November 19, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Laura McGuiness

Recently in my Renaissance Literature class, I had a guest lecturer speaking about Margaret Cavendish. We read several poems by her, one of which caught my interest by the footnote preceding it, stating: “This poem is one of the most remarkable expressions of empathy for the non-human to be found in the period.” The poem, “The Hunting of the Hare” (found here: is about the hunt of a poor little rabbit, Wat, who eventually dies at the hands of hunters. It culminates with a unique and (at the time) extremely controversial idea, one which basically castigates humans for believing all animals were made specifically for man’s benefit.

Anyway, in class I learned that this poem was actually in response to Descartes’s idea of animals being akin to automatons. Cavendish brings animals on the same moral plain as humans and produces empathy to trick the reader into identifying and feeling for Wat. Once they acknowledge this related state, saying otherwise makes them a hypocrite. It was a fascinating argument that was extremely revolutionary for its time. I also learned that Margaret Cavendish visited a Royal Society, which was (at the time) performing cruel and unusual experiments with small animals. She made a spectacle, stormed out, and proceeded to write a book, Blazing World, which is a thinly veiled parody of what she saw at the Royal Society. Her novel is essentially about animals performing experiments and her (as an empress) chastising them for doing so and calling their results rubbish.

You may or may not find the above interesting; however, I thought anybody who had a love for both animal rights and literature would find this fascinating! I also got excited about learning such animal rights-related ideas at a public university in a class completely separate from animal rights.

Here are Some More Restaurants Serving Vegan Meals on Thanksgiving

Posted on November 18, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Ravens Restaurant at the Stanford Inn in Mendocino, CA

Millennium in San Francisco, CA
Make reservations here:

Pena Pachamama Center in San Francisco, CA

Arya Bhavan in Chicago, IL
Make reservations here:

True Bistro in Boston, MA

Kalachandjis in Dallas, TX

Green Vegetarian Cuisine in San Antonio, TX
RSVP here:

Bamboo Garden in Seattle, WA

The Green Owl Café in Madison, WI
Make reservations here:

If you missed our first list, you can view it here:


Posted on November 18, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Amanda Matte

“Tierras Enamoradas”, or Lands in Love, is an all-vegetarian hotel and resort in Costa Rica’s otherworldly cloud forest. I was fortunate enough to spend some time there last month, and after only a brief introduction decided I never wanted to leave. The indescribably beautiful scenery provides the perfect backdrop to a place that emanates love – especially for animals. The on-site restaurant is entirely vegetarian, with many amazing vegan options from which to choose. I sampled a large portion of the menu over the course of my stay, as my mother – a fellow vegetarian – and I each tried something new at every meal and shared. In that way we were able to cover a great deal of territory. Some of our favorite options were the pad thai, the Israeli breakfast (a chopped salad with tahini, avocado, and tofu), and the vegan Bolognese over pasta. The desserts were also incredible, most notably the homemade milkshakes in a large variety of yummy flavors. There were plenty of vegan options on that list (made with soymilk).

One of the most exciting aspects of Lands in Love is the welcoming atmosphere. For instance, guests are encouraged to arrange a cooking lesson with Naama, the resort’s awesome chef. There is an on-site “pet hotel” which houses many rescued dogs and guests are welcome to take the dogs for walks. We made some very sweet canine friends there, and loved the multitudes of animals that wandered the 280 acre property, from horses to cats to ducks. Countless thrilling activities are available to guests, too. We tried zip lining, white water rafting, and canyoning, all of which were amazing, exhausting, and perfectly complemented by an artfully-prepared vegetarian meal upon our return. For the vegetarian traveler, it doesn’t get much better than Lands in Love.


Restaurants Serving Veggie Meals on Thanksgiving

Posted on November 14, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Here are a few restaurants on the west coast of the United States serving Vegan Meals on Thanksgiving – Make Reservations Today!

Green New American Vegetarian (Tempe, Arizona)
Chef Damon Brasch makes sure those with meat-free lifestyles aren’t left out of the festivities. His 100 percent vegan restaurant’s “Thanksliving” features dine-in and takeout options. Seitan turkey breast with vegan giblet gravy, sun-dried cranberry and toasted walnut stuffing, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet corn laced with smoked paprika, asparagus and Brussels sprouts sides and vegan pecan and pumpkin pies comprise the meal. Adults are $24.95 in advance or $28.95 day of, and children age 12 and younger are $8.95 in advance or $12.95 day of. See:

Café Flora (Seattle, Washington)
We began accepting reservations on October 27th for parties of all sizes.
Reservations for Thanksgiving Day will be available between 1:00 to 7:30 PM.
We will be serving a four-course prix fixe menu – $65 for adult and $25 for children. Download a PDF of the Thanksgiving Menu. Seating is limited. Please call early to place your reservations: 206-325-9100 ext 3.

Suncafe (Studio City, California)
Sun Cafe will be open normal hours on Thanksgiving. 11am – 4pm we will offer our normal lunch menu. Thanksgiving dinner service will begin at 5pm with a prix fixe coursed meal with a raw food or cooked-vegan option, 3pm for pick-up. $40 per person. See:

Blossoming Lotus (Portland, Oregon)
Blossoming Lotus will be offering a four-course menu, served family-style, on Thanksgiving, as well as to-go orders. The in-house meal is $60/person, alcohol and gratuity not included, and a $20/person non-refundable deposit is required upon reservation (by phone only). There will be two seatings: 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. To-go orders must be placed in advanced and picked up between 1 – 2 p.m. on Nov. 27. For more info, visit their website:


Posted on November 14, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

If you don’t have time to make home-made vegan cookies, then you may want to try these delicious cookies from Lucy’s. The following varieties are available seasonally: Chocolate Merry Mint, Holiday Sugars, and Pumpkin Patch. The baked treats are both vegan and gluten-free. You can find them in Whole Foods, Target, Kroger, Albertsons, BJ’s, and other stores.

For more information visit:

Vegan Options at Genghis Grill®

Posted on November 14, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou. MS

Genghis Grill is a restaurant chain featuring build-your-own stir fry bowls. Since its first Texas opening in 1998, there now are over 100 locations in 23 states. To view the restaurant locator on the company’s website go to: According to the Genghis Grill corporate office the chain has plans to expand to other countries beginning in 2015.

In Summer 2014 Genghis Grill made major changes to its menu and website. The Vegetarian Resource Group spoke with the Director of Culinary Research & Development at Genghis Grill in October 2014 about what the chain now offers vegetarians and vegans. She told us “servers will be more than happy” to make any substitutions requested in stir fry dishes or signature bowls. Patrons should request them upon arrival.

Ingredient lists are available on menus or in nutrition brochures placed in restaurants or online. However, because meat, poultry, fish and seafood are prepared and served on the premises, the Director stated that Genghis Grill does not promote any of its menu items as vegetarian or vegan even though some of them may be all-vegetable.

Patrons at all but the eleven sit-down Genghis Grill restaurants may build their own bowl by first choosing raw vegetables; uncooked meat, poultry, fish, seafood or tofu; and spices from the Fresh Market Bar. They take them to the grill master to be cooked on the circular grill. According to the Culinary R&D Director: “The starches [including eggless udon noodles, rice or “egg-based” pasta] are added at the end of the cooking process and can be placed on the side if the customer prefers. The spices are added by the customer on top of their protein selection and are cooked with the bowl. The sauce is added at the very end to coat all ingredients.”

Vegetarians and vegans may note that tofu is sectioned off from other menu items at the Fresh Market Bar. Guests should ask the grill master to sanitize the area on which the tofu will be prepared. The tofu is cooked under a lid.

Genghis Grill offers fifteen sauces for the build-your-own stir fry bowls. Page Five of the Nutritional Guide lists all sauce ingredients:

The Honey Soy Sauce contains honey. The Szechuan Sauce contains oyster. The Khan Pao Sauce contains milk, oyster, chicken fat, and chicken broth. The Red Curry Peanut Sauce contains shrimp paste. The Garlic Water Sauce contains only garlic and water. All other sauces among the fifteen (excluding a few others served with signature bowls or chef-made dishes) are all-vegetable and contain either high fructose corn syrup derived from corn and/or beet sugar.

The VRG received the following in an email from Genghis Grill:

“Please see the statement below taken directly from our sugar specification – the sugar used in [our] products is 100% beet sugar, which is not filtered through bone char.

Cargill’s® Spreckels Granulated Sugar, a food grade product, is made by crystallizing a purified and filtered thick juice syrup removed from sugar beets, which is then dried and screened to produce the most popular sugar grades.”

The Culinary Director told us that the Worcestershire sauce in several of their sauces and the natural flavors in the Mongo BBQ sauce “contain no animal ingredients or animal flavors.”

The Spicy Thai Tofu signature bowl is served with Red Curry Peanut Sauce which contains shrimp paste. Other sauces may be substituted.

The Thai Street Noodles and the Drunken Noodles chef-made bowls are made with “eggless udon noodles that contain no animal byproduct.” The Cashew Almond Sauce served with the Thai Street Noodles “has a chicken stock as its base.” The Drunken Noodle Sauce “is vegan friendly.”

The Director told us that their fried rice is made without eggs. “Only pure Kikkoman® Soy Sauce is all we use” with no added animal flavors or ingredients.

On the website menu “Gourmet Fried Rice” is listed as a separate item containing scrambled egg. The Gourmet Fried Rice is different from the fried rice which may be selected to accompany a stir fry or used in a bowl. Genghis Grill told us that the Gourmet Fried Rice may be ordered without the egg.

The restaurant chain also offers a Garlic Citrus Edamame appetizer which is “not made with any animal ingredients or flavors.”

Genghis Grill’s catering menu is on the new website. One of the options is the Buddha Bowl made with tofu. When placing their order customers may substitute another sauce for the Honey Soy Sauce served with this bowl.

For more information, visit:

The contents of this website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

For information on other chains, see:
To find vegetarian restaurants, see:
To vote for your favorite chains, visit:
To support The Vegetarian Resource Group research, visit:

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