The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

PINKBERRY

Posted on May 28, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

Pinkberry sells frozen yogurt in more than 250 stores worldwide in 20 countries.
They are offering a dairy-free option.

TROPICAL MANGO: Contains Fruit (Fruit (Mango Puree, Banana Puree), White Grape Juice Concentrate, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Pear Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Water

See: http://www.pinkberry.com/images/nutrition/Nutrition.pdf

The contents of this posting, our 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 more information on quick service chain offerings, see:
http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.php

My Vegan Time with Carnival Cruise Line

Posted on May 27, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Lily Donofrio

My time with the Carnival Cruise Line was amazing. I traveled to Mexico,
Belize, Roatan, and Grand Cayman. I snorkeled, tubed through El Chibalba
(a cave named hell by the Mayan Indians), repelled from Honduran
mountains on a zip line, and swam with massive stingrays. This cruise
was both relaxing and enlightening. I got to experience foreign
countries for the first time, see beautiful landscapes, and hear riveting
tales. I also witnessed true poverty. Being my first time out of
America, I had not been prepared to see such economic struggle within
the countries that I visited. The streets were often filled with rubble
and litter, and water was not safe to drink. I learned a lot about my
homeland in relation to “developing third world countries.”

Everyone knows what goes down on a cruise. Boozing, partying, sunburns,
and eating. Food is always readily available. They have 24/7 buffets,
burger and burrito bars, ice cream pumps, brunches, dinners, tea
parties, chocolate buffets, juices, coffees, desserts, fruit platters,
bread baskets, pastry lines, complimentary room service, you name it.
Finding vegan foods really isn’t an issue, but always keep aware of what
you’re eating and ask questions. I enjoyed participating in the
stereotypical overeating during my stay.

It was around three o’clock when I first arrived on the ship, and we
were starved. The first thing we did was head to the buffet while we
waited for our bags to arrive in our room. I immediately gravitated
toward the salad section. I loaded my plate up with mixed greens,
turnips, chickpeas, cucumber, cauliflower, onions, sunflower seeds,
dried cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette. As I moved down the line, I
picked up some fresh melon, a piece of a French baguette, and some
Rosemary potatoes. I sat my food down and got a glass of lemon
concentrate diluted with ice and water. I was in heaven.

We convened again for dinner at the dining room. We were all dressed up
and feeling great. When the waiter passed out the menu, I was elated at
its diversity. They have tons of vegetarian options that can be easily
tweaked to be vegan. I immediately notified my waiter of my diet and he
was very understanding. The staff aboard the ship is quite amazing, and
they all memorized our names and preferences. We sat in the same station
every night for dinner. Unfortunately, there aren’t any specifically
vegan options. I got the Indian dish that consisted of rice, lentils,
mushrooms, chilies, along with a side of ratatouille. I had never tried
ratatouille. It quickly became one of my favorite dishes. With my Indian
entree, I had to omit some of the add-ons, like the cream based beans
and veggies cooked with sour cream. For dessert, I had a beautifully
arranged fruit plate and a cup of black coffee.

The next morning, we returned to the buffet for breakfast. I had
oatmeal, grits, wheat toast, fruit, something called Rasta juice (guava,
papaya, orange), and my ever necessary black coffee. I made sure with
the buffet operators that all of my selections were vegan. For lunch, I
went to the burrito bar. It was as good, if not better, than our
American commercial burrito bars. I began my burrito with a wheat
tortilla, then stacked on black beans, spicy corn, watermelon salsa,
grilled peppers and onions, brown rice, and as we know, GUAC on a cruise
does not cost extra, so I took full advantage of that. That night at
dinner, I was sad to see that the other vegetarian option was not vegan,
so I ate the Indian food again. It was a great meal, but I had hoped for
more variety. I paired that with a fresh house salad with balsamic
vinaigrette.

The next day was our first port! We ordered room service and hit the
ship gym up before departing. My breakfast was fresh melon, whole wheat
toast, tomato juice, and coffee. I was ready to face my first time out
of the country with these added nutrients. While in beautiful Cozumel,
we ordered salsa and guacamole. And boy they did not jip you on the
guac. I made sure to inspect the guacamole, to make sure they didn’t
make it with sour cream, but always as vegans, we should confirm it with
the chef. The chips were obviously fresh baked and salted to perfection.
I learned that in Mexico, cilantro is not used sparingly. For dinner
back on the ship, I had verified vegan spring rolls, steamed butterless
broccoli, corn and vegetable succotash, and a baked potato (minus the
bacon and sour cream).

The next day was Belize. For this port, we had to take a ferry into the
country. While we were waiting for our tender, my friend and I split a
veggie breakfast burrito and a plate of fruit. This kept me going during
our mountain hiking and cave tubing. After, we were given rice and beans
flavored with coconut milk. As a frequent consumer of rice and beans, I
must say that the Belizians know what they’re doing. That night, back on
the ship, I had minestrone, tofu steaks (spicy seasoned tofu and grilled
veggies), ratatouille, broccoli, carrots and onions, and coffee for
dessert. I made sure to ask my waiter about the type of broth used in
the soup, which he confirmed to be vegetable broth. The next day was
Roatan (an island belonging to Honduras), which happened to be my
favorite port. We ordered room service again that morning, I had tomato
juice, wheat toast, orange and grapefruit segments, and black coffee.
That day we experienced zip lines through the jungle. For lunch,
we drank the water of a fresh young coconut (purchased from a local
vendor in a cart), fresh sliced mango, pickled salt and vinegar mango,
and fried plantains. We left shortly after lunch. For dinner, I had
mixed greens salad, vegan roasted quinoa stuffed tomato (without the
cheese sauce), broccoli, and succotash. I had the fruit plate and coffee
again for dessert.

Thursday was Grand Cayman. The tenders started later, so we went to the
buffet. I had oatmeal (walnuts, raisins, craisins, and almond slivers),
whole wheat toast, grits, Rosemary potatoes, and melon. I was quite
satiated. We had some fresh squeezed lemonade on the island, and didn’t
eat my lunch of build your own tacos until around 4 o’clock on the ship.
That night at dinner, I had the Indian dish again.

The rest of my trip consisted of repeats of dishes already eaten. In
conclusion, I was quite impressed with the selection. I wish that there
was more vegan awareness on the ship, but I was able to figure it out
myself.

Vegan Hawaiian Luau

Posted on May 27, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

Not many of us have the opportunity to go to Hawaii. Nevertheless, you can have a vegan luau in your own backyard or home using recipes that recently ran in Vegetarian Journal. Zel Allen not only provides you with delicious vegan recipes, but she also gives you great ideas to get your friends and/or family members to have fun at the Luau!

Recipes included in this article include Waikiki Wahini Cooler, Island Tofu Pate, Poke (the Hawaiian counterpart to Mexico’s ceviche), Sweet Leilani Luau Salad, Lomi Lomi Jackfruit, Pineapple Fire Sauce, Passionate Hwaiian Tempeh, Kona Coconut Stir-Fry, Taro and Okiniawan, Haupia (a dessert), and Tropical Paradise Pie.

To see the entire article see: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2015issue2/2015_issue2_luau.php
To subscribe to Vegetarian Journal go to: http://www.vrg.org/bookstore/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3

The VRG’s Online Charity Auction Starts in less than One Week on June 1st!

Posted on May 26, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

Have you ever wanted to make your own non-dairy milk? You’re in luck! The VRG’s Online Charity Auction is less than a week away and we will be offering almond and coconut milk making kits from WheatgrassKits.com​, and much more!

The auction will run June 1st through June 15th, 2015, via Ebay Giving Works, where 100% of each item’s final bid price will be donated to The VRG. Funds from this event will be used to help offset the costs of printing and shipping our vegan and vegetarian-based educational materials which we have provided to activists, professionals and organizations around the country, for over 33 years, free of charge!

For a full list of participating sponsors see: http://www.vrg.org/blog/2015/05/06/sponsors-for-the-vrgs-online-charity-auction-announced/

The link to the auction will be posted when the site goes live at 10am on Monday, June 1st. Until then, RSVP to this event because we will be updating this page with sneak peaks of all of the amazing items that will be featured! Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on these incredible vegan goodies!

If you have any questions about this event, please contact our Outreach Coordinator, Nina, at ninac@vrg.org.

We thank you in advance for your support!

The Vegetarian Resource Group

Where’s the Beef? Not in This Burger: Wendy’s Tests New Black Bean Burger

Posted on May 26, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Myrial Holbrook

You’ve may have heard by now that Wendy’s is testing a new black bean burger at two locations in Columbus, Ohio (5505 W. Broad St. and 739 Bethel Rd.). This test has been running for several weeks but has been extended indefinitely due to the popularity of the burger.

The burger is topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese, and asiago ranch sauce, all sandwiched between a multigrain bun. Wendy’s states that, when ordered without the cheese and asiago ranch sauce, the “ingredients in both the bun and the black bean patty would be considered vegan.” The burger comes frozen to the store, where it is then cooked “in a separate oven so it does not contact the grill where we prepare meat.” When we asked Wendy’s for its full ingredient list., they responded with the following statement: “This is early in our process for deciding which products we may move to a broader market test before we consider them for an expanded place on our menu or in any other locations. Because of this, we cannot provide complete details on all ingredients as they are subject to change during this phase of testing.” So please use your judgment to determine if this burger is appropriate for your diet.

What we did find out from Wendy’s is that the list of ingredients currently includes the following ingredients: “Black Beans, Wild Rice, Farro, Onions, Brown Rice, Soybean Oil, Carrots, Panko Bread Crumbs, Quinoa, Corn, Green Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, Rolled Oats, Brown Rice Flour, Red Wine Vinegar, and other ingredients including WHEAT.” Wendy’s does give the disclaimer that “the restaurant as a whole is not vegan or vegetarian so cross contact with other menu items is possible.”

Could this be the beginning of a veg movement at Wendy’s? Wendy’s is remaining non-committal on the subject, stating, “We are in the very early stages of testing at this time. We do not have a timeline on when the black bean burger will be available outside our current test market.” We can’t be certain of the future of better vegetarian and vegan options at Wendy’s, but we can hope for the best.

The contents of this posting, our 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 more restaurant information, visit:
http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.php
and http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR SOME TERRIFIC VEGAN RECIPES FOR THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND?

Posted on May 22, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group recently published some terrific recipes in Vegetarian Journal that you can prepare this holiday weekend. We have grilling recipes for Roasted Corn, Tofu and Potato Kebabs, Lime and Chili “Steaks,” and Grilled Pineapple. We also have some non-grilled options including Souped-Up Cole Slaw or Macaroni Salad, as well as Raita. And finally, the Vietnamese “Beef” Salad can be started at home and then finished on a grill.

To see the entire article see: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2015issue2/2015_issue2_outdoor_feasts.php
To subscribe to Vegetarian Journal go to: http://www.vrg.org/bookstore/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=3

VEGANS NEEDED FOR REALITY SHOW

Posted on May 22, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group recently received the following note:

I’m one of the Casting Producers for NBC’s Show, First Dates, Executive Produced by Ellen DeGeneres. The show is casting singles nationwide who are interested in going on a first date. We interview all applicants and set them up with someone who shares similar interests and tastes. We are specifically looking for SINGLE VEGANS!

Our website where applicants can apply is: https://firstdatescasting.popular.productions/

flyer-front

The Vegetarian Resource Group Video Contest Deadline is July 15, 2015

Posted on May 21, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

Express your views on veggie diets by entering our Video Contest.
For details see: http://www.vrg.org/videoscholarship.php

Dietetic Interns Visit The Vegetarian Resource Group

Posted on May 21, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Myrial Holbrook

Looking back at my first few years of being vegetarian (I’ve been a vegetarian since the age of six), I definitely needed nutritional help. I found it difficult to balance my meal choices, especially at school, where I was bombarded by a surfeit of unhealthy vegetarian options: French fries, cookies, onion rings, potato chips, and processed white bread. I ate healthy meals at home under the guidance of my vegetarian mom, but at school I didn’t have much self-restraint. I was also always involved in sports, so my unhealthy choices soon began to take their toll on my athletic performance. As I grew increasingly exhausted and anemic, I finally realized that my diet had to change. I did make the necessary changes to meet my nutritional needs, but it took me years to get it right. I really could have benefited from the help of a registered dietitian. On my first day as a VRG intern in the office, 9 dietetic interns from the University of Maryland visited The Vegetarian Resource Group to learn and discuss how to counsel vegetarians and vegans. The advice came too late for me, but it was still interesting to hear the different approaches and philosophies of these future dietitians.

As part of the agenda, we created vegan meal plans for varying dietary and caloric needs. Some of the vegetarian dietetic interns mentioned a diverse range of meal options, including recipes with nutritional yeast, tempeh, seitan, exotic vegetables, and different legumes. Most of the dietetic interns’ meal plans, however, relied primarily on oatmeal and granola for breakfast and some variation of a quinoa or black bean dish for lunch and dinner. Personally, I love oatmeal, nuts, quinoa, and black beans, but I wouldn’t want to eat them for every meal. I definitely think that dietitians in general could benefit from looking into more diverse veggie options. With more people eating vegetarian and vegan, both temporarily and permanently, it’s essential to have a wide range of choices for clients. Furthermore, dietitians need to be versed in a diverse array of options to consider a full range of clientele, especially those allergic to gluten, soy, nuts, and/or dairy.

During the interns’ visit, we also discussed ethical concerns in the food industry. Charles asked the interns if they would work for Pepsi or Taco Bell if offered a position, even if they didn’t agree with the nutritional content or production methods of the company. Some of the interns immediately said that they wouldn’t accept such a position, but others said that they would, for they viewed the job as an opportunity to make healthful changes within the company. The contrast in viewpoint was interesting, especially because the interns didn’t cite money as a motivating factor, even though most people definitely include it as a practical consideration.

The potential conflict between authority and accuracy raises another concern for dietitians. Essentially, the question is: if a dietitian encounters outdated, inaccurate information that has been promoted by a higher authority in the dietitian’s company or organization, how should the dietitian react? The interns suggested a non-confrontational response involving the collection of extensive, verified research, followed by the respectful approach of the higher authority with this information. All of the dietetic interns who visited were women, so I wondered if this uniformity of approach might be associated with the stereotypical female tendency to be more non-confrontational. I would definitely be interested to hear how male dietetic interns would respond to the same question.

The dietetic interns’ visit gave me a better sense of the concerns of nutritional counsel and ethical dilemmas. No one ever suggested that I meet with a dietitian when I turned vegetarian, but I feel that a few consultations would have proved beneficial to my long-term well-being. I realized that many other people also never consult with a dietitian, even when they might really need advice. Instead, they turn to fad diets or unfounded “research,” trusting their bodies to the whims of the web. Perhaps the most important task for dietitians, therefore, is making accurate nutritional counsel more available and accessible.

For information about VRG internships, see: http://www.vrg.org/student/index.php
To support vegetarian education, join at VRG at: http://www.vrg.org/party/index.php

GRADUATE STUDENT LOOKING FOR PEOPLE TO FILL OUT A SURVEY

Posted on May 20, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group recently received the following note:

I’m a grad student at the University of Edinburgh studying animal
behaviour and welfare. My dissertation is looking at attitudes toward
farmed animals and their welfare by different dietary groups (meat
eaters, vegetarians and vegans). I was wondering if it would be possible
to post the link to my survey on this site?

https://qtrial2015az1.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0rIPk0tiRUzh3ut

Thank you.

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