The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

The Vegetarian Resource Group’s Online Guide to Veggie Restaurants in the USA and Canada Continues to Grow!

Posted on September 12, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group’s Online Guide to Veggie Restaurants in the USA and Canada Continues to Grow!

Vegan Restaurants are sprouting up all over the United States and Canada. Below are some vegan restaurants we’ve recently added to our online restaurant guide. You can see our entire list of veggie restaurants in the USA and Canada here: http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

Avocado Vegan Cafe & Juice Bar
11105 State Bridge Road, Suite 140
Alpharetta, GA 30022

They serve Caribbean inspired vegan cuisine including dishes such as Kale Avocado Salad, Sweet Potato Fries, Soft Falafel Sandwich, Jerk Tofu Sandwich, as well as vegan desserts.

Bloomer’s Bakery
873 Bloor Street W
Toronto, ON M6G 1M4
Canada

Get cozy at Bloomer’s with a hot coffee and one of their delicious 100% vegan pastries. Satisfy your sweet tooth with one of their donuts, cookies, sticky buns or cakes. If you’re feeling something savory, try one of their home made breads, pretzel buns or homemade bagels with dairy-free cream cheese.

Bunner’s Bake Shop
3054 Dundas Street
Toronto, ON M6P 1Z7
Canada

This all-vegan and gluten free bakery has a wide selection to satisfy any sweet tooth. There are many varieties of cakes, cupcakes, and donuts in classic and seasonal flavors. Be sure to check out their signature Supersonic Cookie, a hearty cookie made with seeds, chocolate, and cranberries. Brunner’s offers a catering menu and many of their items can be ordered in small or large quantities.

Café Blossom
507 Columbus Ave.,
New York, NY 10024

Located between 84th and 85th Streets on the Upper West Side, Café Blossom serves up delicious brunch items including Tofu Florentine, Tofu Benedict, and Quinoa Pancakes. For lunch dine on dishes such as Harvest Kale, Seitan Scallopini, Vegetable Lasagna, and a Tofu BLT. For dinner start your meal with a Taco Trio or Seitan Skewers. Follow these with Barbecue Tempeh, Stuffed Poblano Peppers, or Fettuccini Alfredo.

Doug’s Public Kitchen
561 Marlee Ave
Toronto, ON M6B 3J6
Canada

Doug’s Public Kitchen offers a variety of creative and colorful vegan dishes with a clear emphasis on the quality and nutritional value of each ingredient. Dive into huevos rancheros with crisp sprouted corn tortillas, black bean hummus and cashew sour cream or the scramble platter with soft cheesy tofu and caramelized onions. Public Kitchen is located a one minute walk away from Glencairn Subway Station and has free parking.

Evolve Vegan Restaurant
341 Cedar St
Washington, DC 20012

With an upscale and inviting atmosphere, refined vegan soul food dishes and a full bar, Evolve is perfect for a date night. Try the crisp southern fried chick-un with their creamy mac and cheese and don’t forget dessert! They have a variety to choose from including German chocolate cake and cherry topped cheesecake.

I Love Vegan
2264 Pacific Ave
Long Beach, CA 90806

I Love Vegan offers traditional Asian dishes with a vegan spin. Choose from a variety of appetizers, noodle dishes, curries, soups, salads and desserts. Don’t miss the Crispy Wontons with tofu and a sweet and chili sauce or the Mango Sticky Rice!

The Juice Cellar
9 Beaver St.
Belfast, ME 04915

The Juice Cellar has a wide selection of creative juices and smoothies. Choose from popular items like the Bold as Love (juice made from beets, apple, and ginger) or the Hello World (a smoothie containing spinach, mango, banana, and pineapple). Be sure to check out the salad menu or any interesting snacks they may be offering. Occasional treats include anything from vegan cheese to macaroons.

Montauk Juice Factory
12 S Etna Street
Montauk, NY 11954

Montauk Juice Factory features a variety of raw juices. All of their juices are made from organic produce and are cold pressed. They have a number of initiatives to support local farmers and businesses.

Organic Avenue
Various Locations:
461 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10024
62 Bleeker St., New York, NY 10012
254 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10010
515 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014
30 Third Ave., New York, NY 10003
216 8th Ave., New York, NY 10011
206 East 86th St., New York, NY 10028
1021 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10021
649 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10022
5 Bryant Park, New York, NY 10018

Grab a fresh juice and some delicious vegan fare including coconut yogurt or a quinoa parfait for breakfast or Sunflower Falafel Salad, Spicy Banh Mi Collard Wrap, Kimchi Wild Rice Bowl or Ginger Carrot Soup for lunch or dinner. Be sure to leave room for desserts including Chocolate Mousse. There are some seats around a counter that you can sit at, but generally this is a grab-and-go establishment.

Rawlicious
Various Locations:
50 Dunlop St. E.,
Barrie, Ontario
L4M 6J9, Canada

2122 Bloor St. W
Toronto, Ontario
M6S 1M8, Canada

60 Carden Street
Guelph, ON
N1H 3A2, Canada

718 Belmont Ave W
Kitchener, ON,
N2M 1P2, Canada

116 Main Street Markham
North Markham, ON
L3P 1Y1, Canada

210 Main Street South
Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 3Y9, Canada

123 Brock Street South
Whitby, Ontario
L1N 4J8, Canada

At Rawlicious you will find raw dishes to please any pallet! On the lighter side they offer fresh juices, smoothies, and salads, including a taco salad with walnut refried beans. For those interested in something more, they offer a variety of entrées including Pad Thai made with zucchini and kelp noodles and a veggie burger with all the classic fixings.

VLife
348 7th Ave., New York, NY 10001

Located near Penn Station, this small vegan establishment has a few seats, but is primarily a take-out restaurant. Enjoy fresh juices and smoothies, salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and more.

VRG Benefit Day at The Land of Kush in Baltimore, MD

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Support The Vegetarian Resource Group while enjoying your favorite vegan soul food dishes from The Land of Kush! On September 29, 2014, The Land of Kush in Baltimore, MD will be generously donating 10% of the day’s proceeds to VRG. Get the famous Kush BBQ ribs and don’t forget their amazing baked mac & cheese and smoked collard greens!

The Land of Kush is located at:
840 N Eutaw St,
Baltimore, MD 21201

You can check out their menu at: http://thelandofkush.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Menu_10.24.pdf

Although this will not be a formal group gathering, our Outreach Coordinator, Nina, will be available throughout the day to answer any questions you may have or just chat. We will also have copies of the Vegetarian Journal and literature available for you to take home. We look forward to seeing you and thank you in advance for your support!

Coffee Lovers Rejoice: Dunkin’ Donuts Now Serves Almond Milk!

Posted on September 10, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

On Wednesday September 3, 2015, Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it will now serve Blue Diamond brand vanilla almond milk at select locations around the country. Get the details about this addition and find out if a store near you is included at: http://www.dunkindonuts.com/DDBlog/2014/09/you_ve_asked_andwe.html#sthash.QInEZPdZ.dpbs

VEGETARIAN VIDEO SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Posted on September 09, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

In a further effort to help young people think creatively about vegetarian and/or vegan advocacy, The Vegetarian Resource Group was pleased to offer the Vegetarian Video Scholarship Contest in 2014!

Taylor is a winner of The Vegetarian Resource Group Video Contest. Taylor stated: I went vegetarian three years ago when meat began to hurt my stomach after eating it. After only the first week, I felt so much better. Since becoming vegetarian I’ve discovered all the environmental and economic benefits of vegetarianism, which in addition to health reasons, have led me to continue the diet.


See more VRG videos at: http://www.vrg.org/veg_videos.php#koch
For information about our $5,000 scholarship contest for high school seniors, see: http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm (The deadline is February 20, 2015)
If you would like to support VRG internships or our video scholarship contest, please donate at: www.vrg.org/donate
Join The Vegetarian Resource Group at: http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php

Get ready for Vegan SoulFest in Baltimore, MD!

Posted on September 09, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Please join The Vegetarian Resource Group at Vegan SoulFest!

Saturday, 10/25 from 12p-5pm
Downtown Cultural Art Center
401 North Howard Street, Baltimore

Vegan SoulFest is a celebration of culture and vegan living in Baltimore. This is a free event featuring delicious vegan food, nutrition experts, vegan cooking demonstrations, raffles, contests, a children’s area, live entertainment, free prizes, special invited guests and much more!

Here’s our lineup of activities so far:

Speakers:

Dr. Ruby Lathon – Plant-based Nutrition
Dr. Milton Mills – Human Anatomy and the Plant-based Diet
Marc Steiner of WEAA’s 88.9FM The Marc Steiner Show – panel discussion on Afrofuturism and Afroveganism

Cooking demos:

Chef Luz – Vegan Food Kids Will Eat
Antoinette St. Clair (TrueSelf TotalHealth) – Healing with Raw Foods
Chef Greg (Land of Kush) – Vegan Comfort Food
Chef Bey (Son Deys at The Grind House) – You Won’t Believe its Vegan!
Celebrity Chef Ayinde Howell (ieatgrass.com) – Cooking for Vegans Dating Non-Vegans

Other activities:
Magic Baltimore 95.9FM Onsite
Children’s activities provided by Nsoroma Academy
Live entertainment provided by JKai Productions

Everyone is welcome at this event – vegans, vegan-friendly and anyone who’s curious about this lifestyle and would like to learn more. The goal of Vegan SoulFest is to spread awareness about how the vegan lifestyle can improve personal health and our relationships with other people, animals and our natural environment. Come out and join us for this fun, educational event and let’s start a dialogue about how we can all move towards a healthier, more sustainable future for everyone in Baltimore.

Exhibitor, vendor and non-profit registration is still open. Food vendor registration opens 9/15. Sponsorships are welcomed.

Thanks to our financial sponsors:
The Land of Kush, Better Health, Better Life, Stolen Outfitters, Alternative Cultures, A Well-Fed World, Humane League of MD, Humane Society of US, TrueSelfTotalHealth, United Poultry Concerns, FARM, Unbeetable, Exittheapple

Media sponsors:
BMoreNews.com, Yelp Baltimore, The Marc Steiner Show and The Center of Emerging Media, The Baltimore Times, Magic 95.9FM MagicBaltimore.com,

Partners:
The Land of Kush, Better Health, Better Life, Stolen Outfitters, Park Heights Community Health Alliance, Get Fit with Councilman Mosby, Open the Cages Alliance, Alternative Cultures,

Check the website for more info at http://www.vegansoulfest.com.

Three Vegan Dinner Events You Don’t Want To Miss This Fall!

Posted on September 08, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Before you close your door and hibernate for the winter, make sure to make it out to these events!

VRG Benefit Day at the Land of Kush in Baltimore, MD: September 29, 2014
Support The Vegetarian Resource Group while enjoying your favorite vegan soul food dishes from The Land of Kush! On September 29, 2014, The Land of Kush in Baltimore, MD will be generously donating 10% of the day’s proceeds to VRG! Get the famous Kush BBQ ribs and don’t forget their amazing baked mac & cheese and smoked collard greens!

You can check out their menu at: http://thelandofkush.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Menu_10.24.pdf

Although this will not be a formal group gathering, our Outreach Coordinator, Nina, will be available throughout the day to answer any questions you may have or just chat. We will also have copies of the Vegetarian Journal and literature available for you to take home. We look forward to seeing you and thank you in advance for your support!

For more information about this event please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/562420177196842/

Vegan Dinner at Soul Vegetarian Restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia: September 30, 2014

The dinner will be catered by Soul Vegetarian Restaurant. They will be serving: crisp vegetable tray, garden salad and prince dressing (house dressing made with soy milk), dinner rolls, cornbread, tender greens, sweet potatoes, herb-baked potatoes, green beens, southern style baked BBQ tofu, smothered steak with gravy and onions, cheesy-spinach-tofu lasagna, Mediterranean cauliflower with couscous, apple or vanilla cake, and lemonade.

The dinner will be taking place at Morehouse School of Medicine, GA and the payment is $25 before September 30, 2014 and $30 after that date, if seats are available.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.vrg.org/blog/2014/04/02/vegan-dinner-in-atlanta-georgia-sunday-october-19-2014

Vegan Dinner & Discussion w/ Ken Shapiro AB’65 on “I Am a Vegetarian”: Reflections on a Way of Being: October 15, 2014

With concern about global warming, the 6th great extinction, and the human population continually expanding, our relationship to the environment and nonhuman animals is much in the news. A life-long animal protectionist and vegetarian, Shapiro describes vegetarianism as, more than a restrictive diet, a way of living that radically addresses and redresses these relationships.

A life-long animal protectionist and vegetarian, Shapiro describes vegetarianism as, more than a restrictive diet, a way of living that radically addresses and redresses these relationships @ $35.members/$65 nonmembers.

MENU
Green Gazpacho Soup
Shaved Fennel and Citrus Salad
Stuffed shells using a medley of grilled vegetables and Red Pepper
coulis
Spaghetti Squash
Fried Zucchini Fries with Roasted Garlic hummus
Fruit Kabobs

You can purchase tickets at the following link: http://www.harvard-dc.org/store.html?event_id=872

Donate to VRG Through The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)

Posted on September 05, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

If you are a Federal government employee, you can support The Vegetarian Resource Group through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Look for us under Health & Medical Research Charities of America.

Please also remember The Vegetarian Resource Group in other workplace fund drives, matching gifts, etc. Thanks for your support!

Lutein Typically Vegan But May Be a Powder Microencapsulated in Gelatin

Posted on September 04, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

A long-time Vegetarian Resource Group reader asked us whether dietary supplements lutein and zeaxanthin were derived from all-vegetable sources. After careful review of the products offered by major manufacturers in 2014 The VRG reports that these compounds themselves are most often commercially produced from vegetable sources especially marigolds.

During our research we discovered a reply letter sent by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to Cognis Corporation: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/NoticeInventory/ucm153920.htm

In the fifth paragraph of the letter The FDA writes

Cognis prepares two commercial products from the concentrated form of its lutein ester product. One commercial product is a microencapsulated powder that is prepared by forming an emulsion, which is then dispersed with porcine gelatin under high speeds. The resulting paste is atomized at low temperatures to form beadlets that are dried. This powder is a six-fold dilution of the concentrate and, thus, contains a minimum of 10 percent lutein esters.

Cognis’ lutein product line was later purchased by BASF Corporation. The VRG contacted BASF to determine if lutein powder microencapsulated in gelatin was a current product offered by BASF. We received this reply from a BASF employee:

We do offer several forms of lutein esters which is a part of our Xangold line. This product line was acquired by BASF several years ago from Cognis. We offer three powder forms and five oil forms. Our oil products are concentrated oils that can be in either soybean, olive or MCT oil. Our powder forms…also are offered in several concentrated powder forms. Two of these powder forms are with gelatin and one is gelatin-free. Again, as I mentioned, these products are ingredients that would be sold to manufactures that would incorporate them into a consumer product. To understand if gelatin is in the product, you would need to contact the manufacturer for the full ingredient listing.

We later received confirmation from BASF that their medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is “of vegetable source.”

FenChem Biotek Ltd. is another company that also told The VRG that they sell lutein microencapsulated in gelatin.

Lutein

Alternate names: luteine, vegetable lutein, vegetable luteol, E161b
Commercial source: marigold, paprika (may be sold as a powder microencapsulated in gelatin)
Found in: green leafy vegetables, yellow-orange fruits and vegetables, egg yolk
Used in: dietary supplements, infant formula, beverages
Used as: nutritional supplement, colorant

Definition: A xanthophyll (oxycarotenoid) believed important for eye health, lutein cannot be synthesized by the human body but must be consumed in foods. Unlike another carotenoid beta-carotene, lutein does not exhibit pro-vitamin A activity.

Manufacturers:

Kemin told us that their lutein product is “free of animal ingredients as well as animal-derived processing aids.” It is also “free of bovine gelatin and has been for several years now” (http://www.dsm.com/markets/foodandbeverages/en_US/products/carotenoids/flora-glo-lutein.html).

Omniactives told us that their product “contains no animal products.” They do not offer a gelatin encapsulated form.

BASF told us that they do manufacture “two…powder forms with gelatin and one is gelatin-free.”

Fenchem Biotek Ltd. told us that they “can supply lutein available as microencapsulated powders in gelatin.”

Classification: Typically Vegan

Entry added: August 2014

Zeaxanthin

Alternate names: zeaxanthol, E161h
Commercial source: marigold, paprika
Found in: green leafy vegetables, yellow-orange fruits and vegetables, egg yolk, spirulina
Used in: dietary supplements, beverages
Used as: dietary supplement, colorant

Definition: An oxycarotenoid (xanthophyll) believed important for eye health, zeaxanthin is typically found along with lutein in food sources as it is in the eye. Unlike another carotenoid beta-carotene, zeaxanthin does not exhibit pro-vitamin A activity.

Manufacturers:

Kalsec told us that “our zeaxanthin is free from any and all animal or animal derived products.” We also learned that they “do have a manufacturing partner who does microencapsulation…It is not gelatin however but a non-gmo starch matrix that dissolves after consumption in order to enter the bloodstream.”

Kemin told us that their zeaxanthin product is “free of animal ingredients as well as animal-derived processing aids.” It is also “free of bovine gelatin and has been for several years now.”

Omniactives told us that their product “contains no animal products.” They do not offer a gelatin encapsulated form.

Classification: Typically Vegan
Entry added: August 2014

For information on other ingredients, see
http://www.vrg.org/ingredients/index.php

To support Vegetarian Resource Group research, donate at www.vrg.org/donate
Join at http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php

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.

VRG Events Fall 2014

Posted on September 03, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Be sure to stop by The Vegetarian Resource Group table at these events this Autumn:

Greenfest Philly
Philadelphia, PA
September 7, 2014

Natural Products Expo East
Baltimore, MD
September 18-20, 2014

DC VegFest
Washington, DC
September 20, 2014

Charlottesville VegFest
Charlottesville, VA
September 27, 2014

Chicago Vegan Mania
Chicago, Illinois
Saturday October 11, 2014

FNCE
Atlanta, Georgia
October 18-21, 2014

Vegan Dinner
Atlanta, GA
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Vegan SoulFest
Baltimore, MD
October 25, 2014

Albany VegFest 2014
Albany, NY
Saturday, November 15

VRG Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck
Baltimore, Maryland
November 23, 2014, 5 PM

Update on White Castle’s Veggie’s Sliders

Posted on September 02, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Meredith Binder

Back in July, The Vegetarian Resource Group reported on White Castle offering veggie sliders in select New York and New Jersey locations. (See original article here: http://www.vrg.org/blog/2014/07/14/white-castle-welcomes-vegetarians/) VRG dug a little deeper to find out some more information on this veg-friendly fast food option. These small veggie burgers are served on a plain hamburger bun (ingredients listed below).

The sliders are served with an avocado ranch sauce (ingredients listed below), which contains eggs and milk. The burgers can be ordered without this condiment. White Castle told us that these non-meat sliders are cooked on a separate grill from their meat versions; however, they can not guarantee that this grill has not been used to cook hamburgers previously. In those instances, they ensure that their staff thoroughly clean the grill prior to cooking the veggie patties. Nutrition information on the veggie sliders including calories and total fat is also included below.

White Castle recently ran out of the veggie slider product so unfortunately, at this time, they are no longer offering it. White Castle will not release specific sales information because they are not publicly owned. However, a brand-manager there told us that the veggie sliders were positively received. That is great news for those of us that crave more animal-friendly products in restaurants like White Castle. The fast food chain is currently reviewing the sales performance and customer feedback of the veggie sliders to determine if it will offer them again and in more locations. VRG encourages interested readers to contact White Castle to tell them that you are interested in them providing veggie sliders, and animal-friendly buns, at a location near you. You can contact them via their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WhiteCastle, and Twitter, @ WhiteCastle.

Bun Ingredients: (Bleached Enriched Wheat Flour (Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Sugar, Soybean Oil, Contains 2% Or Less Of The Following: Yeast, Salt, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters Of Mono- And Diglycerides (DATEM), Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Iodate, L-Cysteine, Azodicarbonamide (ADA),

Veggie Slider: (Carrots, Onions, String Beans, Oat Bran, Soybeans, Zucchini, Peas, Broccoli, Corn, Soy Flour, Spinach, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Red Pepper, Arrowroot, Corn Starch, Garlic, Corn Meal, Salt, Parsley, Black Pepper). CONTAINS: WHEAT, SOY

Avocado Ranch Sauce Ingredients: (Soybean Oil, Water, Vinegar, Sugar, Egg Yolk, Buttermilk Solids, Contains less than 2% of: Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Lime Juice, Modified Food Starch, Natural Avocado Flavor, Spices, Sodium Benzoate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA as preservatives, Garlic, Lactic Acid, Phosphoric Acid, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Onion, Natural Smoke Flavor, Natural Flavor (Milk). CONTAINS: WHEAT, EGG, MILK, SOY

The contents of this article, 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.

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