The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Vegan Restaurants Added to The Vegetarian Resource Group’s Online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA

Posted on July 03, 2015 by The VRG

The Vegetarian Resource Group maintains an online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA and Canada. Below are some recent additions. The entire guide can be found here: http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

Allie’s Vegan Pizzeria and Café
4803 N Nevada St.
Spokane, WA 99207

An all vegan pizzeria with several unique and interesting pizza varieties to choose from such as Spinach Artichoke or Buffalo “Chicken”. Also available are organic juices, tea, desserts, and an extensive selection of vegan beer and wine.

Apiecalypse Now – Pizza & Snack Bar
735 Bloor St.
Toronto, ON M6G 1L5 Canada

Apiecalypse Now, an award winning bakery located in West Toronto, has opened this vegan pizzeria and snack bar. In addition to pizza they offer vegan fast food, junk food, and comfort food such as corn dogs and doughnuts.

Cafe Venosa
4433 Rue St. Denis
Montreal, QC H2J 2L2 Canada

Cafe Venosa is a combination art gallery, cat shelter, and vegan cafe. A variety of light café-fare is available including muffins, parfaits, quiches, salad and sandwiches. Try the vegan Caprese with tofu mozzarella and finish with one of their amazing cupcakes.

Choice Juicery
430 Carlsbad Village Dr.
Carlsbad, CA 92008

This juice bar offers many varieties of fresh juice, smoothies, and organic healthy food. The café features handmade wooden tables and an outdoor seating area. Try the “Coffee Buzz”, a smoothie with Almond milk, Cold Pressed Coffee, date, banana, and Cinnamon. All menu items are gluten-free, dairy-free, and plant based.

Daily Juice
205 W. 3rd St., Austin, TX 78701
3300 Bee Cave Rd. Ste. 245, Austin, TX 78746
6401 Woodway Dr., Ste. 175, Houston, TX 77057
700 Old Hickory Blvd., Ste. 203, Brentwood, TN 37027

Daily Juice specializes in fresh juices, smoothies, and salads. Their ingredients are organic and local, when possible. Try the Green Party Juice with pressed kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, celery and cucumber, or a customer favorite; the Subliminator smoothie with apple, banana, blueberry, cherry, flax seed oil, rice protein, spirulina, and peanut butter.

Farm Spirit
1414 SE Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97202

Dinner is by reservation only! This restaurant is one of a kind. Tickets for seats must be purchased months in advance in order to dine at their once an evening meals, 4/7 days a week. This exclusive kind of restaurant supports wild kinds of produce that even the most plant savvy vegan will be awed by. The foods are beautifully plated and interestingly concocted. The decor is light and semi rustic, donned with a huge bar. All of their products are locally purchased and thoughtfully used. It’s located on the corner of SE Morrison St. and SE 14th Ave.

Glory Doughnuts
244 E. Church St.
Frederick, MD 21701

Head over to Glory Doughnuts for a vegan confection heaven located in downtown Frederick. All doughnuts are hand forged in small batches and all menu items are made-to-order. The variety of doughnuts changes daily and is first come, first served, so call in advance for inquiries of selection. Pair a savory BBQ Tofu Club with a doughnut and a coffee for a complete breakfast experience.

ionie Raw Food Café
1241 Fruitville Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34236

ionie Raw Food Cafe features an organic menu including juices, smoothies, shakes and raw food entrées and desserts.

Be sure to let us know if any new veggie restaurants open in your neighborhood!

UNSUNG VEGAN HEROES AWARD

Posted on July 03, 2015 by The VRG

the-pollination-project-logo-661x173

Announcing the Lisa Shapiro Award for Unsung Vegan Heroes. This is your chance to recognize all those amazing behind-the-scenes superstars who are dedicating their lives to animals. The Award from @thepollinationproject includes a cash prize and other vegan surprises. Nominations open on July 12.

Read more: https://thepollinationproject.org/announcing-lisa-shapiro-award/

Summer Recipes

Posted on July 02, 2015 by The VRG

By Lily Donofrio

Summer is in full swing and may I say, it is scorching. Living in Florida, I wake up to 80 degree heat, with it reaching high 90′s by lunch time. I love the heat and am ready to enjoy the rest of this summer. Although I’m all for vegan chili and hot cocoa any time of year, it’s good to pair the season with awesome, appropriate foods. Here are a couple heat-friendly recipes, all good for trips to the beach, lake, camp, or wherever this summer takes you:

Cool Cucumber Salad

6 cucumbers
5 Tomatoes
1 onion
Vegan Italian dressing

Wash all of the veggies. Skin cucumber, if preferred. Cut cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion into chunks. Put all of the veggies into a bowl, and mix around with spoon. Drizzle veggies with vegan Italian dressing. Serve cold.

Watermelon Gazpacho

5 cups of cubed watermelon
1½ cups of peeled and chopped cucumber
1/3 cup diced red onion
½ cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon grated jalapeño
Juice of one lime
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Purée watermelon in blender. Pour into serving bowl. Mix in other ingredients with a spoon. Serve chilled.

Spinach and Artichoke Flatbread

Flatbread:
1 cup flour
½ cup full fat coconut milk

Topping:
¼ cup olive oil
3 diced artichoke hearts
1 cup spinach
Garlic
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, Mix flatbread ingredients thoroughly. Pour about ½ cup of batter into a greased or non-stick frying pan and cook until the batter is fluffy. Mix topping ingredients, and sprinkle onto your flatbread. Bake flatbread for 5-10 minutes, until your flatbread is golden brown. Cut and serve.

Fruity Coconut Water

Can be any frozen fruit of your choice. Frozen fruit works better, because it produces more juice. I prefer a few:

Strawberries
Blueberries
Blackberries
Raspberries
11-ounce carton coconut water

Cut strawberries. Pour coconut water into a pitcher and mix in fruit. Serve iced.

Mexican Bean Burgers

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
½ cup salsa
1 cup vegan bread crumbs
½ onion, chopped
¼ cup vegetable oil or preferred frying oil.

Optional toppings: avocado, ketchup, vegan mayonnaise, mustard, vegan cheese

Mash beans in a bowl, mix in salsa and bread crumbs. Add onion to mixture. Form batter into patties. Fry patties in vegetable oil over medium heat. Serve on a vegan bun with preferred toppings.

Fruit Kabobs

Carton of strawberries
Cantaloupe
Kiwi
Honeydew
Bananas
Watermelon
Wooden skewers

Cut as much fruit as wanted into disks measuring 1/3-inch in height. Place in preferred pattern on wooden skewers. Serve cold.

Apple Bake

Filling:
6 large, honey crisp apples
¼ cup water
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1½ teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Topping:
2 cups oats
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup melted vegan margarine
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel apples, if preferred, and chop into chunks. Mix water, orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and 2 Tablespoons maple syrup in with the chopped apples. Place in an 8×8 baking pan. Mix together topping ingredients; sprinkle evenly over filling. Bake for 20 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.

VEGAN MUSICIAN EMALINE DELAPAIX

Posted on July 02, 2015 by The VRG

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My name is Emaline Delapaix and I am a Berlin based Australian singer songwriter​ who is vegan and​ eating as much raw and organic food as possible.

A few pieces of information about me:

I am completely independent, booking my own shows and have played concerts in Canada, USA, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Poland, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Slovenia including lots of vegan/veggie events in Germany and Austria.

I began playing music full time in late 2010 after packing in a crappy job in Toronto and moved to a caravan in rural Eastern Germany at the beginning of a very cold winter where I taught myself to play piano, acoustic guitar, and baby Celtic harp.

I write about love just like most songwriters do but I also try to write about the darker sides of life like depression (which I suffered from terribly until I changed my life and became a full time musician/vegan​, then it got a lot better), as well as travel, nature, animal rights, and a lot more.

I live with my Canadian rescued cat Reece who is big and red and resembles Garfield and we’ve been together for 10 years living in Canada and Germany.

I have a small indoor/window garden. This past year I have planted 3 types of tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, strawberries, raspberries, cucumbers and also mushrooms.

My CD’s are handmade and self recorded using recycled card and eco friendly inks.

I began foraging a lot this year and made my own syrups out of dandelion and red clover and collect a lot of nettle and dandelion leaves for salads, stews and stir-fry. I also make my own raw almond milk and apple sauce from local apple trees.

I travel a lot and being vegan can be tough on the road but it’s possible. I am living proof! I also give a small % of CD sales to local animal charities via online sales and concerts.

If you’re interested you can listen to my music at: https://soundcloud.com/emalinedelapaix/sets/emaline-delapaix

Find out more at:​
www.facebook.com/emalinedelapaixmusic
​​www.emalinedelapaix.com

The Vegetarian Resource Group at Vegetarian Festival

Posted on July 01, 2015 by The VRG

By Anne Custer

The Vegetarian Resource Group was represented at the Vegetarian Festival in Richmond, Virginia this past weekend. The thirteenth-annual festival held in Bryant Park sparked quite a crowd. VRG interns Ivy Grob and Anne Custer held down the booth with long time volunteer Elsa Spencer, PhD. Our table was situated towards the entrance under a shady tree so we attracted a lot of visitors on the hot, sunny day.

We had the pleasure of speaking to various attendees, answering questions about our group and our resources and engaging in conversation about different topics such as gluten-free diets, vegan seafood, and scholarships we offer. Many visitors picked up a copy of our journal and signed up for our newsletter. We handed out coloring books to children, educating future generations about veganism and animal rights. It was a rewarding experience being able to talk with fellow vegans and vegetarians in different walks of life. One woman told us she was vegan until she went abroad and couldn’t find anything to eat. When she returned to America, she didn’t go back to eating vegan, but was now looking to transition back into veganism. We were able to direct her to our website for the resources we provide on eating vegan while traveling. (http://www.vrg.org/teen/#travel)

Intern Ivy and I had an awesome time at the festival not only talking to people, but indulging in delicious vegan food from local vendors. Ivy had lentil salad with white bean soup and a vanilla coffee cupcake for dessert while I ate a quinoa bowl with black beans, cabbage, and avocado from Goatocado and an Oreo cupcake! We also tried vegan clam chowder from a cooking demonstration that was perfectly seasoned and hearty. For more information on vegetarian restaurants in Richmond, visit: http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/Virginia.php#c21.

If you would like to volunteer at VRG booths, contact Nina at VRG@vrg.org
If you would like to intern at VRG go to: http://www.vrg.org/student/index.php
If you would like to support VRG outreach, donate at: www.vrg.org/donate
To join VRG go to: http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php
If you are attending the Animal Rights Conference in Washington, DC July 31st- August 2nd , please stop by the Vegetarian Resource Group booth.

The Vegetarian Resource Group Exhibited at the Richmond VegFest

Posted on July 01, 2015 by The VRG

By Ivy Grob

On June 20th, 2015, my fellow intern Anne Custer and I hit the road for Richmond, Virginia for my third outreach booth and her first. We were headed for Richmond VegFest, an all vegetarian annual festival that features speakers, vendors, food, and non-profits like The VRG. We started this journey a bit shakily by hitting traffic on the way down, but we eventually reached our destination and got to work right away unpacking the books and pamphlets we brought with us to give out and sell. I was happy and excited to see a large crowd already enjoying the festival, and I was hoping for the chance to make some meaningful contacts with the festival goers. We soon met a young college student that attends the same school as Anne, and I was able to pass on information about the internships that The Vegetarian Resource Group offers, both in the office in Baltimore and long distance. We had many other interesting conversations throughout the day. One man came up to the booth and inquired about our internships and then transitioned into a lengthy query about living gluten-free and how this relates to vegetarianism and veganism. Many books were sold and many more pamphlets and Vegetarian Journals were distributed. Several attendees were impressed with the Simply Vegan and Conveniently Vegan cookbooks, and expressed their appreciation for making veganism more accessible and easy, which is at the heart of The VRG’s mission.

VRG Interns, Anne Custer (left) and Ivy Grobb (right) exhibit at Richmond VegFest.

VRG Interns, Anne Custer (left) and Ivy Grob (right) exhibit at Richmond VegFest.

I was so pleased that our information was receptive to this audience. This was expected from a festival catering to vegetarian activism but it made the experience so much more carefree. There is still work to be done, however, and the information needs to be given to those who are not aware of the consequences of their diets and lifestyles. I look forward to contributing to this cause throughout the rest of my internship.

Overall, it was a productive and enjoyable day. Delicious vegan food was sampled from the vendors and I was happy that I was able to spend time getting to know fellow VRG intern Anne during the festival and in the car ride to and from Baltimore. At the end of the day, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of community from the people of Richmond and I’m grateful I was able to experience a VegFest during my time with The Vegetarian Resource Group.

If you would like to volunteer at VRG booths, contact Nina at vrg@vrg.org.
For information about Vegetarian Resource Group internships, see:
https://www.vrg.org/student/index.php
To support VRG outreach, donate at:
http://www.vrg.org/member/donate_buttons.php

The Vegetarian Resource Group Video Contest — Deadline to enter this year is July 15, 2015

Posted on July 01, 2015 by The VRG

The Vegetarian Resource Group is once again holding a video contest and we will be awarding monetary prizes. Create and submit a video relating what you want to tell others about veganism. Some possible topics: food, nutrition, your feelings about veganism, water usage and vegetarianism, vegetarianism and animal rights, or other vegetarian topics which appeal to you. Humor and feelings are appreciated. All videos should be positive, not be critical of anyone, and not include any footage of animal cruelty. You may submit a video you have already made.

Aspects of judging include accuracy and judges wanting to share the video with others.

Entrants give permission to The Vegetarian Resource Group to post and share the video, to link to and from the video, and share the video with the media.

For details see: http://www.vrg.org/videoscholarship.php

Blue Bunny Dairy Free Ice Cream Being Tested in Select Cities

Posted on June 30, 2015 by The VRG

By Anne Custer

Do you live in Dallas, Houston, Denver, Des Moines, or Omaha? You’re in luck! Blue Bunny has come out with a dairy free ice cream line and it is being tested in Kroger stores in select cities. The line features four flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Mint Chip, and Mocha Fudge. The packaging does not claim to be vegan, but the ingredients look to be free of animal products. The source of sugar is not labeled. We have reached out to Blue Bunny asking if it is vegan and what exactly is in the “natural flavors.” Their response was: “Blue Bunny Dairy Free Ice Cream is not certified Vegan. The ingredients of the natural flavors are proprietary to our suppliers.” Whether or not this ice cream meets your needs, hopefully other companies will follow suit with their own dairy free ice cream. According to the Huffington Post, Ben & Jerry’s are currently in the works of their own product, but it won’t hit shelves until spring 2016. Here is the list of ingredients for Blue Bunny Dairy Free Ice Cream.

Chocolate:
INGREDIENTS: Almond Milk (Water, Almonds), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Inulin, Isolated Soy Protein, Contains 1% or less of Natural Flavors, Calcium Carbonate, Carob Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Soy Lecithin.

Vanilla:
INGREDIENTS: Almond Milk (Water, Almonds), Water, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Coconut Oil, Inulin, Isolated Soy Protein, Vanilla Extract, Contains 1% or less of Calcium Carbonate, Carob Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Soy Lecithin.

Mint Chip:
INGREDIENTS: Almond Milk (Water, Almonds), Sugar, Corn Syrup, Coconut Oil, Unsweetened Chocolate, Inulin, Isolated Soy Protein, Contains 1% or less of Natural Flavors, Calcium Carbonate, Carob Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Soy Lecithin, Dextrose, Spirulina Extract for Color, Turmeric for Color.

Mocha Fudge:
INGREDIENTS: Almond Milk (Water, Almonds), Sugar, Chocolate Ribbon (Sugar, Water, Cocoa, Chocolate Liquor, Food Starch, Carrageenan, Vanilla Extract), Corn Syrup, Coconut Oil, Inulin, Isolated Soy Protein, Contains 1% or less of Natural Flavors, Coffee, Calcium Carbonate, Carob Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Soy Lecithin, Caramel Color.

Information on inulin is here:
http://www.vrg.org/blog/2012/10/22/oligofructose-and-fructooligosaccharides-fos-derived-mostly-from-chicory-root-or-cane-sugar/

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. If you are concerned, you may want to only eat at vegetarian or vegan restaurants.

Dining Services at University of Florida, Truly Vegan Friendly?

Posted on June 30, 2015 by The VRG

By Ivy Grob

I began to call the University of Florida campus home in August of 2014. A recent high school graduate and only a vegetarian at the time, I was nervous and excited to move four hours away to Gainesville, Florida and to be on my own for the very first time. As I made the commute to my new town, I was faced with many uncertainties about living on campus in a dorm. Would I get along with my new roommate even though we’ve never met? Would I be successful in a large college atmosphere? Surprisingly, my diet was the last thing on my mind. I was so excited to be independent and to finally be able to go grocery shopping by myself that I decided not to buy a meal plan, plus after having to pay for my dorm out of my own pocket I decided I could not afford the upfront cost. But I had access to my own car and a communal kitchen, so I knew I would survive.

And I did survive, but I was definitely unprepared. I soon realized that I did not appreciate having meals cooked for me every night by my mother until they were gone. Nearly every day, I resorted to eating prepackaged microwave Indian and Chinese food, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, canned soup, and I attended as many events as I could that offered free cheese pizza. I lost weight because I was eating less portions and more sporadically than at home, but I felt unhealthy and knew I needed a change. After discussions in my sustainability class and further research on my own about environmental issues and animal rights, I decided to take the next step into veganism. I knew it would not be easy at first, so I weaned myself off dairy gradually by finishing the products I still had around and then just not buying them anymore. I learned to cook better meals for myself, to make my own versions of the prepackaged junk food I once loved, and to understand the importance of reading labels at the grocery store. Veganism became an integral part of my being, and even though it made me stand out slightly from the rest of my peer group, I knew I would never go back.

Looking back on my first year of college, part of me wishes I would have gotten at least a partial meal plan as incentive to get out of my dorm and make new friends, but another part of me wonders if this would have made my transition into veganism difficult. The meal plan definitely seems like a get-out-of-jail card for cooking during stressful times of the semester like finals week. So what would the meal plan truly be like? If you are a vegan or vegetarian high school senior that is considering the meal plan for your freshman year, you deserve to know.

The University of Florida was voted to be the #1 most vegan friendly large college campus in the country by Peta2.com in 2014. This was calculated by popular vote, not by the people who actually work for Peta. If you know anything about UF, you know how competitive we are against other schools for titles. You should not to discredit this completely because there is a separate vegan section in the dining halls called the “Vegan Station,” so at least you won’t have to worry about proper labeling. Since I didn’t have access to the meal plan to investigate the Vegan Station myself, I asked a few friends that had the meal plan last year about the options.

Jess Kessler, a rising sophomore who is a Wildlife Ecology and Conservation major says, “The vegan food is usually pretty good there. The downside is there are usually very few options and the same ingredients are used for everything. My favorite vegan option was a spinach tofu wrap.” She also states the dining halls did not feature any vegan desserts.

Stephen Paolini, a Sustainability Studies major, says about the options, “Undercooked tofu topped by the entire spice drawer and thrown into cold vegetables and served with ungodly slow and inattentive service that often turned into 30 minute waits [at the] hybrid “vegan/vegetarian station”

If you want to use the dining hall as a back-up, there are a number of other restaurant options across campus where you can either substitute your meal plan or use the flex bucks that come with the purchase of a meal plan. Here is a comprehensive list with the vegan and vegetarian options at each location, but notice that many of restaurants use the same oil in all the cooking they do. The main options I see that go beyond French fries and plain rice are Moe’s Southwest Grill, Subway, and Crouton’s Hand-Crafted Salads. For desserts or drinks to take to class there is Jamba Juice and Starbucks; both can be easily manipulated to vegan. I actually found The P.O.D. Markets to be very convenient and useful because they are located all over campus. They have typical over-priced snack foods but also hummus and pretzel cups, Clif bars, and other basic meal necessities if you can’t make it to a grocery store.

See: http://www.bsd.ufl.edu/dining/files/GDS_20150216_Vegan_Guide.pdf

With any dietary choices, health should always be a forerunner on how you come to a decision. Some people can eat out for every single meal and not gain a single pound. But the freshman fifteen does exist, so eating the highly processed foods at these places everyday might start to show.

Ultimately, UF is filled with vegan friendly options, but I can easily see them becoming repetitive and boring. From a financial perspective, I’ve found reassurance in my decision to not spend the money on a meal plan. I might have lost some social opportunities, but I gained important cooking skills and learned how to properly grocery shop. If you happen to be part of a program or scholarship where the meal plan is included or the cost is not a problem for you or your family, you won’t have to give up veganism your freshman year. But if you are transitioning from vegetarianism like I was, I would consider all the options you have before making the commitment. Freshman year is filled with so many ups and downs, your vegan diet should not have to be one of the low points.

SMOOTHIE KING ADDS VEGAN OPTIONS

Posted on June 25, 2015 by The VRG

Smoothie King has added these two vegan items to their menu, and now has
a total of three vegan options on their menu.

VEGAN MANGO KALE contains
Sunwarrior® Raw Plant-Based Protein, Kale, Mango Juice Blend, Bananas,
Apple Juice, Almonds

VEGAN NUTTY SUPER GRAINS contains
Sunwarrior® Raw Plant-Based Protein, Almond Milk, Peanut Butter, Super
Grains, 100% Cocoa, Apple Juice, Bananas

For more information, see: http://www.smoothieking.com/menu/smoothies/vegan-smoothies

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