The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog


Posted on November 13, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

At PizzaRev, you pick out your dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings
and their “pizza crafters” work with you to make your own pizza right before
your eyes! They are located in California, Minnesota, Texas, and Utah, and will
be expanding to Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Their website
states: “We offer Daiya vegan cheese, and our gluten-free and original crust
options are both vegan. We have over a dozen veggie toppings, and our red sauce is vegan, too. ”


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:


Posted on November 13, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

According to a United Soybean Board survey,

  • 74% of the U.S. population eats soyfoods or soy beverages.
  • 31% consume soyfoods or beverages once or more per week.
  • 71% say products containing ingredients derived through biotechnology should be labeled.
  • Two percent cite GMO as a barrier for eating soy.

The United Soybean Board conducted this survey using an independent
research firm in February, 2014. It included 1,000 random surveys. The
study’s margin of error is plus or minus 1.9-3.1 percent, with a confidence level of 95 percent. Seventy-farmer directors of the United Soybean Board oversee the
investments of the soy checkoff to maximize opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers.

To see more surveys, go to:


Posted on November 11, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

According to Culture Map Dallas, Salata restaurants has added three new vegan items to the menu at all of its 40 locations in Texas and California: quinoa, falafel, and tofu. They are a permanent part of Salata’s 50-plus options for salad toppings or wrap fillings. The Salata website lists these dressings as vegan:

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

Fat-Free Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Chipotle Sauce

None of the soups were marked vegan.

For more information about Salata menu items, see:

For information about other chains, see:

To vote for your favorite chain, go to:

For information about vegetarian restaurants, see:

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.

Vegan SoulFest in Baltimore, Maryland Was A Huge Success!

Posted on November 11, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Dina Gharib
VRG Intern

Volunteer, Matt Baker RN, and Volunteer Coordinator, Nina Casalena, engage with a visitor at Vegan SoulFest in Baltimore, MD.

On October 25, the Vegetarian Resource Group hosted a booth at the first annual Baltimore Vegan SoulFest. The Soulfest was a hit thanks to our fellow vegans at The Land of Kush restaurant and Better Health, Better Life as well as the hundreds of other participants as well as all the other participants. Rightfully named, Vegan SoulFest consisted of people from all different walks of life. The amount of compassion, respect, and joy in the air was quite a sight for any passerby. With reggae music blaring through the speakers, delicious vegan food being served and fresh coconuts being fractured open, it’s obvious that Vegan SoulFest was an absolute success.

As the venue began to overflow with a variety of people with peeking interests, VRG was there to supplement the information they needed. We had numerous people visit our booth with different goals in mind. Each one of these goals came with a considerable amount of questions that we were happy to answer. We had individuals who were simply curious about how to begin a vegetarian diet, how to convert from a vegetarian to a vegan diet, or merely new ways to incorporate vegan cheeses into meals for children. Regardless of their goals, VRG was loaded with literature and passion to spread throughout the festival.

Left to right: Louisa Smith, Nina Casalena, Matt Baker RN and Dina Gharib exhibiting at Vegan SoulFest in Baltimore, MD.

My experience working at the booth was one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Coming from a family who isn’t vegetarian or vegan can be really hard sometimes, but it’s days like this that remind me that I’m on the right path. I had an amazing opportunity to expand my knowledge through like-minded individuals who were truly passionate about making a difference. I also met many people who were hoping to take the leap to vegetarianism but were unsure of how to approach it with their families. Coming from a similar past, I was able to give them advice, along with delicious recipes featured in our Vegetarian Journal that would help ease their transition. Overall, Vegan SoulFest was the perfect opportunity for The Vegetarian Resource Group to spread all of our hard work and knowledge throughout a diverse community.

Thanks to our volunteers Matt Baker RN, Louisa Smith and Dina Gharib.
To volunteer at VRG outreach booths, please contact Nina at
To support VRG outreach, please donate at

New Vegan Restaurants Added to Website

Posted on November 07, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

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:

Ezra’s Enlightened Café
6516 Ferguson St.
Indianapolis, IN 46220
At Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe, they believe that “The food we eat will either promote health or promote disease…it’s our choice.” This belief is evident within their menu. We recommend trying their Playful Pad Thai, featuring zucchini noodles, red pepper, cabbage, carrots with Creamy Almond Thai Sauce, and topped with fresh local sprouts and maple glazed almonds. Also, you may want to try their Pure juice incorporating fresh local ingredients such as organic cucumber, organic celery, organic ginger, organic kale, organic mint, organic basil, lemon. If you’re looking for a filling, delicious and nutritious meal in Indianapolis, Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe is the perfect choice.

Greens Vegan Café & Juice Bar
212 Louise Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203
Greens Vegan Café provides a vegan exclusive menu for the everyday vegan, as well as the health conscious. They offer a wide variety of freshly cold-pressed juices as well as a vast amount of desserts that are baked daily in-house. As for their food menu they offer salad, sandwich and stir-fry options. Fan favorites include the “Stand Out” burger made with a beet and lentil based burger and topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a chipotle aioli, served on the bread or vegetable wrap of your choosing. For healthy comfort food, try their Mac n’ Squash made with a delicious blend of gluten free pasta and a creamy squash sauce.

Ooh Mommi
Location varies (call (631) 885-0863)
Providence, RI
Ooh Mommi has everything you’re looking for in a vegan food truck! It’s cheap, delicious, and accessible. Their menu offers a wide variety of food from the classic burger and fries to black bean soup to their specialty burrito. They source their ingredients from local farms therefore their menu is subject to change, but whatever they serve will be just as tasty.

Randy Radish
506 Shaw Road #331
Sterling, VA 20166
Fans of the Randy Radish food truck now have a place to stop by for vegan cuisine. The storefront feature many familiar dishes along with many new dishes and snacks. Stop in for lunch and try the BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich or the Mushroom Risotto. Or swing by for breakfast to try the Eggless Quiche or Breakfast Burrito. Be sure to check out the desserts that are available. Orders can also be placed through the website and picked up.

The Squeeze
196 Graham Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11206
550 West 54 St., New York, NY 10019
Union Square West & 17 St., New York, NY 10003 (food truck)
This vegan establishment is located at many places throughout the city. They use organic, raw, and mostly local ingredients to make their unique, healthy food. The Squeeze offers a plethora of vegan and raw food options including Kale Quinoa Salad, a mushroom burger, and seasonal soups. From comfort food to freshly squeezed juices (their specialty), this place is sure to please the vegan in everyone. The Squeeze offers shakes as well. Don’t forget dessert!

5831 Sunset Dr.
South Miami, FL 33143
Temple offers a whole foods, plant based menu full of delicious combinations and unique drinks. Sample menu items include Vegan Hot Pot and Soba Noodle Dish. The food is fresh and made to order. They have two nutritionists on staff and each item on the menu has symbols to indicate what nutrients the food provides you with. Their motto “joy to food” can be felt in the energy of the people and the cool atmosphere.

Thai Vegan
432 N. Litchfield Rd. Ste. 304
Goodyear, AZ 85338
Thai Vegan offers an extensive all-vegan menu. Enjoy Chef’s Specials such as Mushroom Steak, Soy Shrimp Spinach Noodle, or Red Curry. Prices are fair and their lunch and dinner combinations are especially good values.

Viva Tacoma
2602 N. Proctor St.
Tacoma, WA 98407
Viva Tacoma’s menu is full of raw and cooked vegan options alike. Breakfast options include Fruit Crepes and various scrambles served with sweet potato home fries. Be sure to check out the Raw Enchiladas and the Portobella and Tofu Tacos. Viva Tacoma also has a selection of fresh juices. Outdoor seating available.


Posted on November 07, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

A VRG member, Bill Shurtleff, recently alerted us to the following news:

HathiTrust has scanned half of the first vegetarian
periodical published in the USA. This is an important landmark
and I thought you might like to tell your readers about


Readers may also be interested in the more recent


Posted on November 06, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Please support The Vegetarian Resource Group and join our efforts to broaden awareness, educate, and instill values of ethical and environmental responsibility through vegan research and outreach.
To donate, visit

Here are a few ways your gift helps further vegetarian outreach:

  • $22 Buys 200 brochures for outreach to students
  • $100 Pays for registration and a table at a community festival.
  • $250 Buys 20 T-shirts for VRG volunteers who staff VRG booths at events around the country
  • $750 Prints 5,000 vegan stickers
  • $10,000 Enrolls donor as a VRG Patron and supports long term programming and research.

The Vegetarian Resource Group works year round to make it easier to live healthy vegan and vegetarian lives. Thank you so much for your support.

-Nina C
The Vegetarian Resource Group Volunteer Coordinator

To donate visit

Call (410) 366-8343 Monday through Friday 9am to 6pm ET.

Write: The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

Vegetarian Resource Group Vegan Dinner in Atlanta — A Huge Success!

Posted on November 06, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Debbie King from the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group and Tracy Thomas from the Black Vegetarian Society of Georgia line up for delicious soul food.

On Sunday, October 19th, in conjunction with the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, The Vegetarian Resource Group hosted a vegan dinner in Atlanta, Georgia catered by Soul Vegetarian Restaurant. Thanks to all involved, the event was a huge success!

Thank you so much to volunteer Kayellen Umeakunne who did so much work to create a beautiful experience for attendees at the The Vegetarian Resource Group vegan dinner in Atlanta, held at Morehouse Medical School. Kay created a room to be inviting and reflect the school’s African American heritage. Kay is Research Bionutritionist/Bionutrition Core Manager a the Morehouse School of Medicine Clinical Research Center. In addition to helping us with the dinner, that week she also participated in the National Associaton of Bionutritionists First Annual Nutrition Clinic, hosted their tour of the Morehouse Bionutrition Core, and presented at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting on “Food Fermentation: Connecting Ancient Traditions with Science.”

Staff of Soul Vegetarian serve up a delicious meal of Sweet Potatoes, Tender Greens, Green Beans, Tofu Lasagna, and Southern Style Baked BBQ.

A guest’s plate featuring vegan dinner rolls, Sweet Potatoes, Tender Greens, Green Beans, Cauliflower with CousCous, Smothered Steak with Gravy and Onions, Tofu Lasagna, and Southern Style Baked BBQ.

To find out about other vegetarian restaurants around the country, visit

Vegan Doughnut Business

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

By Dina Gharib
VRG Intern

When I discovered that there was a vegan doughnut business in my neighborhood supplying a vegan exclusive donut menu, I was quick to investigate. After taking a quick trip to their website, I discovered the holy grail of vegan doughnuts. Glory Doughnuts is a young business owned by two seasoned vegans, Alissa and Keirsten, who have a passion for vegan comfort food. By taking a look at their flavors it is obvious that these two are not interested in following the stereotypical, healthy vegan route. In fact, they credit the base of their business to be the animals. Besides providing a menu of vegan exclusive doughnuts, the Glory Doughnuts owners are active members in the vegan community stating,

“We do regular donations to various charities, and follow and promote the vegan community as much as possible, with like minded individuals as well as like minded businesses. We do a lot of shout outs… just to kind of help spread the message; always looking for opportunities to do that. Like most of the events we do, we watch out for pro-animal rights, and/or vegan friendly and/or environmentally friendly events. We’re always keeping it in mind because that’s honestly the base of the business, it’s the animals. We’re always looking for opportunities to support the huge cause!”

S’mores Doughnut

While their doughnuts have become notorious for their exotic flavors, Glory Doughnuts does not currently have a storefront, but managed to gather a strong and wide following of visitors at their summer farmer’s market pop-up stand. Their following, they credit to social media stating, “Everyone who comes up to our stand at the farmer’s market, are always like ‘Oh we saw you on Instagram.’ ‘We saw you on Facebook.’ ‘I saw the doughnuts this morning, and I had to have it.’” The raving reviews and strong following exist for a good reason. Glory Doughnuts are not your typical everyday doughnut. With exquisite flavors like The Carnivale featuring Traditional Yeast with Fair Trade Ganache, Kettle Korn, Roasted Peanuts and Rainbow Jimmies, or the Bootlegger incorporating Traditional Yeast with Apple Pie Moonshine Glaze and organic apples mixed right into the dough; these doughnuts are a force to be reckoned with.

When discussing their decision on having a vegan exclusive menu, Glory Doughnuts was adamant that there was never any pressure to sell non vegan goods, since veganism is such a major part of their lives.

Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Doughnut

“When we started, we set out to make a product that had to be vegan, like that couldn’t be compromised, and one where, I hate to use this term but people use it frequently, but carnivores will like it too.”

When I asked if there were any difficulties with selling their vegan goods to non-vegans, Alissa responded with a very affective yet interesting approach.

“In certain situations we don’t necessarily advertise the fact our product is vegan because we don’t want to deter people who might or might not try our products just because they’re vegan. So we kind of like to do a sneak attack and have people try our stuff, and then we kind of let them know that it doesn’t have any milk, dairy or eggs.”

While their plan may be effective, they did express troubles in creating
vegan doughnuts at an affordable price point.

“We also wanted to use local and organic ingredients as well as vegan ingredients and that isn’t necessarily cheap, so we’re constantly doing market research and constantly trying to find the lowest cost for our ingredients without compromising quality.”

As for their advice to vegans who would like to start a business,

Co-owners of Glory Doughnuts, Keirsten (left) and Alissa (right)

“You have to put your complete heart and soul into your passion. For the past year we’ve been doing this, I’ve also been holding a full time job, so there’s been long days, and we’ve been through some rough times. So now we’re both going full time on doughnuts. Anyways, don’t be afraid to take chances and don’t talk yourself out of doing things. Surround yourself with like minded people and people who support you and your purpose.”

As for the future, Glory Doughnuts is currently looking at spaces in
hopes of opening their first modest storefront location. To order from
Glory doughnuts visit:

For more information about vegetarian and vegan businesses and jobs, see:


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

I had to smile at your method of de-seeding pomegranates in your most recent issue of Vegetarian Journal, which is a traditional way but also loses a huge amount of the natural juice found in the pomegranate and makes the seeds taste watery.

There is a much easier way! Cut a pomegranate in half. Put a large plate or a bowl underneath the pieces. Pick up one half and use your thumbs to push down on the center where the stem is and loosen up the seed, kind of like you are going to turn it inside out (but you’re not). Once you’ve loosened up the insides a bit (you can kind of sense it), place the loosened half, seed side down, in the palm of your hand, fingers open. Take a wooden spoon and gently but firmly whack the outside of the pomegranate and be amazed as within 30 seconds ALL of the seeds will have fallen out into the bowl, and virtually none of the pith. No water, no wasted juice, no mess.

This is actually not my invention, I saw it on the internet and thought it was too good to be true – but it’s not, it’s amazing. The dry seeds can be frozen for months. I also run them through the juicer sometimes!

Rhonda Fosbinder
Avid reader of Vegetarian Journal

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