The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

The Vegetarian Resource Group Annual Video Contest: FOUR $250 AWARDS

Posted on January 09, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Create and submit a video relating what you want to tell others about vegetarianism and/or veganism.

Some possible topics: food, nutrition, your feelings about veganism and/or vegetarianism, 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.

DEADLINE: July 15, 2015

See more at:

Weight Loss — Vegan Style

Posted on January 09, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

You or someone else you know may be looking to shed some pounds. With that in mind, we’re sharing an article we previously ran in Vegetarian Journal that will help you lose weight on a vegan diet. Dietitians Reed Mangels, PhD, RD and Chef Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD offer a lot of helpful advice including a chart listing lowfat vegan foods to meet your nutritional needs, a sample vegan menu, and vegan recipes. See:

To subscribe to Vegetarian Journal please visit:

The Vegetarian Resource Group is Awarding $20,000 in Scholarship Money to High School Seniors Graduating in 2015

Posted on January 06, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

In 2015, thanks to an anonymous donor The Vegetarian Resource Group will be awarding $20,000 in scholarship money to graduating High School seniors that have promoted vegetarian/vegan diets over an extended period of time in their community, school, etc.

The deadline to enter the 2015 contest is February 20, 2015 and details can be found here:

New Vegan Restaurants Added to VRG’s Veggie Restaurant Guide

Posted on January 02, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group has an online guide to veggie restaurants in the USA and Canada on their website. To view the full guide, see:

Below are some recent vegan restaurant additions. Happy dining in 2015!

910 Pleasant Grove Blvd
Suite 160
Roseville, Ca 95678
21001 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
Suite C8
San Ramon, Ca 94583

Because Baagan specializes in Ayurvedic and Indian/East Asian spices, dishes are unique and delectably pleasing. Patrons guiltlessly indulge in favorites such as the Raw Nori Wrap with organic nori, fresh greens, red bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onions, pea sprouts, and chili sunflower seeds and freshly-made raw spreads like Pesto, Cheesy Chipotle or Creamy Cilantro Jalapeno.

Basil and Javi’s
Location varies (food truck)
Seattle, WA

Basil and Javi’s uses fresh, local, and organic ingredients to make their all vegan cuisine. Their delectable dishes and drinks reinvent typical food from a truck. They offer a variety food from Mexican to Mediterranean influence. Not in the mood for something heavy? Basil and Javi’s has fresh pressed juice and small sides like their house-made seitan or spicy pickled vegetables. No matter what you decide, you will not be disappointed!

Good Karma Café
2940 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA 70199
This quaint café located inside Swan River Yoga serves traditional Indian food, but with a vegan twist. The bohemian atmosphere creates for an authentic experience. All ingredients are locally sourced and the cuisine is completely homemade from conscientious chefs that have been vegetarian their whole lives. Try the Malaysian Curry with a variety of vegetables, soy protein, a dash of ground peanuts, fresh cucumber, and your choice of rice. Feed your soul at GoodKarma!

Happy Elephant
1532 E Broadway
Long Beach CA 90802
Patrons are greeted with complimentary fresh kale chips, Thai iced tea or coffee. Feast on appetizers such as the 5 Sweetie Chard Cups; rainbow chard leaves filled with toasted shredded coconuts, cashew nut, Thai chili, shallot, and lime and served with zesty tamarind sauce. Entrees like the Spicy Vermicelli Rice with fresh bean sprouts, green beans, roasted chili, basil leaves and a mild coconut mushroom curry sauce are a house favorite.

Indochine Vegan
508 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Local art displayed in this restaurant create an elegant charm for diners. Start off with the vegan sushi, such as the Fresh Spring Roll with organic tofu, vermicelli, lettuce and fresh herbs. They also offer house favorites such as the Korean Bibimbap with sautéed organic tofu, vegan ham with ginger, soy bean sprout, spinach, carrot and zucchini. Diners can also treat themselves to vegan desserts like the Banana Split.

Mint Vegan
535 Kings Hwy.
Brooklyn, NY 11223

Mint Vegan is located in Brooklyn between 4th St & 3rd St in Gravesend, Midwood. With seasonal menus, ingredients are fresh and the high quality of the food matches the impeccable service. Patrons can enjoy guiltless comfort food like the French Lentil-Seitan Roulade, a lentil-leek-seitan rolled in filo with quinoa pilaf, garlic swiss chard, and red and yellow pepper coulis.

Native Foods
1216 West Broad St.
Falls Church, VA 22046

Native Foods uses tempeh, seitan, and textured vegetable protein (TVP) to make many of the dishes found at this all-vegan restaurant. Try one of many burgers, salads, Earth Bowls, side dishes, and dessert including cookies, a brownie, and more.

Veggie Grill
200 South Lake
Pasadena, CA 91101

The Veggie Grill serves classic American fast food that is completely vegan. There are so many delicious items to choose from including the Bombay Bowl, Savory Kale Caesar, Tres “Fish” Tacos, Mac n’ Cheese, carrot cake, etc.


Posted on December 31, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Thank you so much to all those that have supported us this year with your matching donations, Vegetarian Resource Group Life Memberships, stock donations, grants, and more. Your support is greatly appreciated! We wish you a wonderful New Year!

To help us continue our in-depth research and outreach in 2015 see:


Posted on December 31, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Note: This list doesn’t include all-vegetarian chains.

Vote for your favorite chain at:

So far, these are the top restaurants you have chosen.

Chipotle 16.05 %
Qdoba Mexican Grill 6.79 %
Taco Bell 6.66 %
Noodles & Company 5.48 %
Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes 5.23 %
Panera Bread 5.11 %
Subway 4.98 %
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro 4.79 %
Moe’s Southwest Grill 3.74 %



Posted on December 30, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor


According to Crains’s Chicago Business magazine, when Native Foods, a chain of 26 vegan restaurants, in September eliminated three faux-beef items, each of which were below 3 percent of total sales, they lost customers. Same-store sales dropped up to 5 percent in consecutive weeks in October. The chain’s co-owner and president, Andrea McGinty said, “We flat-out made a big mistake and only looked at the numbers and didn’t look at the veto vote,” McGinty says, referring to instances in which one member of a group of diners vetoes a restaurant because he or she doesn’t like anything on the menu. “Our hard-core carnivores had nowhere to go on the menu” after Native Foods removed its Reuben sandwich, Italian meatball sub and bistro steak.” Native Food then brought the items back. Of course the veto vegetarian is a good reason for non-vegetarian restaurants to carry vegan items.

For more information on vegetarian restaurants, see:

For market info, see:


Posted on December 29, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

In the December 2014 American Journal of Nursing – the world’s oldest
and most widely-read nursing journal (115 years old in 2015),
there was a continuing education article about The Obesity Epidemic.
Just a few resources were given, which included The Vegetarian Resource
Group, The Centers for Disease Control, the United States Department
of Agriculture, Yale, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and three
obesity/physical activities sites.

You can view the entire article here: The_Obesity_Epidemic,_Part


Posted on December 29, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

For its “What’s Hot in 2015″ Culinary Forecast, the National Restaurant
Association surveyed nearly 1,300 chefs, all members of the American
Culinary Federation. They were given a list of 231 items and asked to
rate them as a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news” or a “perennial favorite.”

Among appetizers, the number one hot trend was vegetarian, with
house-cured meats being second. 74% said insects was yesterday’s news.
Guess that won’t bug vegans.

As far as overall what’s hot of all trends, vegetarian/meatless items
are number 32 and vegan entrees are number 52. Dark greens (kale,
collards, etc.) are at 54. Dairy free milk ranks 111. Plant based
substitutes for animal products (e.g. kelp caviar, fishless tuna,
eggless mayonnase) is 117. Fishless canned tuna didn’t seem to
taste good in the VRG office, even among vegans, while eggless mayo
appears to be enjoyed by many of our staff and volunteers.

For more poll information related to vegans and vegetarians, see


Posted on December 24, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Nanette Blanchard

Fresh hummus with celery, carrots and pita wedges.

Want to celebrate the New Year but don’t have a lot of time for party preparation? Here are a few healthy and easy finger foods to help you ring in 2015:

  • Buy some prepared hummus and put it in a serving dish. Make a mixture of diced tomatoes, parsley, and onion and put it on top of the hummus. Serve hummus with your favorite dippers including whole wheat pita, celery, green pepper, carrot, and cucumbers.

  • Mix your favorite vegan dark chocolate chips with a variety of dried fruits and nuts and serve this easy trail mix in paper mini muffin liners.
  • Make a little bowl of mixed olives and pepperoncini peppers to serve with toasted whole grain bread wedges.
  • Make prepared salsa more hearty by stirring in a can of pinto or black beans. Top with a little diced cilantro and serve with several different colors of tortilla chips.
  • Defrost a bag of whole edamame in pods. They can be served hot or cold.
  • Cut up your favorite winter fruits and put them on bamboo skewers. For a Mexican variation, try dusting the skewers with a light sprinkling of cayenne or chipotle chile powder and adding some lime wedges.
  • Fill pitted dates with about 1/2 teaspoon almond butter. You can add some squares of your favorite vegan dark chocolate on the serving plate.
  • Make your own mocktails by mixing seltzer or sparkling water with your favorite fruit juice and adding lime or lemon wedges.
  • Looking for a different party decoration for New Year’s? Try rounding up various clocks you have around the house and you can even include photos of clock images printed from your favorite online image source.

Happy New Year from the Vegetarian Resource Group!

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