The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Honor Labor Day with Terrific Vegan Recipes from Vegans Know How To Party Cookbook

Posted on August 27, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Labor Day is right around the corner! Pick up a copy of Vegans Know How to Party and make your favorite festive dishes come to life! To purchase this book see:

Colorful Fruit Parfaits
Serves 6

2 cups vanilla soy yogurt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup chopped cantaloupe or Crenshaw melon
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen, thawed strawberries
1/2 cup peeled, chopped kiwi fruit
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds

Mix yogurt and almond extract together in a small bowl. Alternate layers
of fruit and yogurt mixture in parfait glasses, beginning and ending with fruit. Top with almonds. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Note: Feel free to add even more chopped fruit on top for a pretty

Total Calories Per Serving: 114
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 5%
Protein: 4 gm
Fat: 3 gm Carbohydrates: 18 gm
Calcium: 118 mg
Iron: 1 mg
Sodium: 31 mg
Dietary Fiber: 1 gm

Fresh Fruit Crumble
Serves 8

Vegetable oil spray
21/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup apple butter
1/4 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, apple
butter, and sauce until crumbly.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with oil. Put aside 1/2 cup of
mixture and press remainder into dish.

3 cups peeled and diced fresh fruit (berries, apricots, peaches, ripe
persimmons, nectarines, and plums work well)
1/4 cup peeled, diced fresh orange (seeds removed)
1/8 cup raisins (or dried berries)
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Combine filling ingredients in large pot; heat over medium heat,
stirring constantly, until fruit is soft and mixture is slightly
thickened. If more sweetness is desired, add 2 teaspoons of orange juice.

Spread fruit over topping. Crumble remaining topping over fruit.
Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Total Calories Per Serving: 253
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 2%
Protein: 5 gm
Fat: 1 gm
Carbohydrates: 58 gm
Calcium: 24 mg
Iron: 1 mg
Sodium: 4 mg
Dietary Fiber: 4 gm

Chilled Tomato Gazpacho

Serves 8

1 cup tomato paste
2 stemmed, seeded, and diced fresh chilies (you select the heat)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
7 cups tomato juice
3 cups seeded and diced fresh tomatoes
2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced cucumbers
2 cups peeled and diced fresh jicama (if jicama is not available, use 2
cups cooked, peeled, diced potatoes)
11/2 cups stemmed, seeded, and diced green bell peppers
11/2 cups stemmed, seeded, and diced red bell peppers
11/2 cups chopped green onion
1 cup each diced zucchini and diced summer squash
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

In a blender or food processor, place the tomato paste, chilies,
vinegar, lime juice, garlic, cumin, Tabasco sauce, pepper, and 3 cups of
the tomato juice and process for 2 minutes or until smooth. Transfer the
mixture to a large glass or plastic (not metal) bowl. Add the rest of
the tomato juice and stir well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients
and stir well to combine. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before
serving in chilled bowls.

Note: Will last well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Total Calories Per Serving: 134
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 1%
Protein: 6 gm
Fat: 1 gm
Carbohydrates: 31 gm
Calcium: 76 mg
Iron: 3 mg
Sodium: 1,074 mg
Dietary Fiber: 7 gm


Posted on August 26, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Vegan Meals for One or Two, by Chef Nancy Berkoff, is a terrific cookbook for college students living on their own. Start your day off with Breakfast Potato Burritos or Macadamia Nut Pancakes. Try one pot wonders including Kitchen Sink Minestrone, Asian Noodle Bowl, or Cauliflower Curry. Looking for some Grab-and-Go items, you may want to prepare Speedy Tostadas or Baked Beans Quesadillas. And if you have the time and want to prepare a more gourmet meal, try Almost Thai Spicy Peanut Pasta, Potato Tacos, or Quick Tofu Stroganoff. You’ll also find creative hot and cold beverages, and of course snacks and desserts.

Here’s one recipe from this cookbook:

Salsa Black Bean Salad

(Makes 2 servings)

1 cup cooked black beans (if canned, drain and rinse)
1/2 fresh orange, peeled and chopped
1/8 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup prepared salsa
1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 minced garlic clove or a teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Shredded lettuce, as desired
Tortilla chips or shredded tortillas, as desired

Mix beans, orange, onion, salsa, juice, garlic, cumin, and pepper flakes together in a medium bowl. Chill for at least 1 hour. Serve over lettuce and garnish with chips.

Vegan Meals for One or Two is published by The Vegetarian Resource Group and can be purchased online at or you can send $21 (includes postage/handling) to Vegetarian Resource Group, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203 or call (410) 366-8343.


Posted on August 15, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

These vegan restaurants were recently added to our online restaurant guide for the USA and Canada. To find restaurants in your area, please visit:

Café Love
3219 Old Chapel Hill Rd
Durham, NC 27707
Café Love is a 100% vegan, gluten-free and raw restaurant currently serving take-out only. When the weather is nice, find a shady spot to enjoy these delicious dishes! You can choose from a variety of healthy entrees such as Pad Thai, Manicotti or Spicy Kelp Noodles. They also offer desserts like Chocolate and Blueberry Squares and homemade juices.

Jrink Juicery
1323 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC 20036
It is clear Jrink Juicery is a purist as fresh, cold pressed, 100% fruit and vegetable juices is all they serve in this cozy café with exposed brick and wood floors. Start your day off with a “Fuel Me Up” with pear, kale, romaine, cucumber and lemon or “The Hulk” with spinach, kale, raw almonds, cinnamon, vanilla and agave. Located near Dupont Circle.

Loving Heart
838 W. Montrose Ave.
Chicago, IL 60613
It is clear that a little bit of love is a key ingredient in all of Loving Heart’s fresh and wholesome dishes. Fresh veggies and herbs are a staple in their salads, wraps, and noodle bowls. Try the Green Deva salad with a host of vegetables, roasted peanuts, parsley, and a special ginger pesto. If you haven’t gotten your fill, check out their selection of raw cakes!

Nourished On The Go
16 Simcoe Street South
Oshawa, ON L1H 4G2 Canada
Located right down the street from Memorial Park. Nourished on the Go focuses on serving up health-conscious vegan food. The diverse menu has a selection of soups, salads, and wraps. Be sure to check out the desserts and smoothies as well. Many gluten free options available.

One Lucky Duck
125½ E. 17th Street
New York, NY 10003
75 9th Ave.
New York, NY 10011
One Lucky Duck has two small and cozy locations in the Chelsea and Gramercy neighborhoods of NYC. At the Gramercy location they offer fresh juices, smoothies, desserts, ice cream, and made to order dishes such as zucchini and tomato lasagna and falafel with tabouli. All of these items are available at the Chelsea location. However, it is served take-out style only.

1303 Sainte-Catherine Est.
Montréal, Québec H2L 2H4
Propulsion might seem like an unusual name for a restaurant until you realize you will be dining on a table made from the wing of a plane! Enjoy the funky atmosphere over unique sandwiches, salads and desserts. Try the Mungo Mango sandwich with Chinese mung beans and fresh mango and the homemade coconut-milk creamsicle with frozen banana!

Resonance Café
5175a av. du Parc
Montréal, QC H2V 4G3
Every day of the week Resonance Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has live music for you to enjoy! Their menu is 100% vegan and full of goodies including breakfast items, soups, salads and sandwiches. Try the breakfast sandwich with tofu scramble and cashew cheese or the Victoria Rice Bowl with marinated tofu and kimchi!

Rockin’ Raw
171 Sullivan St.
(Off of Houston Street)
Greenwich Village
New York, NY 10012
Enjoy colorful and inventive dishes and a relaxing laid back atmosphere at the 100% raw restaurant, Rockin’ Raw. You will never look at raw food the same way again. Regulars rave about the Fully Loaded Nachos appetizer, their smoothies, and extensive menu of desserts!

Three Carrots
222 E Market St,
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Three Carrots offers a cozy environment with a variety of vegan breakfast and lunch options, many of which are gluten-free. For breakfast, try the Biscuits and Gravy or Sweet Potato Hash. For lunch, don’t miss Ian’s Chili or the Tofu Rich Girl, a cornmeal crusted tofu po boy!

The Urban Buggy
308 22nd Ave S, Suite 102
Seattle WA, 98144
The Urban Buggy is not only a 100% vegan deli but also an urban farm by the same name. This restaurant serves simple, yet tasty, lunch dishes with a menu that changes daily. Try the Gyro with mock “chicken,” tzatiki sauce, tomato, lettuce, cucumber in a pita wrap or BBQ Pulled “Pork” Sandwich with BBQ’d jackfruit , red onion and coleslaw.

Do I need to take a daily multi-vitamin and mineral in order to be healthy?

Posted on August 15, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Written by Meredith Binder while doing an internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group

The simple answer to this question is no. The general consensus among experts in the field of nutrition is that it’s much better, and healthier, for us to receive our nutrients from the foods that we eat rather than from a daily vitamin. This means that a balanced diet filled with vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, whole grains, and fortified foods will supply us with enough of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. Therefore, there’s really not a need to spend money on multi-vitamins and minerals. However, for some situations, there may be a need to take supplements for one or more specific nutrients. This is discussed in more detail below as it pertains to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Foods that are fortified are those that have vitamins and minerals added to them, which are usually not found in these foods. Examples of plant-based foods that may be fortified are breads, cereals, juices, non-dairy milk beverages, and certain meat analogues. Since there are so many fortified foods available to us, there’s actually the possibility of exceeding the amount of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need when taking a multi-vitamin in addition to eating regular meals. When this happens, the money we spent on multi-vitamins goes down the toilet, literally, as our body will excrete most vitamins (the ones that are water-soluble) when it’s reached the amount that it needs. And although it is rare, the vitamins that our bodies do store (like vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin) can be harmful if you get too much of them.

All of that being said, vegetarians and vegans do need to make sure that they receive enough of certain vitamins and minerals, just as someone on a meat-based diet does. Some of these that are especially important for teenagers include iron, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

Iron is very important during adolescence because it supports the growth spurts that occur during this period of life. Vegetarians and vegans actually need to consume more iron than omnivores because our bodies don’t absorb as much iron from plant-based sources as they do from animal sources. Many vegetarian foods are good sources of iron. Male vegetarian teens should consume about 20 mg of iron per day and female vegetarian teens should consume 27 mg of iron per day. Click here for more information on iron and plant-based sources of this nutrient:

Calcium is especially important for teenagers because not only do you grow a lot during this time but you also start accruing your peak bone mass. In fact, half of our maximum bone mass is accumulated during our teen years. Vitamin D is also important for healthy and strong bones. Teens need 1300 mg of calcium each day and 15 mcg (or 600 IU) of vitamin D each day. Click here for more information on calcium and here for more information on vitamin D

As mentioned, teens grow a significant amount during this time in their lives, and another vitamin, vitamin B12, is very important as it is needed for healthy cell division. Teens need 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. Click here for more information on vitamin B12:

Although lacto-ovo vegetarians have been found to have adequate intakes of calcium and vitamin B12 through diet alone, vegans and others may want to consider taking supplements specifically for these nutrients if they are not able to meet their needs through their normal diet. Vegetarians and vegans may want to consider taking a supplement for iron and/or vitamin D if they are not receiving enough of these nutrients. If you’re concerned about receiving enough of any of these nutrients, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. Overall, you most likely do not need a daily multi-vitamin and mineral but possibly need a specific nutrient supplement.

If you feel that you’re not receiving proper nutrition through your diet for any reason, then you might want to consider taking a daily multi-vitamin or supplement. However, you should first consider talking to a nutrition expert, such as a registered dietitian, who may be able to give you advice on how to incorporate more nutrient-dense foods into your meals. Vitamin pills should never replace foods especially because they don’t contain fiber or the phytonutrients (substances found in plants) that are only present in foods. If you do end up shopping for a daily multi-vitamin and mineral, you can begin by looking for ones that say “vegetarian” or “vegan” on the packaging. Keep in mind that even if they state this on the box or bottle, you should still further investigate the packaging by looking at the “supplement facts” which is similar to a “nutrition facts” label that you find on food packages. Here are some points to keep in mind when you’re shopping for vitamins or supplements:

  • A lot of daily multi-vitamins and minerals do not have iron included in them. Always check the “supplement facts” label to see if iron is listed. Some vitamins may also promote “with iron” on their packaging which indicates that they do have iron.
  • Check the “supplement facts” label for the type of vitamin D that is used. Vitamin D-3, sometimes written on labels as cholecalciferol, is often made from lanolin, a waxy substance that comes from sheep’s wool. Though the animal is not killed for lanolin, it is considered an animal product so vegans may want to be cautious of this. Vitamin D-2, sometimes on labels as ergocalciferol, is from yeast, so it is completely vegan. I have seen multi-vitamins labeled as “vegetarian” that use the D-3 form, since lanolin would be vegetarian, though not vegan.
  • Check the actual daily percentages of the vitamins and minerals that are included, which are found on the “supplement facts” labels. Just because a package of daily multi-vitamin and minerals claims, in big bold letters, to have all of the essential vitamins and nutrients that you need does not mean that it actually does. I have seen supplements that claim this and then only contain 1% of the daily-recommended value of calcium and absolutely no iron.

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.

What is the Amount of Oxalate in Seitan?

Posted on August 14, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD

VRG often gets questions about the oxalate content of vegan foods. Some people limit their dietary oxalate intake because of conditions such as kidney stones, fibromyalgia, and interstitial cystitis. There are a number of resources for people interested in knowing more about the amount of oxalate in different foods. We pointed out some in this blog post from 2011: Jack Norris, RD, a vegan dietitian, frequently writes about oxalates on his blog. One of his posts led us to a list of tables developed by the Harvard School of Public Health, which list the oxalate content of many foods. Even with all of these resources, we were stumped when we received a question from a reader about the amount of oxalate in seitan.

We contacted Michael Liebman, PhD, a professor at the University of Wyoming, who has done research on the oxalate content of foods. He agreed to analyze a sample of gluten flour which is used to make seitan. Dr. Liebman found that 100 grams of Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten had 54 mg of total oxalate and 15.1 mg of soluble oxalate. Soluble oxalate appears to be more easily absorbed. Dr. Liebman concluded that a tablespoon of Vital Wheat Gluten (which weighs 9 grams) has 4.9 mg of total oxalate.

We took these numbers and used a recipe for seitan from Vegetarian Journal. According to this recipe, 2 cups of gluten flour yields 5 or 6 servings (4 ounces) of seitan. The gluten flour would contribute 26-31 mg of oxalate to a 4 ounce serving of seitan. The total oxalate in the seitan would be somewhat higher depending on the other ingredients which were used. Other ingredients in the seitan recipe were not included in the calculation. These ingredients include garlic powder, ground ginger, water or vegetable stock, lite tamari, Braggs liquid amino acids, or soy sauce, and optional sesame oil. The broth to cook the seitan contains tamari or soy sauce, kombu (a type of seaweed), and optional ginger. We are uncertain as to how much oxalate from the broth ingredients is present in the seitan and if some oxalate from the seitan is lost into the cooking broth so our estimate of the oxalate content of the seitan is just that, an estimate. Ginger, garlic, and soy sauce have all been identified as low in oxalates in one or more databases.

The contents of this blog, 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.


Posted on August 14, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

VRG recently received information about a vegetarian camp for kids that focuses on non-violence and social justice:

I read your blog and wanted to tell you of another camp that our kids just joined this year. They said that it was the best camping experience they had ever had. The camp was called Vegetarian Ahimsa Camp (all the food was vegan, except some milk available in the morning for some children). It is an overnight camp for ages 9-13 (unless an 8-year-old has an older sibling already attending) and incorporates Youth Leadership Camps Canada counselors. It is recognized by the Toronto Vegetarian Association and the site is Ennismore Ontario near Pigeon Lake.

Fantastic – they focus on non-violence and social justice. Kids learn and talk about what veganism means in fun ways. They also do yoga in the mornings and meditation in the evenings. And then.. they have all the fun camp things too: canoeing, hiking, high and low ropes, rock climbing…

You can visit their website at:

For more camps and travel information see:


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

Southeast Asian Restaurant Created by Chipotle Expands to Columbia, Maryland

ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, the Southeast Asian restaurant created by Chipotle Mexican Grill, will open the doors to its newest location at 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway,in Columbia, Maryland on Monday, August 25 at The Outdoor Shops On The Plaza at The Mall in Columbia.

According to the ShopHouse website, these items are vegan: baby kale with napa cabbage Salad, Chilled Rice Noodles, Brown Rice, Jasmine Rice, Organic Tofu, Kale, Charred Corn, Tamarind Vinaigrette, Summer Squash and Thai Basil, Green Beans, Pickles, Herbed Salad, Toasted Rice, Crispy Garlic, Crushed Peanuts, and Thai Chilies.

The first ShopHouse restaurant in Maryland opened in 2013 in Bethesda at 4820 Bethesda Ave. There are three ShopHouse locations within Washington, D.C., in Georgetown, Dupont Circle, and 7th Street and three locations on the West Coast, in Santa Monica, Westwood, and Hollywood. ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen is located at 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, Maryland. The restaurant will be open seven days a week.

For more information, see

The contents of this listing, 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, see


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

In conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, The Vegetarian Resource Group will be hosting a vegan dinner in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 6pm. The dinner will be catered by Soul Vegetarian Restaurant. Dietitians, members, students, and the public are welcome to attend!

Buffet Includes:
Crisp vegetable tray with onion, cucumber, or garlic dip
Garden Salad and Prince Dressing (house dressing made with soy milk)
Dinner Rolls or Cornbread

Sides (choice of 2):
Tender Greens
Sweet Potatoes
Herb-Baked Potatoes
Green Beans

Entrees (choice of 2):
Southern Style Baked B-B-Q Tofu
Smothered Steak with Gravy and Onions
Cheesy-Spinach-Tofu Lasagne
Mediterranean Cauliflower with CousCous

Dessert: Apple Pie or Vanilla Delight Cake

Beverage: Lemonade

BBQ Tofu

LOCATION: Morehouse School of Medicine, GA
1.9 miles from the Georgia World Congress Center

PAYMENT: $25 by September 30, 2014. Includes tax and tip. If seats
available, $30 after September 30. Send payment to The Vegetarian
Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; Call (410) 366-8343 with a credit card Monday to Friday, 9AM to 5PM Eastern Time, or go to and write Atlanta dinner in the comments area. Refunds only made if we can replace your seat.

NUMBER ATTENDING: x $25/person before 9/30/14= $ Enclosed

Taco Bell® Ingredient Update

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

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

The VRG received an email from an online reader asking for an update on Taco Bell menu items. She specifically requested the latest information on L-cysteine and enzymes in Taco Bell bread products.

In July 2014 we contacted a nutritionist on the Food & Beverage Innovation Team at Taco Bell. She reported that:

“None of our ingredients contain L-cysteine.”

“Enzymes used in our flatbread and tortillas are microbial- and plant-derived.”

“Sodium stearoyl lactylate, mono- and diglycerides and enzymes in the chalupa shell and flatbread “are all plant-derived.”

Distilled monoglycerides in the tortillas “are all plant-derived.”

An “animal-derived enzyme (cow)” is in all three varieties of the Dorito’s® Locos Taco Shells (Cool Ranch, Nacho Cheese and Fiery).

The following Taco Bell menu items “do not contain ingredients from animal origins”:

  • Pinto Beans

  • Black Beans

  • Mexican Pizza Sauce

  • Potato Bites

  • Red Sauce

Note: The VRG asked Taco Bell about the five menu items listed above because their ingredient listings contain “natural flavors” or “flavoring” without any more specification. “Natural flavor” or “flavoring” could be used on a label for animal-derived ingredients. Taco Bell told us that all of the flavorings used in the five menu items listed above are non-animal derived.

Readers may consult Taco Bell’s Ingredient Statement for more information on other menu items not included here:

“Genetically engineered strains of food yeast” are used to make the enzymes in Taco Bell’s cheddar cheese, nacho cheese sauce, and three cheese blend.

Taco Bell’s nutritionist added this comment about their cheese enzymes:

Today, due to the need for Kosher cheese and the cost of using animal sources, genetically engineered coagulants are used. The genetically engineered chymosin is derived from a modified strain of the dairy yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. It is formulated to coagulate the milk so we can make our cheese without the use of animal coagulants. All of the Taco Bell suppliers use genetically engineered strains of food yeast.

“Enzymes that are a combination of animal- and plant-based” are in the pepper jack sauce.

According to the Ingredient Statement listed on Taco Bell’s website:

Carmine is in the Red Strips.

Gelatin is in the reduced-fat sour cream.

Egg and gelatin are in the chipotle sauce.

For more information on quick service chains and restaurants, see:

To support The Vegetarian Resource go to:

The contents of this information, 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.

Vegan Restaurants Added to VRG’s Guide to Veggie Restaurants in the USA and Canada

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

These vegan restaurants were recently added to our online restaurant guide for the USA and Canada. To find restaurants in your area, please visit:

Lydia’s Express
6761 Sebastopol Avenue
Sebastopol, CA 95472
For anyone with special dietary needs, Lydia’s Express is a must. Lydia’s menu is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters with options for vegans, as well as those who are gluten free and/or raw. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Lydia’s is their variety of sweet and savory buckwheat crepes on the menu. Try the Gourmet Mushroom Crêpe with local Maitake & Royal trumpet mushrooms, cashew “cheez”, spinach & basil, and vegan pesto sauce, but don’t fill up too much. You do not want to miss the chocolate banana pecan pie.

Modern Love
1319 South 50th St.
Omaha, NE 68106
Isa Chandra Moscowitz, author of several best-selling vegan cookbooks, has now opened a vegan restaurant featuring comfort food! Starters include dishes such as Roasted Carrot Bisque and Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms. Salads include Watermelon Beet Salad and Quinoa Caesar. Main dishes offered include Polenta Romesco and Seitan Marsala. Be sure to save room for one of their desserts including Chocolate Raspberry Tart and Cherry Pie. They also offer homemade sodas. Reservations are accepted.

NV-DA Mrkt
407 W. 6th St.
San Pedro, CA 90731
NV-DA Mrkt is pronounced nun-dah market and means “the sun & the moon” in Cherokee. True to its name, NV-DA will certainly have you feeling closer to the earth. Fresh whole foods are the basis of many of their menu items including smoothies, yogurt, and granola bowls, which you can customize as you please. Put a pep in your step with a Goldenberry Granola Bowl or a Strawberry Moons smoothie packed with fresh, never frozen fruit and cool mint.

3238 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Rejuice is the perfect place to relax and refuel. The juices are certainly the stars of the show, each one having been cold pressed and hand crafted by master juicer, Ron Anthony. Still, the simple, yet elegant, café menu, with a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads and even a fruit parfait with vegan almond mascarpone will have you falling in love with Rejuice all over again.

Sanctuary Bistro
1019 Camelia St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Sanctuary Bistro’s menu is nothing short of inventive with brunch items such as Tofu and Avocado Benedict and desserts like Raw Pear Cheesecake. If you want something a little more traditional, their dinner menu offers veganized versions of classics such as Wild Mushroom Raviolis and Mushroom and Walnut Stuffed Peppers. As if their appetizing menu wasn’t enough, they also donate 5% of their profits to local animal sanctuary, Animal Place!

Vegan Mario’s Organic Kitchen
625 North Ventura Ave.
Oak View, CA 93022
From vegans to the veg-curious, there is something for everyone at Vegan Mario’s Organic Kitchen. Mario’s serves a variety of fresh and healthy meals aimed to turn anyone on to vegetarian food. Try a nutritious quinoa salad served in a reusable glass jar but make sure to leave room for one of their amazing vegan pastries.

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