The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Scott Jurek: An Example for Vegan Athletes

Posted on September 21, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Each issue of Vegetarian Journal includes a column called Vegetarian Action. In the latest issue we feature Scott Jurek. Writer Savannah Lawrence states:

“Scott Jurek is a well-known figure in the running community, and not just because of the races he’s won or the records he’s set. As an ultrarunner — a runner who competes in races beyond the distance of a marathon — Jurek follows a vegan diet, which surprises many runners and athletes who believe that endurance training requires animal protein for muscular fuel. Jurek’s achievements are vast and include setting the U.S. record for a 24-hour road run, seven consecutive wins at the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, three consecutive wins at the Spartathlon 152-mile race, and two consecutive wins at the 135-mile Badwater run, to name a few. He credits much of his success to his healthy vegan diet, training, and racing with confidence.”

Read the complete article here:

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Chef Nancy Berkoff Offers Quick and Easy Tips for Working with Nutritional Yeast

Posted on September 20, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

nutritional yeast
The recent issue of Vegetarian Journal offers an article titled “Quick and Easy Tips for Working with Nutritional Yeast.” Chef Nancy Berkoff states: nutritional yeast adds flavor while containing very limited amounts of fat and sodium. As a bonus, it does contain protein and B vitamins, including B12 if fortified. Nutritional yeast is a win-win for taste buds, the waistline, and for overall health.

Here are some of Nancy’s suggestions:
Vegan mac and cheese, bulked up with grilled cauliflower florets if you want, gets its “cheesiness” and creaminess from nutritional yeast. Toss grilled cauliflower and/or cooked pasta with silken tofu, a bit of garlic, chopped parsley, and nutritional yeast, and bake in a casserole dish until bubbly.

If you are in the mood for stirring, put on a pot of risotto or polenta, add minced fresh onions, a dash of oil, and nutritional yeast, and stir until the risotto or polenta is soft and creamy. Layer cooked lasagna noodles with tomato sauce, shredded vegetables, and nutritional yeast for a cheesy casserole. Instead of pasta, use tortillas or thin slices of cooked potato to create a new dinner entrée. For less of a fuss, add nutritional yeast to cooked rice, quinoa, barley, or mixed vegetables.

If you have some leftovers sitting in the fridge, (cooked garbanzos or lentils and rice, for example), toss with mixed vegetables and nutritional yeast and quickly heat in the oven or microwave. Soft tofu can be scrambled with nutritional yeast and eaten with toast, rolled into a burrito with salsa, or mixed into rice, quinoa or couscous. If you are looking for a creamy soup, prepare your usual tomato, bean or vegetable soup, purée, and stir in yeast for the “creamy” element.

Nutritional yeast may be used instead of egg yolks for thin batters, such as for French toast or pancakes. Mix soymilk, a bit of soft tofu, nutritional yeast, your vegan sweetener of choice, and vanilla, then dip in your favorite breakfast bread and bake or cook in a pan for a morning treat.
Create salad bowls, such as greens, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, spinach, orange slices and almonds, or chopped seasonal veggies and sprinkle on nutritional yeast. For a quick dip or sandwich spread, combine vegan sour cream or unflavored yogurt with chopped olives, minced pickles, dried onions, and nutritional yeast.

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The Vegetarian Resource Group Exhibited at the Asheville Vegfest

Posted on September 20, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Asheville VegFest 2017
By Casey Brown, VRG Volunteer

Vegan Awareness Week took place from August 28 to September 3, 2017 in Asheville, NC. Throughout the week, the Asheville Vegan Society hosted many events with speakers, food, and screenings at The Block off Biltmore. The week culminated with the main event: Asheville Vegfest. Vegfest took place on Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville and featured many vendors, organizations, speakers, and musicians.

While staffing The Vegetarian Resource Group booth, the other volunteer and I were able to interact with many individuals living in or visiting Asheville, and we were also able to connect with many other like-minded organizations in the area. We met a lot of people who were already vegan or interested in going vegan and came specifically for the event, but we also met quite a few people who were exploring downtown and just happened upon the event. This was a great way to educate individuals who may not have known a lot about a vegan lifestyle previously. Many people expressed interest in learning more about veganism since they wanted to choose healthier alternatives for their meals.

The most common concern people had was that they were having trouble finding vegan recipes. We were able to show them our cookbook options, give them a copy of the Vegetarian Journal which contains vegan recipes, give them a recipe card for a veggie burger, and suggest some of our favorite recipes! Many individuals were interested in learning more about vegan pregnancy, so we were able to give them a copy of our “Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childhood” brochures and suggest The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book by Reed Mangels, which can be found in the book catalog on our website.

Our “My Vegan Plate” handouts and “Veganism in a Nutshell” brochures were very popular among the crowd, especially those who were interested in learning more about transitioning to a vegan diet. One lady we met expressed that her relatives do not understand veganism. She said that her immediate family is vegan, but family get-togethers were hard for them. She took a copy of our Vegetarian Journal to get recipe ideas and more information to share with her relatives. Another lady we met told us that her new neighbors expressed an interest in veganism. She was interested in gathering a variety of materials to make their transition easier.

We met multiple people who were interested in using The VRG’s handouts within their careers. A middle school teacher wanted to use some of our resources for her nutrition class and another organization wanted to use our “I Love Animals and Broccoli Coloring Books” for children that come to her events. We also met a lady who wanted to use some of our materials to start a vegan meetup group in her area. One person visited our booth stating that it “seemed like the perfect first stop to learn more about veganism.” She was hoping to better understand the basics of veganism and took home a handful of our resources, so she could learn more.

This was the first Vegan Awareness Week that I have ever experienced, and it was amazing! I loved being able to attend many of the events throughout the week, interact with people in the community, and educate others on veganism. Thank you to everyone who visited our booth at Asheville Vegfest! The VRG will be at the University of Buffalo’s Sustainability Event in New York next.

To volunteer at booths, contact Brigette at
To support The Vegetarian Resource Group outreach, donate at
Or join at

NUTRITIONAL YEAST: What is it? Plus vegan recipes.

Posted on September 19, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Do you know exactly what nutritional yeast is? An article in the recent issue of Vegetarian Journal answers this question and also provides the following vegan recipes containing nutritional yeast:
Lemon Rice Soup
Tempeh Mushroom Casserole
Mushroom Gravy
Tofu Pimento Spread
Spicy Nacho “Cheese” Dip
Tofu Dip
Baked Lima Beans

Read the article here:

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Vegan product reviews from the recent issue of Vegetarian Journal

Posted on September 18, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Curry Sauce

In each issue of Vegetarian Journal we review vegan products. Below find reviews for Jaipur in a Jar (Maya Kaimal’s simmer sauces), Jawea Ice Cream, Tasty Tofu by Hodo Soy, and Munk Pack (squeeze packs great for hiking, etc.).


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Posted on September 18, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Maria Pittarelli from:

Vegan dietitian Maria Pittarelli appeared on Good Morning Washington and showed viewers White Bean Cutlets, Chickpea Pot Pies, and Barbecue Tofu. The video of this segment is below.


Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Review/Taste Test

Posted on September 15, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Laneece Hurd, VRG Intern

Non-dairy ice creams come in a large variety of bases including soy, almond, coconut, cashew, and even fruit, such as banana. The purpose of this review and taste test was to see how these non-dairy alternatives stack up against their dairy counterparts and to determine if non-vegans would be open to substituting these products into their diet in place of dairy ice cream without feeling as though they are missing anything. I organized a panel of six non-vegans, who regularly consume dairy products on a daily basis. To ensure there was diversity in the palettes, I chose panelists of different age groups, with the youngest participant being thirteen and the oldest being seventy-four years old. Each was given an evaluation sheet and asked to rank the desserts based on the following criteria: texture/creaminess, taste/flavor, and likeliness to eat again. The rating was on a scale of one to five with one being the lowest and five being the highest. The numbers below are average scores calculated from the panelists’ individual scores.

So Delicious makes a large variety of vegan ice creams ranging from different bases including soy, almond, cashew, and coconut. The panelists tasted three of the flavors they offer including: Dark Chocolate Truffle and Snickerdoodle cashew-based ice creams and Cookies ‘n’ Cream almond-based ice cream.
• Snickerdoodle Cashewmilk
o Creaminess: 4.7 out of 5
o Flavor: 4.5 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 4.6 out of 5
o Comments: The panelists unanimously enjoyed the flavor and all stated that they would absolutely eat it again. One panelist commented that they specifically enjoyed the smooth, creamy texture and the chunks of snickerdoodle cookie dough throughout.
• Dark Chocolate Truffle Cashewmilk
o Creaminess: 4.0 out of 5
o Flavor: 4.4 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 4.3 out of 5
o Comments: One of the panelists stated that they were very pleased with the contrasting textures between the creamy dark chocolate ice cream, the velvety fudge ripple, and the crunchy chocolate chunks. Overall, all of the panelists were satisfied with the flavor and said that they would eat it again.
• Cookies ‘n’ Cream Almondmilk
o Creaminess: 4.0 out of 5
o Flavor: 3.0 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 3.2 out of 5
o Comments: Many of the testers enjoyed the creaminess of this ice cream and were surprised that almond milk could so closely replicate dairy milk. However, some felt that this flavor left a slight aftertaste and that the cookies could have been a bit crunchier.
To find So Delicious ice cream in a store near you, visit

NadaMoo! produces coconut milk-based ice creams that are vegan and gluten free. These frozen desserts come in a huge variety of flavors, some of which are classic such as Vanilla, Chocolate, and Cookies & Cream, and some are more unique like Chocolate Cherry Fudge Brownie and Birthday Cake Cookie Dough. The panelist tasted four of their flavors and the results are below.
• Gotta Do Chocolate
o Creaminess: 4.6 out of 5
o Flavor: 4.7 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 4.8 out of 5
o Comments: Everyone stated that they were highly satisfied with the smooth creaminess and velvety chocolate flavor of this ice cream. A few testers added that they could taste a slight coconut undertone, but they did not mind and felt that it complimented the chocolate flavors well.
• Vanilla…ahhh
o Creaminess: 4.6 out of 5
o Flavor: 4.7 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 4.7 out of 5
o Comments: One panelist noted that vanilla ice cream is their favorite dessert and they regularly consume the dairy version, but they couldn’t taste a difference when trying this one. Some of the comments were that the vanilla bean specks really enhanced the authenticity of the flavor and appearance.
• Mmm…Maple Pecan
o Creaminess: 4.8 out of 5
o Flavor: 4.5 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 4.7 out of 5
o Comments: As with the chocolate and vanilla flavors, the panelists were highly impressed with creaminess of this ice cream. One comment in particular, stated that the pecans had a nice toasted flavor and there were plenty of them folded throughout. Others voiced that they would have liked the maple flavor to be a bit more prominent.
• Lotta Mint Chip
o Creaminess: 4.3 out of 5
o Flavor: 3.3 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 4.0 out of 5
o Comments: Many of the comments stated that texture was creamy and the mint flavor was strong and bold. Some panelists enjoyed it and others found it a bit overpowering and would have liked to taste the chocolate more. In addition, almost all of the testers thought that the chocolate chips were a bit too crunchy, which took away from the smoothness.
To find NadaMoo! ice cream in a store near you, visit

Cado is a brand that makes avocado-based frozen desserts that are soy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and contain a whole avocado in each pint. The panelist reviewed all three of the flavors they currently offer including Simply Lemon, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Deep Dark Chocolate.
• Simply Lemon
o Creaminess: 3.0 out of 5
o Flavor: 2.6 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 2.8 out of 5
o Comments: One of the panelists thought that the lemon flavor was prominent and refreshing and was a nice cleanse for the palette, while others found it a little sour. Also, a few of the testers felt that this lacked the creaminess that they typically expect of frozen desserts.
• Mint Chocolate Chip
o Creaminess: 3.8 out of 5
o Flavor: 3.4 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 3.6 out of 5
o Comments: Some of the tasters stated that they couldn’t believe that it was made of avocado because of the smooth consistency. One taster mentioned that they appreciated that there was such a large amount of chocolate chips throughout the pint. However, a few others voiced that the mint flavor was a bit too overpowering.
• Deep Dark Chocolate
o Creaminess: 4.0 out of 5
o Flavor: 3.8 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 3.8 out of 5
o Comments: There were mixed reviews about the deep dark chocolate flavor in this ice cream, some thought it was a bit too bitter, while others thoroughly enjoyed it. Just as in the Mint Chocolate Chip flavor, many also mentioned that they were pleased that there was such a generous amount of chocolate chips. One panelist commented that they loved how this dessert felt very rich and indulgent, yet still felt light and fresh.
To find Cado in a store near you, visit

Ciao Bella is a brand that carries many different flavors of gelato and sorbets. Unlike the rest of the brands reviewed, Ciao Bella is not an entirely vegan brand as the gelato is made with dairy products, but all of their sorbets are fruit-based and dairy-free. However, all of Ciao Bella’s gelatos are made with cane sugar that is not organic so they may not be completely suitable for some vegans. They currently offer ten flavors of non-dairy sorbet and the members of the panel tasted three of them.
• Mango
o Creaminess: 3.6 out of 5
o Flavor: 3.5 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 3.2 out of 5
o Comments: Many of the testers thought that this flavor was surprisingly smooth and creamy rather than icy, considering it was sorbet. One of the panelists, in particular, commented that this tasted just like a perfectly ripe mango because the mango flavor was so sweet and intense.
• Blueberry Passion Fruit
o Creaminess: 3.0 out of 5
o Flavor: 4.8 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 4.6 out of 5
o Comments: This flavor was the favorite of the three by a landslide. All of the panelists thought that it was light and refreshing without being too sweet. One panelist wrote that this flavor was nicely balanced between the sweet blueberries and tart passionfruit.
• Strawberry Limonata
o Creaminess: 2.5 out of 5
o Flavor: 2.8 out of 5
o Likeliness to eat again: 2.6 out of 5
o Comments: Some stated that this flavor was just like having a frozen strawberry lemonade and would be perfect to enjoy on a hot day. However, some thought that the lemon was a bit sour and would have liked to taste more sweetness from the strawberry.
To find Ciao Bella in a store near you, visit

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 judgement about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

Vegan and Vegetarian Nutrition Research: 35 Years of Changes and What to Expect for the Next 35

Posted on September 14, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

The latest issue of Vegetarian Journal is a special 35th Anniversary Issue celebrating the vegan education and outreach The Vegetarian Resource Group has done over the years. Our Nutrition Hotline column looks at vegan/vegetarian research the past 35 years and what to expect the next 35 years.

Thirty-five years ago, scientific research about vegetarian diets was limited; research about vegan diets was even less common. In 1982, 48 articles related in some way to vegetarian nutrition were published in scientific and medical journals; six mentioned vegan diets. The vegan articles had titles like “Rastafarianism and the Vegans Syndrome” and “Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Vegans” and were mainly concerned with getting adequate amounts of nutrients on a vegan diet. Over the next 35 years, much more research was conducted on people choosing vegetarian diets and more attention was paid to the health benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets. In 2016, 75 articles were published about vegan diets and 176 about some aspect of vegetarianism. Many of these articles focused on the use of vegetarian and vegan diets to prevent and treat chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

To read the entire article, visit:

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Campbell Soup Company to Withdraw from the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association

Posted on September 14, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Campbell Soup Company said they plan to withdraw from the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, which no longer represents their interests, particularly its commitment to transparency in the food industry and its desire to become “the leading health and well-being food company.” Campbell’s has purchased Plum Organics, Bolthouse Farms, Garden Fresh Gourmet, and Pacific Foods.


35 Years of Vegan Activism Accomplished by The Vegetarian Resource Group

Posted on September 13, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group began promoting vegan diets long before it was “cool.” For 35 years we’ve done vegan outreach in the mainstream with the goal of making it easy for anyone to follow a vegan lifestyle. This includes educating doctors, dietitians, teachers, nurses, chefs, food manufacturers, the media, and many others.

The latest issue of Vegetarian Journal includes an article titled “35 Years of Vegan Activism Done by The Vegetarian Resource Group” and it can be read here:

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