The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog


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!

Some Tropicana Juices Contain Non-Vegetarian Ingredients

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

The Vegetarian Resource Group was forwarded this note from an ingredient watcher, which was received from Tropicana.

Thanks for asking. Tropicana juices do not contain any animal by products with the exception of any product containing cochineal, Tropicana Pure Premium Healthy Heart (contains Fish) and Tropicana Farmstand Pomegranate Blueberry (contains beef derivatives).

You can view all of our nutrition information here:

I hope this information is helpful. Have a great day.
Tropicana Consumer Relations
A Division of PepsiCo


Posted on December 23, 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

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


Posted on December 23, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

White Castle has announced that they are launching a Veggie Slider in all of their restaurants December 30, 2014. They said, “This past summer we tested the Veggie Slider in select New York and New Jersey Castles…
Interest exceeded our expectations… The Veggie Slider is a… Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger.”

These are the Ingredients for the Veggie Slider (Plain) according to White Castle: Carrots, Onions, String Beans, Oat Bran, Soybeans, Zucchini, Peas, Broccoli, Corn, Soy Flour, Spinach, Expeller Pressed
Canola Oil, Red pepper, Arrowroot, Corn Starch, Garlic, Corn Meal, Salt, Parsley, Black Pepper

Hamburger Bun: Bleached Enriched Wheat Flour (Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Sugar, Soybean Oil), Contains 2% or Less of The Following: Yeast, Salt, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono- And Diglycerides
(DATEM), Calcium Sulfate, Enzymes, Ascorbic Acid, Potassium Iodate, L-Cysteine, Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

Sweet Thai Sauce: Water, Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Soy Sauce (wheat, soybeans, salt), Lemon Juice, Brown Sugar, Salt, Garlic Powder, Dehydrated Red Bell Pepper, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Dehydrated Onion,
Red Chili Pepper, Tomato Powder, White Distilled Vinegar, Annatto and Paprika Extract (Color), Xanthan Gum, Thai Chili Flakes, Garlic Extract, Spice Extract, Contains (less than) 2% of Silicone Dioxide (Anticaking).

Note that the Ranch Dressing has buttermilk solids and the Honey Mustard
has egg yolks.

They will be using a a separate, dedicated spatula with a green handle
for the Veggie Sliders only. .

Also see:

For information about other quick service chains, see:

For information about vegetarian restaurants, see:

To vote for your favorite chain, vote at:

To support The Vegetarian Resource Group research and outreach, join at:

To donate, go to:

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

Filmmaker releases first aerial drone factory farm footage

Posted on December 22, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Documentary filmmaker Mark Devries shot video of multiple farms supplying pigs for Smithfield, the world’s biggest producer of pork. The camera-equipped drone – the same technology used in military surveillance – reveals the staggering size and scale of each facility, including manure “lagoons” the size of two to four football fields, and massive buildings holding thousands of pigs. Mark also spoke to residents who live near the farms and experts in public health and environmental protection to discuss the local impact.

This footage was shot in North Carolina, which failed to pass an “ag-gag” law prohibiting undercover video. Mark has been careful to film only in states without ag-gag laws, however, Texas has already passed a law banning the use of drones based on fears that animal and environmental activists will use them to surveil agribusiness and oil enterprises.

For more information, see:

Festive Vegan Holiday Recipes

Posted on December 22, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Are you looking for some terrific vegan recipes to prepare for the holiday season?

We have you covered. Zel Allen serves up some creative dishes in Vegetarian Journal including Spinach Salad with Beets and Pomegranates, Shiitake Tornadoes in Cashew Cream Sauce, Spiced Cranberry Nog, Wicked Walnut Cookies, Santa’s Favorite Panforte, and Chocolate Truffle Mousse with Cranberry Splash.

Santa’s Favorite Panforte with nuts, dried fruits and cinnamon.

To view this issue online, visit:

To subscribe to Vegetarian Journal, go to:


Posted on December 19, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

The restaurants (and events) listed below will be open either New Year’s Eve and/or Day. In many cases reservations are required. Have a terrific 2015!

Green New American Vegetarian
Phoenix, AZ

Lovin Spoonfuls
Tucson, AZ

The Tasteful Kitchen
Tucson, AZ

The Vegans of Instagram meetup and New Year’s Eve Party will be held at Sage Organic Vegan Bistro.
Culver City, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Ravens Restaurant
Mendocino, CA

Millennium Restaurant
San Francisco, CA

Roseville and San Ramon, CA

Boulder, CO

West Palm Beach FL and Boca Raton, FL

Ethos Vegan Kitchen
Winter Park, FL

Arya Bhanvan
Chicago, IL

Join Open the Cages Alliance and friends for a fun-filled New Year’s evening of musical performances and delicious vegan food!
Baltimore, MD

True Bistro
Somerville, MA

Angelica Kitchen
New York City, NY

Candle 79
New York City, NY

Irregardless Café
Raleigh, NC

Laughing Seed Café
Asheville, NC

Bethlehem, PA
Shankara Chef Wendy Landiak invites fans of her Bethlehem restaurant to ring in the New Year with kombucha, yoga and a raw, vegan feast in Lansdale. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31 and runs until 1 a.m. at Arnold’s Way & The Center for Longevity, 319 W. Main St., Dresher Arcade in Lansdale. Landiak will be partnered with Chef Michelle Schulman, of Arnold’s Way, a fellow vegan chef.

Sprig & Vine
New Hope, PA

Vedge Restaurant
Philadelphia, PA

Counter Culture
Austin, TX

Café Flora
Seattle, WA

Sticky Fingers
Washington, DC


Posted on December 19, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Mayim Bialik, actress on the hit TV show The Big Bang Theory (and previously on the show Blossom) has been promoting veganism in her daily life for several years.

Learn more about what she is doing here:

Simply Vegan Is Now Available In the Kindle Store!

Posted on December 17, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Simply Vegan, by Debra Wasserman and Reed Mangels, PhD, RD is live in the Kindle Store and is available for readers to purchase here:

Simply Vegan is a terrific book to give as a present this holiday season to friends and family members interested in learning more about the vegan life-style. The book has 160 quick-and-easy vegan recipes, a complete vegan nutrition section with many helpful charts, vegan menus and meal plans, plus much more.

You can also purchase the print version of this book directly from The Vegetarian Resource Group in our book Catalog.

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