The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Like No Udder Vegan Ice Cream Shop Will Have a Free Cone Day on April 4th in Rhode Island

Posted on March 30, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

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Like No Udder just successfully completed a GoFundMe campaign to pass out 700 FREE vegan ice cream cones. We’ll be doing our free cone day on Tuesday, April 4th between 2-9 pm (or till we hit 700 cones, whichever comes first). This is the same day that Ben & Jerry’s does their free cone day. Sweet vegan activism! This wouldn’t have been possible without support from our local and online vegan community!

Like No Udder is located at 170 Ives St. in Providence, Rhode Island. More information on this ice cream shop can be found here:

You can also find a complete list of veggie restaurants in the USA and Canada here:

Eating Vegan at Loyola University Maryland

Posted on March 29, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

by Julia Mathew

The amount of vegan options at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore has increased since I was a freshman in 2013. Now in my last semester and graduating this May, I am hopeful that the demand for vegan options will only continue to increase. The main dining area/cafeteria on campus is Boulder Café in the Andrew White Student Center. There is also a much smaller dinning area under the student housing in Newman Towers called Iggy’s, as well as a small kiosk with sandwiches and snacks on the ground floor of Sellinger. I think it’s essential that one gets creative and mix different options together when dining on campus.

Boulder offers salads, sandwiches, and warm food such as pizza. Personally, I love getting mixed greens from the salad bar and loading it with a mix of edamame, kidney beans, chickpeas, and black beans. I also love topping my salad with corn, dried cranberries, peas, red onion, sunflower seeds, sriracha, and balsamic vinaigrette. Hummus is occasionally served at the salad bar as well! Boulder also has a self-serve drink station for Silk soymilk and offers Naked fruit smoothies near the breakfast area.

This year, the sandwich station introduced a selection of vegan items such as vegan ‘chicken’ patties, deli slices, cheese, and mayonnaise. There is also whole wheat bread, spinach wraps, grilled vegetables, and a variety of raw veggies and sandwich toppings available. Sandwiches can be warmed in the oven or eaten cold as preferred.

In terms of warm food, pizza can be made without cheese. There are usually cooked vegetables offered, as well as pasta and potatoes. I suggest getting some carbs such as pasta and potatoes, and putting some additional seasoning (salt, pepper, or Old Bay) on it. The potatoes are cooked in oil and not butter or lard. I usually eat pasta or potatoes with a hearty salad, cooked vegetables, or some soup in the evening. The vegetables are either boiled in water or sautéed in oil. There is usually one vegan soup offered daily, such as a mixed bean or veggie soup. Both are really nice, however the bean soup is my favorite!

Iggy’s is quite limited on vegan options but has a small salad bar and some fruit. There are also some nutritional bars offered, such as Nature’s Bakery’s Fig Bars and Cliff Bars.

The small kiosk in Sellinger generally doesn’t have any vegan-friendly prepared sandwiches or salads. However, Stacy’s pita chips and Sabra’s pretzel & hummus packs are often available as snacks, which are great for in-between classes.

For other college info, see

Vegan Ice Cream Showdown

Posted on March 28, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Natalie Allen, VRG Intern
When I decided to conduct a vegan ice cream taste test, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to taste them in an official setting before all the ice cream was eaten. It took me a few weeks before I could round up a few friends, all at different times, to taste-test three vegan ice creams. I chose Talenti Chocolate Sorbetto, So Delicious Coconut Milk Cookie Dough ice cream, and So Delicious Cashew Milk Creamy Chocolate ice cream. I chose these frozen desserts because they represent three different kinds of vegan ice cream, one made with no non-dairy milk, one made with coconut milk, and one made with cashew milk. So Delicious is also known in my vegan community as one of the biggest plant based companies and so by buying the unique flavors that were made by So Delicious, I knew that they would be a legit representation of vegan ice cream.

Before I had my friends taste the ice cream flavors, I had to taste them myself. The first ice cream I tried was the Talenti Chocolate Sorbetto. The sorbetto had a very rich chocolate flavor and was surprisingly slightly creamy considering it was made with essentially just water and sugar. The So Delicious Coconut Milk Cookie Dough ice cream I assumed is meant to be creamy, is actually crumbly and almost icy. The cookie dough chunks are delicious, but the vanilla ice cream has a strong coconut flavor that did not pair well with the cookie dough chunks. Lastly, So Delicious Cashew Milk Creamy Chocolate ice cream was very creamy. The chocolate flavor is not very strong but I believe that this chocolate ice cream resembles the texture and flavor of dairy ice cream the most.

Overall, as a vegan, I can say that I felt Talenti won this taste-test. This is surprising considering So Delicious specializes in making non-dairy ice cream and Talenti has a wide variety of both dairy and nondairy desserts. Talenti did an amazing job at creating a satisfying chocolate dessert, while So Delicious recreated dairy ice cream with unique flavor combinations and an undeniably creamy texture. Go for Talenti if you have an extreme chocolate craving and try out So Delicious’s adventurous and mouth-watering flavors if you are in the mood for something different.

For my official taste-test, I had two of my non-vegan friends taste test each of the previously mentioned flavors. The first friend I interviewed was my 16-year old friend Kasey. Kasey and I essentially have the same flavor preferences. Kasey verified my belief that the So Delicious Cashew Milk Creamy Chocolate ice cream was the one that tastes the closest and if not exactly like dairy ice cream by saying, “I swear this tastes like real ice cream, but it does have a slight nut flavor.” Kasey was not fond of the So Delicious Coconut Milk Cookie Dough ice cream. For Kasey, the Talenti Chocolate Sorbetto ice cream won, “This is better than real ice cream.” In fact, after Kasey had left the taste-test, she went to buy herself a pint.

A 19-year old Madison was my next taste-test victim. Madison’s taste buds were a little different from Kasey and mine. Madison honestly liked every ice cream. However, her favorite was the So Delicious Coconut milk Cookie Dough ice cream. She asked: “Can I have some more?” This is perhaps because cookie dough ice cream is her favorite. Although Kasey and I did not like it, I am impressed that So Delicious was able to create a non-dairy cookie dough ice cream flavor that was able to please a cookie dough ice cream fanatic.

In the end, non-dairy ice cream has taken over. Big ice cream companies including Ben and Jerry’s and even Breyers have come out with vegan ice cream flavors marketed not only towards vegans but towards their giant dairy ice cream lover audience. It is astounding that these vegan ice cream flavors are able to please regular dairy ice cream fanatics. What this taste-test has shown me is that non-dairy ice cream options are comparable to the original dairy verseions and often times better (Talenti). For any dairy ice cream lover out there, I challenge you to try a non-dairy ice cream and see if it is possible for you to switch and lead a more compassionate and earth-friendly diet.

Have a Vegan Passover Seder!

Posted on March 27, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Passover begins the evening of April 10, 2017 this year and The Vegetarian Resource Group is the publisher of several books that feature vegan Passover recipes. Below we share three recipes with you. You can purchase these vegan cookbooks from the VRG Book Catalog here:


Nut “Cheese” Surprise
(from No Cholesterol Passover Recipes, by Debra Wasserman)
(Serves 8)

½ cup raw cashews
½ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons oil
Garlic powder and paprika to taste
½ small ripe tomato, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender cup, blend cashews, water, lemon juice, and broth together. Slowly add oil. Then add garlic powder, paprika, and tomato and blend well for 1 minute. Once the “cheese” is made add the ingredients below.

6 potatoes, chopped and cooked
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced thinly
2 green peppers, chopped finely

Mix well and pour into a large baking dish. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm.


Pear and Apple Slaw
(from Vegan Passover Recipes, by Nancy Berkoff)
(Serves 5-6)

Make a double batch of this recipe, as the flavor gets even better the second day!

1 pound (about 3 cups) fresh pears
½ cup (about 4 ounces) green or tart apple
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup finely shredded green cabbage
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar
½ teaspoon black pepper

Wash and dice pears and apples (don’t peel), place in a large bowl, and toss with lemon juice. Add green and red cabbage and toss. In a cup, mix oil, vinegar, and pepper until combined. Toss with fruit/vegetable mixture until well coated. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Polish Plum and Rhubarb Soup
(from The Lowfat Jewish Vegetarian Cookbook, by Debra Wasserman)
(Serves 6)

1 pound plums, pitted and chopped
1 pound rhubarb, chopped
10 cups water
¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon apple juice concentrate
¼ teaspoon powdered cloves
1½ teaspoons cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover pot, and simmer 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Note: If the plums are not very sweet, you may want to add a bit more apple juice concentrate.

Texas VegFest is Happening on April 1, 2017 in Austin

Posted on March 27, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor


Spread the word about the upcoming Texas VegFest — a FREE PUBLIC EVENT.

WHAT: Texas VegFest
WHEN: Saturday April 1st, 2017
TIME: 11am – 6pm
WHERE: Fiesta Gardens right off Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail in Austin

Qdoba® Vegan Menu Options

Posted on March 24, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Jeanne Yaoubou, MS

The VRG invited Qdoba in September 2016 to tell us about their vegan menu options. This is how Meg Prejzner, Brand Manager at Qdoba, replied:
“Absolutely, I am happy to share as Qdoba has quite a variety of options to cater to our vegan guests, including burritos (wrapped or bowl), Loaded Tortilla Soup, Knockout Tacos and taco salads.
Our menu is completely customizable, so those guests looking to avoid animal products can absolutely do so by customizing their dish to fit their tastes. For instance, our Bohemian Veg Knockout Taco does contain cotija and shredded cheese but any guest can absolutely ask that we do not include those items on their meal to fit their dietary preferences. Plus, our all-inclusive menu encourages our guests to load up on their favorite vegan options like guacamole, pico de gallo, beans, rice, fajita veggies, etc. at no additional costs. If a vegan guest is looking for more protein, double down on black beans. If they love guac, top it off — there’s no extra charge!

…[O]ur team members are also happy to swap out gloves or utensils when building any meal — we just ask our guests to let our team know of their individual needs and the team is happy to help further from there.”
(Note: One supplier of Qdoba’s cojita cheese lists “rennet” as an ingredient with no further specification. The other cheese suppliers for the Bohemian Veg Knockout Taco cheeses list only “enzymes” without source information.)

Qdoba lists its complete United States Ingredient Statement on pages 2-10 of this PDF file:
Based on our own assessment of their Ingredient Statement (i.e., no non-vegan or possibly non-vegan ingredients present) and before asking any further questions to Qdoba, the following Qdoba menu items appear vegan:

• black bean corn salsa
• black beans
• fiery habanero salsa
• flour tortilla (one type)
• guacamole
• pico de gallo
• pinto beans
• roasted chile corn salsa
• salsa verde

(Note: Sugar-containing menu items or those with other questionable ingredients are not included in this preliminary list nor are any fried products. See below for more information on menu items with these characteristics.)
We followed up with Qdoba in September 2016 and asked specifically about several microingredients in these and other entrée components listed in their Ingredient Statement. We also inquired about preparation and cooking methods.
We received a reply in January 2017 from Nicole Dionisopoulos, a PR Specialist who had worked with Qdoba’s culinary team in gathering the following information. Here is our Q&A exchange:

Q: Are any of the following prepared in meat broths or contain meat-based flavors?
– black beans
– brown rice
– cilantro lime rice
– pinto beans
A: No.
Q: Are the ingredients in the following menu components animal-derived?

– brown rice, cilantro lime rice: capric/caprylic triglycerides, mono and diglycerides, calcium stearate
– corn tortilla: natural flavors and enzymes
– flour tortilla (one type): mono- and diglycerides
– red chile sauce: natural flavor
– salsa roja: natural flavor
– tortilla soup: flavoring, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate
– whole wheat flour tortilla: mono and diglycerides, natural flavor, sodium stearoyl lactylate, enzymes
A: No.

Q: Are any of the following cooked in oil in which meat products have been prepared?

– corn tortilla chips
– corn tortilla strips
– corn taco shells
– flour tortilla bowl
– potatoes
A: No.

Q: Is there any cross-preparation of the following along with meat products or animal fats? Are they prepared on the same grill surface with meat products?

– fajita vegetables
– seasoned potatoes
A: No.

According to Qdoba’s ingredient statements, several menu components contain sugar. Because the chain told us (see above) that certain questionable microingredients also present in the items are not animal-derived, these menu components would be vegan except (possibly) for the sugar:

– brown rice
-cilantro lime dressing
-flour tortilla (one type contains dextrose)
– mango salsa
– red chile sauce
– tortilla soup (dextrose as well as sugar)
– whole wheat flour tortilla

The VRG asked Qdoba how they defined the words “vegetarian” and “vegan,” but as of this posting have not received an official reply to this question.

See their Ingredient Statement at: 

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 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

For information on vegetarian and vegan restaurants, see

To support The Vegetarian Resource Group research, donate at

Or join at

Tips for Vegans at Catered Events

Posted on March 23, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Julia Mathew, VRG intern

Having worked at a catering company for nearly seven months, I have had many first-hand experiences with accommodating vegetarians and vegans at various events. I would estimate that, typically, there are less than five vegetarians and vegans for every 100 guests at a given event. Although you may initially assume that there will be few, if any, veggie-friendly options at an event, always remember that communication with your event host and their coordinators is key and can make the biggest difference. I would suggest contacting the host of your event well in advance to ensure that there are sufficient options. This is not something to be ashamed of or looked down upon. Politely informing your host will only raise awareness and the demand for the catering company to offer more veggie-friendly options. Mainstream restaurants are now increasingly offering more vegetarian and vegan friendly items to their menu as a result of this same increase in demand and awareness!

Out of the passed hors d’oeuvres that my company offers, the edamame dumplings are the only option that is vegan-friendly. They do not contain eggs. The vegetarian appetizers almost always have some sort of cheese in them. Usually there is a spread of self-serve appetizers that includes artichoke hearts, sautéed mushrooms, roasted bell peppers, and avocados. None of these items contain butter or chicken broth and are cooked in oil as needed. In my opinion, these appetizers are more satisfying because they can be more readily eaten in abundance and without feeling lethargic after.

In terms of entrées, there is usually one vegetarian option offered at any given event, such as quinoa stuffed bell peppers (vegan) or sweet potato gnocchi. This option can often be made vegan, but other times dairy is infused in the meal. Some of the events I’ve worked at have had a specific vegan option, which was requested in advance. This is why being vocal about your dietary concerns is key! The vegetarian and vegan options often look very colorful, of variety, and aesthetically pleasing, making even the biggest meat-eaters curious. I’ve even had some people request a vegetarian or vegan meal, subsequent to seeing the healthy, hearty, and artful dishes of other guests at their table.

There have been a few events where guests were not able to voice their needs to the host or to a business for a more corporate event. Under these circumstances, talk to an event manager or coordinator present at the event. They will maintain constant communication with the kitchen to ensure that you will have a sufficient meal. Baked baby potatoes, grilled or sautéed vegetables, fruit, and salads are almost always offered by catering companies at any event. Even if the kitchen has not prepared a specific dish to satisfy your dietary needs in advance, they are often trained to be creative and to make ends meet in spontaneous situations. Ultimately, it is important to remember that it is a catering company’s utmost duty and priority to ensure that its guests and hosts are ecstatic about the food and service they received. They will go to great lengths to ensure that your needs and concerns are properly met, so do not be afraid to speak up!

For more information about catering, see:

Guide to Starting a High School Environmental Club

Posted on March 22, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Natalie Allen, VRG Intern

“Hey, do you want to learn more about the issues that face our planet and share ideas on ways we can help?” This is my elevator pitch for the environmental club at my school. I would ask kids this and if they said yes, then I would go further into explaining to them about how they can get involved with the club at our school that does exactly that. I would make sure they knew what days a week we had meetings and in which classroom, so they were bound to join.

Like any other school club, starting up an environmental club is challenging. That is why everyone should have some basic tips, whether they find them online or have an adult mentor to teach them the ways. With this article, I hope to get you motivated and feeling confident when starting an environmental club at your school.

The startup process:
First, find a friend or friends who share the same interests and motivation as you do to start the club. This is the most important part because most clubs require a certain amount of students in order to get started. Also, having like-minded people in your club will motivate you to reach the limits with your club. Next, find a teacher or other staff member at your school that will be willing to be the advisor of the club. Typically, an environmental science or other science teacher would be the best option; however, do not limit yourself to asking another teacher that you feel would be happy to be the advisor.

Secondly, you’ll need to register the club with your school; most of the time a club must be approved by the principal. Once that has been done, advertise! Spread the word out to your entire school. This is where an elevator pitch comes in handy. Basically, an elevator pitch is a short spiel that you could give to someone during a fifteen second elevator ride. The elevator pitch is easy to memorize and won’t bore the person you are talking to. To advertise, you may also use the school announcements, post posters around campus, or host an informational night or booth during lunch for students interested. From my experience, I was surprised as to how many kids wanted to be a part of the club.

Your first meeting:
Once a set day during the week is established for the meetings to be held on, you will need ideas and goals for what the club can work towards achieving. On the first day, you will definitely be overwhelmed by the turnout, but over time students tend to drop out. So if you think it is too much to handle just wait. When the meeting begins you’ll probably want a sign-in sheet so you can keep track of the devoted members of the club. This is a great idea to maintain attendance and motivation in your club. Many students during the first meeting will not know each other and so having an icebreaker game is the best way to break the awkward silence. Try out these icebreaker games from A great icebreaker game I have played with my club is having each member write down an open question such as, “What are three things you would take to a deserted island?” Next have everyone go around the room introducing themselves to each other and asking their question. After that have the members switch questions each time they meet with someone new. Do this until everyone has met each other. This is most likely all of the time you will have for your first meeting and so send your new members off with a sentence or two about what’s in store for the next meeting. What you want to accomplish during your first meeting is a feeling of excitement in the club, you want students to come back to the next meeting, tell their friends, and share the fun experience they had during the meeting.

After a few weeks, you may want to get together a group of officers for your club. These officers will be in charge of different things including scheduling events and handling money. You can get creative and name the leaders of your club after environmental terms each student knows a lot about like, President of the Endangered Species Student Activist Group or President of the Student Climate Change Network. By having these unique officer names, members of the club will be interested and able to learn more about an environmental topic that they are interested in by directly talking to each officer, whilst each officer has an important job to handle.

Goals to work towards and activities:

Once, you gain a committed group of people that attend your meetings every week, you’ll want to start generating activities for the club and even bigger goals to work up to. Some suggestions for the club to do on a weekly basis include announcing an environmental fact every day on the announcements, for example, “It takes 600 gallons of water to produce a ⅓ pound burger”. Also, create posters to not only promote your club but again like the announcements to spread quick facts that will make students at your school think twice about their everyday actions. You can also host park and school cleanups every month in your community. Host an e-waste recycling event, people are always needing to get rid of old phones and cords. You can invite and host a guest speaker from your community, such as a spokesperson from a local environmental organization.

These activities are exciting but meanwhile, your club can also be working towards a bigger goal. Think about something that your school needs, such as new recycling bins, a water bottle refill station, or even a school garden. These beneficial changes can improve your school in the present and the future. However, all of these things cost a lot of money, this is why fundraising should also be a big part of your club. Some ideas for fundraising include hosting a vegan bake sale! While being able to make money for your club you can also be educating your peers on the health benefits and especially the environmental benefits of eating a vegan diet.

Ask local businesses to support your club! More often than not, many local businesses would love to support your club in exchange for advertising. Specifically, ask a local vegetarian restaurant to sponsor your club in return for advertising on your school announcements or in your school newspaper, etc. Another great way to raise money is to host a movie night in your school’s auditorium. Screen movies such as, “GMO USA” and “Before the Flood” and invite people in your school and the community to attend. Charge five dollars for entrance or host a free event while also asking for donations. Having a snack bar will also bring in revenue. Think fresh popcorn and movie theatre candy! With the movie night, you are educating and generating money for future activism. Grants are also available for environmental clubs, applying to grants such as Annie’s Grants For Gardens: and the Environmental Education Grants from the EPA: are unique ways to give your club a funding boost.

Goals accomplished:
After your environmental club has been started up, you’ve probably already accomplished a lot and you may have enough money to see your goals come to life. Specifically, with the school garden idea, by growing local flowers and possibly fruits and vegetables you will be able to host a new home for some bees in the neighborhood, transform your school’s landscape into a garden oasis, and potentially use the vegetables and fruits you grow to host a farmer’s market or to use in your school’s cafeteria.

Overall, starting an environmental club at your school is a challenging task, yet the benefits are worth it. If you are looking to start an environmental club at your school, get started today, for the planet does not follow time. Have fun out there!

For additional club ideas, see


Posted on March 22, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

CJ CheilJedang has announced the launch of l-cysteine using raw sugar and glucose as raw materials, “while the majority of manufacturers in the market are using” a process that starts with duck feather as a raw material. The company noted that there was an unstable supply of l-cysteine due to reinforcement of the governmental regulations in China. Cysteine and its derivatives are used for reaction flavors, bakery, and pet food items. See:


Posted on March 21, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

The recall affects packages branded “Edamame — Soybeans in Pods,” dated between 01/03/2017 and 03/17/2017 with the UPC code 0-23012-00261-9.

The Edamame was sold at sushi counters in grocery stores, cafeterias and corporate dining centers in AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, MS, NC, NH, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, and WY.

Retailers have been notified and the affected product should no longer be on sale. See:

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