The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog


Posted on September 15, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Heather Francis, VRG Volunteer

Traveling to Screamer’s Pizzeria went smoothly; from Penn Station we headed to downtown Brooklyn. We jumped on the A train heading downtown on 8th Avenue express and got off at Hoyt-Schermerhorn Street and then transferred to the G train heading up to Brooklyn-Queens Crosstown. When we reached Nassau Ave./Manhattan Ave., we got off and headed up the stairs. Immediately in front of us was a huge Blue Sign that had a vertical sign saying “Vegan,” with Screamer’s in small print.

I walked into the Pizza shop starving, ready to dig into pizza. The shop is small, but has a lot of character. The pizza shop is identical to a hole in the wall pizza shop you may stop in. We glazed over the menu which was on a huge mirror stretching from the door to the cash register. My girlfriend and I wanted to purchase an entire pie and we decided on Buffalo Cauliflower and a vegan take on Hawaiian Pizza.

After waiting twenty minutes, we were handed a glorious box filled with pizza. The toppings filled almost every space mounting over gooey vegan cheese and red pizza sauce. We devoured the freshly baked pizza pie. My first slice was the Hawaiian pizza and it was superb. The pineapple and vegan ham had the perfect amount of sweet and savory. I decided that the buffalo cauliflower one was my favorite. I had never had buffalo chicken with ranch, and trying the buffalo cauliflower pizza topped with ranch, was a new experience itself along with trying this 5 star rated pizzeria. The crust on any pizza is a factor in deciding whether or not it’s worth to come back, and I know that I personally will be traveling to Brooklyn again to one day try another one of their specialty flavored pizzas. They even have vegan cannoli’s on the menu, which is something I’m dying to try.

A cool part about the location of this place, is the ice cream store next door: The Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream shop. This ice cream shop has a whole blackboard full of vegan ice cream flavors to choose from, and after devouring two or three slice of delicious pizza, who can say no to gourmet ice cream? I definitely didn’t.

For more information on this restaurant please visit:

If you would like to learn more about dining out in New York as a vegetarian or vegan, go to the VRG’s online restaurant guide at or visit our national restaurant guide at



Posted on September 15, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


Sunday, October 16, 2016, 6 PM

The Vegetarian Resource Group will host a vegan Thai dinner
at My Thai Vegan Café in Boston on Sunday, October 16, 2016 during the
annual meeting of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Meet VRG
advisors Reed Mangels PhD RD, Catherine Conway MS RD, Debra Wasserman,
and vegetarian dietitians from around the country. All are welcome.

Tom Kha, Thai Coconut Soup with tofu
Thai Mango Salad
Nam Prik Kaeng Kari with tofu (Yellow Curry) and brown rice
Pad See Ew. Wide rice noodles with Chinese broccoli and vegan gluten.
Fruit cocktail for dessert or other fruit
Tea and cold water

This will be a plated sit down dinner.

TO RESERVE: Send $30 person (includes tax and tip) (Under eight is half
price) with names of attendees to The Vegetarian Resource Group,
P.O. Box 1463,
Baltimore, MD 21203.
Call (410) 366-8343.

You can also pay at and write Boston Dinner in the Comments.
Refunds after September 30th only if your seat can be replaced.

Hope to see you there!

VRG’s Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels PhD, RD Spoke at the Toronto Veg Food Fest

Posted on September 14, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

Here are Reed’s comments after the event:
Thank you to the Toronto Vegetarian Association (TVA) for inviting me to speak at their wildly successful Veg Food Fest. While in Toronto, I learned that the TVA was founded in 1945 and that this was the 32nd Veg Food Fest. The Fest has a beautiful venue at Harboufront Centre on the shores of Lake Ontario. Although more than 50,000 people attend the festival, it is so well-run and there are so many helpful volunteers that lines move quickly and it is easy to get from one area to another. Vegan food is celebrated at the festival with lots of free samples and cooking demos. Name a cuisine and it’s likely that you’ll find it being sold. I saw Ethiopian, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, French, Rastafarian, Greek, and so much more in addition to vegan burgers, dogs, pizza, mac and cheese, doughnuts, cheesecake, ice cream, cookies, and on and on. It was hard to decide between all the delicious choices but I enjoyed a souvlaki wrap from Through Being Cool Baking Co. and a kale salad with roast chickpeas and a tahini dressing from Green Zebra Kitchen.

Besides great food, the festival also features many non-profits and an extensive book store. I was honored to be on a panel with Michael Greger, MD; Tushar Mehta, MD; and fitness guru John Lewis. We spoke to a capacity crowd about vegan health and nutrition. The next day I spoke about raising happy and healthy vegan children. Reed also commented: You can’t tell it from the photo but we were under a big tent with a crowd of several hundred people, more outside, about 90 degrees and 100% humidity!

Mark your calendars now – TVA’s Veg Food Fest is an event not to be missed. It will happen next in Fall, 2017. In the meantime, check out their Vegan Bake-Off and Veggielicious in the spring.

The photo from the panel was taken by Alex Bez
Instagram: vegan_eh


Posted on September 14, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

relay, an online grocery store with a mission to make eating quality, healthy, sustainable food simple is offering a discount for you. Shop their catalog of Vegan and Vegetarian Products

Also, see recipes at:

Be sure to use coupon code VRG20 to save $20 off your first $50 order through 12/31/2016. Offering online ordering for local, organic, and everyday groceries, and home delivery or free pick up.


Posted on September 13, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


Read this article by a long distance VRG summer intern, which was published in her school newspaper.
For more information on athletes and the vegetarian diet, see


Posted on September 13, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


The annual Boston VegFest will be held on Saturday October 22 (11am to 6pm) and Sunday October 23 (10am to 6pm) at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Admission is free and you will find a wide variety of non-profit groups exhibiting, as well as veggie food vendors and more. There are also numerous speakers each day.

For details, visit:

Feeding Your Non-Vegan Significant Other

Posted on September 12, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Savannah Lawrence, VRG intern

Relationships are complicated enough without adding a vegan diet into the mix, so what happens when your significant other doesn’t also eat vegan? He or she may believe that romantic candlelit dinners or one day living together and planning meals together are now impossible, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
My fiancé comes from a meat-loving family, but now that we live together and therefore eat together, we’ve found ways to make it work. Today my fiancé eats a meat-free diet 90 percent of the time, and most nights he’s doing the cooking, too! Here are the ways in which I’ve positively introduced him to vegan dishes:
• Avoiding fake meat products
He draws the line at fake meat because he doesn’t enjoy the texture or taste, especially because he still eats meat. So to add protein into our meals, I rely mainly on beans, whole grains, and vegetables instead.
• Cooking separate dishes when I do want to eat fake meat products
I like to add veggie crumbles to my pot pies, chilies, and pasta sauces whereas my fiancé likes to add ground beef. To please both our palates, we make two separate dishes with all the same ingredients expect for the meat or fake meat. All it takes is an extra pot or dish. He cooks his own meat before we cook the rest of the meal and uses separate cooking and serving utensils to avoid cross-contamination.
• Easing him into the colorful world of fruits and vegetables
Tomatoes and spinach used to be on his black list when it came to fruits and vegetables, but I’ve learned that if I use baby spinach or petite diced tomatoes, he’ll comply. When they’re small, I can sneak them into a dish without him noticing!
• Cookbook shopping and meal planning together
We spent a weekend afternoon at the bookstore, choosing vegan cookbooks together, so we could ensure that we both liked the recipes. Now that we have cookbooks we both like, we sit down together once a week to choose recipes. We both look at the ingredients to ensure that we’ll both enjoy the meals. His favorites are crockpot meals because he can come home from work to dinner already made!

Dining out doesn’t have to be a problem, either. My fiancé lets me have the final say on a restaurant when we dine out because he knows that my diet may limit our choices. He always has me pre-screen the menu and make the final call on whether or not we eat at a particular place.
Perhaps your significant other isn’t quite as patient during this process. Then I would recommend pre-screening a menu and making the restaurant recommendation before he or she has the chance to suggest another location. Think about his or her tastes, too. If it’s a vegan restaurant, are there dishes he or she would enjoy?
If these tips sound too good to be true because your significant other isn’t so accepting of a vegan diet, begin by establishing some ground rules and communicating openly. Here are some questions to get you started:
• Are you comfortable having meat and dairy products in the house? If so, do they need a separate place in the refrigerator and/or separate cooking materials?
• Will you cook separate meals or the same meals most of the time?
• What won’t your non-vegan significant other eat that you will?
• What restaurants in the area can accommodate both your needs and tastes?
• Is your non-vegan significant other willing to exercise patience when picking a restaurant in an unfamiliar area (like when you’re traveling together)?

You don’t have to date a vegan to continue happily living your vegan lifestyle. You just have to be willing to work with your significant other until you find a routine that works for you both. Remember to be patient and understanding because this may be a new process for him or her!

Savannah wrote this piece while doing an internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group. She is a student at Stevenson University in Maryland.

Vegan Recipes from Northern Germany

Posted on September 09, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Alicia Hückmann, VRG intern visiting from Germany

Although Germany is a comparatively small country, travelling to the North (if you only know the South) and vice versa can be a bit of a cultural shock. The further down you go, the more rural and traditional it gets (and the more difficult it is to understand dialects). The north on the other hand is very urban and modern: It is no coincidence that eight of the biggest German cities are located here. But this does not mean that our Nordlichter (“polar lights,” which is how we call our northern neighbors jokingly) lack a traditional culture or a traditional cuisine as you are about to find out.

Kale-potato soup – a healthy starter from northern Germany (original recipe)
Serves 3-4

If I had to name the most iconic ingredient of German cuisine, I would go for potatoes. Originally cultivated by the native inhabitants of South America, they were brought to Europe in the 16th century by Spanish Conquistadors. In the following centuries, these tough tubers would manage to feed millions in years of bad harvest and war when all other crops had failed. As a result, potatoes have remained an immensely popular, substantial food up to this day.

Kale on the other hand is a vegetable that is enjoyed by people in one specific German region in particular: The north. In fact, our Nordlichter seem to love their kale so much that the cities of Bremen and Oldenburg have an ongoing argument about it – they both claim that they are responsible for sparking kale’s popularity in Northern Germany.

The starter of my northern German meal is a tasty combination of both ingredients. Enjoy!

2 potatoes
¾ pound (12 oz) kale
1 onion
1 leek
1 carrot
¼ stalk celery
2 tsp oil
2 tsp organic sugar
7 oz silken tofu (blended)
Salt, pepper, and parsley, to taste

Peel the potatoes and chop them into chunks. Chop kale into bite-size pieces. Dice the onion and the leek. Cut the carrot and the celery into small pieces and sear them in 2 tsp oil for a minute. Add the sugar to the seared carrots and celery to caramelize the ingredients, then add the onion and the leek and fry until translucent. Mix with potatoes and kale. Add enough water in a pot so that the ingredients float on top and let everything simmer until the potatoes’ and kale’s texture is soft (about 20 minutes).

Briefly blend the soup (leaving some vegetable chunks) before mixing it with the blended silken tofu. Flavor with salt, pepper, and parsley.

Reibekuchen (Original recipe by Dominik at
Serves 2-3

Ready for some more potatoes? The following recipe, Reibekuchen, is a simple dish that can be prepared in no time. Their name literally translates to “grated cake,” so be careful if you ever order a “Kuchen” in central or northern Germany – you might end up with savory potato pancakes instead of actual cake! As they are particularly popular in the mid-western area, the Rhineland, make sure you order the right kind of cake! By the way, in some parts of Germany like in the (South), we like to call them “Kartoffelpuffer” (potato poof – because they sometimes make funny sounds when being fried) rather than Reibekuchen.

1 lb potatoes
¾ tsp salt
2 shallots
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp soy flour [or other flour can be substituted]
Apple sauce

Peel and rinse, coarsely grate, and salt the potatoes. Leave them in a bowl for 2-3 minutes before you proceed. In the meantime, peel and dice the shallots. Wrap the potatoes in a kitchen towel and squeeze as much water out as possible into a bowl. Do not pour the water away. Place the potatoes in a clean bowl to flavor them using pepper and nutmeg. Combine the soy flour with 5 tbsp of the potato water and mix everything with the potatoes.

Pour enough oil into a frying pan to cover its bottom and warm it. As soon as the pan is hot, put some mashed potatoes into the pan. Flatten them by using a spoon and remember to do the edges as well. Lift the mixture every 30 seconds to make sure it does not stick to the bottom and turn it over after 2-3 minutes, and cook 1-2 minutes longer until golden on both sides. Repeat until you run out of potatoes. Serve with apple sauce.

Frankfurter Kranz Cupcakes (original recipe)
Makes 12 cupcakes

Although Frankfurter Kranz (or Frankfurt Crown) might be not as famous as the black forest cake that was featured in the Southern German menu (see:, this heavenly butter cream cake from central Germany is certainly one of the most exquisite delicacies Germany has to offer. Traditionally, it consists of multiple layers of biscuit rings, cream, and red jam and is topped with cherries and brittle – so quite the opposite of a healthy dessert! For this reason, I decided to come up with a less fatty and sugary cupcake version.

2 cups flour
1 cup organic sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
5 tsp vegan vanilla pudding powder
1½ cups vanilla or plain vegan milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups organic powdered sugar
1 cup vegan margarine
1 tsp vegan vanilla pudding powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

filling, brittle, and decoration:
3 tbsp organic sugar
1 tsp vegan margarine
1/3 cup chopped almonds
Red jam (for example, strawberry, cherry, etc.)
12 small cherries or strawberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding powder) and gradually add plant milk while stirring. If you use plain vegan milk, you might want to add an additional ½ tsp vanilla extract. Pour the dough in muffin liners and bake for about 20 minutes.

For the frosting, blend the powdered sugar, the margarine, the pudding powder, and the vanilla extract. Let both the frosting and the muffins cool down in the fridge.

In the meantime, prepare brittle for decoration. Put 3 tbsp sugar and the margarine into a pan and wait until melted. Add the almonds and fully cover them in caramelized sugar as quickly as possible. Remove the mixture from the heat, spread it on a sheet of baking paper, and let it harden, then crumble.

Remove the muffins from the fridge and cut about 1-2 tsp out of each top. Fill with an equal amount of jam. Spread the frosting using an icing bag, then decorate with brittle and fruit.


Grants Promote K-12 School Gardens — Whole Kids Foundation: School Garden Grant Program

Posted on September 08, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


The Whole Kids Foundation is dedicated to supporting schools and inspiring families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness. The Foundation’s School Garden Grant Program provides support for edible gardens at K-12 schools in the U.S. and Canada. These grants of $2,000 are awarded to schools as well as nonprofit organizations working in partnership with schools. Consideration is given to new or existing garden projects at any stage of development that help children engage with fresh fruits and vegetables. The application process for both U.S. and Canadian projects opens on September 1, 2016. U.S. applications must be submitted by October 31, 2016; Canadian applications are due November 30, 2016. Visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about the program.

Vegan Soulfest

Posted on September 07, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Casey Brown, Alicia Hückmann, and Marissa Thobe

Recently we, Casey Brown, Alicia Hückmann, Marissa Thobe, and Matt Baker, had the opportunity to volunteer at The VRG’s booth at the third Baltimore Vegan Soulfest. It was a great event, which combined the innovation of the first festival with the size of the second. From sticky buns to “mac & cheese” to freshly made vegan pizzas, it was difficult to taste everything because there was so much food! Dozens of vegan chefs, bakers including Scotty Cakes, tailors such as Compassion Co., and nonprofit organizations including The United Poultry Concerns came together to share their enthusiasm for the vegan movement. There were also speakers including David Carter (“the 300 Pound Vegan”), cooking demonstrations, various children’s activities, and music performances such as a unique rap show about kale.

At The VRG booth, we spoke with many people hoping to transition to a vegan diet, long-time supporters of The VRG, and innovators in the vegan community. Of the people transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, many of the common questions were nutrition related. One man asked us about B12 intake since he was interested in how much nutritional yeast he should consume on a regular basis to meet his RDA. We were able to refer him to our Simply Vegan book to determine the answer for his question. Another lady asked us about the potential health risks of soy, and we were able to answer her question as well as refer her to our website for additional information. Multiple people were interested in learning more about vegan and vegetarian diets for their children and teenagers, so we referred them to our “Vegan Nutrition for Teenagers” brochure and our “Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childhood” brochure. Marissa, one of our teen volunteers who has recently begun powerlifting, was able to provide herself as proof to parents and concerned non-vegans that teenagers and athletes can be vegan and thrive.

It was great to meet so many fellow vegans at the festival, but it was also awesome to see how many people were interested in the lifestyle. The majority of the people there were interested in general advice for transitioning to a vegan diet. We were able to share advice from our personal transitions, answer their questions, and refer them to many of our resources, specifically our “Vegan Diets in a Nutshell” brochure, our “My Vegan Plate” handout, and a copy of The VRG’s Journal, which has a lot of information as well as some great recipes to get them started. People were very interested in the cookbooks we were selling as well since they were all looking for some great new recipes to help them begin the transition. Meatless Meals for Working People and Vegan Soul Kitchen were popular among the crowd. Our Baltimore Dining Guide handout was also a great resource, and the children’s coloring books were a hit with the kids.

Through this festival, we were able to see how big The VRG’s network is since we met with many friends and long-time supporters of this organization, including a past intern of The VRG. We also were able to help the network grow by connecting with innovators who were interested in using our materials and resources within their own organizations. We spoke with individuals who ran nursing homes and religious groups that were hoping to use our resources to educate the people they work with. We also met with individuals from HaVen, which is a new organization within Baltimore that serves as a vegan community for people to hold meetings, workshops, or just relax. They were interested in using our resources within their group to promote veganism, health, and ethics so we can support each other’s endeavors.

The festival was a great experience, and we are all looking forward to the fourth annual Vegan Soulfest. We are also excited for our next opportunity to volunteer with The VRG at a booth for Eat Well Stay Well in Columbia, MD on September 18, 2016.

To support VRG booths and other outreach, please donate at

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