The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

The Vegetarian Resource Group’s Online Charity Auction: June 1-15, 2015

Posted on April 24, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

NOPE

This June, treat a special veggie person in your life to an amazing product from The Vegetarian Resource Group’s 1st Annual Online Charity Auction!

June 1st through June 15th, 2015, The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) will hold an online fundraising auction via Ebay Giving Works where 100% of each item’s final bid price will be donated to The VRG. We will be offering weekend get-a-ways in veg-friendly accommodations, luxury bath and beauty products, designer handbags and much much more from all of your favorite veg-friendly companies! Funds from this event will be used to help offset the costs of printing and shipping our vegan and vegetarian-based educational materials which we have provided to activists, professionals and organizations around the country, for over 33 years, free of charge!

The link to the auction will be posted when the site goes live at 10am on Monday, June 1st. Until then, RSVP to this event because we will be updating this page with sneak peaks of all of the amazing items that will be featured! Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on these incredible vegan goodies!

If you have any questions about this event or you are a veg-friendly business that would like to donate an item please contact our Outreach Coordinator, Nina, at ninac@vrg.org.

We thank you in advance for your support!

The Vegetarian Resource Group

Vegan Restaurants Added to The Vegetarian Resource Group’s Online Guide to Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurants in the USA

Posted on April 24, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group maintains an online Guide to Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurants in the USA and Canada. Below are some recent additions. The entire guide can be found here: http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

Cocobeet
100 City Hall Plaza
Boston, MA 02108

Cocobeet is located in downtown Boston right next to City Hall. They specialize in making cold pressed juices and smoothies with local and organic ingredients. The extensive menu features fun choices like the Spice-C (orange, ginger, and jalapeno) and the Minty Matcha. They also have a wide variety of grab-and-go meals and snacks.

Gustorganics
519 Avenue of The Americas
New York, NY 10011

Located near West 14th Street, this certified organic vegan restaurant offers brunch items including Carrot Cake Pancakes, Apple Cinnamon Waffles, and a Breakfast Burrito. Their regular menu includes tapas such as Mango Samosas, Endive Tacos, and Coconut Maki Rolls. They also offer a wide variety of organic soups and salads. Main dishes include Alfredo Linguini Seitan, Thai Coconut Curry, Mushroom Ravioli, Chilly Bean Smoked Tempeh Quesadilla, and other dishes. You can also enjoy fresh juices and smoothies, as well as dessert.

Harvest at the Bindery
3101 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, OR 97232

Named for the building in which it is located, Harvest at the Bindery is a vegan take on hearty seasonal foods. Typically the menu features a very American flare, with grilled vegetables and overstuffed sandwiches. The eclectic menu will be sure to please a variety of tastes. Extensive drink menu available. Closed between lunch and dinner, so call ahead for hours.

Ital Vital Rastarant
741 Pharmacy Ave.
Scarborough, ON M1L 3J4 Canada

This take-out establishment serves vegan West Indian Creole dishes as well as some Canadian-style dishes. They also have a juice bar. Cash only.

Next Level Burger
70 SW Century Dr. Ste. 120
Bend, OR 97702

This fast food burger joint offers only vegan items including a wide variety of burgers, hot dogs, salads, sandwiches, sides, cold press juices, and shakes. They offer kid’s meals as well.

The Sweet Beet
498 Salmon Brook St.
Granby, CT 06035

They are vegan, organic, and gluten-free and offer fresh juices, soup, salads, pizza, sandwiches, and main dishes such as Mac No Cheese, Roasted Roots, Savory Pie, and White Rutabaga Lasagna. They also serve baked goods.

VegeNation
616 East Carson Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89101

This green-rated eco-friendly restaurant serves global street food using fresh local ingredients as much as possible. They even grow their own fresh herbs. Menu items include salads, pizza, and a wide variety of entrees including Raw Power Tacos Collard Green Wraps, African Yam Stew Spicy Peanut Broth, and Organic Sweet Potato Quesadilla Black Beans with Chipotle Creama. Leave room for dessert including Carrot Cake, Chocolate Tacos, and Blueberry Cheese Cake.

Yankee Stadium is Now Offering Vegan Frankfurters and Burgers

Posted on April 23, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

We received the following good news from Veggie Happy:

At last, the YANKEES!

It’s been a long haul, but at long last, we’re very happy to share that New York’s Yankee Stadium will begin offering vegan frankfurters and burgers effective THIS coming Friday, April 24th!

Logistics are still being finalized, so we don’t have specific stand locations to share today, but keep an eye on the MLB Venue Vegetarian Guide listings for updated information, not just for Yankee Stadium, but for all MLB stadiums. We are continually updating concession menus and are awaiting 2015 listings from several more stadiums at this time.

Remember to use the Guide as a resource for contacting the stadiums yourself, too. (We have an NFL Guide and other venue links, as well.) We never tire of beating the drum of advocacy and empowerment. The more fans that chime in directly, supporting and celebrating vegan options, the stronger those menu options become and the greater likelihood they’ll remain on the menu.

We’ll update the Yankees listing with stand locations as soon as we have them. If you don’t see those yet, but are attending a game, be sure to ask about them. If regular concessions workers aren’t aware of these items being offered yet, or where, ask them to page the concession manager for you or to direct you to fan relations/guest services representative. We also invite you to post photos with your vegan menu items to our Facebook page. :)

Play ball!

CHILD GENIUS SHOW

Posted on April 23, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group received the following announcement:

I am writing to you from Shed Media, the TV production company behind ‘Child Genius’, ‘Super Nanny’ and the genealogy series ‘Who Do You Think You Are’. We are currently developing a second season of Child Genius – the popular docu-series that features some of America’s most gifted children and their families.

Providing the framework to the series will be the children’s involvement in a challenging nationwide academic competition. We are now looking for highly gifted/profoundly gifted children (aged 8-12) who would be interested to participate. The documentary series will profile children with exceptional IQs that often have abilities and interests far beyond their years. Parents will have a chance to talk about how their child’s extraordinary intelligence affects their daily lives and about some of the challenges they have faced in finding the right educational path for their child. The rigorous competition will take place during the summer vacation (July/early Aug). The winner will receive a substantial contribution to their college fund. The series will be aired on Lifetime.

We are particularly interested in featuring an all-vegetarian/vegan family as we feel it would be a great lifestyle to represent on TV.

-Christopher Lutz
http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/child-genius/casting

Vegan Meals for 1 or 2 is Now Available in Kindle Format!

Posted on April 22, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

Vegan Meals for 1 or 2, by Chef Nancy Berkoff, Rd, EdD and published by The Vegetarian Resource Group is now available in Kindle format. This book is perfect for situations where only 1 or 2 people in the family are vegan or for students living on their own.

Let scrumptious meals including the following get you started on a veggie diet or add spice to your vegan lifestyle. Try Mongo Mango Smoothie and Breakfast Stacks in the morning. Also enjoy Quick Tofu Stroganoff or Potato Tacos, Hot Spiced Fruit Stew, Almond Rice Pudding, and much more.

KINDLE
Vegan Meals for 1 or 2 can also be purchased in book form directly from The Vegetarian Resource Group here: http://www.vrg.org/catalog/

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY WITH THESE EASY VEGAN RECIPES

Posted on April 22, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

What better way to honor Earth than by eating vegan cuisine. Here are some recipes to enjoy!

Mexican Tossed Salad (from Conveniently Vegan)
Serves 6

1 pound green leaf or Romaine lettuce, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
14-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Small ripe avocado, chopped
1 cup salsa

Toss all the ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Chill for at least 30 minutes and serve cold.

Asian Noodle Bowl (from Vegan Menu for People with Diabetes)
Serves 2

1-1/4 cups cooked noodles, chilled (start with ½ cup uncooked noodles)
1/4 cup shredded green cabbage
1/8 cup sliced radishes
3/4 cup diced tofu or seitan (wheat gluten)
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons cashews or peanuts

In a large serving bowl, toss noodles, cabbage, radishes, tofu or seitan, garlic, and ginger until combined. Add oil and soy sauce and mix to combine. Garnish with nuts before serving.

Spanish-Style Rice (from Vegan Microwave Cookbook)
Serves 4

1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 Tablespoon oil
1 cup long-grain rice
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Place garlic, onion, green pepper, and oil in a 2-quart bowl or casserole. Microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cover. Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Stir and reduce heat to MEDIUM. Microwave for 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Serve with a fresh salad and toasty baguette.

FARM Co-Founder Alex Hershaft Will Speak in Maryland on May 17, 2015

Posted on April 21, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

Alex Hershaft, co-founder of FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement), will be speaking about his journey from holocaust survivor to animal rights activist. The event takes place May 17, 2015 at Ner Tamid, 4217 Pimlico Road, Baltimore, MD 21209. The event is sponsored by Jewish Vegetarians of North America and The Vegetarian Resource Group is one of several co-sponsors. Tickets can be purchased online at JewishVeg.org/Tickets. Cost is $5 in advance and $8 at the door. For more information email info@JewishVeg.org or call (585) 506-6190.

PROMOTE EARTH DAY WITH THE VEGETARIAN RESOURCE GROUP’S SAVE OUR WATER BROCHURE

Posted on April 17, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

SAVE OUr WATER for blog

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22nd. The Vegetarian Resource Group has a terrific brochure to show others about how much water is used to produce meat versus vegetarian food. The brochure is called Save Our Water – The Vegetarian Way.

See: http://www.vrg.org/environment/water_brochure.php

See Spanish translation of this brochure here: http://www.vrg.org/environment/water_brochure_spanish.php

CALCIUM STEARATE

Posted on April 16, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

The VRG needs your help!

Have you spotted calcium stearate on a food label recently? Please let us know!

Send us a web link to the ingredients label or a photo. Or at least, lead us to it with the complete name of the food product including brand. No vitamins or pharmaceuticals, please…just food.

At one time, calcium stearate was often derived from cow or hog fat, but we think this is no longer true. We’re not even sure this once-popular anti-caking agent and emulsifier is really even used much at all today in food. In fact, we’ve spotted it only in Smarties candy and Subway Canada’s Honey Oat Bread (both plant-derived).

Have you seen it? Please let us know! Thanks!
-Jeanne Yacoubou, Research Director

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.

Becoming Vegan in an Evidently Non-Vegan Community

Posted on April 16, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Navaal Mahdi

The average Pakistani diet is conveniently full of vegetables and lentils, so you would think that it wouldn’t be difficult for a Pakistani to cut out meat completely and make a significant diet change. The only thing that prevents many from doing so is the fact that many traditional Pakistani dishes contain some animal products. Actually, the biggest culprit is butter, and many Pakistanis seem to think that it–as well as other dairy products–are essential to make the food tasty. This is undoubtedly far from the truth, though.

When I decided to go vegan, it was ultimately a spur of the moment decision. I researched the meaning and lifestyle for almost a whole year; however, growing up in a house where dairy products were a part of almost every meal made me nervous to become vegan. For the longest time, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to eat the gourmet-quality dishes my mom had always made and that I had grown accustomed to. However, after checking numerous recipes, I realized that most foods my mom made were already vegan, and those that weren’t could easily be made vegan by skipping a step. In reality, sometimes it’s just a matter of adding olive oil instead of butter, and the dish is vegan. Knowing this made it easier for me to be content with the decision to go vegan, so I was able to cut out all animal products immediately.

When it comes to eating at parties and community gatherings, I make sure to eat a meal before I head out because I can’t expect to find too much that I can eat at these events. Most of the time, there are plain salads and vegetable-based dishes that I can eat, so luckily I’m not left to starve on the days I don’t eat beforehand. But the problem really isn’t the food; most of the time, it’s the questions, comments, and looks I get from people.

Though we shouldn’t have to explain ourselves, having a lifestyle so different from the majority of our peers means we definitely have to be willing to give them some answers when they notice what we aren’t eating. In the Pakistani community that I’m familiar with, it’s usually only the older people who don’t take me as seriously as the others do when it comes to my choice to be vegan. In this case though, it’s important to remember that most people who have lived the same lifestyle forever will naturally find it hard to comprehend the way you live. In the beginning, it’s essential to stay true to your beliefs and to not let anyone’s words get to you; if your beliefs in vegan principles are strong, then nothing will be able to change your decision.

As daunting as the task of becoming a vegan seems in a community that generally uses animal products in all food (which is arguably the most important aspect of its culture), it’s not as difficult as you might try to make yourself believe it is. If you’re willing to put up with some curious people–which will be no problem if you’re passionate about the cause–and if you’re willing to get creative with your meals, then don’t put it off because it’s not conventional in your community. Just remember that you’re making a positive change in the world, and eating as well as you do will make you feel great while you’re doing it, too.

Navaal Mahdi wrote this piece while doing an internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group.

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