The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Morningstar Farms Issued an Allergy Alert and Voluntary, Precautionary Recall of Spicy Black Bean Burgers and Chipotle Black Bean Burgers in The U.S. due to Undeclared Peanut Allergen

Posted on January 13, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

MorningStar Farms was notified by a third party supplier that one of the spice ingredients used in Spicy Black Bean Burgers and Chipotle Black Bean Burgers may inadvertently contain peanut, an allergen that is not declared on the products’ ingredient statements.


Chipotle Mexican Grill Encouraging Customers to Try Sofritas

Posted on January 13, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

To kick off 2015, Chipotle Mexican Grill is encouraging guests to stop by any location in the USA or Canada to purchase a Sofritas burrito, bowl, salad or tacos on Monday, January 26. Guests who bring that original receipt back to any Chipotle location from January 27 – February 28, 2015 will receive a FREE entrée (burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos) of their choice.

Sofritas is organic, non-GMO tofu braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblano peppers and a blend of aromatic spices and is sourced from Hodo Soy Beanery in Oakland, CA.

For more information, please visit:

“Vegans Know How to Party” is live in the Kindle Store

Posted on January 12, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Vegans Know How to Party, by Chef Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD, and published by The Vegetarian Resource Group is now available in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

This book has over 465 recipes! Vegan desserts includes pies, tarts, cakes, cupcakes, quick breads, muffins, sauces, frosting, cookies, parfaits, crisps, cobblers, crumbles, beverages, fruit salads, frozen treats, and more. Sections on how to entertain a crowd, including using vegan ingredients, basic party planning, parties for children, preparing food for people with diabetes, and working with a caterer. Enjoy party recipes for crispy and crunchy appetizers, spreads, veggie burgers, salads, soups, grain dishes, fast entrees such as lasagna, kebobs, and neatballs, and ethnic dishes from dipping sauces and pizza, to Hungarian, Indonesian, Indian, Italian, Kenyan, and Polish cuisine.

You can also order this book directly from The Vegetarian Resource Group:

The Vegetarian Resource Group Annual Video Contest: FOUR $250 AWARDS

Posted on January 09, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Create and submit a video relating what you want to tell others about vegetarianism and/or veganism.

Some possible topics: food, nutrition, your feelings about veganism and/or vegetarianism, water usage and vegetarianism, vegetarianism and animal rights, or other vegetarian topics which appeal to you. Humor and feelings are appreciated. All videos should be positive, not be critical of anyone, and not include any footage of animal cruelty. You may submit a video you have already made.

Aspects of judging include accuracy and judges wanting to share the video with others.

Entrants give permission to The Vegetarian Resource Group to post and share the video, to link to and from the video, and share the video with the media.

DEADLINE: July 15, 2015

See more at:

Weight Loss — Vegan Style

Posted on January 09, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

You or someone else you know may be looking to shed some pounds. With that in mind, we’re sharing an article we previously ran in Vegetarian Journal that will help you lose weight on a vegan diet. Dietitians Reed Mangels, PhD, RD and Chef Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD offer a lot of helpful advice including a chart listing lowfat vegan foods to meet your nutritional needs, a sample vegan menu, and vegan recipes. See:

To subscribe to Vegetarian Journal please visit:

The Vegetarian Resource Group is Awarding $20,000 in Scholarship Money to High School Seniors Graduating in 2015

Posted on January 06, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

In 2015, thanks to an anonymous donor The Vegetarian Resource Group will be awarding $20,000 in scholarship money to graduating High School seniors that have promoted vegetarian/vegan diets over an extended period of time in their community, school, etc.

The deadline to enter the 2015 contest is February 20, 2015 and details can be found here:

New Vegan Restaurants Added to VRG’s Veggie Restaurant Guide

Posted on January 02, 2015 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group has an online guide to veggie restaurants in the USA and Canada on their website. To view the full guide, see:

Below are some recent vegan restaurant additions. Happy dining in 2015!

910 Pleasant Grove Blvd
Suite 160
Roseville, Ca 95678
21001 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
Suite C8
San Ramon, Ca 94583

Because Baagan specializes in Ayurvedic and Indian/East Asian spices, dishes are unique and delectably pleasing. Patrons guiltlessly indulge in favorites such as the Raw Nori Wrap with organic nori, fresh greens, red bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onions, pea sprouts, and chili sunflower seeds and freshly-made raw spreads like Pesto, Cheesy Chipotle or Creamy Cilantro Jalapeno.

Basil and Javi’s
Location varies (food truck)
Seattle, WA

Basil and Javi’s uses fresh, local, and organic ingredients to make their all vegan cuisine. Their delectable dishes and drinks reinvent typical food from a truck. They offer a variety food from Mexican to Mediterranean influence. Not in the mood for something heavy? Basil and Javi’s has fresh pressed juice and small sides like their house-made seitan or spicy pickled vegetables. No matter what you decide, you will not be disappointed!

Good Karma Café
2940 Canal St.
New Orleans, LA 70199
This quaint café located inside Swan River Yoga serves traditional Indian food, but with a vegan twist. The bohemian atmosphere creates for an authentic experience. All ingredients are locally sourced and the cuisine is completely homemade from conscientious chefs that have been vegetarian their whole lives. Try the Malaysian Curry with a variety of vegetables, soy protein, a dash of ground peanuts, fresh cucumber, and your choice of rice. Feed your soul at GoodKarma!

Happy Elephant
1532 E Broadway
Long Beach CA 90802
Patrons are greeted with complimentary fresh kale chips, Thai iced tea or coffee. Feast on appetizers such as the 5 Sweetie Chard Cups; rainbow chard leaves filled with toasted shredded coconuts, cashew nut, Thai chili, shallot, and lime and served with zesty tamarind sauce. Entrees like the Spicy Vermicelli Rice with fresh bean sprouts, green beans, roasted chili, basil leaves and a mild coconut mushroom curry sauce are a house favorite.

Indochine Vegan
508 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Local art displayed in this restaurant create an elegant charm for diners. Start off with the vegan sushi, such as the Fresh Spring Roll with organic tofu, vermicelli, lettuce and fresh herbs. They also offer house favorites such as the Korean Bibimbap with sautéed organic tofu, vegan ham with ginger, soy bean sprout, spinach, carrot and zucchini. Diners can also treat themselves to vegan desserts like the Banana Split.

Mint Vegan
535 Kings Hwy.
Brooklyn, NY 11223

Mint Vegan is located in Brooklyn between 4th St & 3rd St in Gravesend, Midwood. With seasonal menus, ingredients are fresh and the high quality of the food matches the impeccable service. Patrons can enjoy guiltless comfort food like the French Lentil-Seitan Roulade, a lentil-leek-seitan rolled in filo with quinoa pilaf, garlic swiss chard, and red and yellow pepper coulis.

Native Foods
1216 West Broad St.
Falls Church, VA 22046

Native Foods uses tempeh, seitan, and textured vegetable protein (TVP) to make many of the dishes found at this all-vegan restaurant. Try one of many burgers, salads, Earth Bowls, side dishes, and dessert including cookies, a brownie, and more.

Veggie Grill
200 South Lake
Pasadena, CA 91101

The Veggie Grill serves classic American fast food that is completely vegan. There are so many delicious items to choose from including the Bombay Bowl, Savory Kale Caesar, Tres “Fish” Tacos, Mac n’ Cheese, carrot cake, etc.


Posted on December 31, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Thank you so much to all those that have supported us this year with your matching donations, Vegetarian Resource Group Life Memberships, stock donations, grants, and more. Your support is greatly appreciated! We wish you a wonderful New Year!

To help us continue our in-depth research and outreach in 2015 see:


Posted on December 31, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

Note: This list doesn’t include all-vegetarian chains.

Vote for your favorite chain at:

So far, these are the top restaurants you have chosen.

Chipotle 16.05 %
Qdoba Mexican Grill 6.79 %
Taco Bell 6.66 %
Noodles & Company 5.48 %
Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes 5.23 %
Panera Bread 5.11 %
Subway 4.98 %
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro 4.79 %
Moe’s Southwest Grill 3.74 %



Posted on December 30, 2014 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor


According to Crains’s Chicago Business magazine, when Native Foods, a chain of 26 vegan restaurants, in September eliminated three faux-beef items, each of which were below 3 percent of total sales, they lost customers. Same-store sales dropped up to 5 percent in consecutive weeks in October. The chain’s co-owner and president, Andrea McGinty said, “We flat-out made a big mistake and only looked at the numbers and didn’t look at the veto vote,” McGinty says, referring to instances in which one member of a group of diners vetoes a restaurant because he or she doesn’t like anything on the menu. “Our hard-core carnivores had nowhere to go on the menu” after Native Foods removed its Reuben sandwich, Italian meatball sub and bistro steak.” Native Food then brought the items back. Of course the veto vegetarian is a good reason for non-vegetarian restaurants to carry vegan items.

For more information on vegetarian restaurants, see:

For market info, see:

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