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VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 12
November 1997


  1.  American Dietetic Association Annual Meeting
  2.  Vegetarian Lunch Buffet in Pennsylvania
  3.  Free Information by email
  4.  New VRG handout, Guía Alimenticia Vegetariana
  5.  Vegetarian Journal Gift Subscriptions 25% Off
  6.  November/December 1997 Vegetarian Journal Online
  7.  VRG Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck
  8.  Life Membership
  9.  Planning Your End of Year Donations?
  10.  Anything else we should include?
  11.  Recipes of the Month: Thanksgiving Ideas from Tom Spofford
  12.  About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  13.  About VRG-NEWS


1) Over 12,000 dietitians had the opportunity to view materials and buy books at VRG's exhibit at the annual meeting of The American Dietetic Association held in Boston in late October. Our booth was swamped and we gave away over 20 large boxes of free material and sold numerous books. Thanks to VRG members who staffed the booth including Suzanne Havala, MS., R.D., Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D., Ginny Messina, M.P.H., R.D., Julie Hoskins, M.S., R.D., Robin Stone, Charles Stahler, and Debra Wasserman.

Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. spoke at a panel discussion on raising vegetarian children. Over 300 dietitians attended. Unfortunately, the room assigned to this session was way too small and over one hundred dietitians were unable to get in. Dietitians are showing the ADA conference organizers how popular vegetarianism is!

Reed Mangels and Debra Wasserman did a busy poster presentation on Vegetarian Nutrition Materials on VRG's website. And VRG sponsored a vegan dinner for conference attendees. 110 people enjoyed a fantastic vegan spread prepared by Country Life restaurant staff in Boston. Several of the attendees were not vegetarian and said they were very pleased with the meal.

Special thanks to all the VRG members who donated money toward this week long event. It costs VRG approximately $5,000 to exhibit at this important conference when you include the booth cost, printing costs for materials, and transportation and hotel costs. VRG would like to exhibit at other national conferences including meetings for public health workers, doctors, and teachers. If you are interested in sponsoring one of these events please contact us at 410-366-8343 or via email at vrg@vrg.org.

For more information on the American Dietetic Association, visit http://www.eatright.org. For information on The American Dietetic Association Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group visit http://www.eatright.org/dpg14.html.


2) The Vegetarian Resource Group is sponsoring a vegetarian lunch buffet on Saturday, November 22, 1997 at 12:00 Noon in Ephrata, PA $14 for adults; $6 for children under 10 (price includes tax and tip)

THE NAV JIWAN INTERNATIONAL TEA ROOM, 240 North Reading Road (Route 272), Ephrata, PA

This is a great chance to meet and socialize with other vegetarian and vegetarian-curious people while enjoying excellent ethnic cuisine in an "atmosphere of international charm!"

Also, enjoy a unique opportunity to "experience the sights, sounds and textures of intriguing creations hand-crafted by skilled artisans from 30 countries," and learn about how the Nav Jiwan Tea Room helps to benefit third world people.

Singles, families, children, Vegetarian Resource Group members and non-members are all welcome!

Following lunch, everyone is welcome to join in a discussion on vegetarian topics of interest.

(all items are vegan)

Red Beet Salad
Curried Vegetables
Vegetable Samosas
Sweet Tomato Chutney
Chick Pea Curry
Pilao Rice
Rasam (Lentil Soup)
Pita Bread & Hummus
Fruit Salad
Lemon Grass Tea and Coffee will also be available

Please respond by Friday, November 14, 1997... seating is limited.
Name: _____________________________________________________
City, State, Zip Code: _________________________________________
Telephone Number:___________________
Number of Adults: _______ X $14 =__________
Number of Children: ________ X $6 = __________
Total Amount Enclosed = __________

Please send payment to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. For more information, or to charge your reservations by phone, call (410) 366-VEGE between the hours of 9AM and 5PM on weekdays. Thanks to Stephanie for organizing this event! We will only issue refunds if we are able to fill your seat. Thank you!


3) If you want a text version of VRG's Vegetarianism in a Nutshell (see http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/nutshell.htm), simply send an email to nutshell@vrg.org. The subject and body do not matter. You will receive an automatic reply containing the information. Similarly, you can get the latest copy of VRG's text catalog by sending an email to catalog@vrg.org. If you have questions about these files, please email Brad Scott at brad@vrg.org.

Feel free to post the nutshell@vrg.org and catalog@vrg.org addresses any place you feel is appropriate or in your organization's newsletter.

NEW VRG HANDOUT, Guía Alimenticia Vegetariana

4) The Vegetarian Resource Group has a new handout titled "Guía Alimenticia Vegetariana." It is a copy of our Vegetarian Nutrition for Teens handout translated for a Latino audience. If you would like a copy, please send a stamped self-addressed envelope to:

Guía Alimenticia Vegetariana
The Vegetarian Resource Group
PO Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203

If you would like multiple copies to handout, we would appreciate a donation of 10 cents per copy to cover printing costs. Thank you.

We would also appreciate a volunteer who is fluent in Spanish retyping the brochure for our web site. Email Brad Scott at brad@vrg.org if you are willing to help. Thanks.


Give a gift subscription to the Vegetarian Journal for 25% off! Give your friends and relatives (or yourself) a gift subscription for only $15, 25% off the usual rate of $20 (contiguous US only. Canada and Mexico are the special price of $25, and other countries are the special price of $37).

The recipient of your gift will be reminded of your thoughtfulness six times over the course of the year. Offer expires on December 31, 1997. To order via our secure web site using your Mastercard or Visa, visit https://skyport.net/vrg/subscribegift.htm. To order via our standard site, visit http://www.vrg.org/journal/subscribegift.htm. Or call (410) 366-8343 or send your check to VRG, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. Be sure to include who the gift is for.


6) Excerpts from the November/December 1997 issue of the Vegetarian Journal are now online at http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj97nov. Some of the highlights are:

  1.  Stuff Your Face: Stuffings for all Seasons
  2.  Vegan Menu Items at Fast Food and Family-Style Restaurants, Part I
  3.  Note From the Coordinators: Is Vegetarianism Your Religion?

If you are not currently a subscriber to the Vegetarian Journal, why not subscribe today? You can find subscription information online at http://www.vrg.org/journal/subscribe.htm. Join for $30 or more, and receive a FREE copy of the Vegan Handbook, a $19.95 value! (U.S. addresses only) (see http://www.vrg.org/catalog/veganhandbook.htm).


7) Come celebrate an early Thanksgiving VRG style at our 16th annual Vegetarian Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner. The dinner will be on Sunday, November 23rd at 5:30 p.m. at St. John's Church, St. Paul and 27th Streets in Baltimore. All you need is $3 (per adult) and a vegetarian dish (no meat, fish, or poultry) that will serve four people (please remember that many people attending are vegan, avoiding dairy, eggs, and honey). Please also bring the recipe on a 3x5 card and a serving utensil for your dish. Paper cups, plates, napkins, and plastic utensils will be provided, but we encourage you to bring your own reusable dishes and utensils to help reduce waste. We will also be collecting non-perishable vegetarian canned goods to donate to St. John's Church for them to distribute to those in need. For more information, email vrg@vrg.org or call 410-366-8343.

The Chicago Vegetarian Society will be holding its annual pre-Thansgiving dinner on November 23rd also. For details, call 773-975-VEGY.

Vegetarian Vision will hold a Vegetarian Thanksgiving feast at 57 West 48th Street in New York City on Friday, November 28th from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. For more information, call (212) 971-0653 or email vegvision@aol.com.


8) Become a Life Member of The Vegetarian Resource Group and receive the Vegetarian Journal for life. The cost of a lifetime membership is $500. This type of membership supports our ongoing activities, such as working to improve the school lunch program, offering vegetarian options in the Meals on Wheels Program, and similar endeavors.

Checks to cover the cost of lifetime memberships can be sent to The Vegetarian Resource Group, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. Lifetime memberships can also be charged to your Mastercard or Visa. For more information, please call VRG at (410) 366-8343 or email vrg@vrg.org.


9) Now is the time of the year many people plan their year end donations. Please be sure The Vegetarian Resource Group is on your list of organizations to give to. Your financial support helps us to promote vegetarianism to doctors and dietitians at conferences, keep the media informed, and create new handouts and publications for the general public. Many volunteers donate countless hours to make the money go as far as possible. For example, the web site (http://www.vrg.org) was built using only volunteer labor. So please do what you can to help VRG advance vegetarianism in your community and throughout America. Thanks.


10) As always, we welcome your thoughts on items to include in this newsletter. If you have any suggestions or submissions, please email Bobbi Pasternak at bobbi@vrg.org.


Recipes by Tom Spofford with Introduction by Bobbi Pasternak

11) Are you looking for fresh ideas for the Thanksgiving table? Here are several recipes from Tom Spofford, a vegan chef and host of AOL Vegetarians Online's Vegetarian Cooking Basics chat. If you're on AOL, join Tom every Monday evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time in the AOL Cooking Club's Cooks Nook chat room (keyword COOKCLUB > Cooking Chats > Cooks Nook) and check out Tom's Cooking Basics Archives in Vegetarians Online (keyword VEGAN). Tom can be reached by e-mail at Bigdill530@aol.com.

The recipes presented here are Romaine Salad with Apple Dressing, Autumn Risotto, and Vegan Gravy. To round out a Thanksgiving menu, Tom recommends adding a light soup as a second course, sauteed kale with sherry vinegar with the main course, and a dessert.

Romaine Salad with Apple Dressing

For the apple dressing:
2 cups apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
1 apple peeled, cored and chopped
2 shallots peeled
1/4 cup + 1 TBS apple vinegar
1/2 cup + 2 TBS canola oil
salt and pepper

For the salad:
romaine lettuce
chili peppers
raw beets, peeled
raw carrots, scrubbed and/or peeled
toasted walnuts

Pour the cider into a skillet and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and allow to reduce down to 3/4 cup (about 15 minutes). Be very careful that you don't reduce it too far and burn it. Scraping the sides of the pan every few minutes will be helpful. Allow to cool.

In a blender put shallots, apple, vinegar, oil and cider reduction. Blend until smooth. Add some freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Arrange torn lettuce on plates. Grate carrots and beets (raw) over greens. Sprinkle with chopped chili peppers. Drizzle with dressing and top with toasted walnuts.

Autumn Risotto

A. Prepare an acorn squash

1 acorn squash
1/4 cup white wine or water

Preheat oven to 400. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down in glass baking dish. Add the wine and pinch of salt and pepper to the dish. Bake covered 1 hour or until soft.

B. Prepare the risotto

6 cups hot water
1 cup fresh pumpkin-diced
1 cup carrots-diced
1 stalk celery-diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 vegetable bouillon cubes

1/2 Tbs olive oil
1-1/4 cup chopped onion
6 cloves garlic-chopped
2 chili peppers-chopped

1-1/2 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine
1 TBS fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh sage, chopped

FIRST: Make the stock.

Bring water to a boil and add pumpkin. Cook until soft about 5 minutes. Remove and reserve the pumpkin, returning the water to the stove top. Add carrot, celery and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove and reserve the vegetables, returning the water to the stovetop. Add boullion cubes and dissolve cubes using a whisk. Set stock aside.

SECOND: Cook the rice.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Test the oil temperature by adding a piece of onion. When it sizzles add the rest of the onion, garlic and chilies. Stir and saute about 5 minutes.

Lower the heat, add the rice, and stir, allowing it to cook for one minute. Now add the wine. It will be quickly absorbed by the rice. Next add 1/2 cup of the stock water from earlier. Stir and let rice absorb liquid. When the stock is absorbed, add another 1/2 cup of stock and stir as it absorbs.

Continue to add stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until abosrbed, until all of the stock is used up. The rice will be done in about 20 minutes. If you want a more creamy dish turn off heat, add a little more water, stir and let sit another few minutes with the cover on pot.


Just before removing the pan from the stove stir in the herbs along with the cooked vegetables. Taste and add salt as needed. Cut cooked squash halves in half and fill with risotto. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Vegan Gravy

This is a non-fat recipe. It can be enhanced by sauteeing some mushrooms in olive oil and adding them to the final product. This additional step, however, is optional.

4 cups vegetable stock or boullion stock
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
2 cloves at least fresh garlic
1 Tablespoon tamari
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt to taste


Either prepare vegetable stock (4 cups) or heat 4 cups of water and add two vegetable boullion cube. Allow to cool.


Heat skillet over medium flame and add 3/4 cup white flour and 1/4 cup wheat flour. Shake the pan or stir with a whisk. You are dry roasting the flour as if making a roux. Stir the flour the entire time. Don't let the edges burn. If any flour burns start over. When the flour starts to smell like toasted bread, roast it for another minute and then take it off of the heat. Allow to cool.


Add half of the liquid to a deep sauce pan and add the roasted flour. Whisk until smooth. Turn on the heat to a medium flame. The mix will start to thicken. Add the rest of the stock and keep whisking.


Press in two cloves of garlic or more if you are a garlic fanatic. Add 1 tablespoon of tamari. Add thyme and pepper. Taste and add salt, more tamari or whatever seems to fit. Add mushrooms if used.

If it got clumpy when being made, the ingredients were not cool enough. Luckily you can just put it in the blender to smooth it out.

Many thanks to Tom for permission to use his recipes in VRG-NEWS. This article is copyright 1997 by Bigdill Communications.


12) Our health professionals, activists, and educators work with businesses and individuals to bring about healthy changes in your school, workplace, and community. Registered dietitians and physicians aid in the development of nutrition-related publications and answer member and media questions about vegetarian diets.

The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization. Financial support comes primarily from memberships, donations, and book sales.

The Vegetarian Journal, a bi-monthly print magazine, is a benefit of membership in The VRG. The Journal features informational and recipe articles, product and book reviews, news for vegetarian activists, and up to date information about vegetarian health and nutrition. Membership in the VRG costs $20/year in the US, $30/year in Canada and Mexico, or $42/year for the rest of the world. Accepted forms of payment, all in US funds, are Visa, Mastercard, checks drawn on US banks, and postal orders. When joining, please send us your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. If paying by credit card, please include the card number and expiration date. Membership requests should be directed to:

The Vegetarian Resource Group
PO Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203
Phone: (410) 366-8343
Fax: (410) 366-8804
E-mail: vrg@vrg.org

Or you can subscribe online at http://www.vrg.org/journal/subscribe.htm


13) VRG-NEWS is distributed as a volunteer service of Vegetarians Online, the forum for vegetarians on America Online. Vegetarians Online offers message boards, live chats, downloadable files, informational content, quick links to vegetarian websites and USENET newsgroups, and an interactive store which features products from The VRG. AOL members can use keyword VEGAN to visit Vegetarians Online. Whether or not you are an AOL member, you may subscribe to the VEGUPDATE newsletter. To do so, send an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.AOL.COM. Your message should read SUB VEGUPDATE followed by your first and last names. For more information, please contact Vegetarians Online host Bobbi Pasternak at bobbi@vrg.org.

If you wish to cancel your subscription to VRG-NEWS, send an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.AOL.COM with the following message:

If you wish to subscribe to VRG-NEWS, send an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.AOL.COM with the following message:
SUB VRG-NEWS {your first and last name}

Do not include the {} when you enter your name. The newsletter will be sent to the email address you are subscribing from.

Contents of VRG-NEWS are copyright 1997 by The Vegetarian Resource Group. The newsletter may be freely distributed in electronic or print form provided its contents are not altered.

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PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
(410) 366-8343   Email: vrg@vrg.org

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April 8, 1998

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