Support your Bay Area Veg Community
This is our last BAVeg News for the year. 2005 has been a good year for Bay Area Vegetarians. Our innovative model of offering free membership, excellent event programming, and resources like the Ultimate Guide and Veg Food Finder has proven successful. We gauge our effectiveness by our growing membership and community, event attendance, feedback that we receive from members, and growing use of our website (over 30,000 visitors a month).
The month is the last opportunity to make a tax-deductible contribution for 2005. When you consider the issues and organizations that are important to you, please remember to think locally.
Bay Area Vegetarians works everyday to support, promote, and build the vegetarian and animal community in the San Francisco Bay Area:
- We typically have 15-20 events every month, ranging from social to advocacy to educational.
- We provide support to new, aspiring, and experienced vegetarians and vegans every day.
- We respond to inquiries from the public, the media, and members.
- We publish a monthly newsletter to keep our members informed about BAVEG events and activities, which include the Compassionate Living Program, annual BEST OF VEG survey, and the Veggie Mentor Program.
- We manage and maintain the Ultimate Guide to Vegetarian Living in the SF Bay Area, the most comprehensive and current source for dining veg in the Bay Area. It even provides a free veg guide that you can print.
- We manage SFBAVEG and SFBAVEG-EVENTS, two widely used mailing lists for the local community.
- We support local and national organizations and campaigns, and local and national activists
In 2005, we introduced the Compassionate Living Program, which examines and presents different topics related to vegetarian living, education, and advocacy via speakers, discussions, and films, and the Veg Food Finder, a tool that allows you to enter an address and a selected search radius for vegetarian foods in that area. We are also donating Tofurkys to local food banks (see below).
Because we chose to not charge a membership fee, we don't have any regular or significant source of income. Although this is a financial limitation, which restricts our ability for event programming and outreach, we strongly feel that everyone should be able to join a veg organization, especially those who can least financially afford it or are still undecided about vegetarianism.
It is only with support from our volunteers and donors that we can continue. Please give us a gift of your time by volunteering, and if you are financially able, support vegetarianism in the Bay Area with a donation. We don't demand by charging a membership fee, but we ask for your generosity. All gifts, small or large, are gratefully appreciated and useful.
Financial donations may be sent by mail to: Bay Area Vegetarians, P.O. Box 371215, Montara, CA 94037, or made via PayPal, debit, or credit card via our website
Volunteer opportunities are listed here
For volunteers interested in advocacy, on January 8th, we will have an excellent workshop on the "Basics of Effective Advocacy for Animals"
For people who have already contributed this year, thank you very much for your generosity. For those who have not yet contributed, but want to support Bay Area Vegetarians and the local vegetarian community, please send a donation today. Thank you for your support!
Tammy & Chris
President and Vice-President
Bay Area Vegetarians
Best of Veg 2005 - Winners
You voted, we counted and now we know who are the BEST OF VEG in the San Francisco Bay Area! Here are the top winners from the survey results.
Best Overall Vegetarian Restaurant: Herbivore
Best Overall Vegan Restaurant: Millennium
Please visit our website for full results in the 19 categories, including Favorite Local Activist.
Interestingly, in previous years, Millennium won both top awards. But this year, however, vegetarian restaurants Greens and Geranium made a strong showing and split votes that Millennium would have otherwise received, allowing Herbivore to claim the honor as the Best Overall Vegetarian restaurant.
Tofurky for SF Food Bank
Tofurky is one of the most popular vegetarian alternatives during the holiday season. So when Warren posted a plea in November to the SFBAVEG list for donations for the SF Food Bank for less fortunate vegetarians, we had to respond.
We are working directly with Turtle Island Foods, the manufacturer of Tofurky, to enable a shipment to the SF Food Bank. If funds and interest allow, we will contact other Bay Area food banks. If you'd like to support this and other Bay Area Veg programs and projects, donations are welcome
BAVeg Book Club
Starting in 2006, we will have a new monthly event - a book club! Unlike other book clubs, vegan refreshments that everyone can enjoy will be part of the experience (either during or after the discussion). 8 general books will be discussed, and 4 vegetarian/animal rights books.
January - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
February - Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
You'll find more information on the series in the book club forum
Although his family was vegan before that word even existed, he made his own decision to embrace vegan living. Bob shares his story in this month's Community Profile.
Read more about Bob in this month's Community Profile.
If you've got an interesting veg perspective that you'd like to share, please let us know.
November brought a few changes in the SF vegetarian restaurants scenery - grand opening for the much anticipated second location for Cafe Gratitude in the Inner Sunset district, the closure of Hulu House, and the opening of Enjoy Vegetarian, with the same address and telephone number of the defunct Hulu House.
In other news ... with some strong reviews, New World Vegetarian Restaurant makes its first appearance in the Top Ten, and Cafe Gratitude (on Harrison) fails to hold onto its spot as #9.
With over 700 reviews in the Ultimate Guide, these vegetarian restaurants are ranked the best. Do you agree? Don't see your favorite listed in the Top Then? Then please give them a good review and help them gain the recognition that they deserve!
Top Ten Vegetarian Restaurants (*)
1. Good Karma - San Jose - 4.5
2. Garden Fresh - Mtn View - 4.44
3. Golden Lotus - Oakland - 4.42
4. The Manzanita Restaurant - Oakland - 4.42
5. Alive! - SF - 4.35
6. BayLeaf Cafe - Palo Alto - 4.25
7. New World Vegetarian - Oakland - 4.23 New
8. Cha-Ya - Berkeley - 4.22
9. Millennium - SF - 4.21
10. Shangri-La - SF ) - 4.17
*based on Ultimate Guide reviewers like you
How to review a restaurant in the Ultimate Guide
Recipe of the Month
This month's recipe feature is really a set of wonderful ideas on how to enjoy a wonderful seasonal vegetable that brightens the produce aisles at local stores and farmer's markets: squash! Thank you to Alex Bury for sharing her squash techniques.
"I use butternut, acorn, kabocha, dumplings, delicata -- whatever is nice at the time. Place a whole, uncut fresh winter squash in the oven at 350 degrees (on foil or a baking sheet). Don’t peel it or anything.
Then bake for at least 20 minutes, possibly 40--it all depends on the size of the squash. Don’t worry, you can’t overcook it. It’s done when a knife goes in easily and the skin is brown and wrinkly.
Carefully remove from the oven and cool (I cut in half at this point so it will cool faster, but you have to be very careful because it’s so hot inside).
When it’s cool it’s ready to eat. Just discard the seeds and the skin falls off in your hands. Much easier than wrestling with the skin and seeds of a hard, raw squash.
You then have sweet, tender roasted squash flesh to scoop out and:
1) Puree into a rich soup
2) Eat as is with salt and pepper, or tamari, or maple syrup
3) Eat with baked tofu, sautéed greens, and rice for a super healthy and nutritious meal
4) Stir pieces into a luscious curry sauce
5) Puree in the food processor with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper for a "hummus"
6) Puree in the food processor with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg for a scrumptious "butter" (you can replace the oil with vegetable stock if you’re worried about calories)
I often keep half a roasted squash in my fridge because it makes such a quick and healthy snack. The natural creamy sweetness satisfies a lot of food cravings; if you’re craving a dessert, or something fatty, this will fill you up without tons of useless fat calories."
For those of you who use Yahoo or RSS, we've now added a convenient feed for upcoming BAV Events as well as News.
folks on the go, we also have a mobile
the events calendar for PDA and cellphone