Food, Vegetarian Living

Veg Menu Options Increase as Meat Prices Rise

Menu - genericAccording to a recent meat & poultry industry report, the price of meat, particularly beef, will increase dramatically in the United States during 2013. These price spikes will likely affect not only what people eat at home, but also how restaurants create their menus.  At the same time Mintel Group Ltd., a market research firm, predicts that restaurants will offer more vegetarian dishes containing more cost effective sources of protein. In fact, Mintel reports that vegetarian menus options in American restaurants have already increased by 22 percent.

Many restaurants are planning even more. A case in point is Chipotles. The Chipotle Mexican Grill is expanding its test market for a new menu item called Sofritas to seven San Francisco Bay Area stores. Sofritas are a vegetarian menu option that features shredded tofu, chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos and a blend of spices. The Hodo Soy Beanery, Oakland, Calif., a processor of tofu and yuba, supplies the shredded tofu to Chipotle.

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, chairman and co-chief executive officer of Chipotle. “Sofritas is a very different menu item not just for Chipotle, but for any fast food or fast causal restaurant. It was really conceived with vegetarians and vegans in mind, but it’s so delicious that we believe it will have a broad appeal on taste alone.”

Sofritas will be available in burritos, tacos, burrito bowls and salads and may be combined with other ingredients, including white or brown cilantro-lime rice, pinto beans or vegetarian black beans, salsas and guacamole, and cheese or sour cream.

Not to be outdone by California, and always one step ahead, Washington already has Mexican style restaurants featuring tofu. Check out the tofu burritos and fajitas at Gorditos in the Greenwood section of Seattle and in Everett. All we can say is yum meets healthy in every bite!

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About Vegetarians of Washington

Vegetarians of Washington is a large non-profit vegetarian society based in Seattle, WA. We encourage people to discover the advantages and experience the pleasures of vegetarian food. We welcome everyone, whether you're an experienced vegetarian, a beginner or just curious. You don't have to be a vegetarian to join our organization, or to follow our blog! We run the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, Seattle's Vegfest, held in the Seattle Center in March each year. We also host monthly dining events and give free nutrition and cooking classes. We've written four nationally published books, including our latest book "Say No to Meat" which gives the information and real-world advice that new vegetarians need the most, in an easy question-and-answer style. Our other books are the fact-filled "The Vegetarian Solution", a wide range of delicious recipes in "The Veg-Feasting Cookbook", and our guidebook to vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants in Washington and Oregon, "Vegetarian Pacific Northwest". All our books are available in local bookstores, and via our website or Amazon.com.

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