Vegetarians on the roadTraveling can be an ordeal for...

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August 29, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Vegetarians on the road

Traveling can be an ordeal for hungry vegetarians and vegans. Each new restaurant is a challenge. Will there be a decent salad? Will every single pizza have cheese? Will the vegetable soup have a base of chicken stock?

Now, for people who eat no meat or poultry, or for people who eliminate animal products altogether (including eggs and dairy products), there is a guide to help locate a restaurant that caters to those diets just about anywhere in the United States or Canada.

The guide, "The Vegetarian Journal's Guide to Natural Foods Restaurants in the U.S. and Canada," is published by the Baltimore-based Vegetarian Resource Group, which also produces cookbooks, newsletters and other information for vegetarians and vegans.

The guide lists more than 1,500 spots where choices are strictly vegetarian or vegan or where a number of dishes on the regular menu will suit. Among those listed for Baltimore are Akbar, Green Earth, Louie's Bookstore Cafe and Syrumie Cafe. But there are also listings from Missoula, Mont., to Portland, Maine, and places in between. There are also lists of vegetarian inns, camps, spas and vacation spots.

Copies may be ordered for $13, which includes postage and handling, from the Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, Md. 21203. Maryland residents need to add 65 cents for sales tax. For MasterCard or Visa orders, call (410) 366-VEGE.

Here's an event that's guaranteed to be hot stuff: a day-long festival of spicy food in the heart of Sowebo, presided over by the Chile Goddess and featuring music, dancing in the streets and samples of fiery foods

The event, put on by Mencken's Cultured Pearl restaurant, 1114 Hollins St., and Flamingo Flats, a specialty hot-sauce shop from St. Michaels, begins at noon Sept. 19, with a procession that includes a float bearing "Our Lady of the Hot Sauce."

In addition to food for sampling, there will be a recipe contest for local chefs and hot-food aficionados, to be judged by a celebrity panel and festival attendees. Entry forms can be picked up at the Cultured Pearl, at the Cultured Commissary, 1145 Hollins St., or at Flamingo Flats, 406 Talbot St. in St. Michaels.

Tickets to the event, which benefits Viva House, a nonprofit soup kitchen serving the hungry and homeless in South Baltimore, cost $10 in advance, $12 on festival day. Tickets are available at the two Cultured Pearl locations, at Flamingo Flats, and at Viva House, 26. S. Mount St. For credit-card holders, tickets can be ordered by phone and picked up the day of the festival from Mencken's Cultured Pearl, (410) 332-9962.

The siren song of contests calls to all cooks

Now's the time to polish up your recipes for chicken, or for ethnic specialties, quick ideas, healthy creations and special treats to enter in contests that could win a kitchen make-over or a trip to the Caribbean. Here are some details:

* 1994 Delmarva Chicken Cooking Contest. Entries must be original and must feature broiler or fryer chicken as the main ingredient. Twenty finalists will go to finals next June. Prizes include a Caribbean vacation for two and cash. Entries must be received by Feb. 1, 1994. For an official entry form, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to DCCC, c/o Delmarva Poultry, R.D. 6, Box 47, Georgetown, Del. 19947-9622.

* 36th Pillsbury BAKE-OFF. Original recipes may be entered in any of the four categories above and must use one of a number of Pillsbury or Green Giant products: flour; hot roll mix; cake mix; brownie mix; ready-to-spread frosting; refrigerated biscuits; dinner rolls; pizza or pie crust; canned or jarred vegetables; canned dry or prepared beans; frozen vegetables. Prizes include a Sears Kenmore kitchen make-over, a Sears shopping spree, cash and other Sears merchandise. Entries must be postmarked by Oct. 18 and received by Oct. 22. For an entry form, call (800) 933-7700 (through Sept. 30) or write to Pillsbury BAKE-OFF Entry Blanks, P.O. Box 4831, Monticello, Minn. 55565-4831.

Here's a sample of a "healthy creation" recipe:

Turkey and pasta coleslaw

Serves 5

1 16-ounce package Green Giant seasoned frozen vegetables and pasta

3 cups finely shredded green cabbage

1 cup cubed cooked turkey

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1 green onion, chopped

1/3 cup prepared reduced-calorie coleslaw dressing

5 lettuce leaves

5 lime slices

5 fresh parsley sprigs

Prepare frozen vegetables and pasta according to package directions until vegetables are crisp-tender. Place in large bowl. Cool 15 minutes in refrigerator.

Add cabbage, turkey, carrot and onion to vegetable and pasta mixture. Pour dressing over salad; toss gently to combine. Serve on plates lined with lettuce leaves; garnish with lime slices and parsley.

For those occasions when kisses aren't enough, Hershey's has introduced Hugs, candies shaped like the traditional Hershey's Kisses but coated with white chocolate. There's a plain white- and milk-chocolate version, and a version with almonds. Bags of Hugs are available in three sizes, with suggested retail prices ranging from $1.39 to $5.79, wherever Hershey products are sold.

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