Academy Awards Shine Spotlight on Vegan Cuisine

The Physicians Committee

Food for Life

Academy Awards Shine Spotlight on Vegan Cuisine

The Oscars are a night for the stars to shine, but after the acceptance speeches end, the focus shifts from glamour to food. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck has been catering the Governor’s Ball for 19 years. For this year’s sensational menu, he’s whipping up some vegan dishes that could garner more buzz than a poorly-timed wardrobe malfunction.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a celebrity to eat like one. Featured dishes like kale salad, cauliflower with baby vegetables, artichokes, beet salad, and vegan pizza are all fare you can make from the set of your own kitchen. This heart-healthy menu will keep you going strong, even if your favorite film loses Best Picture.

If you’re hosting an Academy Awards party, you can treat your guests like VIPs with these Oscars-themed recipes.

Nominations for best meal include:

“I’d like to thank the Academy” Artichokes
Stuffed Artichokes

Makes 4 servings

4 artichokes
1 1/2 teaspoons nonhydrogenated, dairy-free margarine
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
12 ounces fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon seasoned bread crumbs
sweet mustard dip (optional)

Remove stems from artichokes. Place a steamer basket in a saucepan over boiling water. Add artichokes, reduce heat, and cover. Steam for 40 minutes. Artichokes should be soft, but not mushy. Remove artichokes from the steamer and run under cold water to prevent the leaves from curling. Spread the leaves apart, and remove the choke with a spoon. Set aside.

Heat margarine and oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Add garlic, red peppers, peas, basil, and oregano, and sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add spinach and cover, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and mix breadcrumbs with spinach mixture. Divide into four portions and stuff into center of each artichoke. Serve with sweet mustard dip, if desired.

Artichokes can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. Reheat in microwave or low oven.

Per stuffed artichoke

Calories: 125
Fat: 2.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5
Calories from Fat: 18.2%
Cholesterol: 0 mg

Protein: 7.8 g
Carbohydrates: 22.6 g
Sugar: 3.6 g
Fiber: 9.6 g
Sodium: 219 mg

Calcium: 176 mg
Iron: 3.2 mg
Vitamin C: 53.7 mg
Beta Carotene: 4296 mcg
Vitamin E: 1.2 mg

Source: Artichoke's Café, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Published in The Best in the World, Neal D. Barnard, M.D., editor.

Life of Pizza Pi
Pizza Provencle a la Capuccino

Makes 8 slices

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
premade pizza crust
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8-10 black olives

Preheat oven to 500 F.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add tomatoes, salt, and black pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

Cover pizza crust with the tomato sauce, and top with garlic and olives. Bake for 8 to 15 minutes or until crust is crispy and browned. Slice into 8 pieces. Serve hot.

Per slice (1/8 of pizza)

Calories: 257
Fat: 7.9 g
Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
Calories from Fat: 27.8%
Cholesterol: 0 mg


Protein: 6 g
Carbohydrates: 40.6 g
Sugar: 2.1 g
Fiber: 2.4 g
Sodium: 486 mg


Calcium: 19 mg
Iron: 2.9 mg
Vitamin C: 14.7 mg
Beta Carotene: 201 mcg
Vitamin E: 1.2 mg


Source: Capuccino Restaurant, Calvi, Corsica. Published in The Best in the World, Neal D. Barnard, M.D., editor.

Beets of the Salad Wild
Hot or Cold Beet Salad


Beets of the Salad Wild

Makes about 3 cups (3 servings)

The pigment that gives beets their rich crimson color and makes this salad so gorgeous is also a powerful cancer-fighting agent in the anthocyanin family.

3 medium beets
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon apple juice concentrate
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

Wash and peel beets. Cut each beet in half, and each half into four wedges. To prevent staining your countertop, place a dark-colored towel or paper towels under your cutting board. Steam over boiling water until tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.

Mix lemon juice, vinegar, apple juice concentrate, mustard, and dill in a serving bowl. Add beets and toss to mix. Serve hot or cold.

Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, leftover Hot or Cold Beet Salad will keep for up to 3 days.

Per serving

Calories: 36
Fat: 0.2 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Calories from Fat: 4.9%
Cholesterol: 0 mg


Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 8.4 g
Sugar: 7 g
Fiber: 1.1 g
Sodium: 61 mg


Calcium: 15 mg
Iron: 0.6 mg
Vitamin C: 4 mg
Beta Carotene: 21 mcg
Vitamin E: 0.1 mg


Source: The Survivor’s Handbook: Eating Right for Cancer Survival by Neal D. Barnard, M.D. and Jennifer Reilly, R.D.


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