New Food Documentary: Planeat (+ vegan recipes!)

waitress at a vegan restaurant

I was fortunate enough to get a pass to a screening of Planeat, a new food documentary about the impacts of meat and dairy on the planet and our health.

Planeat is part of a series of food documentaries for which Whole Foods is organizing screenings to spread awareness about the impacts of our food choices on our bodies and the planet. The film combines interviews with two researchers, a doctor, and vegan chefs, which I think was a really interesting take! Rather than just talk about the problems with animal-based foods, throughout the film you got to see delicious examples of a plant-based diet. Here’s the trailer, to give you a little taste:

For folks reading this site, some of the information in Planeat might seem like old news, but the food documentary had some very interesting stories and facts that I hadn’t come across yet. Here are a couple of the things that stuck out for me:

  • On average, lacto-ovo vegetarians eat more animal protein than people who eat a poultry diet.
  • Dr. Essleston, a cardiologist, successfully reversed coronary artery disease in his patients just by switching them to a plant-based diet along with cholesterol lowering meds. While you might say that the meds negate these findings, we’re talking about people who had suffered multiple heart attacks and were already taking these medications and had failed bypass surgeries.

vegan food

What was particularly interesting was that a lot of the talk about the health impacts of animal-based foods focused on animal protein, not animal fats.

Lots of food documentaries look at the impact of our food on the planet, but what really struck me about Planeat was the focus on delicious vegan eats. They interviewed vegan chefs (including the women behind Babycakes in NYC!) and showed how fun and delicious it can be to whip up a vegan meal. The folks at Planeat have been kind enough to share a few of Chad Sarno’s vegan recipes from the film.

vegan meal

Vegan Recipes from Planeat by Chad Sarno

Β© Chad Sarno

In the film, Chad Sarno showed us how to whip up a tasty vegan brisket with wild mushroom gravy that he served with mashed potatoes. The folks at Planeat shared the recipes for the brisket, mash, gravy, and a bonus kale salad with us!

Seitan Brisket


For the liquid batch mix in a bowl:

    • 1/4 c shoyu (soy sauce)
    • 3 1/2 c low sodium vegetable stock
    • 1/2 c date paste
    • 1 c marsala wine
    • 1/2 c tomato paste
    • 4 cloves garlic fine minced

Whisk all above ingredients well. In separate bowl mix the dry batch:

  • 1/2 T chipotle powder
  • 2 T onion powder
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 2 c gluten flour
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast

Cooking Directions

  1. Hand mix liquid and dry batches. Knead for 3 minutes until all is mixed thorough and elastic texture of dough.
  2. For baking: In baking pan, or roast pan. Make another batch of the liquid as listed above, and pour in pan. place the Seitan loaf in the center and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, flip, baste with liquid and continue to bake for 20 more minutes. Continue this process until most of the liquid is thickened up as a “glaze” and the seitan is firm to touch. Allow to sit to firm up before use. Shred, grind or mince for recipes.

Wild Mushroom Gravy


  • 1/4 c stock (for steam frying)
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 1 1/2 c wild mushroom of choice chopped
  • 2 T tamari (soy sauce)
  • 3 c vegetable or mushroom stock
  • 1/4 c Merlot, or other spicy red
  • 1/2 c all-purpose white flour
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, off stem and minced
  • 2 T fresh thyme minced
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. Steam fry the garlic and onion in the 1/4 c stock for about three minutes on medium heat, add the mushroom and fresh herbs and continue to saute for a few minutes.
  2. Add the red wine and cook of for a few minutes.
  3. Add stock and stir, bring to a simmer.
  4. For the flour, yeast, and soy sauce make a slurry and add slowly to stock. Bring the gravy to a boil on medium to medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the gravy is too thin for your taste, add one or two tablespoons of flour or small amounts of cornstarch to thicken it. Use a wire whisk to eliminate lumps.

Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 c vegetable stock
  • 1 lb russet potatoes peeled, chopped and cooked
  • 3 T nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 c vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c soy milk, unsweetened
  • 1/2 T sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Steam fry the garlic and onion in the 1/4 c stock for about three minutes on medium heat until onions are translucent.
  2. After potatoes are cooked and tender to fork, strain. Add sauteed onions, and remaining ingredients and mash till desired smoothness. Serve hot.

Kale Avocado Salad


  • 1 head kale, any variety is great shredded
  • 1 large tomato diced, or red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 avocado chopped
  • 2 T red onion, green onion, or leek fine diced
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 t sea salt
  • pinch of cayenne

Cooking Directions

  1. In mixing bowl toss all ingredients together, squeezing as you mix to “wilt” the kale and creaming the avocado.
  2. Serve immediately. This dish is also great to substitute the kale for chard or spinach.

Written by Becky Striepe


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  1. Hello! You can catch the film at the following screenings:

    15 May – Barbican: London International Documentary Film

    20 May:
    London – Shortwave, Bermondsey Square, 8pm
    Leicester – Phoenix Square

    21 May:
    Cardiff – Chapter Arts Centre
    Glasgow – Glasgow Film Theatre
    Leeds – Hyde Park Picture House

    And the DVD will be coming out about August time! But really important film for anyone that cares about Sustainable food, the planet and their health!

    Spread the word!

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