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All aboard for a vegetarian cruise

When one thinks of vegetarian cuisine, images of bland tofu, pasta, and kale may often come to mind. But for those who want to include varied and creative plant-based dishes in their diet while cruising, life just got a little better.

Last month, Regent Seven Seas Cruises debuted an extensive array of plant-based cuisine on menus across its fleet, including over 200 gourmet plant-based items. And I was determined to try them all!

Recently, I set sail on a New England/Canada/Bermuda cruise departing NYC, on a crisp, autumnal October night.

I had a plan: I was going to work on my novel-in-progress, rest, eat clean healthy food, rest, eat some more. Seemed like a winning formula for a stressed-out, burnt-out Big Apple writer in search of solace, calm and healthy gourmet food.

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about the luxury cruise line’s new plant-based menu. As someone who favors vegetarian food, I am often underwhelmed when it comes to menu options while dining at non-vegetarian restaurants. But I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the inspiring and creative plant-based menu options, beautifully presented, many dishes rivaled vegan fare of my favorite NYC restaurants.

Sitting in the beautifully appointed Compass Rose Dining Room, I felt transported back to Angelika’s Kitchen, a popular NYC vegetarian restaurant that recently closed after 40 years. And I was reminded that plant-based eating can be interesting, colorful, innovative, flavorful and healthy.

The new plant-based dishes, developed by Regent’s culinary leadership team under the direction of Bernhard Klotz, Regent’s vice president of Food and Beverage, were created in partnership with world-renowned chef, culinary instructor, and author Christophe Berg, a 15-year vegan.

“For luxury travelers who are increasingly adding more plant-based cuisine to their meals, we’re offering even more imaginative selections of bold, flavorful appetizers, entrees and desserts with craveable tastes and mouth-watering presentations,” said Jason Montague, Regent Seven Seas Cruises president and chief executive officer.

Menu selections will highlight a range of my favorite cuisines including Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Thai, Mexican, to mention a few.

Sample menu during my 10 day cruise:

•Breakfast: Banana-Oatmeal Pancakes with Berries and Maple Syrup/Avocado Toast on Rustic Farmers Bread

• Lunch: Mazza Platter with Grape Leaves and Hummus/Falafel Power Bowl with Roasted Carrots, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes, Assorted Greens, Olives, Capers, Mint, Parsley, Lemon-Tahini dressing, Sweet Potato Fries

• Dinner: Mushroom & Spinach Crepes with Béchamel and Tomato Sauce/Vegetable Tian Tomato & Bell Pepper Coulis

So I didn’t get much writing done on my retreat. But I rested, ate healthy and returned with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment to eating clean, plant-based food.

I can’t say that I’ve gotten much writing done since I’ve returned either.

I’ve been a little busy planning my next cruise.

Regent Plant-Based Menu

• Chia Cashew Yogurt with Carrot-Hazelnut Granola, Mixed Berries and Tropical Fruits
• Chickpea Pancake with Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Harissa Sauce, Just Like Feta
• Banana-Oatmeal Pancakes with Berries and Maple Syrup
• Avocado Toast on Rustic Farmers Bread

• Sweet Potato Soup with Miso & Ginger
• Tomato Bisque with Dill
• Roasted Almond and Vegetable Soup
• Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Vegetables, Grapefruit, Coconut, Boston Lettuce, Rice Paper, Roasted Peanut Dip
• Tajin Spiced Hummus & Avocado Wrap with Boston Lettuce, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber, Fruit Skewer
• Osaka Power Bowl with Soba Noodles, Eggplant, Tofu, Sweet Potatoes, Edamame, Wakame Salad, Nori, Miso Sesame Dressing
• Mediterranean Bowl with Brown Rice, Beluga Lentils, Green Peas, Cauliflower, Tomato, Homemade Tzatziki, Kalamata Olives, Pita Bread, Roasted Almond-Orange Dressing
• Falafel Power Bowl with Roasted Carrots, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes, Assorted Greens, Olives, Capers, Mint, Parsley, Lemon-Tahini dressing
• Green Lentil Penne Pasta, Wild Mushroom Bolognese with Cashew Nuts
• “Impossible Burger” Sesame Bun, Just Like Cheddar, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Skinny Fries

• Caramelized Apple Tart with Fresh Feta-Cashew Cheese, Balsamic Caramel
• Wild Mushroom Tart with Brittle Pie Crust, Mushroom Duxelles, Red Pepper Coulis
• Mulligatawny, Traditional Indian Red Lentil & Coconut Soup
• Spiced Potato & Green Pea Samosas with Tamarind Chutney
• Baked Porcini & Spinach Cannelloni, with Toasted Hazelnuts, Tomato Sauce, Béchamel
• Mushroom & Spinach Crepes, with Béchamel and Tomato Sauce
• Roasted Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini with Quinoa-Olive Salad, Pine Nut Dressing, Yellow Pepper Coulis
• Singapore Noodles, with Stir Fried Vegetables, Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic, Soy Sauce, Rice Vermicelli
• Green Curry Vegetable Stir Fry, with Eggplant, Oyster Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Green Peas, Jasmine Rice
• Crispy Sweet & Sour Vegetables with Tofu, Cashew and Sesame Seeds

• Summer Berry Pudding Chantilly
• Basil Scented Fruit Minestrone, Lemon Sorbet
• Peach and Blueberry Cobbler with Cornmeal-Almond Topping
• Pear Williams & Rosemary Sorbet
• Lime-Vodka Sorbet
• Champagne Sorbet

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