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Almost vegan cruise, part 1

November 18, 2008

It’s cruise time! This is the first of three entries detailing some of my food adventures at sea. This entry and the third will feature my dinners, and the second will show some food-related things I encountered on the trip.

I only have pictures of the dinners because it would have been ridiculous to try to photograph the breakfast and lunch buffets – there were about a ten different buffet bars, each with dozens of food items apiece. And oh, it was delicious…actually, most days, we didn’t even eat lunch, because our breakfasts were HUGE. I started each morning with a big bowl of fruit, followed by breakfast potatoes, fried rice, oatmeal with brown sugar and golden raisins, and (the real kicker) fried plantains, in addition to several dishes-of-the-day each day. We’d often get a snack in the afternoon, and then we stuffed ourselves with three-course dinners in the evenings. To put it in perspective: I ran a total of 30 miles on that ship (on the treadmill, spread out over 7 days), and I still gained 3 pounds. Yeah.

Anyway, moving on…
The first evening, I got right down to business and ordered two entrees (each night, you can order as many items as you want. No joke). I sampled a Mediterranean quesadilla – grilled bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini in a sundried tomato tortilla, served with salsa. Not bad, but not great, largely because I just don’t like mushrooms.

I also ordered the vegetarian curry selection. (There was one on the menu every night, and yes, every night, I ordered it. Be ready to see more curries throughout these entries.) This one, my second favorite of the trip overall, was a cauliflower and potato curry. The curries were always served with rice, pappadum, and some particularly yummy roti. They also came with raita, but that was disposed of.

On Italian night, I ordered minestrone soup as my appetizer, but it was unlike any other minestrone soup I’ve ever heard of. Instead of broth, it seemed to be based on a tomato puree, and it contained just a handful of veggies and beans, along with broken spaghetti strands. Strange, but I enjoyed it. I likened it to sipping a bowlful of a tasty pizza sauce (that’s a good thing).

I got two entrees that night too. The first was a fried eggplant tower with marinara sauce. This one did have cheese on it, but a) I peeled it off anyway, and b) I didn’t care for the dish, so I quit after a few bites. I want so much to like eggplant, but most of the time, I just don’t.

The curry was dal and potato. Yummy.

The next night’s tropical fruit appetizer contained watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberry, mango, papaya, and lychee; can’t go wrong. But that green thing on there is a dollop of mint jelly, ew! I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet on here, but I HATE anything mint. Gum, breath mints, mouthwash, toothpaste, you name it – I won’t eat it or use it if it’s minty.

The curry was potato (yes, again, but it was always good!) and bell pepper.

And finally, this entrée was actually Nick’s, but I wished it were mine! It’s a vegetarian chili with three (count ‘em, THREE!) different kinds of beans (navy, kidney, and chickpea, to be exact – the inclusion of chickpea is genius) in a tomatoey base full of carrots and green peppers. It came with a heavenly piece of cornbread. This is how good it was: Nick hates beans, and not only did he eat this, he declared it his favorite meal of the whole trip. Yay!

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