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Crystal ships create delectable tastes for virtually any nutritional preference

Whether you’re all vegan, all the time, or January is simply a cleansing time following the indulgences of the holiday season, “Vegan-uary” [vē-GĂN-ū-ary] has become a trend across the globe for those practicing strictly plant-based diets. It’s no secret that Crystal ships are among the best places in the world to sate appetites for decadent dishes, and this includes vegan specialties that are in every way as delicious as the many other types of delights on the varied menus. In fact, Crystal chefs are masters at catering to virtually any dietary preference or need – sugar-free, low-fat, gluten-free, Paleo, vegetarian and yes, vegan.

No matter where you choose to sail with Crystal – on Ocean, River, Yacht or Expedition voyages – you’ll find a host of options to suit your style (think vegan cheesecake with graham cracker crust and edible flowers and watermelon “poke” with sesame seeds and roasted pecans). Fresh from the galley aboard Crystal Esprit, our chefs are sharing one of their favorite vegan recipes to inspire your weekend dining (and perhaps your next Crystal Yacht escape). Bon appetit!

Vegan Squash Ragout with Chickpeas & Red Lentils

Served with Cilantro Rice


¾ cup dried chickpeas

2 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes        
(keep some cooked wedges for plating)

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup red lentils

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon saffron

¼ cup lime juice

½ cup chopped roasted unsalted cashew nuts

¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


2 cups water

1 cup long grain Rice

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 tablespoon lime juice


2 cups, packed, of cilantro, leaves

½ cup blanched almonds

¼ cup chopped red onion

½ teaspoon chopped and seeded serrano chile

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil



Soak chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches for 6 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, use the quick-soak method: Place beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain when ready to use.

Combine the soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.

Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down, 5 to 6 ½ hours.

Stir in lime juice to taste

Cilantro Pesto:

Toast the almonds: Heat a small skillet on high heat. When the pan is hot, add the blanched almonds in a single layer. Stir with a wooden spoon. When the almonds are fragrant and start to brown, remove them from the pan.

In a food processor, pulse the cilantro, almonds, onion, chile, and salt until well blended.


Bring the water to a boil; stir the butter and rice into the water. Cover reduce heat to low, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir the lime zest, lime juice and cilantro pesto into the cooked rice just before serving.

Serve with a scoop of Cilantro Rice, cooked wedges of Butternut squashes and sprinkled with cashew nuts and chopped cilantro.

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