Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I'm Baaaack...from a Cruise!

Did you miss me?!  I sure missed typing my daily posts :)  I definitely did enjoy my week off of work and life.  It was nice to be cutoff from the real world.  It's been hard to get back into the flow of real-life.  I went on a Celebrity Summit Cruise with my family for my parents 30th anniversary...I know, right?  THIRTY YEARS!!  I hope that if one day I am married, it lasts for 30+ years :)

Anyway,  we went on a weeklong cruise to Bermuda.  I was definitely ready to get away...I get bored easily and am always up for some change and adventure.  We drove all the way to Jersey - an 8 hour drive - with five people, five suitcases, and five carry-ons...long ride.  I obviously had to pick up some educational reading material - Cosmo - and I read a little blurb that really caught my attention.
If you can see the special "SPE" symbol, it stands for Sanitas Per Escam, which means "Health through Food."  Sourcing (selecting ingredients seasonally, locally and sustainably, with a focus on their nutritional characteristics) + Preparing (Using specific cooking techniques that preserve the integrity and nutritional qualities of the ingredients) + Enhancing (Optimizing nutritional density by combining ingredients that are more powerful when eaten together than alone).  I read this and thought wow, how interesting - I would love to find a local restaurant that has earned this certification.  And I turned the next page.  

So, I get on the Celebrity Summit the next day and what do you know the Celebrity Cruises' Century, Reflection, Solstice, AND Summit are all SPE certified and have SPE certified dishes at their AquaSpa bar -serving breakfast and lunch- and their main dining room has SPE certified dishes.  Imagine my surprise and joy!  I am sure you all know where I ate and what I ordered on this cruise.  And let me tell you, I ate like a glutton without gaining a single pound!  Plus, I took the 30 minute fab abs - on a moving ship - so, plus balance, weights, and the elliptical, plus walking miles upon miles on the island.

Now, today I want to share all of the SPE dishes I ate on the cruise.  Just wait until you see these beautiful dishes - the presentation is amazing and these dishes do not look like they are guilt-free ;)

Breakfast

Apple Cider Oatmeal
Oatmeal with apples, chia seeds, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and topped with Greek yogurt - delicious!!

Greek Yogurt Frittata and Chicken Apple Sausage
 Baked frittata with Greek yogurt, asparagus, onions, tomatoes, and chives.  House-ground chicken sausage patties with apples, sage, and chives.

Grapefruit, Chocolate Beet muffin, and a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana muffin

Pineapple, blackberry, and raspberry - fancy, huh?

Appetizers

Tomato Watermelon Gazpacho
 Tomato, watermelon, grape tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, basil, and sourdough croutons - I love any type of gazpacho - sweet and tangy :)

Salmon Tartare
 Tartare of salmon, radish, cucumber, and crispy apple, garnished with silky trout roe and crunchy pumpernickel crouton, served with celery root and lemon puree - so good!!

Eggplant Caviar 
 Roasted eggplant puree with Za'tar, garnished with roasted red peppers, olives, crispy garlic and parsley - like an even better version of baba ghanoush 

Ajo Blanco
 White gazpacho - almond and garlic soup served chilled with grapes, cucumbers, toasted almonds, and sourdough croutons - weird combination, but super tastey!

Chilled Pea Soup
 Chilled pea soup with Greek yogurt and sourdough croutons

Scallop Crudo
Sea scallop with avocado, cucumber and jalapeño, lemongrass oil and a yuzu soy vinaigrette - this tasted amazing - light and refreshing

Autumn Squash Soup
Pureed squash with autumn spices, a touch of maple syrup, roasted apples, candied pumpkin seeds and an anisette foam - I love butternut squash and anything that tastes like fall!

Salads

Tomato Watermelon Feta Salad
 Watermelon, cucumbers, and tomatoes tossed with a sherry vinaigrette, and topped with crispy sourdough croutons, feta cheese, basil, and olives - my favorite salad on the cruise and I will be recreating this for the Fourth of July cookout!

Roasted Carrot Cumin Salad
 Roasted cumin-scented carrots with avocado and arugla, tossed in a lemon-yogurt vinaigrette and garnished with crunchy sunflower seeds

Chicory Apple Pear Salad
 Chicories, apples, grapes, and blue cheese, tossed in a cider vinaigrette with toasted walnuts 

Entrees

Seared Salmon
 Served over crushed potatoes, grilled squash and a tomato vierge sauce - I obviously ordered without the potatoes.  I am not a big carb eater and I don't really care for potatoes.

Roasted Trout 
 Served over cauliflower puree with roasted cauliflower, grapes, tea-soaked raisins, pine nuts, capers and spinach.

Roasted Pork Loin
 Served over braised red cabbage seasoned with smoked sea salt, a butternut squash puree and cranberry jus - this is the only pork loin I've ever liked, and I loved this pork loin!

Wild Mushroom Risotto 
 Creamy, wild mushroom risotto made with arborio rice, roasted mushroom puree and black truffle oil, garnished with wild mushrooms - I love mushrooms and risotto, so this was the perfect dish!

Butternut Squash Farrotto 
 Creamy butternut "risotto" style dish with whole grain farro, sautéed apples, crispy sage, duck prosciutto and parmesan  - this dish was amazing!  I had two of my favorite fall flavors and I have never had crispy sage before, but I couldn't get enough of it!

Seared Duck with "Fried" Wild Rice
Pan seared duck breast served over wild rice, wilted Swiss chard and a creamy parsnip puree with Mandarin orange segments, garnished with scallions and duck jus.  I love duck, especially with any kind of orangey combination.

Desserts

Whipped Passion Fruit Curd
 Creamy passion fruit mousse topped with papaya, kiwi, mango and a tangy passion fruit gelee - light, refreshing, and fantastic!!

Olive Oil Cremeux 
 Creamy olive oil pudding topped with strawberries and white chocolate lavender crumble - this sounded so weird, but since it was SPE I gave it a try and I LOVED it!  I have no idea how to describe the taste but it was amazing!

Chilled Strawberry Soup
Chilled strawberry soup with yogurt panna cotta, lemon shortbread and Thai basil - so refreshing with the right amount of sweetness and the panna cotta definitely balanced the strawberry soup well.

If you see the SPE symbol anywhere, order it!!  I highly recommend SPE dishes - healthy dishes at the highest level!  

I am sure you can see one of the reasons why I did not want to leave the ship - gourmet dishes without the guilt!  I was in Heaven for a week and it was nice being served and waited on.  I will miss my waiters Rouland and Sebastian!

I did indulge a little and you will be able to my indulgences soon ;)  So I am busy getting back into my routine with my Quest Bars and Whole Foods favorites.  I even got a last minute spot in Springboard earlier this evening.  I am even thinking of doing a cleanse soon.

Have a lovely night!


Have you ever heard of SPE?

How do you get back on track after vaca?







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