Plentiful Vegan Options at Club Med
I just got back from a family vacation to Club Med Sandpiper Bay. I could not believe the bountiful vegan options I found there. While I had issues with the run-down facilities, cockroaches in my room (!!) and some issues with the front desk and spa staff, I have to say that the vegan options were a true highlight.
There is primarily one restaurant on property – a buffet style marketplace. There is a small cantina next to it that offers some snacks between meals, but it’s very limited.
Buffets are usually not the best place for a vegan. However, their marketplace was exceptional. Everything was clearly labeled with allergens and ingredients. Each evening, they had a dedicated vegan station for dinner, but there were multiple options throughout the marketplace as well.
Our first night they had delightfully seasoned vegetables with basmati rice and a well-seasoned vegetable lentil soup. Whole food, plant-based goodness at a resort! Can you believe it?
The whole week I stuffed myself with rice and beans and tofu, and I couldn’t have been more pleased that they left the processed vegan replacements off the menu. Whole food, plant-based options are the absolute best way to make a resort or restaurant more inclusive (although, I do enjoy a good meat replacement on vacation or when eating out).
Overall, the breakfasts are a little light on vegan options. They have sautéed vegetables and kale, oatmeal, toast, bagels and preserves. Lunch, however, offered something vegan at almost every station from spaghetti with marinara sauce to sautéed vegetables and rice. Every dinner had a special vegan station with a plate full of whole food, plant-based deliciousness. The Marketplace staff were consistently helpful, friendly and accommodating. They hunted down almond milk for me every morning and ordered additional almond milk for me for the duration of my stay.
Some of the well-seasoned and delightful dishes I loved included: the coconut rice, island rice, lentil stew, vegetable poutine, fried plantains, pineapple tofu, and the spicy Asian salad. They also had some flavor of sorbet every evening, though, sadly, many of the other desserts were not vegan.
We were so inspired that when we came home, we created our own version of the coconut rice and pineapple tofu. Here was our recipe (we batch cook all our food for the family for the week so we make multiple servings of every dish all at once):
Pineapple Tofu (about 10 servings)
3 Blocks of superfirm tofu
1 bunch cilantro
3 bell peppers
2 lb of pineapple, cubed
1 red onion
In retrospect, I think it would be best to fry or bake the tofu up a bit. We put it all into a salad as is, and I think the tofu just doesn’t soak up the flavors as well as I’d like. So…next time…we’re going to at least pan fry it a bit before mixing the rest of the ingredients with it.
Coconut Rice (10 servings)
9 cups cooked brown basmati rice
5 teaspoons coconut oil
Just cook the rice as normal and mix in some coconut oil at the end. Super easy.