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Archive for July, 2018

Provoking Debate & Protecting Animals: Q&As with Dan Mathews of PETA

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Dan Mathews (Photo by Kamil Szkopik)

Dan Mathews (Photo by Kamil Szkopik)

Senior Vice President of Campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Dan Mathews, is known around the world for launching PETA’s most provocative and attention-getting campaigns in the fight against animal cruelty. Many of his campaigns have been targeted at designers in the fashion industry who use fur. From occupying the lobby of Calvin Klein in New York in 1994 to heading a “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign, Dan has proven that edgy displays of activism can help propel change.

We are so excited that Dan will be joining us on the 2019 Holistic Holiday at Sea vegan cruise! In addition to a book signing for Committed: A Rabble-Rouser’s Memoir, Dan will present a lecture titled “Committed to Activism for Animals.” In it, he’ll discuss how he spent the last 30 years crashing fashion runways in Milan, strategizing with Paul McCartney in London, lobbying Russian diplomats with Pamela Anderson, and being arrested during so many protests that he wrote a “Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Jails.”

Dan joined the PETA team as a receptionist in 1985 and was quickly promoted within the company. He shares, “As the resident punk rocker from the MTV generation, I always had ideas on how to reach young people, so I moved from the reception desk into campaigns within a year.” Dan’s ability to sway opinion has made him a hugely influential figure in the plant-based movement. Read more below about his recent achievements and advice for catalyzing change.


Q: Any advice for HHAS guests who have already made the switch to plant-based about how to make a difference when they return home (besides choosing what’s on their plates)?

A: I always urge people to reach beyond their circle to influence those who are not like-minded. My husband Jack and I host vegan dinner parties a lot at home for our non-veggie friends in order to show them how tasty and easy it is.”


Q: Any recent landmark victories for PETA that you’d like to highlight?

A: Last year saw the last show ever of Ringling Bros, a circus that has been abusing elephants, tigers, and other animals since it started in 1871. They went out of business after three decades of being targeted by PETA and other groups, when a generation that came of age with animal rights as a hot topic would have no part of it. I think all animal rights issues are generational, which is reflected in how young people spend their money. That’s why we were finally able to pressure Michael Kors, Gucci, Armani, and Donna Karan to drop fur in the past year. They realized they risk losing up-and-coming customers. Animal rights is a consumer issue more than a political one.

Also, I love bringing the veg issue into unlikely places. I have recently helped cook and serve a vegan lunch to thousands of inmates at an Arizona jail and worked with the City of New Orleans to have a vegan gumbo cook-off at their annual Gumbo Fest in Louis Armstrong Park, and it drew twice the crowd it usually does.


Q. What do you hope folks who are only vegan for health reasons can take away from your presentation?

A. It’s great to think about your health, but it’s also important to consider the health and welfare of the animals churned up by these industries. It’s just a basic respect for animals, whether or not you consider yourself an animal lover. Though I never quibble with anyone who is veg for health reasons. I’m just glad they do it!


Q. I’ve heard you say that all press is good press. In your decades of activism, what are some of the ways you’ve managed to stay in the forefront of the animal cruelty issue?

A. When you are an activist and rely on buzz in the press to keep issues on the public’s mind, it’s important to keep an eye on the sorts of things people pay attention to. I don’t like reality TV, but the public follows these people, so we involve them in our campaigns. Same with sports figures, and with social media. Part of getting the message to the masses is being aware of trends to be in front of.


Q. You became involved with animals as a child when you saved cats in your neighborhood. Did you become vegan right away or was that later in college when you joined forces with PETA in 1985?

A. I became vegetarian on a fishing trip with my dad when I was 14 in 1979. I became vegan when I started at PETA in 1985 as the receptionist when I was 20.

Q. Who are some vegan celebrities that the majority of folks may not realize are vegan?

A. Miley Cyrus, Carrie Underwood, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Tom Brady, for starters.


Q. Any specific example of when your patience with people who have differences of opinion led to great results?

A. I wrote Martha Stewart when she was in jail about fur, which she wore a lot. We had met before and it was frosty. I wrote, ‘Now that you have some time to reflect, please read these materials. You are such a civilized person and fur is so barbaric.’ She wrote back that she’d not only shun fur in the future, but that she would host a PETA testimonial video exposé of fur farms when she got sprung from the joint. [Watch that video here!]


Q. What does your ideal world look like?

A. One in which people and animals only die of old age rather than by guns or disease, many of which we bring on ourselves through eating meat.

Q. Any huge achievements in 2018 you’re excited to share?

A. Designer John Galliano, who was PETA’s #1 enemy for his use of fur and every other kind of animal skin, finally gave it up! It happened after we randomly met swimming in the ocean and became friendly. It’s easy to be infuriated with people who have cruel habits, but a little patience can pay off. [Read more about it here.]


Q. Have you been to any of our 2019 ports of call before? What are you most looking forward to about this cruise?

A. Aside from Miami, no, I haven’t, so I am very excited about this trip. I have never been on a cruise of any kind, so I’m very much looking forward to this first-time experience.

8 Summer Salad Recipes You’ll Love

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Nothing compares to the taste of fresh, crisp salad on a hot summer day. They’re light, flavorful, and refreshing. But compost that iceberg lettuce that’s been sitting in the fridge, and throw out that fatty store-bought dressing; there are so many amazing salad recipes out there that not only taste good, but are good for your health.

We asked several of the culinary geniuses who are often guests on our vegan cruise each year for some of their favorite salad recipes. Here’s what they shared! We also included a summertime treat from the cruise-inspired Greens & Grains on the Deep Blue Sea Cookbook by Sandy Pukel and Mark Hanna.

Give these simple (but oh-so-good) creations a try in your own kitchen and delight your friends and family. You may love them so much that they become your year-round go-tos!

Quinoa and Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad by Julieanna Hever

Known as the Plant-Based Dietitian, Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T., has authored four books, including The Vegiterranean Diet, where this recipe can be found. She shares, “I love this salad because it is fresh and simple, yet hearty and satiating.”

Light and herb-infused, this salad is refreshing and extremely nutritious. Traditionally made with bulgur wheat, this gluten-free version boasts similar flavors, but it’s friendly for those eschewing gluten and more substantial because of the added chickpeas.

Serves 4


3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1 garlic clove, minced (optional)

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 large unpeeled cucumber, seeded and diced

3/4 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes

3/4 cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

3/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup finely chopped scallions


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest, pepper, salt, and garlic. Fold in the quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, mint, and scallions, and combine well.
  2. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate. Serve cold or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


Magnetic Wild Rice Salad

Rip Esselstyn develops and implements plant-based programs that transform people’s health around the world. He shared with us this recipe from The Engine 2 Cookbook that he co-authored with Jane Esselstyn.

Every year, Jane and her coven of girlfriends and their families gather together for a magical visit at our family farm. There are twenty-two altogether, so they divide up the meal duties among the five families. One of the coven members, Magnetic Pennie, a bright-eyed Dane who draws everyone into her beautiful, colorful world, makes this fresh, colorful wild rice salad for lunch each year. It is a universal hit. Don’t know what to make for your next gathering? This is the ticket.


Serves 6

2 cups cooked wild rice

4 stalks celery, chopped

1/2 bunch parsley, stemmed and chopped

4 green onions, chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, cubed

1 cup mandarin oranges, drained

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup walnuts, in pieces

1 avocado, cubed (optional)

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste


Prepare the wild rice as directed on package; this is usually 3:1 water to wild rice ratio. Let cool.

In a beautiful salad bowl, toss together the wild rice, celery, parsley, green onions, apple, oranges, cranberries, walnuts, avocado if using, and vinegar. Taste to see if you prefer more red wine vinegar. It is up to your preference! Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Southwestern Bean Salad

Kim Campbell, author of The PlantPure Nation Cookbook and The PlantPure Kitchen, has developed more than 250 delicious, whole-food, plant-based recipes using no processed oils. She shares with us two recipes from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook: Southwestern Bean Salad and Creamy Kale Salad.

This recipe is for bean lovers. Seasoned perfectly to give it a Southwestern flavor, the beans, corn, and avocado also make is a satisfying salad that everyone will love.

Serves 4-6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes


One 15-ounces can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

One 15-ounces can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 cup medium diced red onion

1 cup halved or quartered cherry tomatoes

1 avocado, pitted and diced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons Sriracha

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Combine beans and vegetables in a large bowl. Don’t hesitate to add different vegetables depending on what is in season.
  2. Blend vinegar, lime juice, maple syrup, sea salt, cumin, chili powder, and Sriracha in a small bowl. Add more chili powder and Sriracha if you like it spicier!
  3. Drizzle over beans and vegetables and toss to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for an hour and then sprinkle with the cilantro before serving.


Creamy Kale Salad

Chopped kale, shredded carrots, and red bell peppers marinated in an almond dressing make this dish not only delicious, but nutrient dense. Kale has never tasted so good!

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes



2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons ginger, pureed

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup water

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, raw or toasted


2 bunches curly kale, chopped with stems removed

2 carrots, shredded

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

3 radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, raw or toasted (for garnishing)


    1. In a blender, add the dressing ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
    2. Place the chopped kale in a large mixing bowl and pour the dressing over the kale.
    3. Massage with hands until the kale is tender, about 5-8 minutes.
    4. Add the remaining veggies and toss until well combined. Cover and refrigerate the salad for an hour or two, allowing it to rest and absorb the flavors.
    5. Garnish with sunflower seeds before serving.     


Quinoa Salad with Currants & Pistachios


(Photo by Straight Up Food)

Chef AJ has helped many people achieve the health and body that they want and deserve. She has been devoted to a plant-exclusive diet for more than four decades. In addition to being a television host and chef, she is also an author. Here she shares two recipes. The Quinoa Salad with Currants & Pistachios is from Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight (2011). The OMG Watermelon Salad is from her newest book, The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss.


Prep time: 25 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 6 to 8 (makes 8 cups)


2½ cups water

1¼ cups (8 ounces) uncooked quinoa

½ cup lime juice (about 3 large limes)

3 tablespoons lime zest (from the 3 limes above)

4 medium green onions (scallions), chopped

1 cup Italian parsley leaves, packed (1 ounce), finely chopped

1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed (1 ounce), finely chopped

1 cup currants

½ cup raw, unsalted pistachios, whole or coarsely chopped

½ cup pomegranate seeds (when in season)


  1. To cook the quinoa, place it in a medium saucepan along with the water. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes. After cooking, set the quinoa aside to cool. (The quinoa may also be cooked ahead of time so that it is completely cooled when you are ready to assemble the salad.)
  2. To zest the limes, use a Microplane or other small-toothed grater, and then juice the limes (it’s much easier to zest any citrus before juicing it).
  3. Once the quinoa has cooled, place it into a large bowl and add all of the other ingredients, including lime juice and zest. Mix thoroughly. Serve immediately or chill to serve later.


If you do not have limes, orange juice and zest work well; raisins or chopped, dried cherries work well in place of currants; and chopped pecans work well in place of pistachios.

Quinoa comes in various colors: white/yellow, red, black, or a mix of all three. Any color works in this recipe; the multi-colored quinoa gives it even more visual appeal.

This is a great party or special occasion dish for 6 to 8 people. Double the recipe if you are serving a larger group.

(Chef AJ’s recipe was reprinted in Straight Up Food.)


OMG Watermelon Salad




Fresh Mint

Lime juice and zest


Cube and seed the watermelon and cucumber. Add fresh mint and lime, to taste.

Chill before serving. 


Spelt Salad

Jessica Porter is the author of The MILF Diet and The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics. One of her favorite dishes is this Spelt Salad. When she shared it with us, she included this note: “This is a colorful and satisfying grain salad I got from my friend Sarah Loring of Connecticut. Her food—like her—has a certain gracefulness.”

Serves 4–6


1 1/2 cups spelt, soaked overnight

4 cups water

a pinch of sea salt

1 small red onion, diced

1 small green pepper, diced

1 carrot, diced small

1/4 red cabbage, diced

1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons shoyu

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons olive oil

pinch of white pepper


Rinse spelt and soak overnight. Drain and place in pan with 4 cups water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 1 hour. Pour into a colander (in the sink), draining any remaining liquid, and set aside to cool.

Dice vegetables and put in a large bowl. Add remaining seasonings and mix. Toss with cooled spelt. Taste and adjust seasonings.

If you let the salad sit for an hour or more before serving, the flavor deepens and becomes more complex.

This is wonderful and refreshing served on fresh lettuce leaves and goes with just about everything.


Arame-Orange-Watercress Salad

With innovative recipes on familiar themes, Greens and Grains on the Deep Blue Sea Cookbook by Sandy Pukel and Mark Hanna features more than a hundred plant-based dishes. Try this delicious salad for your next cookout!

This deliciously exotic salad is oil free.

Serves: 6 to 8


2 cups arame (half 1.75-ounce package)

2 cups apple juice

3 tablespoon shoyu

3 oranges, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

5 cups watercress (large stems removed)

1/4 cup lightly toasted slivered almonds


  1. Rinse and drain the arame, then place in a medium saucepan. Add the apple juice and let soak 10 minutes.
  2. Bring the arame-apple juice mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the shoyu and simmer 5 minutes more. Drain the arame and let cool.
  3. In a large salad bowl, combine the cooled arame, oranges, and watercress. Toss gently, garnish with almonds, and serve immediately.


  • Substitute hijiki for the arame.
  • Toss in some julienne-cut daikon.
  • Instead of orange pieces, use grapefruit pieces and grapefruit juice, or apple pieces and apple juice. (If using apples, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.)
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