Eating my way around the world

Tag: travel

Healthy Flight Salad aka “Clean Out My Fridge Before I Leave So That I Don’t Have A Rotting Mess When I Return” Salad

 For those of you that know me personally, you know that I fly fairly often. Whether it’s a short domestic trip, or a long-haul around the world, I almost always fly with my own food. I do this mostly out of necessity because of my soy allergy (it’s in Everything processed), but also as part of my flying ritual. If you fly frequently, you probably have a ritual as well, and I would love to hear about them in the comments. 
I like to make non-perishable items to fly with, like this salad that was inspired by the NYTimes, and I like to bring a lot of it. After claiming my bags, possibly going through border control, maybe with a toddler in tow, and getting to my destination from the airport which can sometimes take up to 2hrs depending on where I’ve landed, by the time I reach my accommodations I’m exhausted, hungry, & possibly severely jet lagged. Searching for food after all of that just makes me want to cry. Which is why I will bring more than enough food on my flight(s) so that I can unpack, tend to the toddler if he’s with me, and collapse, ready for the next day with wide eyes & a bushy tail.

Along with this type of salad, I like to fly with non-high-maintenance fruit such as apples, oranges, grapes, or stone fruit when in season. I’ll usually throw in some Lara bars, and a good bar of chocolate too. If the toddler is with me, I bring copious amounts of cheddar bunnies & animal cracker packets. The above mentioned fruit is on the toddler’s “approved-foods” list (which is mostly diminishing in length *sigh*). I also like to make farçou for the toddler to snack on in the most likely case he hates everything there is to offer at the airport/on the plane. I will also pack my suitcase with peanut butter and almond butter packets, and squeeze packs of fruit purees for the toddler when we reach our destination.

Back to the adults: the great thing about this salad is that it doesn’t have any meat or dairy in it, which means you could fly from NY to Tokyo with it, and it will still be decent to eat by the time you get to your hotel 20hrs later. And if you don’t have the exact same ingredients as I did for this salad, don’t sweat it. Neither did I when I loosely followed The NYTimes’ version of this salad as well. Any sort of veggie roasted would be great in this, and toasted almonds, and/or walnuts would be great too. If you have a lemon, not a clementine, use that. And if you only have apple cider vinegar instead of sherry vinegar, that will taste great too. Don’t worry, it’s just a salad:

 -1c green or black lentils (these hold their shape when cooked)

-1 or 2 bay leaves

-pinch of salt 

Place lentils, bay leaves, & salt in a pot with 3c of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20min, or until fork tender. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve/collander. Set aside to cool (or run under cold water until cool to quickly reduce the temperature as I did), and discard the bay leaves.

Pre-heat the oven to 425F, and chop into bite-sized pieces:

-1 large sweet potato

-1/2 large red onion, cut into wedges

-3 medium-sized parsnips

-2 medium-sized carrots

-1/2 of a very large golden beet

-big handful of rosemary, minced

-2 large garlic cloves, minced

Throw all of this onto a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper, toss/mix to combine, and roast for about 20-30min. Just until it looks soft & the edges of the chopped veggies are starting to char. Turn the oven off and leave in the oven for about 20min. I’ve discovered that when you do this, the vegetables start to dehydrate a bit, maintaining their shape when you toss them in salads. I don’t know about you, but I hate mushy roasted veggies that don’t hold their shape.

Make the dressing:

-Olive oil

-Sherry vinegar

-Dijon mustard (about a tsp or so)

-Salt & pepper

-The juice of 1 large clementine/mandarine

The amount of oil & vinegar is to your taste, which is why I’m not giving you amounts. This is good practice when making any vinaigrette. I normally do more oil than vinegar if that helps, and I’ll start off with a tsp of mustard & take it from there taste-wise. Whisk everything together.

In a dry pan, toast some chopped pistachios until fragrant. Be mindful you don’t burn them (I’m constantly burning any toasted nut I do…)
When the lentils have cooled, place them in a large bowl & splash them with the dressing. You want just enough dressing to give them flavour, but not so much that the pool of liquid will get you in trouble when going through airport security. Add the veggies, toss to combine, & add more dressing if needed. Add in the pistachios, toss to combine. Some chopped flat-leaf parsley would be nice to toss in this too.
I like to keep the plastic to-go containers from the Whole Foods deli section for flights as I can just recycle them when I’m finished eating & not have to worry about carrying tupperware with me for my whole trip. And I can find disposable cutlery in any airport to eat with. 

This will fill about 3 medium-sized containers, perfect for the airport & dinner later.


Paris, je t’aime


Paris in the springtime is beautiful. The flowers are starting to pop, you don’t need as many layers of clothing, and there aren’t hordes of tourists like in the summer. Parisian dining has been good to me so far as well.


I found fois gras confit at a market (Les Enfant Rouges) in the Marais, off of rue de Bretagne. I know: shut the front door; fat melted into more fat. Omgahdroool.  That same stand had Tomme du Chevre, which I quickly snapped up since it’s hard to find stateside, and a big chunk of sea-salted butter from Brittany.


I also grabbed a quick bite to eat at famed Rose Bakery in the Marais (30, rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris) near my hotel. I had a quiche with chunks of roasted salmon, hubby’s had chorizo and roasted fennel, while kiddo’ ate croquettes of veal & polenta (ok, kinda’ ate. He’s going through the fun toddler phase of subsisting solely on bread & grapes)


Of course I did requisite cheese & butter shopping on rue de Rivoli. There are some great markets on that street where you can pick up giant morels, beautiful berries, hard-necked garlic, freah seafood, and so much more.




And don’t forget to pick up fresh yoghurt. My motto in life is: boycotte fat-free yoghurt; Long live cream! Actually, boycotte ‘fat-free’ anything.


And if you’re into collecting vintage silver, Paris is where it’s at. Either at the antiques stores throughout the city, or at the markets. I found sterling silver soup spoons for €8 each. 



I ran into a restaurant supply store, E.Dehillerin, near the Louvre, such a happy accident. Picked up a €20 butchering knife for the hubby, and nearly lost myself in all the copper, and molds section.


There really is just too much to talk about in 1 singular post. Next up: restaurant recommendations. A bientôt!






Airplane Food + Dark Chocolate Chunk, Coconut, & Banana Cookies

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

Posting pictures of what I ate and where are half-assed jobs for blog posting if you ask me. But that’s exactly what I have been doing, shame on me. I was just recently in the Pacific Northwest- specifically Mt Rainier, Portland, and everything in between. Rainier was amazing, I highly recommend this spot for your bucket list of “Places to Visit”. The drive going into the national forest from the east on Highways 12 and 123 were amazing, I had no idea Oregon and Washington states encompassed so many different environments: on the coast you have the ocean, majestic evergreens, and fog. Heading east you encounter snow capped mountains, lava fields, the enormous, sunburnt rolling hills of the desert, and orchards, vineyards, lakes, and waterfalls dotted throughout. Pretty cool.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetWe flew from O’Hare, and as much as airports have improved in terms of healthy offerings and different restaurant options (hello Frontera Grill at O’Hare, and Shake Shack at JFK), I still can’t eat very much at airports because the majority of the food is highly processed. And highly processed food means there’s a lot of soy in it, either as soy oil (vegetable oil), soy protein isolate, soy lecithin, etc, or just straight up edamame. Soy is my kryptonite. Soy is also the ugly step-sister of gluten. Gluten intolerance gets all the fanfare and media attention, and a lot of eateries are offering gluten free fare, which is great, but that doesn’t help me out at all since most gluten-free foods have soy in them. What I’m left to eat are stale nuts, mealy apples, and rotting, brown bananas. Awesome…..

So I have learned to make my own food before a flight, especially long-haul trips to Europe or Asia, because a well-fed belly makes for a happy traveler. Here are a few recipe links for salads and such I have made and taken on flights. These dishes are sturdy enough to last unrefrigerated for several hours in your backpack, yet still hold their texture, stay tasty, and get you past security. I also pack a few Lara bars, some trail mix, a bar of dark chocolate, and a few pieces of fruit or carrot sticks. I reuse old, clear, carry out containers from Whole Foods or wherever to package my food in (much classier than reusing cottage cheese containers), and grab cutlery within the airport. Yes, this will make your bag heavier initially while traveling, but you will be so much happier. Also, those Lara bars and trail mix packages can save you when you arrive late at night somewhere and your food options are limited, like in the Middle East, India, or Vietnam.

Best fall salad, don’t wait for your next trip to make this
-I made this salad for my flight to Zurich a few years ago. I kept the cheese, but omit it if you just don’t feel comfortable keeping your cheese out for so long
-I made this stir fry for my flight to Milan. I omitted the tofu (obvi) and subbed toasted walnuts instead
-For shorter, domestic flights, I love snacking food such as these granola bars (a side note: they are super crumbly. I’m still figuring out a way to bind them more efficiently; freezing them definitely helps. Nonetheless, the flavour is Divine)
-Wow, another Heidi Swanson recipe; I told you she was my cooking goddess….. Right now, summertime, is the perfect time to make this amazing gratin. I always double it so that everyone can have thick servings, and so that I can have leftovers for lunch the next day if there’s anything left.
These baked beans are a winter comfort-food staple of mine
-I have made this lentil salad for trips to Paris, Amsterdam, and Germany. It holds up super well, and can easily be doubled in case you have a large potluck party to go to. I normally add in kale (doesn’t wilt as much for long flights), broccoli, red peppers, carrots, walnuts, all of the herbs she suggests, cauliflower, and avocado. The dressing is what makes this salad, double the amount if you use a lot of add-ins

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
For this past trip out West, I made these cookies. They are an adaptation of these. I subbed dark chocolate for the walnuts because I’m a new mom who can’t drink caffeine (woe is me), so chocolate has been my go-to pick me up, and I added chia seeds for a bit of “health”. If you’re gluten free, try subbing the wheat germ for buckwheat flour as a binder and let me know how it turns out.
These are very soft. You can keep them in the oven for a bit longer than suggested, but they will still turn out soft. I am assuming the coconut oil is keeping them incredibly moist. For our trip, I popped them in the freezer so that they could hold their shape a bit longer in my backpack. Again, don’t wait for your next trip to make these, eat these banana-bread-like-cookies now:

-3 ripe bananas, mashed
-1/4c melted coconut oil
-1 tsp Tahitian vanilla (it really is the best. Mexican vanilla is my next choice), or the seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
-1/4c Grade B maple syrup (fun facts: maple syrup contains potassium, magnesium, and iron. It is also considered beneficial for our digestive and circulatory systems. Grade B is the darkest, and has the strongest flavour)
-1c old fashioned oats, can be gluten-free
-1/4c wheat germ
-2/3c almond meal
-1Tbsp chia seeds (I’m sure you are well aware of chia’s health benefits: protein, fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, and all essential amino acids)
-1/2tsp aluminum-free baking powder
-1 4oz bar good, dark chocolate, chopped into large chunks. (I like Schraffen Berger, and Valrhona, and have always had a sweet spot for Lindt)
-1/2c unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut

-Preheat oven to 350F, and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
-In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stir to combine.
-Drop large spoonfuls onto the parchment, bake for 16 – 18min rotating the cookie sheets 180° halfway, and until golden underneath
-Makes about 12 – 16, depending on how large or small your spoonfuls are