10 Healthy Packed Meals for Your Flight (Slideshow)
May 30, 2014
No reason to pack on the pounds when you travel, try whipping up these delicious packed meals before your next trip
Make It A Picnic
Pack your own charcuterie the night before your trip for an airplane picnic! Freeze slices of meats and cheese in plastic bags (remember, you won’t have access to a knife). Pre-slice whole grain bread and wrap in in plastic, then aluminum before storing in Tupperware. And don’t forget the take out packets of deli mustard! The protein in the cheese and meat, along with the whole grain bread will keep you feeling full on your flight, so you don’t find yourself binging at the first Burger King you see.
Travel Friendly Potato-Salad
Since it’s already a picnic, why not bring some potato salad? Boil red potatoes the night before you fly and add some veggies that travel well, like green beans and corn. Instead of mayo, which isn’t the best travel companion, season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight; the potatoes will soak up the oil, and you’ll have an excellent side dish the next day.
Pack a Pasta Salad
Pasta salads are great for air travel because they don’t wilt, and you can prepare and store the ingredients separately, then mix them together onboard for a fresher salad. If you prefer a warm salad, ask your flight attendant for a cup of hot water, pour it into the bag with your prepared pasta, swirl it around for a minute, and then strain the water back out. Voila! A warm pasta dish without leaving your seat.
Travel Trail Mix
Top off your healthy pasta salad with a crunchy bag of trail mix. Grocery store trail mix often has a lot of sodium, sugar, and preservatives, but a homemade mix can be healthy and filling. Dried fruit mixed with roasted nuts and sunflower seeds will satisfy your sweet tooth so that you’re less likely to hit the Cinnabon during your layover, but you won’t be getting a lot of added salt and sugar.
Wrap it Up
Bread is likely to go soggy at high altitudes, but a fresh wrap in a whole-grain tortilla will keep its shape even up in the air. Try wrapping up a layer of turkey, a layer of hard-boiled egg, and a layer of peppers and blanched or steamed broccoli instead of lettuce (which will get soggy), for a protein packed in flight meal.
Don’t Forget Your Dip
Many companies make travel sized dip, such as hummus, or you could always snag some packets of dressing from your local deli. It’s also super easy to blend up some chickpeas, tahini, roasted garlic, and olive oil at home for the perfect accouterment to your turkey wrap. Alternately, you could mix Greek yogurt, lemon, dill, salt, and pepper for a homemade tzatziki. You can freeze it overnight in an ice tray, and it’ll thaw back to its dip form on your flight. Just make sure not to bring more than 3 !
Bring Your Own Chips
Airport kiosks are packed with temptation in the form of salty potato chips. But downing a bag of those will have you feeling sluggish and bloated for your trip. Why not chop kale into bite sized pieces, moisten with olive oil, and bake at 450 until crispy the night before your trip? Store in a small plastic container and dip them in the hummus you brought!
Grain salads are super trendy right now, but they’re also ideal for air travel. Lettuce doesn’t travel well and will end up a wilted mess when you’re ready to eat. But grains like quinoa hold their texture and are packed with protein and low in calories. Just cook quinoa the night before and add your favorite veggies, like roasted beets or carrots, coat with oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and the next day, you’ve got a delicious salad ready to go!
Bento boxes are just as useful on airplanes as they are at the sushi bar! The compartments are excellent at separating food and keeping it fresh. The night before your flight, freeze some grapes and few slices of cheese, so they’ll still be fresh when you’re ready to eat. The morning of, place gapes and cheese in one of your bento compartments. Smear a few slices of whole grain bread with olive oil (which won’t get gross like mayo) and place them in the other compartment. Next add some chilled carrot sticks and grape tomatoes, along with a travel-sized container of hummus, and voila, you’ve got yourself a sandwich, side, and yummy dessert.
Homemade Granola Bars
Airport snaking can be fatal to a diet, and it can be tempting to grab a granola bar at the airline kiosk, telling yourself that it’s granola, so it’s healthy. But those bars are often so packed with sugar and chocolate that they’re no better than a candy bar. Instead, why don’t you combine toasted oats, dates, almonds, and melted honey and almond butter at home to make a low calorie, high fiber snack for your trip?