I don’t eat the food on airplanes anymore. I spend a LOT of time on planes, and I’ve eaten a LOT of airplane food in my life. But, about 2 years ago, I decided I had had enough airplane food to last a lifetime. I understand that costs are tight and that airlines have to make food that appeals to a huge demographic, but that doesn’t mean that I have to eat it ever again. Most flights are uncomfortable enough without having to eat the food they serve!
So now, I pack my own food for all flights, especially any long-haul flights (Sydney-LAX or Sydney-London). This makes the flights far more enjoyable. Rather than sitting in my teeny, somewhat cramped economy seat, dreading the arrival of the puck of chicken with goopy sauce, I now look forward to my in-flight meal-times. I pack a variety of different foods to snack on at different points in the flight. There is usually one hearty salad or small sandwich, some fruit or veggie sticks and a treat. Some people are surprised that I bring my own food. They think that you can’t carry food on to a flight. Just so you know, you CAN carry on food- it’s no trouble at all.
I flew from Atlanta to Sydney last November and I brought along a spinach salad, a small sandwich made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey, some carrot sticks and a small container of Christmas cookies that my mother and I made the night before my flight. I took the roll and the cheese and crackers from the airline meal tray and a small bottle of red wine from the drinks cart. What a feast! Having the right food during a flight can make you feel so much better while in the air, and help you feel less tired and worn-out when you touch down.
As I type this, I am preparing our food for our flight from Sydney to London. Andy likes to have a fairly hearty meal during the flight (the protein makes him feel better during the flight), so I’m making a chick-pea, chorizo and tomato salad. Delicious, easy to eat and full of fiber and protein. I’m also bringing along some purple grapes, a fruit and nut mix and some chilli rice crackers. We’ll eat the yoghurt and fruit salad that they serve for breakfast as we descend into London and we will arrive in our new country feeling much better than if we’d spent the last 24 hours eating bland pasta or chewy beef on rice.
Here’s the recipe for Andy’s favourite carry-on meal. It is dead easy and doesn’t need to be re-heated before you enjoy it mid-flight.
Chick-pea, chorizo and tomato “salad”
Serves 2 (fairly large servings)
2 links of chorizo or other spicy sausage, chopped into little pieces
1 tbs olive oil
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and allow to warm up. Add the chorizo and allow to brown and crisp up on the edges. Pour the chick-peas into the pan and stir around. Allow the chick-peas to warm through. Add the tomatoes and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste. EASY!