November 4, 2010

{Easy Recipes} DIY Airplane Food (Bulgur Salad and other parts of our Mile-High Picnic)

My husband's not a fan of long flights - he can't sleep and easily gets bored.  So, in addition to the TV, Internet (we're writing this post up in the air as we speak!), and countless magazines, I always plan on bringing a nice homemade meal when we're flying.  (Especially when we're flying on a commercial domestic airline for 6 hours that's only providing us with a free beverage - maybe two).  Check out our travel tips and our picnic in the sky. We'd love to know your thoughts and your travels tips too!

We never leave home without our empty water bottle - after paying $3 for a small bottle of water, we're all about the free water fountain after security checks.
And I love my travel pillow for comfort.
Onto the food! This bulgur salad is easy to make (you can also substitute the bulgur for couscous), very light, and nutritious.  The dish is filled with vegetables and bulgur itself is a healthy whole grain.  Fill up your favorite lunch container (or Chinese take-out box) and you're good to go!  The recipe is at the end of this post (note that the photo above includes roasted squash leftovers that is not in the original recipe).
Salad to go! For this trip, I brought cucumbers, grape tomatoes, pea shoots, and our favorite:  organic celery sticks (though we don't always buy organic fruits and vegetables, we make an effort to buy organic celery after reading about the most contaminated produce, aka "Dirty Dozen").  Because we get dehydrated when flying, we love celery sticks because they're like portable sticks of water.  They also make great garnishes for our complimentary tomato juice!
Lastly, I brought prosciutto, cheese, and whole wheat bread sticks in separate containers (if you put the breadsticks with the cheese and prosciutto, they'll get soggy).  I wrapped the breadsticks with prosciutto while on the plane, and our mile-high picnic is complete!

What are your travel tips and tricks for a party in the sky?

Easy Recipe:
Bulgur Salad (serves 4)
1 cup bulgur
2 cups vegetable broth
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon

1. Boil vegetable broth in pot with lid.
2. Add bulgur (no need to soak or rinse the cracked bulgur) to the boiling broth. Close the lid, turn off the stove, and let the bulgur completely soak the broth.
3. Combine the vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, shallots) in a bowl with oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  I didn't have fresh parsley on hand, but those herbs would make a great addition to the salad.
4. Let cool and fill a portable container (Chinese take-out box or any other lunch box).
5. Enjoy on the plane!

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