Leaving on a Jet Plane

It can be a challenge to find healthful food when you are travelling.   The food that is available on the plane is typically heavy, meat ridden and awful.  Even finding something healthy in the airport can be a challenge.  Vegetarian options tend to be heavy with dairy or completely bland.  I’ve stopped fighting the battle to find healthy options in the airport, and I’ve taken to carrying on a bento box meal whenever possible.

 This quinoa salad is packed with healthy veggies and flavor.  It combines classic Mediterranean flavors like olives, lemon, olive oil, parsley and feta.  I’ve added some shrimp in this version as well.  This is vegetarian if you omit the shrimp and vegan if you omit the feta.

 mediterranean salad

When making Mediterranean salads with feta,  I prefer to use Bulgarian feta, which has a richer and creamier texture than other types of feta.  It’s not generally available in most standard supermarkets, but worth seeking out your neighborhood Mediterranean deli/market to procure.  While you are there, pick up some pomegranate molasses, olives, and some delicious prepared hummus or babaganoush.   All these treats are usually found at higher qualites in specialty markets and delis than in supermarkets.  

 I love these bento boxes from West Elm,  They are perfect for packing lunch for a car or plane trip, or just to take your lunch to the office in.  They have an attached fork, dressing or sauce dish,  and an extra removable compartment (not shown) if you want to take two dishes together.  If one dish is hot and one is cold, you can remove the cold one before microwaving the other.  

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Serves 3
A delicious and healthy salad with or without shrimp or feta. Makes a great packable lunch year round. This makes 2 very large portions or 3 moderate portions.
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Ingredients
  1. Dressing -
  2. 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
  3. 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  4. 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  5. 1 tsp dijon mustard
  6. 1 pinch oregano
  7. 3 TBSP olive oil
  8. salt and pepper
  9. Salad -
  10. 2 cups cooked quinoa
  11. 1 cup cherry tomatos, halved
  12. 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  13. 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  14. 1/4 cup feta* (optional)
  15. 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  16. 1 cup baby spinach
  17. 2 TBSP mama lils peppers (optional)
  18. 1/2 cup chickpeas or white beans
  19. 2 TBSP sundried tomatos
  20. 1/4 pine nuts
  21. 6-12 shrimp, peeled, tossed with salt and pepper and sauteed in olive oil until pink and cooked through (optional)
  22. 2 TBSP italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients for dressing in a jar and shake to combine.
  2. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl, add dressing and toss to combine.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to pack in lunch.
  4. Serve cold or room temperature.
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