14 August 2008

Gluten-free Air Travel

Travel, particularly air travel, for those of us on a gluten-free diet is tricky. Adding migraine avoidance to the mix makes advance preparation absolutely essential for a pain-free travel day. With airlines no longer serving meals in coach and substituting boxes of junk food for purchase, bringing a healthy meal on board with you is key. You might be able to find something other than fresh fruit in the airport, but why chance it? Also, if you have a long day of cross country travel coming up, as I do tomorrow, a whole day eating nothing but fruit and water doesn't sound like much fun. The solution is to pack your own lunch and bring it with you. 

Whenever I travel I make sure I have gluten-free and migraine trigger free food with me. This time I am taking Real Foods Multigrain Corn Thins in a zip-loc bag, a few EnviroKidz Organic Crispy Rice Bars, some cut up celery and some apples for snacks. (You never know when you might get hungry, especially if your flight gets delayed. Better to bring extra things to tide you over). For breakfast I am taking gluten-free lemon poppyseed muffins I baked a couple weeks ago and froze and for lunch a smoked salmon and wild rice salad with blueberries. I made the salad this morning and have it cooling in the fridge. Tomorrow morning I will take it out and put it in a thermal lunch box with an ice pack so that it stays nice and cold until I am ready for it. I'll make sure I grab a plastic fork from a concession in the airport and buy a bottle of water and I'm set to go!

Smoked Salmon Wild Rice Salad with Blueberries

1 package (4 oz) smoked salmon (preservative-free)
1/2 cup or so fresh blueberries
1 cup sautéed vegetables (I used asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini and wax beans sautéed in 1 tsp. lemon-infused olive oil (O & Co) with a little minced garlic, salt and pepper)
1  1/2 cups cooked wild rice
2 tsp. basil vinaigrette (see recipe below)
salt and pepper to taste

(makes 2 servings) (6 Weight Watcher points per serving)

Slice salmon into slivers. In a medium bowl mix salmon, rice, vegetables and basil vinaigrette. Toss. Adjust seasoning. Add blueberries and gently mix. Divide into travel containers and refrigerate. Pack in a thermal lunch sack with a cold pack.

Basil Vinaigrette (from most recent AARP Magazine)

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 T finely minced shallots
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, shallots and salt. Slowly whisk in the vinegar, lemon juice, and oil until the mixture is emulsified. Add the basil and chill for 30 minutes.

Note to Migraine sufferers: None of the above ingredients cause any problems for me. Even the mustard and vinegar are ok in small amounts. Your triggers may be different from mine. Substitute where necessary.

Try packing a gluten-free lunch on your next trip and see how much better you feel—physically and emotionally. Not to mention that those sitting around you will be jealous!

Bon voyage!

Karen, herself


Shannon B. said...

Great post and helpful recipes! I've been working on an article about flying with allergies, and this is a great help :D

Shannon B.
Community Manager

Karen said...

Thanks, Shannon. Good to know someone is reading this.

My trip was very successful diet-wise and less stressful thanks to advance planning.

Karen, herself

H.Peter said...

GF Air Travel can be a pain as per my wife.
She used to go overseas frequently and the food served was just strange. celiacs deisease seems to be low on the totem pole of issue with airline catering companies.

Intersting read about Migraines as we put them down to the Chinook winds here east of the Rockies.