Life Travel
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

In the days of heightened airport security, transporting a baggie of fresh sandwiches onto a flight can be as nerve wracking as carrying illegal goods (presumably). That’s why these airline cuisine recipes rely on packaged goods that even the crustiest security guard will allow through the gates.

For adventuresome types, I’ve included an “if you’re feeling bold” category of fresh add-ins. I’ve taken hundreds of flights with these ingredients on hand and never had issues, but fruits and vegetables always run the risk of confiscation, so if that happens, don’t argue, be polite and rest assured that your meals will still taste good without them.

And since WestJet just announced that its transatlantic flights from Vancouver are officially not serving free meals, you’ll definitely need to get a little crafty. That’s right, no more free meals in economy class, especially not on that 9 and a half hour flight to London. It’s economy class though, where you’re cramped against other people like sardines. Don’t you deserve a little relief during meal time?

Even though a passenger rights advocate pointed out that it’s “appalling” to not give out meals on a flight that long, there’s no real defense to getting that free meal. According to Transport Canada, an airline isn’t obligated to provide free meals on flights.

So what are you going to do for food? We know you’re not going to pay extra for that sandwich (not after blowing a few hundred dollars on plane tickets), so if you want to eat, you’re going to have to either bring food yourself or try a different airline.

I consulted Transport Canada before creating these recipes, but it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules before travelling . Currently it’s okay to fly with approved liquids and gels if they’re stored in clear containers of 100 ml or less, but you’ll generally have less hassle if you choose sealed, packaged products over homemade — think pre-packaged salad dressing over a travel bottle of oil and vinegar. Containers of liquids should be packed together in a clear plastic bag.

Now that we’ve got the rules down, let’s talk about joining the culinary mile high club, shall we?

Sky High Pad Thai

Sky High Pad Thai

This instant pad Thai is just as tasty and authentic as the ones you’ll find in most Thai restaurants at home (read: it’s super tasty and not really authentic).

Ingredients to pack

  • 1 instant rice noodle bowl
  • 1 single serving pack of peanut butter
  • 1 single serving package of hot sauce
  • 1 single serving package of ketchup
  • 1 single serving package of soy sauce
  • fresh, washed cilantro, bean sprouts and julienned cucumber, stored in a sandwich bag with a piece of paper towel to absorb moisture (optional, if you’re feeling bold)

Directions

Nicely ask your flight attendant for cutlery, hot water and a cup. Hydrate noodles according to package directions. Drain excess water into the cup. Toss the noodles with the peanut butter, hot sauce, soy sauce and ketchup to taste and top with cilantro, bean sprouts and cucumber, if they cleared security. If your airline offers complimentary peanuts, sprinkle those on top.

In flight foods hacks

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Sangria

Turn that awful airplane wine into something palatable!

Ingredients (and tools) to pack

  • 1 snack-pack of dehydrated mixed fruits (orchard fruits, berries and tropical blends all taste good)
  • 1 empty travel cup with lid

Ingredients to order on board

  • Red wine
  • Orange juice
  • Soda water (optional)

Directions

Pour wine and dehydrated fruit into travel cup and let it sit for at least one hour. Add some orange juice to the sangria for sweetness. If you like it bubbly, top it off with soda water just before drinking.

Meet Me in California Roll Bowl

Meet Me in California Roll Bowl

Skip the soggy pasta service and fill up on this easy rice and fish dish instead.

Ingredients (and tools) to pack

  • 1 one-minute rice bowl or instant rice bowl
  • 1 small package imitation crab meat OR 1 small can of tuna or salmon
  • 1 snack-pack toasted seaweed
  • 1 tube wasabi
  • 1 large plastic bowl (for mixing)
  • 1 single-serve package soy sauce
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • diced cucumber (optional)

Directions

Nicely ask your flight attendant for some hot water (if you’re using the instant rice bowl) and for a cup. Alternatively, ask the attendant to microwave the minute-rice bowl. If you’re using the instant rice, rehydrate with the hot water according to package instructions. For the canned fish, drain the excess oil into the cup. Mix the crab or fish, soy sauce and rice together in the bowl and top with crumbled seaweed. Scoop out chunks of avocado and stir in cucumber pieces if you brought them. Add wasabi to taste.

matcha smoothie

Meet Your Matcha On a Plane Smoothie

This healthy, antioxidant-rich recipe contains a small amount of caffeine and an entire serving of fruit, making it the perfect revival snack at the end of an overnight flight.

Ingredients to pack

  • 1 single-serve tube matcha green tea powder (available at Asian grocers)
  • 1 large, empty drink container with sealable lid
  • 1 ripe banana (buy it at the airport)

Ingredients to order on board

  • 1 small container of plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 single-serve package of honey or sugar (optional)
  • hot water
  • ice
  • milk (optional)

Directions

Ask your flight attendant for hot water and a fork. In the travel cup, add a small amount of hot water to the matcha powder and honey (if using) and stir with the fork until well dissolved. Add the banana and mash thoroughly, then stir in yogurt, continuing to mash out lumps. If you prefer a thinner mixture, add milk and a few ice cubes. Then cover the cup, shake and drink with a complimentary straw from the beverage cart. For a thicker treat, omit the milk and eat with a spoon.

taco soup

Flying Colours Taco Soup

Limited access to sharp tools means you’ll spend a lot of time prepping the ingredients in this recipe, providing a welcome break from the monotony of B-movies and seatbelt announcements.

Ingredients to pack

  • 1 small package sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup minute rice
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 large empty thermos
  • plain tortilla chips
  • washed, chopped fresh cilantro (optional, if you’re feeling bold)
  • cooked cob of corn and an avocado (optional, if you’re feeling really bold)

Directions

With clean hands, or the sharpest knife you can find, shred the sundried tomatoes into tiny pieces (as small as you can get them). Place them in the thermos, along with the minute rice. Ask your flight attendant for hot water, and add twice as much water as tomatoes. Seal the thermos and leave for at least one hour. When you’re ready to eat, add the taco seasoning to taste and crush some tortilla chips over top. If your fresh goods cleared security, cut small pieces of corn and avocado into the soup and toss cilantro on top. See if you can score some cheese from the service cart for the ultimate comfort dish.