For most people, airplane food isn't something to look forward to, but at least it used to be complimentary. Now the only time a meal is included in the price of a tickets is when you're flying internationally, but what about those domestic flights? There's food, but you have to pay for it in addition to your ticket and checked bag fees. But most of the time the food just sucks. You know what we're talking about -- soggy sandwiches, weird snacks and the infamous cheese plate. Plus with recent news of passengers finding needles in their turkey sandwiches, you have to wonder how safe those meals are -- not to mention the lack of food safety. So what's a traveler to do? We've got some ideas for you.
If you'd rather have a meal that's delicious, fresh and catered exactly to your liking, then the only way to do just that is to make it yourself. But it's not hard at all. Our 10 recipe ideas can make your in-flight meal that much more enjoyable. Taking into account the length of your travels, we've picked foods that can last for hours without going bad (like undressed salads and veggie sticks). Also, to ensure everything stays fresh we've provided tips on how to prepare and pack each meal -- like freezing beforehand (a tip we learned from Melissa D'Arabian).
Tarragon And Dill Chicken Salad
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/tarragon--dill-chicken-s_n_1058185.html" target="_hplink">Tarragon and Dill Chicken Salad recipe</a></strong> This chicken salad isn't your standard boring chicken salad. It has fresh herbs like dill and tarragon to add lots of flavor. Pack it with some lettuce, bread and grapes on the side to create a delicious and filling meal. <strong>Tip</strong>: To keep the chicken salad cool, freeze it before your trip. It will have defrosted and be perfectly chilled once you're ready to enjoy it on the plane.
Easy Hummus With Tahini
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/easy-hummus-with-tahini_n_1058375.html" target="_hplink">Easy Hummus with Tahini recipe</a></strong> Protein-packed hummus and vegetables sticks make a great in-flight snack. Slice up your favorite vegetables and pack them in a container or bag separately from the hummus. <strong>Tip</strong>: To keep the hummus cool, freeze it before your trip. It will have defrosted and be perfectly chilled once you're ready to enjoy it on the plane. Also, since hummus would be considered a paste, you'll want to pack no more than 3 ounces of it per container.
Fruit And Nut Trail Mix
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/fruit-and-nut-trail-mix_n_1061060.html" target="_hplink">Fruit and Nut Trail Mix recipe</a></strong> Forget about buying those tiny bags of overpriced dried fruit and nuts at the airport or on the plane. Make your own mix and feel free to vary the kinds of fruit and nuts you use. You'll keep your hunger at bay and you have something to snack on while watching the in-flight movie. <strong>Tip</strong>: Pack the trail mix separately in small resealable bags so you don't eat it all at once and have some for later when you get peckish.
Chicken And White Bean Salad recipe
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/chicken--white-bean-sala_n_1058105.html" target="_hplink">Chicken And White Bean Salad recipe</a></strong> You don't have to eat the soggy and flavorless salads sold at the airport or on the plane. Make your own at home, but pack the dressing separately from the salad. When you're ready to eat you can drizzle your fresh and still crunchy salad. <strong>Tip</strong>: When packing this salad, layer the heaviest items, like the chicken and white beans in the bottom of your container. Then top with the delicate greens.
Garlic And Herb Pita Chips
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/garlic-amp-herb-pita-ch_n_1056709.html" target="_hplink">Garlic and Herb Pita Chips recipe</a></strong> Chips and other bagged junk foods are priced up at the airport. Instead of buying a bag of unhealthy potato chips, bring your own homemade pita chips. You control the seasoning so you know you'll have flavorful chips instead of the stale and boring ones sold on the plane. <strong>Tip</strong>: Pack your pita chips in a plastic container instead of a plastic bag to ensure you won't crush the chips during your travels.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/mediterranean-wrap_n_1062150.html" target="_hplink">Mediterranean Wrap recipe</a></strong> Forget about soggy wraps. This flavorful wrap features an herbed couscous with tomato and cucumber along with seared chicken tenders. There's no lettuce or mayonnaise to get the wrap soggy, so you're in the clear for a fresh tasting sandwich. <strong>Tip</strong>: If you prefer, pack the filling and the wrap separately and assemble it when you're ready to eat.
Couscous And Fruit Salad
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/couscous-amp-fruit-sala_n_1056700.html" target="_hplink">Couscous and Fruit Salad recipe</a></strong> Instead of that boring fruit salad or fruit cup that's nowhere near fresh, bring your own fruit salad. This unique recipe combines the fruit with toasted almonds and couscous. It's fresh, filling and fruity. <strong>Tip</strong>: Pack the cut-up fruit and the couscous separately to prevent sogginess. Toss before eating.
Totable Tea Sandwich
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/totable-tea-sandwich_n_1049355.html" target="_hplink">Totable Tea Sandwich recipe</a></strong> This savory sandwich combines prosciutto, mozzarella cheese and jarred roasted red peppers on multi-grain bread. But feel free to vary the fillings -- for kids, try turkey, cheddar and a smear of grape jam in the middle. <strong>Tip</strong>: To keep the sandwich from getting soggy, line one piece of bread with the cheese and the other with the meat. Then put the red peppers in the middle.
Egg Salad Bento Box Lunch
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/egg-salad-bento-lunch_n_1061945.html" target="_hplink">Egg Salad Bento Box Lunch recipe</a></strong> Japanese bento boxes are a great way to pack your lunch for your trip. Each compartment can hold different items. Here one compartment features a creamy egg salad, another the bread for assembling a sandwich, fresh veggies and fruit salad. <strong>Tip</strong>: Freeze the container of egg salad beforehand and it will keep fresh until you're ready to eat and it also will keep all the other compartments cool.
Quinoa Salad With Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers And Arugula
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/quinoa-salad-with-tomatoe_n_1057734.html" target="_hplink">Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers and Arugula recipe</a></strong> This quinoa salad has a lot of flavor going for it -- not to mention the grain is packed with protein. It's full of fresh vegetables like tomato, cucumber, bell pepper and arugula. If you like, vary the recipe and use a different grain like bulgur, barley or farro. <strong>Tip</strong>: Keep the vinaigrette separate from the salad to make sure the couscous doesn't absorb it all. Drizzle it on before eating and shake the container to coat.