Flygirl Meal Prep

I’ve been flying for a year, and I’ve always packed my food pretty well. But, as of March 1st, I’m working my first line ever! For those of you who are unfamiliar with aviation lingo, that means that I am no longer working on an on-call basis, as I have a predetermined schedule to which I’ll abide for the month. This changes the game, big time, people! Now I know well in advance where I’ll be going and for how long I’ll be away. I know if any meals are provided in the hotels, or if there’s a favorite restaurant nearby that I want to visit. Most importantly, it means I have time to plan and prepare my meals ahead of time so I can eat like a bonafied tin can (airplane) QUEEN!

I took full advantage of the free day before my trip to cook up a storm, and I am so grateful now, as I happily–and healthily!–stuff my face in my layover hotel.

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Healthy, hearty, well balanced menu for my four-day pairing (fancy flygirl speak for a trip).

Featured:
•Spicy black bean and sweet potato rice bowls with jalapeño lime ranch.
•Moroccan carrot salad with dates and feta.
•Broccoli chicken mac n cheese.
•Hard boiled eggs
•Coconut almond overnight oats spiced with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, and honey.
•Cucumbers, blueberries, cilantro, apples, oranges, lemon, tortillas, red pepper dip, hummus, kombucha, tons of teas, and some soft licorice as a treat.
•Will be adding sliced turkey, chocolate chocolate muffin, cold brew coffees, and raw greens 🌱🥒🍏🦌

Recipes:

Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls with Spicy Lime Ranch

Sweet Potatoes
  • 3 or 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2-1 t. paprika
  • salt to season
Black Beans
  • 2 cans black beans + their cooking liquid
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 2 t. lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (membranes/seeds make it spicier, so remove depending on preference)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
rice ‘n’ thangs
  • 3 c. cooked rice (I used multigrain, but you can use whatever you prefer, including quinoa)
  • 1/3 c. pepitas
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 c. feta cheese
Spicy lime ranch
  • 3/4 c. ranch dressing
  • 1/4 c. pickled jalapeños, finely minced
  • 2 t. lime juice
  • 1/4 t. paprika
  • (optional) 1-2 t. jalapeño juice, if you like your food to hurt a lil’ bit!
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potato cubes in olive oil, paprika, and salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper/silicone baking mat. Bake 35-40 min. Toss sweet potatoes half way through roasting. Set aside until ready to assemble. Cook your rice if you don’t have any already on hand.
  2. While sweet potatoes are cooking, add beans, onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, jalapeños, and cilantro to a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to soft boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until ready to assemble rice bowls.
  3. Combine ranch dressing, jalapeños (and jalapeño juice if you choose), lime juice, and paprika.
  4. Once ready to assemble, remove beans from heat. Add lime juice to beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Assemble: Add rice, then beans with a slotted spoon, then sweet potatoes, then pepitas, feta, and dressing.

EAT UP!

 

 

 

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Always Remember

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Fifteen years ago, today, the world was turned on its head as the most powerful nation on the planet was brought to its knees.

I remember the 11th of September of 2001 vividly. I remember exactly where I was and who I was with when I watched an aircraft target the New York Skyline. I remember the shock and fear in my big sister’s voice as she called for my brother and me as we were getting ready for school that morning. I remember the adrenaline tweaking my system as my brother and I ran down the stairs towards her piercing voice. And I remember the shock, the confusion, that stopped my blood in its cold veins, as I set my big, childish eyes on the collapse of one of my country’s most iconic buildings. On the fiery demise of 2,996 innocent American lives. On the true American Horror Story.

I remember breaking news updates pouring out of every television and radio, in every classroom. I remember teachers, in shock themselves, talking us young students through the emotional and unbelievable events that had transpired on the other side of our country.

I remember the vision of humans, mortal flesh and bone, jump to their terrifying deaths to escape the collapse of the burning building in which they were trapped.

I remember the skyline suffocated under a blanket of shadow and ash, and the indistinguishable grey and black, tear-stained faces of all the victims and the first responders who risked their lives to save them.

I remember the dunes and mountains of concrete, glass, and steel, imprisoning innocent people in a hellish darkness.

There is a lot I remember of that nightmarish day. And with each year that passes, every year that guides me further from the confusion and fear and anger of the eleven year-old little girl I was, towards the woman I am today, I gain only more grave understanding of what transpired.

Of the importance of all the police, medics, firefighters, and flight crew–of all the first responders–who put their own lives in danger to protect and rescue the lives of others in need.

Today, the 11th of September, 2016, is a sobering reminder of the seriousness and importance of my own career as a flight attendant. Of the hundreds of lives I hold in my own hands every day. It is a reminder of the tremendous thanks and the gratefulness I feel that my own family is still with me. That my big sister risks her life every day in the armed forces to make our country safer. That she is still safe.

Today, I remember all the hurt and fear and heartbreak of the 2,996 Americans who lost their lives, and my heart goes out to all the loved ones who have lost.

Always remember.

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Pasta Salad, the Series

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Mexican Pasta Salad, too pretty to toss…almost.

I usually try to stay away from pasta (i.e. simple carbs) not because I don’t like it, but because I love it. But because it’s easy nowadays to find more healthful, complex options on the market, and–let’s face it–pasta makes for easy cooking, I’ve welcomed it back into my life joyously.

Lately, I’ve gotten really into pasta salads when I’m prepping for my trips. It’s so easy to keep your ultra  menu PHresh by mixing up limitless different flavor combinations; it can be served cold, so I don’t need to worry about heating it up on the plane; and it’s really cost effective, which definitely matters to me because, well, I don’t do this job for the money.

A couple recipes I like to throw together are Mexican and Balsamic pasta salads. You can take these as recipes or mere guidelines for your own creations.

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A healthier version I don’t have to feel guilty about eating.

Mexican Pasta Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta (I used brown rice and quinoa fusilli, which has more fiber and protein than traditional versions)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup corn (I roasted some frozen corn over the stove to add a little smokiness)
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro dressing (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)

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Creamy Cilantro Salad Dressing from Trader Joe’s. They really ought to start paying me…

 

Directions:

  1. Cook your pasta al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse, and let cool.
  2. Mix all ingredients.
  3. Serve.

Too easy! Nobody can say they can’t cook.

 

Balsamic Pasta Salad with Hot Italian Sausage

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 cup black olives, sliced
1/2 cup marinated sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned or torn into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a little for browning sausage
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

 

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This is the best balsamic vinegar out there! So delicious.

Directions:

  1. Set two pots of water to boil: one for the pasta, and one for the sausage.
  2. Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Drain, rinse, and let cool.
  3. While pasta is cooking, add whole sausages to the second pot of boiling water. Boil about 10 minutes until sausage is cooked through.
  4. Remove sausage from pot, slice evenly. In a pan over medium-high heat, brown with a little olive oil, a minute or two each side.
  5. Combine all ingredients and mix it up.
  6. Serve.

Remember to let your creative energy flow and make each recipe your own.

To be continued…14212588_10208700716409244_2897196276272682999_n