DIY Healthy Airplane Food

Long distance travel and healthy food need at-home planning. Vegan stuffed grape leaves, with barley, lentils and lots of flavor, will hold up well without being chilled.

DIY Healthy Airplane Food

Healthy Airplane Food?

Not anymore! In my teens when I first began to travel, there were linens, real stainless tableware, beverages served in glass and many options for the meal you would eat. It felt very posh and like a decent restaurant.

Not anymore. Plastic this, cans of that, and ‘crap’ in bags of stuff you wouldn’t eat no matter how hungry you are!

Plan Ahead! There are so many things that can be prepared at home and carried on board, especially if it becomes necessary to state that you have low blood sugar, allergies and need to eat only specific things.

Heck, you can take your ’emotional support’ chicken in a cage on board, why not your own food!

DIY Food For Travel

Sure you can buy food in the airport, but would your really choose to eat some of the options you have? Would the food last for a 6-hour flight, or more?

Several options can be prepared at home and will last sitting out at room temperature for an entire day.

Make a grain rich, homemade bread, like my Potato and Spelt bread. Heck, the bread alone, along with some fruit and cheese would be a meal in itself.

Spelt Potato Sandwich Bread

Or how about an entire vegetable meal in a loaf of bread, my favorite being Beetroot and Spinach Bread. Take this bread along and you may have passengers or crew paying you for a slice!

Beetroot and Spinach Bread

Vegetarian Food For Travel

Vegetarian food for travel is the way to go, even if you love your meat and fish. Many items can be made at home with all the nutrients and flavor you could want in a meal, and easily transported across the country or around the world.

For this particular trip, I made a large batch of Vegan Stuffed Grape Leaves, with barley, lentils and lots of flavor. If grape leaves aren’t your thing, you can place this vegan stuffing inside mini sweet peppers for a Meatless Stuffed Pepper, a different and colorful meal.

Meatless Stuffed Peppers

In small airtight cups I also took along with me some Tzatziki with yogurt, cucumbers and mint. It traveled well and I didn’t mind throwing the container and wooden fork.

Plan and Prep Your Meal In Advance

  • STUFFED GRAPE LEAVES – meat and rice or lentils and rice, or swap out the rice for barley or quinoa. You have a complete meal here, with veggies (leaves) grain and protein. These freeze beautifully, so make plenty and store in your freezer for when ever you want them. The night before I travel, I put the frozen stuffed leaves in disposable containers, and put them in the fridge until I head for the airport. By the time I eat them, they are perfectly room temperature and delicious!
  • TZATZIKI – Yogurt, cucumber, lemon, garlic and fresh herbs. This packs perfectly in small zip baggies and pop the baggy in the container with your grape leaves. OR, if you prefer not to have grape leaves, pile a salad in the disposable container, and use the Tzatziki and dressing!
  • Fruit – and fresh fruit, washed and put in baggies
  • COOKIES – ya gotta have a little something sweet and cookies pack easily to-go
  • Nuts and dried fruit – YOUR mixture!
Cocoa Nib Cookies

Ingredients Needed

  • Hulled barley
  • French lentils
  • Water or Broth
  • Olive oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Grape leaves
Ingredients and Equipment

Equipment Needed

  • 2 pots with lids
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Basting brush
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Garlic press
  • Citrus press
  • Meal-prep size Containers

DIY Healthy Airplane Food – Vegan Stuffed Grape Leaves

Barley and lentil vegan stuffed grape leaves for travel or home tapas.
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Course: Appetizers u0026amp; Tapas, Lifestyle
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 300kcal


  • Hulled Barley – 2 cups
  • French Lentils – 1 ½ cups
  • Water or Broth – 4 cups for the barley and 3 cups for the lentils
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp for filling, more for brushing
  • Cinnamon – 2 tbsp
  • Salt and Pepper– to taste
  • Lemon juice – from 1 large lemon
  • Grape Leaves – 15 oz jar  


  • In two separate pots, bring the water or broth to a boil, 4 cups for the barley and 3 cups for the lentils. Cook until tender and most of the liquid absorbed. About 30 minutes.
  • Once the barley and lentils have been cooked and slightly cooled, you are ready to marry them together into a vegan filling.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. Add cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Roll the grape leaves with stuffing. Place on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil.
  • Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. 


Calories: 300kcal
DIY Healthy Airplane Food – Vegan Stuffed Grape Leaves – Tzatziki and Cookies!
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