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Recipes and Tips for Healthy Travel II

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First of all, wow. I won the Saveur award! Because of you! Seriously friends, I cannot thank you enough for voting, and for supporting what I do. This achievement means more than you know and I feel more motivated than ever to keep on going. I love this blog and knowing you do too makes every post all the more worthwhile. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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So, I am writing this from 30,000 feet in the air, somewhere high over the Middle East. The digital map on the screen in front of me revealing the names of cities I’ve never even heard of. It feels good to be traveling again in totally unfamiliar territory. We are off to Bali, my family and I. For six weeks we will be living there, tucked away in a rice field somewhere, completely away from the life we know in Copenhagen. We have never been to Asia before, and feeling excited for the adventures that lay ahead. It’s been a dream of mine to visit Bali since I was about 18, and I am sure that my high school self never would have believed that my first time going would be with my husband and baby.

This trip is not an epic one in distance per se, like the 38-hour schlep last year to Kauai, but throw a breastfeeding 5-month-old in the mix and suddenly I’ve got calorie and nutrient requirements totally un-fulfillable by miniature airplane meals. So what am I bringing along this time? Here’s my list:

Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Roasted Carrots (recipe below)
Curried Hummus (recipe below)
– mung bean and lentil sprouts
– cucumber sticks
– dried figs
– apples
Chunky Chocolate Buckwheat Granola (recipe here)
– Crispy Seed Flatbread (recipe coming!)

In all the years I’ve been traveling, I’ve learned quite a few things about which foods work on the road and those that turn into an unpalatable mess after a few hours outside of the fridge. I’ve also figured out which foods fuel the body in the proper way; nothing too heavy, as I’m sitting for most of the trip after all, and sticking to high protein and carbohydrate-rich foods definitely seem to be best for me. Including fruits and veggies with a high water content is also important, as nothing is more dehydrating than flying. Cucumbers and apples are always high on my list.

On today’s menu, I’ve got a pretty wide selection of plant-based delights, all quite simple, but that require a bit of planning ahead. The Black Bean and Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Roasted Carrots is delicious, filling, and travels very well. One thing I cannot stand about plane food is the singular texture (i.e: mush), so that is why my meals always cover the bases with lots of different consistencies: creamy beans, tender carrots, crunchy cabbage, and crispy toasted seeds. I don’t want my mouth getting bored halfway through my dinner, after all. If you are not a fan of cabbage, or you tend to become rather, ahem, windy, form eating it (soooo not awesome on a plane), choose a sturdy leaf that doesn’t cramp your style. Kale would be a good choice, or perhaps romaine. Do not choose a wimpy lettuce that’s going to wilt and goop up the rest of the dish – that would be ever so sad.

Although it’s great for a plane ride or road trip, this salad is tasty enough to make the small journey from your kitchen to the dining room table too. If you are going to make it for traveling though, I would suggest keeping the cabbage (or greens) on top of the salad, instead of mixing it in right away. This will help keep the cabbage crisp until you are ready to eat.

The Cripsy Seed Flatbreads are actually amazing, but I want to perfect the recipe just a little more before putting it out, so you’ll have to wait just a bit. Deal? Thanks.

I also made a really simple hummus for the trip, because dipping is fun no matter what altitude you’re at. I have been on a bit of a curry kick lately, so curried hummus is was – but feel free to toss in any spice mix you have, or just kick it classic style it with cumin. I do remember saying that curry was a no-no in my previous travel post, but I kept things pretty mild since I knew I’d be on a plane rubbing shoulders with unappreciative co-passengers.

My biggest piece of advice for getting any dip through security is to keep things thick. If your hummus is runny at all, or resembles “paste” they may confiscate it (and be prepared to throw out your container too if this happens). It can help to actually put the veggie sticks into the Tupperware with the dip itself, so the discerning agents can get a handle on the fact that you’re just an über-prepared foodie.

Prepare the salad and hummus well in advance of leaving for your trip – the day before is ideal. You need to make sure all the ingredients are cool before you make both dishes, so that they will keep for many hours outside of the fridge. If they are warm when you leave, they may spoil en route.

If you want lots more travel tips, check out my post from last year which discuses everything from avoiding jet-lag to how to make a thoughtful homecoming for yourself. Happy trails!

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Although my time in Bali is most definitely a holiday, I’ll still be blogging (can’t help myself!) and on Instagram, where you can follow my culinary adventures. Good grief, I cannot wait to EAT! I hope the island is prepared for me and my hollow leg.

If any of you have been to Bali, I’m totally up for advice, tips, recommendations on stuff to do, where to eat, etc. Let me know in the comments, and thank you in advance!

Until the next post, here’s to flying high with happy meals.

Much love and gratitude,
Sarah B

…and because I know someone will ask, my bamboo travel utensil set is made by To-Go Ware.

Flavour Bomb Greens n’ Noodles

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I had my first harvest today. After several months of extremely hard work I cycled out to our garden with a pair of scissors, an empty basket, and some very excited taste buds.

Having zero access to a plot of land for many years now, it’s indescribably gratifying to get my hands down in the earth, plant seeds and watch miracles happen (well, they seem like miracles to me). To be able to bike past the market, just to sit in my strawberry patch, basking in the sweet, sweet glory of a perfectly ripe jewel that I’ve had a hand in growing is nothing short of awesome. Total connection.

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So, what is Sarah B. growing? Well, lots of root veggies, as Danish temperatures lends itself to produce that can hide underground for months on end (who can blame them?), but peas and beans will tolerate the cool and wet weather pretty well. I got some pretty groovy winter squashes in there, a good mix of herbs and edible flowers, and some fruit trees. Most of these treats I’ll have to wait a few more months for, so for the moment my pride and joy are the greens. Greens, greens, everywhere! And pretty ones too, with pink and purple stems.

In honor of the first harvest, I dedicate this post to greens. We could all stand to eat more of them, but they are not always the sexiest, nor the most sought-after veggie on many people’s list. In fact, I find that most folks are downright scared of green things. How the heck did this happen? With a few simple tricks, greens are downright tasty. I’ll show you how.

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Why Green is Gold
Leafy greens are among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The greener they are, the more nutritious and healing they are. Loaded with vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and folic acid (the name derived from the word foliage), greens are also extremely low in calories for the nourishing punch they pack.

Including greens in your diet on a daily basis (it’s okay if that feels overwhelming – baby steps) is your ticket to greater health via their uncompromising ability to improve immune response and prevent disease. Leafy greens are also excellent brain-boosters, blood cleansers and cancer-fighters.

The happy news is greens are fairly abundant all year ‘round. They are very simple to grow (as I have now witnessed), but even if you don’t have a foot of soil to plant in, one can always find a green leaf at the grocery store during any season. And greens are extremely versatile: use them the obvious way like raw salad as I have done here, or add them to a soup or stir-fry (cooking them causes serious shrinkage so they are easy to hide!), blend them into a juice (I find spinach is a winner in this application), or juice them. One of my favorite ways to eat greens is to replace a wrap or piece of bread with a giant leaf and just roll up whatever I am munching on. This was a trick I learned some years ago and it really works – even with kids! The trick is making the flavours really sing until you can groove on the natural “green” taste, which I promise you will learn to love.

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With all these glorious fresh greens ready to enjoy from my garden now, I thought I better come up with a killer way to eat them day after day. I have been craving something with big taste, something with ka-pow! And my totally boss mix of flavours fits the bill for sure.

The cool thing about this meal is the customizing aspect to it, one I would imagine would greatly appeal to children, or anyone unenthused by leafy greens. Once the intoxicatingly vibrant dressing of lime juice, garlic, ginger, chili, tamari and honey wraps itself around each ribbon of green, these once humble leaves become shockingly addictive. Then each person is free to liberally add in their favorites: toasted sesame, cashew, and coconut, more chili, and spring onion, cilantro and mint. Please inform everyone at the table that more is better! Pile on the toppings because they are all super healthy, and along with massive flavour, they bring on major nutritional bonus points.

And if you want to stop at just the greens, by all means do so – I added the noodles for a more filling and complete lunch. Take it to the next level with some marinated, stir-fried tempeh, avocado, sprouts, beans or lentils. The point is, we are making greens taste good and you can do just about anything with that.

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I want to end this post with a huge thank-you to all of you who wrote a comment in the last post, on Facebook or sent an email. I have been so overwhelmed with your unbelievable outpouring of love and excitement for my pregnancy, and it means more than you know. I feel as if I have this giant extended family out there, made up of gorgeous people whom I have never even met, but wow, how I can feel you. And undoubtedly, so can this little sprout.

big love, Sarah B

oh – and because you’ll ask, I buy my seeds from here.

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And don’t forget to check out my recipes in The Guardian, in print and online.

cook promo march 30

 

Stocking the Pantry: To be Published!

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Dear readers,

Whoa! I have such exciting news. Due to the immense response of Stocking the Pantry, the book has just been bought by a major publishing house and will be turned into a hard copy book! I am so sorry to put it online and take it down so quickly, but that is the deal. You’ll be able to hold the real version in your hot little hands just as soon as we can get it out there! Thank you so much for your enthusiasm – you really made this whole thing possible for me.

Thanks for your understanding.

Your friend,
Sarah B.