The last 8 1/2 hours I’ve spent in a cab in slushy rush hour Toronto, in a packed, grumpy airport, and in the middle seat (despite the fact that I arrived for my flight 2 hours early) of an equally crammed and irritated plane. Plus I have a cold, and have completely lost my voice.
The last thing I ate that vaguely resembled a meal was with Malcolm Jolley, a fantastic guy and the founder of Gremolata. We ducked into a really cool little place that I now can’t remember the name of – Malcolm, are you reading this? What was it? – where we had espresso and I ate a bowl of black bean soup swirled with cilantro crème fraiche. I suppose it would be more appropriate to say I talked while my soup got cold. Then we left, Malcolm walked me back to my hotel to grab my luggage and cab at 4:30 EST, and it has taken me since then (it’s now 1:30 am EST) to get myself back home.
So technically, any food consumed between then and now could be considered dinner. A Tim Horton’s coffee at the airport, some toasted almonds I had in my bag, a tomato juice when they came around with the drink cart (confession: I always feel so virtuous and worldly that I have a regular drink that I order on the plane, and that it’s such a smart one compared to the pops and other juices), and the stash of granola I always bring when I travel because it fits the bill whether I wake up hungry (it’s such a pain to go seek out something for breakfast when you’re trying to get yourself ready for stuff) or need a snack in between events, or on the plane. If I can find a container of yogurt somewhere, it comes closer to a real meal.
Once a month or so, I make a batch of granola. If you have never done this before, try it; it’s the only way to understand how truly easy it is. Whittling down the amount of oil in the recipe was effortless… although a lot of recipes out there call for up to a cup of butter, I’ve discovered you don’t really need any at all. Of course you do get the healthy fats from the nuts and seeds, but if you want to boost your omega 3 intake though, add a drizzle of flax oil. The best part: you can add whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit suit your mood.
6 cups old fashioned (large flake) oats
1-2 cups chopped or sliced nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pecans, green pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds)
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
1/4-1/3 cup honey
1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup
2-4 Tbsp. flax oil (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla, almond or coconut extract
1 cup dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, or chopped dried dates, apricots, apples and pears
Preheat the oven to 300° F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, salt and cinnamon. In a small bowl, stir together honey, maple syrup, flax oil and vanilla. Pour over the oats and toss to coat them well.
Spread the mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring a few times, when you think of it, until the mixture is golden. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried fruit. Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container or individual zip lock bags to stash in your desk, car or gym bag.
Makes about 8 cups.
Per 1/2 cup: 179 calories, 3.3 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 1.6 g monounsaturated fat, 0.9 g polyunsaturated fat), 4.4 g protein, 24.6 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 3.3 g fiber. 16% calories from fat.