Paleo kitchen experiments: tuna coleslaw and other portable meals

By the time you read this I will be on my beach holiday.  However, I am writing this in advance and I am already not looking forward to getting there.  We will be leaving home before 6am to drive for  about 4 hours to the airport, sit around in the check-in area for a bit and then kill a couple of hours in the departure lounge, sit on an airplane for 2.5 hours before arriving to a (thankfully) short 20 minute drive to the villa.

Have you ever tried to find paleo food in an airport?  The best I’ve managed, without taking out a second mortgage, has been to eat the fillings of sandwiches and bin the bread.  Even sandwiches are expensive though.

Usually when we go on holiday we take pots of food for the journey.  If we’re heading off on a cycle tour the pots often prove useful later on.  If we’re off with the car to get to the start of a walking holiday we take the food in Tupperware pots, wash them out at a service station and leave them in the car.  My problems with this trip are:

  • We need enough food for breakfast, mid-morning snack and lunch.  In fact, enough food to see us right through the day except for dinner.
  • The food has to travel in containers I won’t mind binning as we go along but anything to be eaten after we leave the car needs to be able to go in a bag without leaking.
  • Any food that is to be eaten after passing through security needs to meet the security checks (non-liquid and no puree-type foods unless they will pack in a transparent bag and container of 100ml or less – pah!  The airport we are using has a particularly bad reputation for sticking to the rules as written and not using a bit of common sense, so I’m taking no chances and looking for solid foods only).

Breakfast – spicy beef bolognese

The simplest meal since it will get eaten in the car by whoever isn’t driving at the time. 

We had a helping of Spicy Beef Bolognese left over spare from the dinners this week so we’re having an unconventional breakfast.  I’ve lined two Tupperware boxes with foil (so that they don’t get dirty) and put the spare portions of Bolognese and some broccoli into them.  The broccoli is slightly cooked to take the edge off the crispness of raw broccoli but not enough to become soggy, cold broccoli in the morning.

Mid-morning snack – tuna coleslaw

We can eat this between checking in and passing through security so the security checks aren’t a problem, we just need to be able to pack it so that it won’t leak into our rucksacks.  At this point we’ll probably be ready for something filling to see us through to a late lunch on the airplane too.

The tuna coleslaw I make I created a few months ago when I was trying to increase our vegetable intake, didn’t want to drop the protein intake, and was getting complaints about including cooked cabbage in dinner (cabbage is wonderfully nutritious and cheap). 


1 medium can tuna
1/8 (approximately 1 cup) white cabbage, chopped into small pieces
1-2 tbsp mayonnaise


  1. Drain the tuna thoroughly.
  2. Chop the cabbage into small pieces.  I find that if it is chopped too coarsely then eating this becomes quite hard work.
  3. Mix the tuna and cabbage well before adding in the mayonnaise.  If a smoother consistency is required then add a little more mayonnaise.

The cabbage adds a peppery flavour to the tuna mayonnaise and also makes it less rich in texture (and therefore less heavy in the stomach).  I’vebeen using this as a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack at work for months and find it really addictive.

If you want to boost your omega-3 intake and reduce your mayonnaise or calorie intake then drain the tuna a bit less thoroughly and add 2 tsp (10ml) of cod liver oil instead of mayonnaise.  However, for the purposes of our holiday I want something that might get through security if we don’t eat it all, and which I can transport in a foil-wrap pack without leakage.

Lunch – Roasted vegetables and a couple of sausages/sticky pork ribs

Plenty more vegetables at this point and a bit less protein after the protein-heavy meals we’d already had by this point.

This was a meal that, while greasy, would pack up with minimal leakage, would taste nice cold, and ought to get through security (though I’m not convinced they’ll let me take it through wrapped in foil so I’ve lined the foil with cling-film as an  so that we can remove the foil for security, though foil is much better for keeping everything sealed in). 

Here’s hoping our meals work as planned – I’ll let you know if we had any problems after we’re back.


One thought on “Paleo kitchen experiments: tuna coleslaw and other portable meals

  1. Pingback: Top 10 posts: Christmas 2009 round up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>