Last year I went on a bus trip with my Gram to Tanglewood to see a show and a bagged lunch was part of the package provided by the Senior Center. I can honestly say that I ate my bagged lunch and disliked it greatly. I informed my Gram then and there that if she ever invited me to go on this annual trip with her again that we would not be eating the bagged lunch. So when this year’s trip was booked, she invited me to accompany her, and I accepted, with one stipulation- I get to pack the picnic. She accepted and the planning began.
In an effort to eat more primal foods (fresh, organic, unprocessed- read more here) I recently pulled conventional breads from my diet. This is not to say that I will never eat bread again, because that would just be silly. I simply find that it is necessary to shake things up a bit every once in a while, and now is that time for me. I didn’t just change my eating habits, my exercise routine goes hand-in-hand thus that has changed as well.
So when it was time to plan the picnic menu I wanted to keep things simple. Whatever we ate, drank, and served with had to be carried into the venue, used, carried around the venue for the entirety of our stay, then carted out with us. Sandwiches really fit the bill here as they can be hand-held, but since I am currently omitting bread I was stuck. Then I found a recipe for a lovely foccaccia which uses flax meal rather than flour. The recipe is rich in protein and omega 3s which both fit well into my diet, and it made for a bread which didn’t look strange enough to make Gram & Neil question why I was feeding it to them ;)
This foccaccia is moist and rich and dense. You can eat it as-is once it’s baked, or you can make sandwiches out of it, or you could top it with herbs and bake it again to make a crunchier version like this blogger did, or you could slather it in fresh pesto (as I did) and snack on it. The foccaccia holds well in the refrigerator for several days in an air-tight container, or can be frozen for longer storage.
2 cups flax meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar
5 eggs, whisked
½ cup water
⅓ cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350
- In a medium bowl combine the flax meal, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the agave, eggs, water and olive oil
- Stir dry ingredients into wet, mixing well, then allow to stand for 2-3 minutes so that batter thickens
- Give the batter a quick stir and pour into an oiled 9×13 inch baking dish
- Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife comes out clean
- Remove from oven and cool. Once cooled, I would recommend slicing directly in the pan, then removing individual pieces so as not to tear the center out if it’s stuck to the pan at all.
For our Tanglewood sandwiches, I cut 5″x5″ squares of foccaccia and sliced them in half- the skinny way, then slathered on some fresh pesto, added a thin chicken cutlet, fresh tomato slices, and a bit of baby greens. Very tasty.