The MAKE IT UP MEAL Contest and LUNA Bar Giveaway!!!

February 26, 2014

(Noun) A packed lunch that is healthy, tasty, and made off-the-cuff from random pickings in your kitchen. Ingredients often come from the very last of your food supply prior to a much-needed trip to the grocery store.

In a perfect world, I would go grocery shopping every Sunday, come home to make a big batch of meals for the week, and have pre-packaged containers ready to choose from by Monday morning.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m not perfect (shocker). I have heard that this Sunday Night Meal-Planning phenomenon is possible. Friends out there tell me that they do it. But part of me still thinks it’s a health food urban legend. I do have the best intentions. But honestly, my Sundays often take an adventurous turn that leads me far away from my kitchen or any grocery store.

What I do have the discipline for is to use everything I’ve got in my kitchen before I resort to buying lunch at work. One, it’s an obvious money saver. And two, any meal I make is going to be healthier than anything I can buy at a café.

Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been known to make some pretty incredible lunches with a hodge podge of food and 10 minutes on the clock on a Monday morning (Toot! Toot!).

This past Monday, I made one such meal that turned out to be particularly delicious. I decided to call it my MAKE IT UP MEAL. We’ve all had those nights, whether for lunch or dinner that you have no idea what you are going to make, but somehow you piece together what’s left at the bottom of your fridge and the back of your pantry to create some thing. And every once in a while, that thing turns out to be pretty good.

This sparked an idea. What if you (my blog readers) shared with me (in the comments section below) one of your favorite MAKE IT UP MEALS? That way, we could all learn from each other on how to best use the “bottom of the barrel” ingredients. 

HERE’S THE BEST PART. I’ve got prizes for the first three people that post!

And they couldn’t be more perfect because the prize pack is from LUNA Bar. The ideal, healthy compliment to a packed lunch. (I don’t know about you, but my lunch is not complete without a snack bar, and LUNA Bar is one of my favorites. Chocolate Dipped Coconut. Mmmmm).

More to come on LUNA Bar later. I’m attending their event this Thursday (Feb. 27)  called LUNAFEST which will be 9-short-films and a few wine and health-food-packed hours of AWESOME. If anybody is interested in joining me last minute, YOU CAN. And I can get you a discount. 

Just go to this page, click “Enter promotional code,” and enter Luna5*** to get $5 off your ticket. The event goes from 6-9 PM and includes a cocktail reception with plenty of wine, cocktails and health food PLUS, the main event, the film premiere. On top of it all, proceeds go to Step Up Women’s Network and the Breast Cancer Fund. Health food, wine and charity? Totally worth every penny. 

Until then, let’s get this contest going! I’ll do the honors and post the first MAKE IT UP MEAL below. Don’t worry, mine doesn’t count for a contest entry. That would be ridiculous. And mean.


This salad had multiple layers of flavor from the hearty carrots, to the cool, refreshing parsnips to the crunchy protein-packed hemp seeds. I love trying different ways to cut a veggie. The shredded “pasta” creates a completely different texture that’s oddly fun to eat. I added garbanzo beans (because that’s what I had on hand), but it would be fun to experiment with other proteins like chicken or tuna to add more even more flavor.


  • 1 Parsnip, shredded
  • 2 Carrots, shredded
  • 1 Cucumber, shredded
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Can of Garbanzo Beans
  • 1-2 TBSPs Olive Oil
  • 1 splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Oregano or __________ Herb
  • Hemp seeds or anything crunchy 


  1. Wash all vegetables
  2. Shred Parsnips, Carrots and Cucumber lengthwise to create “pasta-like” strings
  3. Chop up parsley
  4. Open can of garbanzo beans and rinse
  5. Toss all ingredients together in your lunch container (I highly recommend Pyrex. It changed my lunch life)
  6. In a separate small bowl, whisk together Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt & Pepper, and herb of choice
  7. Pour over the top of salad and toss around
  8. Sprinkle Hemp Seeds over the top (I love adding a crunch to my salad and I highly recommend you try it. I just started using Hemp Seeds for their incredible health benefits, but in the past I’ve used Sunflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, or Crushed Almonds). 
  9. Snap top shut and let it marinate until lunchtime

Okay, your turn. Ready, set, go!


  1. Post your recipe in the comments section below.
  2. Your recipe just needs a TITLE, LIST OF INGREDIENTS, and BASIC INSTRUCTION.
  3. The first three people to post will win the LUNA Bar Prize Pack (Luna Bars, Lip Balm, and a Tote Bag, Oh My!).
  4. Even if you don’t make the first three, please add your recipe anyway. I want to compile it into a list of packed lunch ideas for all of you to use. 




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  • Reply Maggie Bronny February 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    My Make it Up Meal!

    The deconstructed sandwich/bowl of randomness:

    -Spinach & arugula (or whatever greens you may have laying around)
    -leftover chicken or any protein (store-bought lunch meat works great, too!)
    -Avocado, diced
    -Tomato, diced
    -Quinoa (I had this leftover, which was a bonus, but not necessary)
    -Large spoonful of hummus
    -Drizzle with hot sauce (if you’re into that sort of thing)

    Once at the office, just toss and enjoy! Random, but healthy, low/no carbs, and filling!

    • Reply Stacey Clarke February 27, 2014 at 2:58 am

      This meal sounds oddly familiar. Maybe it’s because I’ve been making almost the same thing, give or take a few ingredients. I love the idea of adding large spoonfuls of hummus. And yes, when it comes to hot sauce, I’m DEFINITELY into that sort of thing. Maggie Bronny – YOU ARE A WINNER!

  • Reply Margaret Hutson February 27, 2014 at 2:45 am

    My Make Up Meal

           Mega Sandwich

    1) Whole grain bread or whole grain Pita
    2) Hummus – any variety – I always seem to have a partial tub around
    3) Tomatoes – sliced
    4) Avocado – sliced then smushed
    5) Any leafy green you have around

    Spread hummus on both slices of your sandwich bread. Lay slices of avocado on top of hummus and smush with back side of spoon to spread over the hummus. Add layer(s) of thinly sliced tomatoes and top with leafy greens. You also can add olives or cucumbers and hemp seeds and salt, pepper and herbs for flavor – whatever is hiding out in the nether reaches of your fridge! Makes a killer sandwich. I’ve even added a dollop of hot mustard when I feel like a little heat. You may want to pack the tomatoes separately and add them just before eating to avoid a soggy sandwich! Very filling and has everything you need for a mid-day meal…

    • Reply Stacey Clarke February 27, 2014 at 3:02 am

      I love it! I never in a million years would have thought of adding hot mustard though. Now that you mention it, I could see it being a great addition. Soggy sandwiches are the worst. I’ve come to realize that there are certain things that need to be packed separately and added when it’s time to eat. Tomatoes are definitely one of them. Congratulations Margaret Hutson! You are the proud new owner of a LUNA prize pack – complete with LUNA Bars, lip gloss and a lunch pack to put that Mega Sandwich in.

  • Reply Michelle February 28, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    My Make it Up Meal: Vegetarian Roasted Mediterranean Salad

    1 or 2 heads of Broccoli, cleaned and chopped
    1 bag of Brussel sprouts, cleaned with tips cut off
    1 cup of cherub or cherry tomatoes, cleaned and cut in half
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil cooking spray
    Low fat greek yogurt (plain), 1 cup
    juice of 1 lemon
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    Dill, chopped
    1/2 a Cucumber, cubed
    An ounce of Feta cheese. crumbled
    1 Avocado, sliced

    Season the broccoli, tomatoes, and brussel sprouts with EVOO spray, salt, and pepper. Roast broccoli and cherub tomatoes on one baking sheet at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. On a separate pan, I’ll roast brussel sprouts at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

    While that’s roasting, make your homemade cucumber sauce. Combine yogurt, dill, salt, pepper, garlic, cucumber, and lemon juice. (Season with salt and pepper to taste)

    Once veggies have finished roasting, put your desired amount in a bowl, top with chopped avocado, feta, and cucumber sauce. I also love to squeeze some lemon juice over the top.

    What I love most about this is this is lunch for at least 2-3 days out of the workweek and I can prep everything Sunday night 🙂

    • Reply Stacey Clarke March 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      This sounds so good, Michelle! And a lot more thought-out than my throw it together and hope that it sticks approach. I will definitely try this. And guess what this means? YOU’RE A WINNER! Yay! Your prize pack is on its way 🙂

  • Reply Stella Clarke March 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Top of the Soup
    Can of Soup
    Finely chopped carrots
    Finely chopped mushrooms
    Finely chopped peppers
    (or any left over veggies)

    Open Can of Soup
    Empty it in a screw-top container
    Add the toppings
    Heat up in microwave at work

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