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.
VEGGIE “PASTA” SALAD
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
- Wash all vegetables
- Shred Parsnips, Carrots and Cucumber lengthwise to create “pasta-like” strings
- Chop up parsley
- Open can of garbanzo beans and rinse
- Toss all ingredients together in your lunch container (I highly recommend Pyrex. It changed my lunch life)
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt & Pepper, and herb of choice
- Pour over the top of salad and toss around
- 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).
- Snap top shut and let it marinate until lunchtime
Okay, your turn. Ready, set, go!
MAKE IT UP MEAL CONTEST RULES:
- Post your recipe in the comments section below.
- Your recipe just needs a TITLE, LIST OF INGREDIENTS, and BASIC INSTRUCTION.
- The first three people to post will win the LUNA Bar Prize Pack (Luna Bars, Lip Balm, and a Tote Bag, Oh My!).
- 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.