Home / Zen of Plant-Based Cooking

Whether you're a committed vegan or just looking to take a break from meat, our Zen Blends make it easy to feed your family delicious, satisfying, vegetarian meals. 

A vegetarian is in the house!

Oxfordshire, UK, 2015: On a walk around the magnificent Blenheim Palace estate grounds, Connie (Jane’s then 6-year-old daughter) learned of the fate of the resident pheasants. She turned vegetarian and never looked back. With the support of Jane and her family, Connie stands committed to influencing the dinner table in the McKay house, inspiring Jane to create unique plant-based recipes using our Zen blends!

Tips and Tricks

  • Our Zen blends combined with grains and beans make a great foundation for any meal (see our many thoughts on beans below.) Here are some basics:

Quinoa Basics

Black Lentils Basics

Garbanzo Basics

  • Boost immunity with lots of green herbs added at the end of cooking
  • Keep a can or two of coconut milk on hand -- we like the full-fat kind, so we can scoop off the creamy deliciousness at the top to thicken soups and stews.
  • Onions, carrots, celery and potatoes hold up well in the slow cooker and Instant Pot, but other veggies can get overdone quickly so add them at the end of cooking time.
  • We are living in a world where plant-based meats and cheeses are becoming part of the norm, and there are some amazing options out there! Our Balsamic Sausages and Peppers are delicious using vegan sausage.

Some of our favorite vegetarian recipes:

Moroccan Vegetable and Garbanzo Tagine

Squash and Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato and Peanut Curry

Sichuan Tofu Noodle Soup 

Curried Cauliflower Coconut Soup

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

Portobellos Provençal

view all

Make beans your BFF.

While canned beans are a great option for their convenience, one of our favorite uses for the Instant Pot is making beans from scratch; once you've tasted them this way you may never go back to cans! Not to mention the money and bin space you'll save.

Tips and Tricks

  • To soak or not to soak...? There is no right answer. Soaking dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking helps with digestion, but you absolutely can cook them without soaking.
  • Make a habit of cooking up some beans every few weeks (we like chickpeas!) and keep them in the freezer for a quick add to salads and soups/stews.
  • Check out our Bean and Lentil Cooking Chart 

Vegetarian E-Book Double Duty Dinners

  • Give yourself a head start and make meals and leftovers go further with recipes from our free Double Duty E-Book.

Some of our favorite bean and lentil recipes:

Turkish Smoky Red Lentil Soup

Black Bean Quesadillas

Smoky Baked Beans

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Roasted Red Pepper and Garbanzo Curry

view all