Dinner is as Easy as 1,2,3!

All the simplicity of a food box without the hefty price tag – you still have to get your own groceries, but the hard work of deciding what to make is done for you. Some members meal plan and use the collections and shopping list feature and others use the recipe search page and pick throughout the week.

vegetarian-friendly food

1. Select Your Recipes

Each week, you’ll get at least 3 new recipes in your inbox! But that’s not all – when you sign up to The Modern Mess, you gain access to the 1000+ catalogue of recipes.

Mix and match new recipes with old ones to create your ideal meal plan. Swap out meaty meals for meat-free options or keep a mix of both.

Not a planner? Browse the recipe database and search by ingredient, ethnicity, style or keyword.

2. Shop for Fresh Ingredients

As a member, you will be able to create your own meal plans and saved recipe collections, and generate shopping lists from these. Just bring your phone with you to the supermarket and tick off your list as you go or shop online from the comfort of your home.

Jen bases her recipes on seasonal produce but includes substitutions in most recipes where possible. Think of The Modern Mess like a live cookbook as Jen cooks her own recipes all the time too so she adds seasonal edits frequently. Plus, there is over 4 years worth of recipes on the site so there is plenty to choose from!

vegetarian-friendly food
vegetarian-friendly food

3. Cook Up a Storm

It’s time to get cooking!

Have fun preparing seasonal, delicious recipes that your family will request time and time again. Mix new recipes in with your favourites. Jen shares tips on what you can make in advance and how to get organised to cook well every night of the week.

Support to Make Cooking Easier than Ever

Members Login

So you can easily find recipes and other handy cooking advice, we have a Members Portal on the website. This is where videos, recipes, and handy tricks of the trade are posted.

On there, you will find an ingredient glossary and seasonal information to help you find out more about where and when to locate ingredients.

You can also save your favourite recipes, organise them into groups, and create meal plans and shopping lists. There are also some pre-made meal plans available for you to follow, including a list of things you can prep in advance to make your week even easier. All meal plans can be edited to suit your week.

Closed member only stories on Instagram

See extra content by saying hi to Jen on Instagram. You will be then added to the ‘close friends’ list and can see member only stories. Jen uses this feature to show you techniques and tips and share extra foodie content.


Do I need to get the same produce as you to participate in The Modern Mess?

Not at all. I just share my produce so that you get an idea of what I do with it.

I tend to buy mine from my local farmers’ market or vegetable shop. The produce is usually cheaper and fresher than the supermarket, plus you’re supporting a small local business. However, if you’re short on time, you can always order online from your local supermarket.

I have members who live in different parts of New Zealand and a few in Australia, and they make it work with what is seasonally available to them. Many recipes have substitutions listed, and you can always comment and ask too. There are over three years’ worth of recipes on the site now, so if a particular season begins a little earlier where you are, then there are still plenty of recipes to choose from.

Are your recipes suitable for vegetarians?

Definitely! I eat a lot of vegetarian-friendly food myself, and there are quite a few meat-free members and a lot who are flexitarian and prefer to eat meat less than three times a week. Personally, I like to support higher welfare animal products, and for my family to afford this, we don’t eat meat every day. We also LOVE vegetables, which is a great way to bulk up a meal and save money on groceries. As the website does contain recipes that contain meat, The Modern Mess probably isn’t suitable for you if you get offended by meals containing meat. Each week I aim to create, one meat based recipe, one meat-free recipe and one where you can change the protein to suit.

What about dietary requirements? Gluten free, dairy free?

We do have members who need to eat low or no gluten or dairy. Lots of the recipes are naturally gluten-free, and most of the others are very easily adapted to eliminate gluten. There is a load of great gluten-free alternatives on the market now, too. With dairy, I do tend to use it in small amounts, but butter, milk, cheese, and yoghurt are easily substituted.

If you have questions about vegetarian-friendly food, dietary requirements, or substitutions, simply get in touch.


I prefer to cook with as many whole foods as possible, as you know exactly what the product is and where it’s from. When I talk about this, many people ask me, ‘what are whole foods?’. Whole foods generally refer to unprocessed foods without added ingredients. Examples of whole foods include meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, eggs, and fish. Like anyone else, I am still partial to a processed treat or two, but I try to minimise these as much as I can.

Are your meals low carb?

Some are, and some aren’t. I feed a hungry husband and kids, after all! So, if you want fewer carbs, you can increase the protein, good fats, and vegetables and just lower the carbs. I love all sorts of food and don’t like to cut things out, so l just eat them in moderation – the old 80:20 rule works for me! Also, if you think one of my recipes won’t fill up the hungry eaters in your house, you can always up the carbs or increase the protein. Easy!

what are whole foods

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