…A Word About The Mess

I never really gave much thought to the way I ate growing up. Times were simpler and meals were definitely easier without labels! I just ate things I liked and didn’t eat what I didn’t like. I ate meat a few times a week, I loved vegetables, couldn’t get enough eggs, and I never, ever said no to dessert! Easy enough right?

Fast forward a few years (ok, a decade or two) I don’t eat for just me anymore. I have a gluten free, vegetarian husband and two meat loving kids. Meal time got really messy as the number of people around our family table grew. My husband and son have gluten intolerances that can wreak havoc on their bodies, my teenage daughter is the harshest gluten free critic on the planet and my son would gladly settle for a veggie-free, meat-heavy diet if we let him. (Insert stunned emoji here.)



Over the years I have developed a system that makes the process of planning our messy meals with ease based off of what kind of eaters are sitting at our table. We eat mostly vegetarian, I make meat dishes that can be used in a variety of ways a few times a week and I have developed a blend of gluten free flours that when mixed together in the right proportions turn out the tenderest, fluffiest baked goods every single time that actually meets my daughter’s rigorous testing standards!

Since I started blogging I have developed over 500 recipes and heard countless stories from people just like us, that are dealing with the same issues at the dinner table we are! It seems that every house has at least one special dietary need or preference sitting at the family table these days and most family cooks are prepping multiple meals every day to feed everyone. Here on TMIO I hope to help ease the frustration of answering that age-old question “What’s for dinner?” and to get you back to cooking one meal at dinner that makes everyone happy!

So, maybe you are wondering where the heck to start…let me help you navigate This Mess Is Ours so you can get the most out of your time here!

Autumn Spiced Veggie Burgers | @thismessisours

We have over 500 recipes to choose from in our recipe index. Mix and match main dishes and sides with ease from the recipe section of our site by season, ingredient, even flavor profile! You can have confidence in knowing that every recipe on TMIO is safe for you and your family.

Grilled Avocado and Kale Chopped Salad | @thismessisours

We have over 450 veggie based recipes for you to choose from in the vegan and vegetarian sections of our recipe index. You can serve them as is for a meatless meal or add your favorite chicken, beef or fish on the side to have something for everyone!

Crispy Parmesan Polenta Chicken | @thismessisours

This scenario can be a bit stressful for veggie loving peeps, but don’t worry I have your back! If you are adventurous and want to try cooking a meaty main you can find plenty of inspiration in the Meat + Three section of TMIO. With every meat-based recipe in that section I give you 3 vegetarian mains that pair perfectly every single time so you don’t have to stress. However, if you just can’t get into the thought of making it yourself I have a whole slew of ideas about how to serve up a gluten-free rotisserie chicken from the grocery store too!

How to Throw a Day of the Dead Feast | @thismessisours

We have you covered on all of those fronts too! We love entertaining in our messy little corner of the universe. From parties to cooking classes – we do a little bit of everything and are thrilled to share it all here.

  • In-depth features on pantry items and easy tutorials
  • party plans
  • no fail menus for entertaining
  • floral DIYs
  • shopping guides for the modern mom

We love what we do.. and it shows.

Seriously.. food is our thing. We love cooking it, photographing it, making movies about it  ..and we try to do it in a way that creates a great experience for everyone, no matter what their dietary preferences might be. 

But, you know what we love even more than food? People. Especially people who like food. So if that’s you, then drop us a line and we can talk about creating a recipe, a photo shoot, or even an event that’s just for you




Meg van der Kruik is the writer, mother, photographer, designer, cook and creative spirit behind This Mess is Ours. After her infant son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, she dedicated herself to learning to make meals the whole family would love. It’s a bit of a mess – cooking for a vegetarian and three meat-eaters with a range of gluten + dairy sensitivities, but she manages to bring them together every night around their little family table.