LAKE FOREST – The zen of slow cooking, creator of premium whole spice infusions and ground spice blends for slow cookers, will participate in the Good Food Festival and Conference at the UIC Forum on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago, March 16-18, 2017.
The 13th annual showcase for local and sustainable food will celebrate the region’s local food community, connecting active members of the Good Food community – farmers, food producers, investors, trade buyers, policy makers, activists, and lovers of good food.
the zen of slow cooking is a small business that was started in 2012 by Meg Barnhart, a mother of three, and Jane McKay, a mom with a background in food science and recipe development.
“Life is busy,” says McKay, “One of our goals has always been to make it easier for the home cook to prepare delicious, clean food from scratch.”
Zen Blends’ ingredients are carefully selected, starting with non-irradiated spices that are free of additives, chemicals and salt (exception: Smoky BBQ). Some blends feature whole spice infusions, which release their oils more slowly than ground spices and are ideal for slow cooking. All ingredients are listed on the packaging, along with a shopping list and recipe.
“Our spices and blends are well-aligned with the growing trend of “speed scratch” cooking— combining healthy, quality convenience foods with fresh ingredients to create quick, delicious meals,” adds McKay.
They currently offer 9 spice blends, including Coq au Vin (their best-seller), Daube Provençale (beef stew), Southwest Fiesta (chicken tortilla soup) and Smoky BBQ (pulled pork). They also offer seasonal Mulled Spices for wine and cider, plus a Sweet & Spicy cinnamon-based blend that’s ideal for breakfasts and desserts. Also noteworthy is Moroccan Tagine, which features saffron sourced by Rumi Spice, a company formed by U.S. veterans who partnered with Afghan farmers to catalyze Afghan’s agricultural economy. (“As Rumi cultivates peace; we cultivate Zen,” says Barnhart. Their third whole spice infusion, Sichuan, will make its debut at the Good Food Festival.
The “Zen Blends” are sold in two spice packets per pouch for $7.00 online. In addition to the recipe and shopping list provided on each pouch, their website features additional recipes and ideas for every spice blend.
The Good Food festival and conference promotes the rapid growth of delicious, healthy food produced as close to the Chicago area as possible by farmers and producers that use sustainable, humane and fair practices.
Submitted by Zen of Slow Cooking