A BATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

De­li­ciously Ella’s best recipes to cook once, eat twice (or more!)

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If you want to know what’s in your food, eat food you love or get in your five a day (at least), that means cook­ing from scratch. But who’s got the time? And if you count break­fast and a packed lunch, who can fit in cook­ing three times a day?

Of course, if you’re lucky enough to work near Lon­don’s Bond Street, you could pop into Ella Mills’s De­li­ciously Ella Deli on Weigh­house Street. If you don’t, we’ve cho­sen four recipes from Mills’s new book, De­li­ciously Ella The Plant-based Cook­book, that have been specif­i­cally de­signed to be batch cooked, so you can cook once and eat twice (or more). You just know they’re go­ing to be tasty and sim­ple to make, as her ca­reer has been built on cre­at­ing crowd-pleas­ing ve­gan recipes for her army of fans.

‘The real­ity is that life is very busy,’ she says. ‘No mat­ter what you’re do­ing – work, friends, fam­ily, chil­dren – things take more time than ex­pected.’ Mills her­self con­fesses she doesn’t have time to cook every night and

has been known to have olive oil on rye toast when she fin­ishes work late. So when she does have time to cook, she makes it count by batch cook­ing. ‘It’s so much cheaper and more ef­fi­cient to cook like this, and it’s so sat­is­fy­ing.’ It also means that when she and hus­band (and CEO of the busi­ness) Matthew get home from work, they can eat to­gether.

‘I like the process of sit­ting down at home and hav­ing sup­per to­gether, not fo­cus­ing on any­thing else.’

Even if you cook in batches, you can mix it up each day. Take the fruit com­pote, for ex­am­ple. It goes well with gra­nola, but also on toast, muesli and por­ridge, with nuts and seeds on yo­gurt, or with chia pud­ding or on pan­cakes, as they do in the deli. The bars can be a break­fast on the run or an af­ter­noon snack. The salad, Mills sug­gests, is a great packed lunch: maybe with a dol­lop of hum­mus and rocket one day, with some sliced av­o­cado and tomato the next, and with rice or chick­peas on the third.

In her new book, Mills also tells the story of the busi­ness: how it grew from blog­ging while re­cov­er­ing from ill­ness to the cur­rent em­pire, her mar­riage to Matthew and their busi­ness part­ner­ship and the sad death of her mother-in-law Tessa Jow­ell this year. ‘Tessa was a real ad­viser for us. The thing she talked about most was op­ti­mism and look­ing at what the pos­i­tives can be in any sit­u­a­tion.’

The fo­cus of the busi­ness is now on prod­ucts: en­ergy balls, gra­nolas and oat bars, but Mills still spends three to four hours a day com­mu­ni­cat­ing with her fans on a global scale – the first three books were trans­lated into more than 20 lan­guages. This new book is packed with the most-re­quested recipes, the great­est hits, if you like, of all the delis, sup­per clubs, pop-ups and fes­ti­vals catered by De­li­ciously Ella. ‘We need to show that eat­ing a bit bet­ter doesn’t have to be ex­pen­sive, niche or in­ac­ces­si­ble,’ she says. ‘We want to show how to make fruits and veg­eta­bles as de­li­cious as they can pos­si­bly be.’ With th­ese four recipes, you def­i­nitely get both.

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