A BATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
Deliciously Ella’s best recipes to cook once, eat twice (or more!)
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.