Deliciously Ella Cookbook Review. This beautiful and inspirational book contains some really delicious and healthy recipes, attractive lifestyle photography and a lot of words! It isn’t a ‘quick and easy’ kind of book as I’ll explain below, but it is indeed a very elegant guide to Ella’s healthy whole food way of eating.
If you are unfamiliar with Ella’s story, she is a blogger who used to be addicted to sugar and transformed her whole way of eating and attitude to foods to help herself get healthy. The start of the cookbook gives her account of where she was, why she started blogging and where she is now, then goes into how to get started and what staples to have in your kitchen so you are prepared.
There are a variety of treats in store, from gooey sweet potato brownies; carrot cake with caramel icing and silky chocolate mousse to savoury delights like roasted veg with homemade pesto; courgette noodles with avocado cream and spicy coconut curry. Who said healthy needs to mean lettuce leaves and rice? All Ella’s recipes are gluten free and plant based as well as refined sugar-free. They are also nourishing, delicious and filling so you needn’t feel hungry at all. However I found that I got my best results from this cookbook when I allowed myself the time and space to calmly create her dishes, with all the ingredients to hand – so being organised is crucial.
When I said that this isn’t a ‘quick and easy’ kind of book, I meant that it’s a book that needs absorbing first then planning. If you are hoping to take it from the shelf at the bookstore direct to your kitchen and rustle up a little something for tea, you may be disappointed. There could be a recipe that you want to make that requires you to make another recipe first so you have the ingredient needed for the recipe you originally wanted to do, but once you get the hang of cooking this way and having the staple ingredients in your store-cupboard, it actually won’t take too much time to physically make the dish.
Many of the recipes are about 20 – 30 minutes long to create and Ella advises in the back of the book that it’s important to make the time to cook this way – she suggests that two hours one day a week would be enough time to prepare everything that you need to stay healthy all week, then after that the recipes will take about 10 minutes to put together. This would be true when cooking for yourself, but if you are cooking for a family and some family members may not appreciate this way of cooking, be prepared to spend some time making yourself a little something apart from the family’s meal.
This is why I mentioned that I got my best results when able to calmly create something for myself in an unhurried way – trying to follow a recipe like this on a busy weeknight after work and school when the kids have their homework to finish and karate to go to, didn’t work for me. I liked to cook the Deliciously Ella way on a weekend – usually Sunday morning when I can take the time to potter in my kitchen and sit and relax in a cosy chair whilst eating my nutricious dish. Cooking this way is about self love for me – nurturing and caring for myself the way I do for the rest of the family, so I want to have the time to relax and enjoy it after I’ve spent time making it. This is why Sunday’s are best for me!
The first recipe I tried to make was the Mexican Quinoa Bowl. I went out to get all the ingredients including nuts, avocados, quinoa (which I never have in!) and jalapeno peppers, but then I fell at the first hurdle when the initial instruction was to ‘soak the cashew nuts in cold water for 4 hours’. I’d been hoping to have it that night for tea! This is where the planning and absorbing of the book at first comes in handy.
So next I waited until Sunday morning and made myself the creamy coconut porridge – success! It tasted absolutely beautiful and looks pretty awesome too. The recipe is below. In order to make the porridge you first need to make the almond butter so both recipes are shown.
Almond Butter (makes one large jar – will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a week)
Ella’s Top Tip:
“You need a really strong food processor for this recipe otherwise the almond butter won’t get really smooth and creamy”.
Creamy Coconut Porridge (serves 1)
Ella’s Top Tip:
“If you’re in a hurry in the morning, you can leave your oats to soak in the water overnight and then just cook them with the coconut milk in the morning for 2 minutes or so until it’s hot. The oats will already be soft so they won’t need the normal cooking time.”
This book really does contain some lovely sounding food and I will enjoy taking my time to experiment with a few recipes along the way. I think that if you aim to try one or two new things from this book then the whole tome won’t seem quite so daunting, and it will encourage you to experiment a little more. Once you have got the hang and sense of achievement that comes with this way of cooking from scratch, you’ll be inspired to do more.