Meet Deliciously Ella + Exclusive Recipes

Best-selling author, Instagram food queen, app creator, deli owner and newly qualified yoga teacher, Ella Mills is one inspirational woman. To celebrate the release of her fourth book, with over 100 plant-based recipes and exclusive insights, we caught up with her to talk what she eats, her new book and to feast on two exclusive recipes.

Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Shop the look 5

Describe yourself in three words?

Enthusiastic, hard-working, hummus-addict.

Tell us about your new cookbook?

It’s something I’m really, really proud of. We’ve worked on it for the last three years and it’s a celebration of everything I think plant-based cooking should be: vibrant, warm, colourful and abundant. All the recipes come from our delis, supper clubs and pop ups, we reached out to our customers and then chose 100 of the most popular. You’ll find everything from Five Bean Chilli with Corn Bread to Lentil Cauliflower Dahl and all of our cakes! I’ve also shared a diary of how we’ve built Deliciously Ella, with every high and low from behind the scenes.

What inspired you to write the book?

It is so unbelievably hard to choose just one. I’m obsessed with the Sri Lankan curry and our Fudgy Brownies are a staple in my life. However, I also love mixing up salads like we do at the deli – my favourites are the creamy Artichoke and Edamame Dip served with our Black Rice, Piquillio Pepper and Pistachio Salad and the roasted Aubergine, Tomato and Pesto Salad.

Can you describe your usual day on a plate?

It varies depending on what I’m doing, but I normally have breakfast in our deli on my way to work so we can catch up with the team. I love our instant Bircher Muesli with coconut milk, almond butter and apple and berry compote. If I’m in the office at lunchtime then I always eat dishes from the deli with the team– the Tuscan Bean Stew is a real favourite. For dinner, I love something warming like our Sweet Potato and Courgette Curry followed by a peanut butter slice.

You’ve recently qualified as a yoga teacher, how did you discover yoga?

I did, it was the most amazing experience. I loved it so much and it feels like the start of an exciting new journey. I started practicing yoga about six years ago, when I wasn’t physically able to do a lot due to being ill with a condition that affected my heart rate. I actually started with restorative practices and found they had such a powerful effect on my mind. As I got better, I started Vinyasa Flow and just love it, it calms my mind and creates balance in my life.

What’s your number one tip for finding balance?

For anything to be sustainable it has to be enjoyable, so make sure you love the way you’re eating, moving and living. Taking care of your mind and body should be a pleasure not a sacrifice. We’re all so different so what creates balance in one person’s life is going to be so different to another’s. Take ideas and inspiration from everywhere but don’t feel you have to emulate anything.

Favourite post-workout snack?

Our Cashew Ginger Energy Ball, it’s made with just four ingredients – cashews, dates, oats and ginger!

Favourite place to eat out in London?

I’m a little biased and do love our deli for breakfast and lunch. For dinner Indian is our go-to, and Palomar and The Barbary, for beautiful Middle Eastern food.

Do you have any advice for female entrepreneurs?

So much! I’ve learnt loads on this journey, it’s crazy. We’ve just started a podcast, which I hope will be helpful in sharing a lot of what we’ve learnt and you’ll find so much of it in The Cookbook too. The most important things are a positive attitude, eagle eye on your cash flow and a brilliant team.

What’s next for Deliciously Ella?

The Cookbook and our new podcast. We’ve also got a big book tour around the UK and are launching a new look and packaging, plus a new range of products at the end of September. Plus, I’ll be starting to teach yoga, which is really exciting.

The Recipes

Want to cook like Ella, she’s exclusively shared two of her favourite recipes from her new book Deliciously Ella, The Plant Based Cookbook

Five Bean Chilli with Corn Bread

If you’re going to make one recipe in this book then make this! The chilli is really hearty and I love the texture combination of the beans in the chilli and the crispy crust of the golden corn bread.

Sweaty Betty Zero Gravity Shop the look 5

Ingredients

The Corn Bread (serves 10)

  • 750g drained tinned sweetcorn (3–4 tins depending on size)

  • 450ml almond milk

  • 150ml sunflower, rapeseed or vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 25g coriander, chopped

  • 1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt flakes

  • pinch of pepper

For The Dry Ingredients:

  • 60g plain flour (we use a gluten free one)

  • 30g rice flour

  • 400g polenta

  • 1 tablespoon corn flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

The Five-Bean Chilli (serves four)

  • olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree

  • 2 x 400g tins of mixed beans

  • 1 x 400g tin of tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

To Serve

  • 2 red chillies, sliced

  • Handful of sliced spring onions

Method

  • Start by making the corn bread.

  • Preheat the oven to 200.C (fan 180.C). Line a deep 35 x 25cm baking tin with baking parchment. Place three quarters of the sweetcorn in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Once smooth, mix together with the rest of the whole sweetcorn kernels.

  • Place all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well. Once mixed, add the almond milk, oil and apple cider vinegar and give everything another really good stir until well combined. Next, add the coriander, black beans, chilli, salt, pepper and sweetcorn, giving it all one final mix.

  • Once the mixture has come together, pour into the lined baking tin and bake in the oven for 50–55 minutes until golden and cooked through. To test if it is cooked, insert a knife into the corn bread, it should come out clean. If not, place back in the oven for 5 more minutes to cook through.

  • While the corn bread is baking, prepare the chilli. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil, the onion, celery, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 5–10 minutes.

  • Now add the red chilli, rosemary, thyme and tomato puree and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, 150ml water, maple syrup and some pepper and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and leave to simmer for 25–30 minutes, at which point it should have a thick consistency.

  • When you are ready to serve sprinkle the chillies and spring onion over the top and enjoy with the corn bread.

TIPS:

  • The corn bread is best eaten fresh, especially when it’s warm out the oven, but the chilli tastes even better the next day, so keep any extras in the fridge to take to work as a packed lunch or pop it in the freezer if you want it to last longer.

  • For the mixed beans, we buy tins made up of red kidney beans, black-eyed beans, borlotti beans, lima beans and pea navy beans, but there are different kinds available so just use what you like.


Fudgy Brownies

I’ve been so excited to share this recipe with you, it’s our all-time favourite and probably the most popular sweet recipe we’ve ever had at the deli!

Ingredients (Makes 15)

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

  • 250g buckwheat flour

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • pinch of sea salt

  • 60g cacao powder

  • 330g coconut sugar

  • 100ml almond milk

  • 130g coconut oil, melted

  • handful of walnuts, chopped

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190.C (fan 170.C). Line a 25 x 18 x 4cm baking tin with baking parchment.

  • Place the chia seeds in a bowl with 4 tablespoons water, mix well then leave to one side for 10 minutes to thicken up.

  • Place the flour, bicarb, salt, cacao powder and coconut sugar into a large bowl and mix well to remove any lumps. Next, add the almond milk, chia mixture and melted coconut oil and mix well for 5–6 minutes to ensure everything is well combined.

  • Pour the mixture into the lined tin and sprinkle with the walnuts. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until cooked through but still a little fudgy in the middle. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack, before cutting into brownies.

  • Deliciously Ella The Plant-Based Cookbook: 100 simple vegan recipes to make every day delicious (Yellow Kite Books) is out now, get your copy here

    .