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Feature

From Deliciously Ella with love

Food writer, blogger and vegan restaurant entrepreneur Ella Mills – better known as Deliciously Ella – has earned a world-class reputation for her plant-based cooking. As her latest cookery book is published, she shares some of her new recipes with Well Home


About The Plant Based Cookbook
In addition to over 100 plant-based recipes, readers are treated to a personal insight into Ella’s journey – how she grew her blog, which she began writing to help get herself well while suffering from illness, into a wellbeing brand – and all she’s learned along the way, as well as what drives the Deliciously Ella philosophy and her team’s passion for creating delicious healthy food.

YELLOW THAI CURRY

Aubergines are one of my favourite ingredients to use in a curry as they soak up all of the flavours like a sponge. I’ve lost count of how many bowls of this curry I’ve eaten in the last few years. When I’m having a busy week I pop into the deli and devour a bowl with brown rice – it’s warming, hearty and always keeps me going for hours. This recipe also happens to be one of my husband Matt’s favourites too.

SERVES 4
For the curry paste
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 lemongrass stalk, bashed and
roughly chopped
1 lime leaf
31/2 tablespoons coconut oil
For the curry
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 large aubergine, cut into bitesize pieces
100g button mushrooms
100g baby corn, cut in half
Olive oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 x 400g tins of coconut milk
1 tablespoon tamari
Handful of Thai basil, roughly chopped
Salt

Preheat the oven to 240oC (fan 220oC).

Place all the paste ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.

Place the peppers, aubergine, mushrooms and baby corn in a baking tray with a little olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven for 10–15 minutes, so that they take on a bit of colour, then remove and leave to one side.

Next, place the coconut oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the coconut milk and tamari and bring to the boil – then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and blitz using a hand blender, then pass through a sieve to remove any unwanted bits (if needed). Place back on to a medium heat and add the roasted vegetables, then cook for a final 5 minutes. Try not to overcook this curry – the sauce only needs this short cooking time and there’s a chance it could form a layer of oil on top if you cook it for longer and reduce it too much.

Once everything is cooked through, sprinkle with a handful of chopped Thai basil, serve and enjoy.

TIP
You could make a double batch of this curry and freeze half for another day. It freezes so well and is really easy to cook straight from the freezer – just place it into an oven set at 200oC (fan 180oC) for 20–25 minutes until cooked through.

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 Deliciously Ella deli!
The brownies are so gooey and fudgy and I love the crunchy bites of walnuts on top. I often make these for friends, serving them hot out of the oven with a scoop of coconut ice cream on top.

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

Preheat the oven to 190oC

(fan 170oC). Line a 25cm x 18cm 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.

TIP
In the deli we bake these brownies in individual moulds, which gives them a crusty edge, but here we’ve suggested baking them in one large tray as it’s easier and makes them extra gooey.

FIVE-BEAN CHILLI
WITH CORN BREAD

I think this has been one of our most requested recipes. I can’t begin to count the number of emails I’ve had asking for it, so I’m really excited to finally share it with you.

Both the chilli and the corn bread are surprisingly easy to make and they taste so incredibly good!

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. If you’re going to make one recipe then make this!

THE CHILLI SERVES 4; THE CORN BREAD MAKES ENOUGH FOR 10

For the corn bread
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
For the five-bean chilli
Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, 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

Start by making the corn bread.

Preheat the oven to 200oC (fan 180oC). Line a deep 35cm 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’s 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 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 of 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. If you do have leftovers of the corn bread, however, you can store it in an airtight container and enjoy it the next day.

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.

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Company profile: Willmott Dixon
Willmott Dixon delivers the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We partner with our customers to focus on the services they want to provide, not just the building we construct, and we are committed to achieving a higher social purpose through our work.
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