Deliciously Ella

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 1st February 2015

Deliciously Ella imageIt’s a bit ridiculous to be raving about a gorgeous new cookery book when you haven’t actually got a kitchen to cook in but I’m going to anyway.

I pre-ordered Ella Woodward’s debut book, Deliciously Ella, after discovering her eponymous blog of the same name last year. Since then she’s turned into one of the best-known cookery writers around. She’s only 23 but her blog gets 150,000 hits a day, she’s started a food column for the Daily Telegraph and her book (which was only published three days ago) has already hit number one in the Amazon bestseller list.

My copy arrived yesterday and it’s stunning. I love Ella’s healthy approach to food and her recipes are delicious, packed with goodness and easy to follow. There’s a helpful list of resources at the back too – so if you can’t find anywhere local to buy ingredients like psyllium husk powder or chia seeds (er, no) there are plenty of online shops to help.

The first part of the book covers Ella’s decision to change her diet after being diagnosed with a relatively rare illness called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (or POTS for short). She’d just finished her second year at university when she suddenly started suffering blackouts, heart palpitations, headaches and stomach pains. She was bedridden for 95 per cent of the time, with her life “on hold.”

Everything changed when she read Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr, a woman in the US who’d changed her diet to manage her cancer. Inspired by her example, Ella (the daughter of Labour MP Shaun Woodward and Camilla Sainsbury of the supermarket family) embarked on a wholefood, plant-based diet and gave up meat, dairy, sugar, gluten, anything processed and all chemicals and additives. She freely admits that her family didn’t think she’d last a day, especially as she’d never really cooked anything except pasta and scrambled eggs, but little by little she began to feel better.

She found that there were ways to make all her favourite foods “healthy and delicious.” As she says, healthy food “is so much more than bland salads, boiled veggies and iceberg lettuce. It’s gooey sweet potato brownies, carrot cake with caramel icing, silky chocolate mousse, beautiful rainbow salads with creamy dressings, perfectly seasoned veg with homemade pesto, courgette noodles with avocado cream, sweet potato fries and spicy coconut curries.”

Convinced? I certainly am, although our kitchen is so horrible right now that I can’t bear to set foot in it, let along cook in it. Most of it has been ripped out and chucked into a skip in the garden and what’s left is covered in inches of dust and rubble. In a few weeks time, it will hopefully be a vision of loveliness – all grey and white and retro tiles from Fired Earth – but for the moment it’s a shocker.

Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward (Yellow Kite, £20)

4 comments so far

  • I too am a bit obsessed with Elka and her bohemian style mixed with super healthy recipes. I’ve tried tons of her tips and it always works. Kris Carr was my game changer too and her book incredibly informative. Great post!

  • Hi Megan. I’ve managed to buy most of the unusual ingredients at my local health food shop and they have lasted for ages, so haven’t been too expensive.

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