You probably know by now, Deliciously Ella is one of my favourite healthy food bloggers. It was a few months into writing Curiously Conscious that I discovered her, and she’s been a great inspiration, as well as the many other bloggers in the healthy living community. When her book was published early this year, I was dead excited – and even more so when I was given it as a present for my birthday!
An honest review
I’ve heard on a previous post that a few of you would like a review of the book, so now that I’ve given it a good read and tried a good few recipes, I can give an honest (and not too biased) summary:
Ella Woodward’s first cookbook is a wonderful story all about her journey into 100% plant-based cooking – no, not vegan, nor raw cooking – and how she’s converted her illness into an inspirational blog and way of life. The book offers even the most novice cook the ability to whip up recipes – albeit, with some pricey ingredients and kitchen tools – and try out wholly plant-based foods for themselves.
The book is divided into eight main sections: Getting Started, which details the range of ingredients and equipment she can’t live without; Grains; Nuts and seeds; Legumes and pulses; Vegetables; Fruit; Smoothies and juices, and; Living the Deliciously Ella way. As you can see, these chapters, while insightful, don’t clearly set apart dishes. Sweet and savoury intermingle, portion sizes change from recipe to recipe, and returning back to a recipe that you haven’t bookmarked is quite hard, even when consulting the index.
Other than this slight irritation, the recipes are easy to follow, weights and measures are given in both imperial and metric, and the accompanying photos makes all of the recipes look so delicious! I also enjoyed the way that the recipes are clearly written by Ella, her voice clearly following on from her blog – especially in the detailed sections about each recipe, and answering questions in the back. There’s also a list of useful resources and inspirations at the back of the book which offer more channels to sustain a plant-based diet.
Pick and choose
As for how I got on with the book, so far, it’s been a delight to read through her story and while not all of the recipes are to my taste (I found the almond butter stuffed dates, shown above, to be a little too cloying) there are some great discoveries to be made. From the sweet potato brownies that are surprisingly sticky, to the tahini and lemon juice on salad instead of olive oil and vinegar on the quinoa tabbouleh salad, as well as dry fried pine nuts, I’ve really had a great time playing about with food I regularly eat in ways that I don’t usually employ. As with any book I suppose, you take away your favourite techniques and tastes and apply it to your lifestyle.
Will I be turning 100% plant-based? No, although I do like to include even more fruit, veggies, pulses and grains in my meals in place of bread and pasta now. Do I think it’s a sustainable diet choice? Not for everyone, especially those that aren’t committed to living entirely healthy (and let’s be honest, everyone likes a good treat, whether it be a crusty baguette or a slice of cake), but it’s a good resource for anyone looking to get healthier in a conscious and considerate way. There’s also ideas of cooking for groups which may make a fun night in with friends, if you’re all that way inclined!