The latest Deliciously Ella cookbook, from Ella Mills, is packed full of easy vegan recipes from her London café-deli—the one hundred most popular and most-requested dishes and treats. The recipes are interspersed with diary entries from Ella, telling her remarkable story from being bedridden through ill-health to becoming a healthy eating entrepreneur.
Read on for three delicious recipes from her book: Herbed Lentil Balls, Corn Fritters and Peanut Butter Slices.
Herbed Lentil Balls with Tomato Relish and Garlic Cream
I know these may sound a little strange, but they taste amazing – especially sitting in a bed of tomato relish and dressed with garlic cream. They’re full of flavour thanks to the thyme, rosemary, parsley, garlic and onion. I love them served simply with some brown rice and salad.
150g dried green lentils
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt and pepper
for the tomato relish
6 tablespoons tomato purée
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
handful of parsley
pinch of ground cumin
pinch of chilli powder
pinch of smoked paprika
for the garlic cream
100g cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours then drained
10 tablespoons almond milk
3 garlic cloves, roasted
splash of lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 200.C (fan 180.C).
Start by placing the lentils in a pan of boiling water. Cook for 20–25 minutes until tender but still with a slight bite. Once cooked, drain and leave to cool to room temperature.
While the lentils are cooking, place the onion and garlic in a pan over a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and cook for 5–10 minutes, until soft. Then leave to cool to room temperature.
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it forms a thick paste. Scoop balls of the mixture out of the food processor using an ice-cream scoop, smooth them a little by rolling them in your hands if you like, then place them on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes. Check the lentil balls are cooked through by inserting a knife into the middle of one ball – if it comes out clean they’re ready, if not bake for a little longer.
While the balls are in the oven, prepare the tomato relish and garlic cream. Simply place all of the ingredients for the relish in a food processor and some salt and pulse until smooth. Then do the same for the garlic cream, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve the lentil balls piled high with the relish and garlic cream.
These are delicious served warm straight out the oven – if you’re doing that then gently warm the tomato relish too.
Corn Fritters with Smoky Baked Beans and Avo Smash
These fritters are the basis of our go-to brunch and I can’t begin to count the number of requests we’ve had for this recipe, so I hope you all enjoy making them at home. They’re absolutely incredible with the avocado smash and our smoky baked beans, or else simply pile them high with garlicky sautéed tomatoes for a speedier option.
for the fritters
1 × 300g tin of sweetcorn, drained
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
2½ tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons plain yoghurt (we use a pure coconut yoghurt)
140ml almond milk
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
handful of coriander or chives, chopped
salt and pepper
for the smoky baked beans
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon tamari
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 × 400g tin of tomatoes
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 × 400g tin of borlotti or red kidney beans, drained
1 tablespoon tomato purée
25g parsley, chopped
for the avo smash
2 large ripe avocados, peeled and stoned
juice of 1 lime
pinch of chilli flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
handful of coriander, roughly chopped
75g sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
If you’re serving the fritters with the smash and beans, start by making the beans. Place a pan over a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Once warm, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5–10 minutes, until soft. Add the spices and cook for a further minute, stirring constantly, then add the tamari, apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, maple syrup, beans and tomato purée. Bring the whole thing to the boil then reduce the temperature and leave to simmer for 15–20 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, stir through the parsley and some salt and pepper. Keep warm over a low heat while you make the smash and fritters.
For the smash, place the avocado, lime juice, chilli, olive oil and some salt in a bowl and mash together using a fork. Stir through the coriander and sun-dried tomatoes.
To make the fritters, place two thirds of the sweetcorn in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Next place the polenta, flours, bicarb and a generous sprinkling of salt in a bowl and mix. Then add the yoghurt, blitzed sweetcorn and almond milk and give it a really good stir, until smooth. Stir through the chilli, coriander and remaining whole sweetcorn kernels.
Place a frying pan over a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Once warm, spoon in one large tablespoon of the batter at a time and cook for 3–5 minutes, until golden and holding its shape, then flip over and cook the other side in the same way.
I always make extra beans, as they’re delicious the next day and keep really well in the fridge for about 5 days or in the freezer for when you need a speedy breakfast/supper. Make sure you allow the leftovers to cool before putting in the fridge or freezer.
Peanut Butter Slices
An almond, date and oat base topped with a sticky, sweet peanut middle and finished with a creamy chocolate topping, these slices are very indulgent and delicious, which is always a winner in our house. We’ve had so many emails asking for this recipe, so for all of you who wrote to us here it is.
for the base
200g Medjool dates, pitted
75g porridge oats
2 tablespoons cacao powder
120g flaked almonds
for the middle layer
150g Medjool dates, pitted
350g smooth peanut butter
50ml coconut milk (from a carton)
for the top layer
85ml maple syrup
10g cacao butter
2 tablespoons cacao powder
handful of peanuts, roughly chopped
Line a 29 x 18cm baking tray with baking parchment.
Start by making the base. Place the dates in a food processor and pulse until a paste has formed. Add the oats and cacao powder and pulse until well combined. Finally, add the flaked almonds and give it a final pulse to mix them through. Spread the mixture out in the prepared tray and leave in the fridge to set for 10–15 minutes, until firm.
Make the middle layer by placing the dates in a food processor and pulsing until a paste has formed. Add the peanut butter and coconut milk and pulse until smooth. Spread the mixture over the base and leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Finally, make the topping by placing the maple syrup, cacao butter and powder in a small pan over a low heat. Heat until the cacao butter has melted, around 5–10 minutes. Pour the mixture over the peanut butter layer and use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Leave to set in the fridge for 1–2 hours, sprinkling a handful of chopped peanuts over the top after about 1 hour, when it is quite firm but before it has fully set.
When ready, lift the set mixture out the baking tray and cut into slices or squares.
If you don’t like peanuts, you can use another nut butter for the middle layer – almond or cashew butter both work well.
Ella Mills, founder of Deliciously Ella, is an award-winning cookery author and entrepreneur, and a champion of eating well. She started off with her popular blog, deliciouslyella.com, which has had over 110 million hits in the last three years. Her first book came out in January 2015 and has been the bestselling debut cookbook ever in the UK and a New York Times bestseller. She has since released a further three bestselling books, created a #1 app and, with her husband, opened a deli in London, as well as launching a food product line across the UK.
Credits: Recipes are extracted from Deliciously Ella The Plant-Based Cookbook by Ella Mills, published by Hodder&Stoughton on 23rd August priced £25.00
Photographs by Nassima Rothacker © Hodder & Stoughton