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Deliciously Ella…My Day In Food

Ella Mills, the author, chef and entrepreneur behind plant-based powerhouse, Deliciously Ella, divulges her vegan meal secrets and shares an insight into her diet for a day…

Deliciously Ella…My Day In Food
Good morning, Ella! What is the first thing you’ve eaten today? I had our instant bircher muesli, which is a mix of finely milled oats, dried raspberries, chunks of apple, sunflower seeds and chia seeds. I added some coconut milk, waiting a minute or so for it to go creamy, then added a spoonful of almond butter and dried apricots. It took two minutes and tasted so good – it’s my go-to. I mix up the toppings and love adding banana slices, jam and a sprinkling of granola, too. When did your passion for food start and why? In 2011, at the end of my second year at university, I suddenly got ill, and after four months in and out of hospital I was diagnosed with a condition called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, which affected the functioning of my autonomic nervous system – I struggled to control my heart rate and blood pressure, and faced digestive issues, chronic fatigue, a host of infections and a selection of other symptoms. I spent most of the next year in bed taking a host of medication, which sadly didn’t work. I hit a real rock bottom, both mentally and physically, about a year later, and started to look at other avenues to explore. I became interested in the power of diet and lifestyle and began experimenting with plant-based cooking. I fell in love with the flavours, colours, textures and all-round deliciousness of it really quickly, and it’s become my passion ever since. What three tools could you not live without? Blender: I love making different types of pestos, hummus and easy dips using this, as well as quick soups and smoothies. Food processor: I love my processor – it’s brilliant for snacks like energy balls; homemade almond, peanut, cashew butters; and for the base of lots of baking recipes. A great spice rack: I think a range of spices is the key to tasty cooking. Do you snack through the day? And if so, what do you have? I do; we make loads of snacks, so the office is filled with them, which is a dream! My go-to is our nut butter balls – I love the cacao and almond one with the creamy almond butter centre, and our coconut and apricot oat bar, which is also the best on-the-go breakfast. Do you prefer a big lunch, or something light? I normally eat something lighter, as we’re often recipe testing during the day, and work tends to be pretty busy. I like spending time over my dinner and sitting down to a big meal. What’s on the menu for dinner? For a mid-week supper I do something easy like our five bean chilli. It’s so simple, uses kitchen cupboard ingredients, and is perfect for batch cooking. I sauté garlic, celery and onion before adding fresh chilli, rosemary, thyme and tomato purée, then I simmer the beans with a splash of maple syrup, tinned tomatoes and black pepper until it forms a thick consistency. I love this with our homemade corn bread when I make it for friends, and when I’m on my own I serve it in a jacket potato with wilted spinach and a dollop of coconut yoghurt, or with brown rice and a squeeze of lime. It’s my favourite recipe from Deliciously Ella: The Cookbook

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