Wednesday, 6 April 2016

P TRIES . . . "DELICIOUSLY ELLA EVERY DAY"!

The Kindle has a couple of disadvantages for me. One - and I've mentioned this before - I read less yet buy more books. Secondly, I keep buying cookbooks. Which is ridiculous because, although I've got more adventurous with recipes, I still struggle a bit with stepping out of my comfort zone and it can take my brain some convincing to actually try out new dishes.

That being said, I am hitting my stride and, despite mentioning in my post yesterday I don't cook from scratch enough, I do still do it several times a week and I took my new year's resolution to learn more recipes to heart. So I thought I'd do some posts covering some of the recipes I've tried out . . . but I'd group them together by the book or website I got them from.


So in this first "P Tries . . ." post I am looking at the book "Deliciously Ella Every Day" and the recipes I've cooked up out of there.  This book is her second, and I prefer it over her first - I have yet to try anything out of that one. But I've tried a few recipes out of this particular one, and there's a few I still want to try. And I've been largely impressed. The focus is on healthy eating and the recipes are gluten free and largely vegetarian/vegan . . . although me being me, I've done my best to change that at times!


The first recipe I tried was the roasted maple sprouts. Now, I'm not really one generally for mixing sweet/fruit and savoury, especially with a spice element thrown in just to mix it up even more, but for some reason the combination of ingredients in this salad/side dish really jumped out at me. The combination of Brussel sprouts (which I am a massive lover of btw) combined with potatoes, chilli flakes, pomegranate seeds, nuts and maple syrup did not disappoint! I swapped the hazelnuts in the recipe for pine nuts since that's what I had, and served as a main dish to me and the fella along with grilled goats cheese and red onion. It was pretty damn amazing and one of those dishes I've been thinking of ever since. (It was also the first time I'd ever sampled pomegranate seeds. How did I get to 36 without having tried those before???)


The success of that recipe spurred me on to try another one that had appealed to me - the chickpea and squash salad. Now, one of the things that immediately appealed to me about Deliciously Ella is that she feels strongly that a salad should be interesting and not just a bunch of limp lettuce leaves and not much else. And I thought that this salad sounded delicious. Because I'm not sure about butternut squash, I used sweet potato instead (which was another suggestion), which is baked with chickpeas, spices, seasoning and oil. Rocket (I subbed in spinach) and sundried tomatoes and a honey-based dressing were then added to the cooled sweet potato and chickpeas. Oh and I added feta because I'm an unashamed cheese fiend. I made enough to do me for two work lunches and I thoroughly enjoyed it on both days. Another dish I would definitely make again.


I was therefore excited to try out the next recipe on my to-do list which was the chickpea, quinoa and turmeric curry.  Unfortunately I didn't enjoy this one as much. This could be my own fault - the smell of it was absolutely AMAZING for the first 20 minutes or so of the quinoa cooking, then I forgot about it due to something I was watching on the TV and it ended up smelling more burnt instead sadly. It was still tasty but I probably wouldn't make it again.

There are loads of recipes in this book that look delicious and I will definitely be trying some of them soon, particularly the breakfasts that I can make in advance and eat on-the-go (maple chia pots, bircher muesli and carrot cake muffins, I'm looking at you!) and the some of the healthy snack and other salad options. There are also tons of soup and batch cooking recipes for those of you who like to be organised.

One thing I definitely can't see myself trying though is the gluten free, vegan equivalent of carbonara.  I'm sure it's very tasty but it has butternut squash in the sauce and I simply can't accept that. If you do try that one though, or have already tried it, I would love you to tell me what it was like.


Have you tried any of Deliciously Ella's recipes? What were your favourites?
 

5 comments:

  1. Interesting. I had her first book - tried lots out and didn't like a single thing. I'm gluten-free so had really high hopes but was thoroughly disappointed. It was all just a little too out there and strange. So I'm intrigued you like her second book - might see if I can have a look in a bookstore!

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  2. L.C.C. I've got to admit there wasn't one thing that particularly jumped out at me in the first book - I didn't bother trying anything at all . . . but I would try all three of these recipes again (yes, even the quinoa curry if I was feeling particularly saintly) and there are more than a couple of handfuls of others I would give a go as well!

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  3. Those dishes you tried sound amazing! I agree about salads - boring as all hell unless you can spice it up with deliciousness like this. I am going to look into it. Just those photos made me hungry. And I've also never had pomegranate seeds, where does one BUY those, without buying 20 pomegranates?

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  4. I got mine in Tesco, just in a tub with the tubs of pre-cut fresh fruit! :-)

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  5. Man, I miss UK supermarkets big time. No one else's supermarkets are half as good. Every time I'm home I bring back a plethora of good stuff from Tesco. :)

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