I have a lot of recipe books. Like, seriously a lot. From baking to curries to healthy eating. And whilst I absolutely adore all my cookbooks – is there anything better than flicking through a hardback book full of glossy pictures of delectable delights in bed at the end of the day? – the majority of them tend to end up as inspirational coffee table books rather than instructive, useful guides.
The exception to the rule, however, is the Deliciously Ella book. I use it at least once a week and it’s without a doubt my favourite recipe book.
What I love is that Ella’s recipes are really accessible, delicious and simple. Whilst you may have to stock up on a few new ingredients to begin with, once you’ve got some tahini, tamari and almond butter in your pantry you’re good to go! Ella uses a lot of the same ingredients throughout the book which is really helpful.
I’d been a big Deliciously Ella fan before her first book came out though, and am one of many devotees of her blog.
So when an invitation to a Deliciously Ella masterclass and supper club popped into my inbox last month I practically squealed with delight. And I have no shame about it.
The event took place at Whole Foods in Kensington (don’t you just love Whole Foods? I’m such a clichéd middle class foodie) and was put on to celebrate Organic September, which, as you may be able to guess, is a September-long movement championing organic produce and encouraging us all to eat more organic food.
The theme of the evening was #ThriftyOrganic, and Ella was there to show us all how we can eat organic food on a budget.
I’d brought along fellow Deliciously Ella fangirl, Liv, and we were accidentally super keen and the first to arrive. (Why am I always early?)
We took our places at the prettily-laid tables and gossiped as girls do while the rest of the guests arrived, sipping delicious infused water and fresh cucumber, pear and mint juice as we waited.
The masterclass soon got under way and the demonstrations commenced with homemade oat milk (20p per recipe), houmous (£130 per recipe) and courgette noodles with avocado pesto (£8.20 per recipe).
All the recipes sure seemed simple enough – I suppose by putting in that little bit of extra effort (by making everything from scratch) you can save money and eat well.
The demonstrations had certainly got our tummies rumbling too! So, hoorah! It was dinner-time!
Out came big platefuls of three of Ella’s dishes, and we were given the costs for making each one to prove how affordable they are: roasted butternut squash risotto (£1.12 per person), sautéed potato, kale and houmous salad (50p per person), and the aforementioned courgette noodles (£1.12 per person).
The risotto was definitely my fave!
Although not strictly within budget, we were also offered some organic Prosecco which went down a treat and a half.
Very sweetly, Ella came round and chatted to all the guests at the supper, and it was lovely to meet the lady herself (and yes, she’s just as beautiful IRL and super passionate about her food.)
For pudding we had chewy sultana cookies and raspberry and coconut mousse. Both were yummy, but oh my days that mousse! It was so so good. My corner may have snaffled the leftovers too. Oops.
Was I surprised by the prices of organic eating? Yes and no.
Friends are always asking me how I managed to eat things like medjool dates, almond butter and chia seeds on a student budget, but I totally did and so I’m fully aware of how possible it is to eat healthily despite being strapped for cash.
However I have to admit that I tend to choose non-organic produce purely because it’s cheaper. That said, I know organic food is better in various ways, and I think I will now incorporate more into my weekly shop. What am I saying? I go to the supermarket most days, not once a week!
What are your thoughts on organic eating?