Three brilliantly simple vegan recipes from Deliciously Ella's new cookbook

Yoghurt and coconut milk make this spinach and chickpea curry nice and creamy.
Yoghurt and coconut milk make this spinach and chickpea curry nice and creamy. Photo: Nassima Rothacker

In her fifth cookbook Deliciously Ella Quick and Easy, British cookbook author and entrepreneur Ella Mills shares more than 100 new plant-based recipes, with a focus on fuss-free ideas that can be made in a few minutes or in bulk (or both!)

From hearty veg-laden bowls to quick chickpea curries, the collection is all about abundant recipes that put fruit and vegetables at the heart of our plates, that taste good and are easy to make.

Here are three vegan recipes to try.

Ella Mills's new book.
Ella Mills's new book. Photo: Supplied

Spinach and chickpea curry

Serves: 4, with rice

This is the perfect warming dinner and something we make a lot at home. We normally double the quantities and freeze half the batch, then we have some with brown rice and yoghurt one night, and spoon it into a baked sweet potato later in the week. The mix of chilli, ginger, mustard seeds, curry powder, cumin and ground coriander give it such depth, and the yoghurt and coconut milk make it nice and creamy.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 250g spinach
  • 1 × 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon medium curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 24 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 × 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt (we use a pure coconut yoghurt )
  • pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

METHOD

  1. Put the coconut oil into a large saucepan with the onion, garlic and celery, and some salt and pepper, and let them cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the celery and onion have softened.
  2. In a separate pan, wilt 100g of spinach with a splash of boiling water. Once wilted, add half the coconut milk and use a hand blender to blitz the spinach, so that it's smooth.
  3. Once the celery and onion have softened, add the ginger, mustard seeds, coriander, curry powder and cumin. Let the spices toast for a minute or so before adding the pureed spinach, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and the rest of the coconut milk, plus a big sprinkling of salt and lots of pepper.
  4. Turn the heat up so that it starts bubbling, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding the rest of the spinach for the final few minutes. Once the spinach has wilted, add a squeeze of lemon and the yoghurt plus a sprinkling of chilli flakes, if you're using them and serve.
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Easy red lentil dhal
Spinach and chickpea curry (in orange pan)
Stuffed eggplants
This is an edited extract Deliciously Ella Quick and Easy by Ella Mills, published by Hachette Australia, RRP $34.99.
Food photography by Nassima Rothacker ©Hodder & Stoughton 2020
Single use only

A brilliant option for bigger family meals. Photo: Nassima Rothacker

Stuffed eggplants

Serves: 6

These are a brilliant option for bigger family meals. They look gorgeous and have tonnes of flavour and texture.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large eggplants
  • olive oil
  • 100g quinoa
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 150g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of oil from the jar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • large handful of parsley, about 15g, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C fan-forced (240C conventional).
  2. Cut the eggplants in half and place on to a baking tray. Score the flesh with a knife (being careful not to cut all the way through), drizzle with olive oil and salt, and roast for 35-40 minutes, until soft. Once soft, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  3. Turn the oven down to 180C fan-forced (160C conventional).
  4. While the eggplants are in the oven, cook the quinoa. Place a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the quinoa and boiling water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes until the water has been absorbed. Once cooked, remove from the heat and leave to one side until cool.
  5. Using a large spoon, scrape the flesh out of the eggplants and on to a board. Roughly chop into pieces then put into a large bowl.
  6. Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, pine nuts, harissa and quinoa. Season with a large pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. Using a tablespoon, scoop equal amounts of the mixture back into each eggplant skin. Place them back on the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle the parsley on top before serving.
Nassima Rothacker – Thu, 16. July 2020 3:08 PMSPINACH & CHICKPEA CURRY.jpgEasy red lentil dhal
Spinach and chickpea curry (in orange pan)
Stuffed eggplants
This is an edited extract Deliciously Ella Quick and Easy by Ella Mills, published by Hachette Australia, RRP $34.99.
Food photography by Nassima Rothacker ©Hodder & Stoughton 2020
Single use only

Perfect with brown rice and yoghurt. Photo: Nassima Rothacker

Easy red lentil dhal

Serves: 4

You can't beat a good dhal. I love the depth of spice, the warming, comforting sense of each bite and how good the leftovers taste the next day! This is a really easy recipe that always hits the spot. I like adding the coconut milk to make it extra creamy and the spinach to get my greens in, but otherwise it uses all the classic ingredients. I serve it very simply with brown rice and yoghurt.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g split red lentils
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons medium curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 × 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach (about 100g)
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt and pepper

METHOD

  1. Put the lentils into a large saucepan, cover with boiling water and place over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes – you want them to have softened and lost their bite. Drain and set aside. Be careful not to overcook or they can become mushy.
  2. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the coconut oil, onion, garlic, chilli and a pinch of salt. Saute the onion mixture until soft, stirring frequently, then add the spices, stirring them through the onion mix for 1 minute or so.
  3. Turn the heat down and pour in the coconut milk and coconut sugar, then bring to the boil. Let this cook for another few minutes, stirring well to combine all the flavours.
  4. Stir the drained, cooked lentils into the frying pan and let them cook in the sauce for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the spinach and stir until it has wilted, then add the lemon juice and serve.

This is an edited extract of Deliciously Ella Quick and Easy by Ella Mills, published by Hachette Australia, RRP $34.99. Buy now