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30th November 2014

Feature: Deliciously Ella

Cat Hanson introduces readers to Ella Woodward (AKA Deliciously Ella) and her amazing recipes

As the academic year progresses I tend to enter the waning months of culinary creativity. “This vegetable stock will make a fine replacement for a smorgasbord of finely chopped fresh vegetables.” “Who needs spaghetti bolognese when I can put tomato sauce on some noodles?” “Surely the cranberries in that muffin I bought at the petrol station counts as one of my five-a-day?” Naturally, my body begins to function like my five year-old laptop—grey in colour and wheezing loudly.

Fortunately for me, it was around this period in my nutritional health’s cycle that a beam of light shone upon me, mainly from my computer, as I discovered Deliciously Ella’s recipe blog. As her website explains, Ella Woodward’s culinary story began when she sought a change in diet from sugar-packed treats to natural, fresh food as a means to help her take control of a rare and debilitating illness. Over time, she gradually built up an enormous back-catalogue of recipes and ideas, which now branches out into lifestyle tips, blogs, an app, an Instagram page and a new book.

Seeking some nutrition changes myself, I retracted my hand from my crisp packet and set about finding a replacement for said snack. I came across Deliciously Ella’s recipe for Kale Chips, and was determined to try this leafy sensation for myself. Keep in mind, the only tools I had to hand were severely limited funds and a bus pass. I had feared that the quest to find kale would be much like trying to find your phone on silent, but there it was, sitting on the supermarket shelf.

Back home, the kale was prepped and in the oven in under two minutes, and within another ten, it was ready. The result? Absolutely delicious curls of crunchy goodness. The first bite tastes exactly the same as crisps before giving way to a whole new flavour. I was hooked. By the end of the evening I flopped onto my bed, breathing deeply like an over-fed lion, with tell-tale green smudges around my mouth. I had found my healthy, tasty replacement for fatty pieces of potato shrapnel.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I began to incorporate more of Deliciously Ella’s tips and ideas into my food, and I was shocked to see the difference; I woke early. I voluntarily did exercise. I was alert. I finally understood what my mother had always talked about—steering away from (even supposedly healthy) pre-packaged food had un-tapped me from the Matrix and pushed me into kale-fuelled action! An obvious conclusion of course, but almost every student can be forgiven for letting standards slip a little.

So far for me personally, my only limitations have been that a few ingredients and equipment don’t quite fall within my student budget, however these are often easy to swap for cheaper alternatives, and I have so far not encountered any troubles in using an average-priced blender. So for anyone feeling a little sluggish, using the desk as a pillow, or skipping breakfast: try a more natural, less plastic-coated option. Even two days was enough to feel the benefits. So thank you, Ella Woodward. The experience truly has been delicious.

You can find Deliciously Ella’s blog at, or follow her Instagram @deliciouslyella.

Cat Hanson

Cat Hanson

Cat Hanson is a first year Chinese Studies student at the University of Manchester. She contributes to the Politics section of The Mancunion in light of her passionate interest in world leaders and issues of international diplomacy. You can follow her on Twitter @hanson_cat

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