Interview: Ella Woodward makes awesome sweet potatoes
Earlier this year, I interviewed the amazing Ella Woodward of health food blog Deliciously Ella. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTs) and was more or less bedridden, despite having so many medications she needed an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of them. But after switching to a mostly vegan, gluten-, dairy-, meat- and refined sugar-free diet, she’s energetic, fun and on a one-woman mission to prove that food can be healthy and delicious at the same time. POTs? What POTs?
You’ve said your boyfriend is a meat-eating, beer-swilling kind of guy, but even he likes your food, no?
Absolutely. No, that sounds really mean. But yeah, he’s definitely… I think if you ever told him two years he was going to eat vegan, he would be like, ‘Not a chance in hell.’
What’s his favourite dish of yours?
I make sweet potato, roasted in the oven whole for two hours so it’s really soft, and slice it in half and fill it with raw fennel marinated with lime - which is literally the best thing ever - and serve it with quinoa and avocados, limes, tomatoes and raw red peppers. And raw banoffee pie. That’s a big favourite.
I think there’s this scared belief that [a healthy diet] is just going to be a salad of lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers and that’s not super interesting.
Nope. Where do you get your cooking inspiration from, then?
Well with desserts and things, it’s always things that I would want to eat. I have the biggest sweet tooth. Things like banoffee pie and brownies, there was no way I was giving those up. So it’s a quest to find out how to do healthy versions of it. And with everything else, it’s just kind of experimentations. I now love cooking so much, it’s just kind of like what comes to mind.
What are your favourite ingredients?
Dates. They’re the best ingredients for baking, ever. They’re like magic. They taste like caramel when you puree them, and they stick everything together, and they’re so sweet, I just couldn’t live without them. And then avocados. I’m like an avocado obsessive.
Okay, fantasy time. Your ultimate dinner party: what would you do?
I love cooking for people at home, that’s like my favourite thing. I would cook every meal for everyone every day. I think I’m like a feeder!
And who would you be your ultimate guests?
Wow, that’s such a big question. You know I would love to have someone like - because I really enjoy winning people over to vegan food - someone like Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsay and be like ‘No! My food is as good as yours.’