IMG_7984_FB_DIY_ELLAMorning fine people!

So, let’s get real here for a second: wedding planning can be all kinds of chaotic, right? Especially those last few months. We’re talking crazy amounts of dress fittings, hair rehearsals, makeup rehearsals, picking up the order of ceremony prints, picking them up a second time ’cause you misspelt the best man’s surname… You get where I’m going here, but where and indeed how, does maintaining a healthy diet fit in to all of this? I’ll be the first to admit that in the 9 weeks we planned our wedding, second to calling my mum to ask her opinion on just about everything four times over (sorry mum!), we made a fair few calls for take out food too!

Whelp, let me introduce you to the foodie goddess that is Ella Woodward, and the bible that she’s written, ‘Deliciouly Ella’. After being diagnosed with the relatively rare illness, PoTS, Ella began to change her diet to help her body heal and to create a new way of eating; a world of goodness that she’s now sharing in her incredible book. She’ll teach you how to create all your favourites (yes, think brownies, pizza and ice cream!) but in a super healthy, while remaining super delicious, way!

So, throw away any stereotypes you might have about a plant-based, wholefood lifestyle and jump on board! Eating clean and eating well is one of the most important things you’ll do for yourself in the lead up to your wedding; not only are you gonna keep energy levels up and sustained throughout the duration of your planning, but you’re gonna be facilitating your bod with the very best, so you can look and feel your very best. In short, Ella’s book and the way of life she promotes is incredible; Festival Brides LOVES.

So, say ‘goodbye’ to irritable arguments with your other half when your sugar level crashes, wave farewell to tired, blemished skin and grab yourself a copy of  ‘Deliciously Ella’, written by our (MAJOR) girl crush, Ella Woodward, and let’s get in the kitchen!

These recipes are easy, the ingredients list is totally attainable and they’re full of all the goodness you need to be bride-to-be fabulous!

A massive thanks goes to my beau at Old Bear Media for shooting these recipes so beautifully, oh and for those of you wondering, the leather cuff and necklace I’m wearing are by amazing US designer The Dove Cote Brocante. The cuff is custom made from a vintage upcycled belt, stamped with the quote ‘Love is Enough’ (a poem read at our wedding) and the tag necklace is stamped with the coordinates of our woodland ceremony venue… To say we’re in love is an understatement!

IMG_8019_FB_DIY_ELLAIMG_8029_FB_DIY_ELLAIf you gals are feeling kinda hungry this morning, man alive am I sorry! Things are about to get real tasty over here!

First up, let’s talk about our main meal recipe. We’ve chosen Ella’s Mexican Quinoa Bowl: super tasty, super satisfying and full of ALL the goodness. Here’s why we heart this dish for our brides-to-be:

Avocado – it’s pretty well known that avo is all kinds of amazing for you, but in the lead up to your wedding day, your skin is gonna be thanking you big time. Full of the fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin E, avo’s help protect skin cell membranes from damage, in other words, girl you’re gonna GLOW.

Quinoa – it’s nutrient dense, it’s a complete protein and it’s super high in fibre, what more could you want?! It’s low in carbs and low GI, so it’s gonna release energy slowly, helping you to avoid any crazy sugar highs in your bid to stay energetic throughout the day!

Lemon + Limes – packed with vitamin C, their citrusy juice is great for your immune system, helping you fight off any unwanted colds and they’re also rich in kaempferol, a compound with notable antibiotic properties!

Cashew Nuts – as with the avocado in this recipe, do not be scared of the calorie content of these ingredients, they contain the healthy fats that your body needs to really shine! Expect cleaner skin, shinier hair and stronger nails, game on!

Convinced? Let’s get to the recipe then shall we?…

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Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Ingredients:

(serves 4)

For the cashew cream:

2 mugs cashew nuts (400g)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon tamari
salt and pepper

For the quinoa:

1 mug quinoa (260g)
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

For the guacamole:

4 avocados
6 tomatoes, chopped into tiny pieces
1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and chopped into tiny pieces handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
juice of 3 limes
salt and pepper

For the salsa:

3 tomatoes
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

For the black beans:

2 x 400g tins black beans
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
olive oil
salt

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Method

For the cashew cream:

  • Soak the cashews in a bowl of cold water for 4 hours
  • Drain the water that the cashew nuts have been soaking in. Blend the nuts in a food processor with the juice of the lemon, tamari, ½ mug (150ml) fresh water, salt and pepper, until smooth and creamy. This may take a couple of minutes.

For the quinoa:

  • Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse with cold water until the water that comes through is totally clear.
  • Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 2 mugs (600ml) boiling water and a little salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • Let the quinoa boil for a minute or two, then simmer for another 10–15 minutes, covered, until all the water has been evaporated and the quinoa is fluffy.

For the guacamole:

  • Cut the avocados in half and scoop out their flesh, placing it into a bowl. Use a fork to mash the avocados.
  • Stir the tomato, jalapeño pepper and the coriander into the mashed avocado with the lime juice, salt and pepper.

For the salsa:

  • Slice the tomatoes into quarters, then finely chop these into small squares.
  • Place the tomatoes in a bowl, pour over the lime juice and olive oil and add a little salt and pepper.

For the black beans:

  • Drain the black beans, then pour them into a large saucepan. Add the garlic to the pan, along with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Heat through for a few minutes.

To serve, place the quinoa in the middle of the bowl, then add the cashew cream, black beans, salsa and guacamole around the quinoa.

Recipe extracted from page 49 of ‘Deliciously Ella’ by Ella Woodward, out now by Yellow Kite, £14.99 © Ella Woodward 2015

IMG_8017_FB_DIY_ELLAIMG_8028_FB_DIY_ELLAAnd oh sweet mother, it’s the tastiest dish! Like massively comforting, but healthy too – who knew?!

Ok, next up is a great little recipe for brides on the go. Whether you’re spending the entire morning at your barn venue tryna suss out how many lengths of bunting you’re gonna need (uh, the struggle is real!) or you’re running round your city picking up gifts for your bridal party, you’re definitely gonna reach a point where you need a little boost…

Enter stage right: Ella’s Almond + Chia Energy Bites.

Full of amazing ingredients, not only are you gonna get your energy fix, but your hair, skin and most important your mind is gonna feel all the goodness:

Almonds – between the almond butter and the whole almonds used in the recipe, y’all are gonna get a serious fix of this beauty food, they’re packed with vitamin E (umm hello glowing skin!).

Chia Seeds – these tiny, virtually tasteless black dots are uh-MAZING for your body. We’re talking serious amounts of fibre, so you’ll stay satisfied for hours, and good ol’ dose of omega-3 fatty acids… Oh hey there glowing skin, back again are we?

Coconut Oil – ha, like you didn’t already know we are MAJOR fans! (Wait what? You didn’t know that? You better read this then!) Again this ingredient is gonna get you that natural glow, so don’t be scared of it! It’s also sure to help your hair and skin from within!

Cacao – omgsh you guys. I am in LOVE. Not only are we talking deep chocolately flavours, but raw cacao is the unprocessed version of coco, so y’all are benefitting from it’s amazing goodness too! (Is anyone else a little turned on? MAN this stuff’s good!) As well as being full of antioxidants, cacao contains anandamide, a chemical naturally produced in the brain, which enhances motivation and pleasure, giving you that blissful feeling and also phenylethylamine, a powerful mood elevator. Yes. Please. Gimmie.

Let’s get to it, these little bites are gonna blow your pretty mind!

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Almond And Chia Energy Bites

Ingredients:

(makes about 20 balls)

1 mug almonds (200g)

2 mugs Medjool dates (400g)

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons almond butter (see instruction below)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons chia seeds

To make the almond butter:

(makes 1 large jar) 

  • Roast 2 mugs of almonds (400g) in an oven preheated to 200°C (fan 180°C) for 10 minutes.
  • Remove them, allow them to cool for a few minutes, then place them in a food processor along with a sprinkling of salt and blend until smooth and creamy (about 15 minutes). During this time, you might need to scrape the nuts off the side of the processor once or twice.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Recipe extracted from page 24 of ‘Deliciously Ella’ by Ella Woodward, out now by Yellow Kite, £14.99 © Ella Woodward 2015

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Method

  • Start by putting the almonds in a food processor and whiz for about 30 seconds, until they’re nicely crushed.
  • Then pit the dates and add them, plus all the other ingredients and 2 tablespoons water, to the processor and blend again until everything has mixed together perfectly and it’s all nice and sticky.
  • Roll the mix into balls.
  • Place the balls in the freezer for an hour to set, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Recipe extracted from page 72 ‘Deliciously Ella’ by Ella Woodward, out now by Yellow Kite, £14.99 © Ella Woodward 2015

IMG_8060_FB_DIY_ELLAIMG_8064_FB_DIY_ELLAIMG_8067_FB_DIY_ELLATake me to Heaven, I’m done!

Seriously though, these bites of gorgeousness will see you through anything, ladies!

And finally, a little something for you to sip on every day to finalise that bridal glow you’ve been working on; Ella’s watermelon, cucumber and mint juice:

Watermelon – so aside from the fact that it’s perfectly yummy and summery, watermelon is just straight up hydration, an absolute essential for brides visiting and working on outdoor venues in the summer sun! There’s also some preliminary evidence that compounds in watermelon may help prevent excess accumulation of fat in fat cells… I dunno about you, but I am not gonna say no to that!

Cucumber – it’s green, which means it’s got a pretty good level of chlorophyll, which’ll alkalinise the body, purifying and detoxing along the way! It’s also high in B vitamins, known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress (because wedding planning isn’t all kisses and roses!).

Mint – as someone who suffers with indigestion a LOT, mint is my go to! It’s essential oil content helps to relax the wall of the digestive tract, as well as breaking down and dispersing gas (sorry ladies, getting a bit involved here, but it’s worth it!) so if you’re all about the bloat-free life, mint is your herb, babes!

Let’s juice!

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Watermelon, Cucumber and Mint Juice

Ingredients:

(makes one large glass)

1 big wedge of watermelon (600g including skin)

1 cucumber

small handful of fresh mint

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Method

  • Slice the watermelon flesh from the skin, then put it through your juicer with the cucumber and mint.
  • Sometimes the watermelon pips get into the juice, so you may want to quickly strain it before drinking.

Recipe extracted from page 223 ‘Deliciously Ella’ by Ella Woodward, out now by Yellow Kite, £14.99 © Ella Woodward 2015

IMG_8134_FB_DIY_ELLAHeavens above, is that beautiful! A couple of little tips from the FBrides kitchen: go easy on the mint, you don’t need a bush load to get the flavour and pour over/blend with ice for a super refreshing fix!

Here’s to feeling healthy, happy and glowing like a goddess for the duration of your wedding planning and beyond!

Peace + Love (+ Kale!)

Clare X

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