An advocate of clean eating, Ella Mills’ blog “Deliciously Ella” celebrates natural food created from simple ingredients. She put the same mantra to work with a Syrian inspired twist in two dishes donated to #CookForSyria.

Starting off her recipe for aubergine and chickpea stew, Mills shows how to put a Middle Eastern spin on a wintertime staple: “I love cooking simple food that is easy to make and can be enjoyed by everyone. Chickpeas and aubergines are the Syrian element in my recipes; they are such underrated and amazingly versatile ingredients, I wanted to show a few different ways of cooking with them. Stews are my winter staple, they are so lovely and warming!”

Alongside her drive for healthy food is Mills’ belief in its power of communality: “Food should be a way of bringing people together – I love meals where everyone shares lots of different dishes, so I’m a big fan of the mezze-style eating that is common in the Middle East.”

She describes experimenting with foods for her second recipe of za’atar-spiced falafel with roasted chickpeas and parsley hummus as a joy: “Falafel and hummus are my all-time favourites and are so adaptable – you can have lots of fun playing with flavour combinations to make a few basic ingredients taste really special. I haven’t done much cooking with za’atar in the past so enjoyed playing around with it to give my dishes some Syrian flavour.”

Recipes donated by Ella Mills and others can be found in the #CookForSyria Recipe Book, available for purchase on amazon.co.uk. All profits will be donated to aid children affected by the crisis in Syria.

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