Oven-baked mushroom risotto
It's that time of year when you want to trim your body down and get it summer ready.

We all want to parade in our bikinis by the sea.

Some exercise will probably do wonders for the winter body, but the focus for me remains, as always, on how to eat your way into a healthy body. Because I’m not a gym bunny of any kind.

This, naturally, would depend on what you consider to be a healthy body.

Recipe: Layered veggie bake

Not having hang-ups about your weight and those extra rolls packed on during the freezing, Cape Town winter, is very important, but trying to shake ‘em off is also OK.

Embracing the rolls is fine, as long as you can keep the diabetes and cholesterol at bay without resorting to meds.

And remember, what is good for you does not necessarily need to be boring. There are delicious ways to lose all that winter love, without having to resort to eating dry tasteless crackers, cold salads and saltless chicken breasts.

I will laugh today and I will probably laugh tomorrow as well, but I will not curb my cravings for food to trim a centimetre of fat off my body.

Nope, I will not punish my tasteuds. Yes, I do enjoy a good salad, but with ribs.

Yes, I will have a fruit smoothie, but with chicken wings on the side.

I have been blessed with a healthy appetite. As always, the secret lies in moderation and balance, don’t stuff your face, save some for later.

Recipe: Baked potato and cheesy mince

Food is there to be enjoyed, and a great way to make the people around you happy, too.

In my house, if you want someone to smile, feed them.

For this week, the focus is on healthy oven bakes that are delicious, easy to make and easy on your budget. Enjoy!

Oven-baked mushroom risotto


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large leek, trimmed, thinly sliced

400g mixed mushrooms (such as Swiss brown, button and shiitake), sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

250g rice

80ml (1/3 cup) white vinegar

750ml (3 cups) chicken style liquid stock

250g broccoli, trimmed, cut into florets

20g (1/4 cup) finely grated parmesan, plus extra to serve


Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over high heat. Sauté leek, stirring, for 2 minutes or until soft. Add mushroom, garlic and rosemary. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until mushroom is soft. Add rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until grains appear glassy. Add vinegar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until evaporated. Add stock and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir in broccoli and bake for another 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender-crisp. Stir in parmesan cheese (see note). Set aside, covered, for 2-3 minutes. Top with extra parmesan to serve.