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Beat lockdown blues with these delicious recipes

Yolandi North shares her favourite recipes

By Thobeka Phanyeko  | July 14, 2021 | Recipes

The extension of lockdown means coming up with creative ways to feed the family. So, we’ve roped in editor of a Zesty life, Yolandi North to share her favourite recipes.

Moreish Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4 as a main course. The secret to risotto is to take your time to stir your rice very slowly until all the stock is absorbed.


80g Butter

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

300g of Mixed Mushrooms, of your choice, thinly sliced

6 Cups of good quality vegetable stock

1 Medium onion, finely chopped

2 Garlic cloves, minced

2 Cups of Arborio (Risotto) rice

1 Cup of dry white wine

A handful of good-quality parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons of butter

Freshly chopped parsley


In a large saucepan, heat half the butter with half the oil. Fry the mushrooms, then set aside but keep it warm. Add the rest of the oil & butter. Then the garlic & onion. Fry until just cooked. Now add your rice. Fry until glossy. Then add the wine. Continue to stir until the wine is absorbed by the rice. Using a ladle, spoon the vegetable stock – one ladle at a time – into the rice mixture. Stirring & waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding the next ladle of stock. Continue with this process until all the stock is finished & absorbed. This will take about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add another tablespoon of butter & a handful of parmesan cheese. Stir in the mushrooms, sprinkle with parsley, dish up & enjoy!

Easy Honey Tea Cake

This recipe has done its rounds in our family for some time now. It was passed on to me by my aunt (who first received it from my mom) in a stack of copied & stapled recipes. This was just before or after our wedding – can’t remember exactly. All of the recipes in this stack are quick-quick & almost flop proof too. Just what a newlywed needs! The fact that you don’t have to ice this ‘cake’ (pudding?) is an added bonus. If you work really quickly, you could get this one on the table in 30 minutes – from making the batter to serving it. Honey Tea Cake, serves 6 – 8


1 1⁄2 cups of flour

2 heaped teaspoons of baking powder

A pinch of salt

4 eggs

4 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup of milk

1 cup of sugar

For the sauce - 6 tablespoons of butter & 6 tablespoons of honey


Preheat your oven to 180° & grease your pan or dish with some butter. Sift all dry ingredients together. Heat butter & milk in microwave, & whisk your eggs together. Now mix all ingredients together until you have a smooth batter. Pour into your dish & pop in the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter & honey together in a small pot for your sauce.

When the cake has baked for 20min at 180 degrees, pour over the hot sauce & serve with fresh cream, vanilla ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt. Note: Avoid heating this cake, as you’ll lose some of the moisture. It is best served hot, straight from the oven so that the sauce can really drench it.

Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup

Serves 6


3 Red peppers quartered

3 Large ripe tomatoes quartered

1 Tbsp (15ml) Olive Oil

1⁄2 Tsp (2ml) Dried oregano

750 ml (3 cups) of vegetable stock

Juice of 1⁄2 lemon

Fresh bread for serving


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place red peppers, tomatoes, leeks on a baking tray. Toss with olive oil then sprinkle with oregano, salt & pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven. Place veg & stock in a pot & add stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer for another 20 minutes. Now blend your soup, season to taste &serve with yummy toasted bread.