This month in particular, there's such a huge focus on eating healthy food, trying vegan dishes and boosting our immune system in an endeavour to stay as fit and well as possible.

This recipe is quick and incredibly easy to make and highly recommended.

Grilled polenta with herby mushroom medley


Serves: 4

1 tbsp plus 4–5 tsp olive oil (or rapeseed oil), plus extra for greasing
500ml (18fl oz) plus 100ml (3 1/2fl oz) homemade or reduced-salt vegetable stock
125g (4 1/2oz) quick-cook polenta (cornmeal)
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 leeks (about 200g/7oz total unprepared weight), washed and sliced
350g (12oz) mixed fresh mushrooms (such as chestnut and closed cup), sliced
150ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine (choose a vegetarian/vegan white wine if cooking for vegetarians/vegans)
1 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. Lightly brush a 450g (1lb) non-stick loaf tin with oil; set aside. Put 500ml (18fl oz) stock into a non-stick saucepan; bring to the boil, then reduce heat. Sprinkle in polenta, stirring with a wooden spoon; simmer over a low heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until cooked, thick and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil, oregano and black pepper. Pour into loaf tin; level surface. Leave to cool slightly until firm enough to turn out (about 20 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, make mushroom medley. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a non-stick saucepan. Add leeks, sauté for 4–5 minutes. Add mushrooms, sauté for 4–5 minutes. Add wine, bring to the boil and bubble over a high heat for about 5 minutes or until wine has reduced by half. Stir in remaining 100ml (3 1/2fl oz) stock and black pepper to taste. Bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Blend cornflour with 1–2 tablespoons water until smooth; stir into mushroom sauce. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, stirring. Stir in parsley.
  3. Meanwhile, once polenta is ready, turn it out of tin; cut into 12 even slices using a sharp knife. Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush warm polenta slices with remaining oil; arrange on non-stick baking sheet. Grill for about 10 minutes or until lightly crisp on both sides, turning once.
  4. Serve grilled polenta with mushroom medley spooned over or alongside. Serve with grilled cherry tomatoes and cooked green vegetables.

Dietary tips

• Make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free stock or making your own stock
• You can use a wine that is suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets