Healthy Real Food Recipes

Real Food

Healthy Real Food Recipes by Jim Montrose Gourmet Vegetarian Chef & Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counsellor.

Lets look at some healthy real food recipes to make nourishing food. In the first part, see it here, we outlined a diet that counters two growing trends in our modern diet: the lack of nutrients in our food supply and the drastic increase in toxic loads in our food and environment.  These two trends are major contributors to the increasing number of cancer and chronic illness cases seen across the world.  We previously covered the theory and now lets make some great food such as Hippocrates soup, real juices, potato smashes, real eggplant melazano, kitcheree (rice and mung dahl), and others that take food from nature’s wrapper and turn it into tasty, nourishing and rejuvenating dishes.  Remember:  “If its not in nature’s wrapper its not real.” See you in the Kitchen!

Enhancing the Taste!

When we limit our white sugar, salt and oil we give up some of the taste for better health and surprisingly once we get over the habituation to these compounds we taste the natural flavours again and enjoy the real tastes of the foods themselves.  To support and enhance this process we utilize more herbs and alternatives especially during the transition that impart more taste. Many people find liberal use of freshly crushed raw garlic is a great way to spice up our food and not risk the pitfall of the junk food threesome (white sugar, salt and saturated oils).

Some Herbs to explore (add them one at a time to your dishes and remember the ones you like):

  • Fresh Garden Herbs e.g. celery, coriander, dill, fennel, horseradish, marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme, sorrel and summer savoury.
  • Chives, onions and garlic and parsley may be used in larger quantities!
  • Dried Herbs: dill, marjoram, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme,
  • Spices: allspice, aniseed, bay leaf, coriander, fennel, mace, saffron.

Salt substitute: Celery has a mild salty taste and is high in the sodium that the body uses and needs. Find herbal combinations that satisfy your salt desire. Look for herbal salt substitutes that do not have salt.

Sugar Substitutes: Try natural sweeteners like dates, fruit (apples, pineapple), hicama, and jaggery (evaporated cane juice).

Oil: add a little fresh flax, cocunut or extra virgin olive oil as you serve the dish. (Do not heat your oils!)

  1. Healthy Real Food Recipes: Hippocrates Soup

  • 500g Potatoes
  • 750g TomatoesSeveral cloves of Garlic

Cut fine the following

  • 1 Medium stick Celery Knob (if not in season, a little Parsley only and 3-4 stalks of Branch Celery)
  • 1 Large/2 Small Leeks (if not in season, 2 x medium Onions
  • Little  Parsley
  • 2 x Medium Onions

Cover with Water – cook for 1 ½ -2 hours,

Blend fine for a thick creamy soup

  1. Healthy Real Food Recipes: Juice Recipes


Green Leaves: Romaine/cos lettuce, Swiss chard (large stem spinach), Endive, Lettuce, Red Lettuce, Escarole (a form of endive/chicory), Beet tops (young inner leaves), watercress.  Juice any of these greens that is available and to your liking.

2-3 red cabbage leaves, ¼ small green pepper 1 medium apple for each glass.

  • Juice and drink all juices immediately (do not make in advance)

Carrot & Apple (8oz glass)

3 carrots (6 oz) and 1 large granny smith apple (6 oz)

  1. Healthy Real Food Recipes: Sides

String Beans

In a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid or casserole dish; line the bottom with sliced onions and tomatoes. Place the string beans on top and add some garlic, additional diced onions and diced tomatoes as you desire. Add your favorite herbs; perhaps bouquet garni, mixed herbs, oregano, basil, marjoram, etc. Cook in the pot on the stove (or pop the casserole in the oven) at the lowest temperature possible for 45 minutes to an hour until tender.

Butternut Squash

In a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid or casserole dish; line the bottom with sliced granny smith apples. Place the cut and peeled (or leave the peel on) butternut on top and add some spices as you desire. Ginger, cinnamon and cardamom are nice. Cook in the pot on the stove (or pop the casserole in the oven) at the lowest temperature possible for an hour or so until tender. Adding fresh squeezed orange juice and mashing it at the end is a nice taste also.

Potato Carrot Smash

I like to use an enameled iron pot to cook my potatoes on the stove top, they can also be cooked in the oven. Leave the skins on both the carrots and potatoes (most nutrients are right under the skin) and do not add any water or oil. Put a tight fitting lid on the pot and cook at the lowest temperature possible for an hour to two (depending on size and cultivar) until done. Once they are done mash the potatoes with the carrot and apples from the bottom of pan, add cinnamon as desired and sweeteners.

  1. Healthy Real Food Recipes: Mains

Eggplant Melanzano

Slice onions and tomatoes, perhaps butternut and eggplant (brinjal) thinly using a mandoline. Layer them in an oven proof casserole starting with the onions to eggplant and add shredded cheese (gouda or your choice) and some crushed thyme, a little rosemary and garlic. Continue building layers until you have filled the casserole. Pour ¼ cup of Hippocrates soup into the casserole and cover with aluminium foil. Place in the oven at low heat (180 degrees C or less) and cook for about 1.5 hours and check to see if vegetables are cooked. When cooked,  uncover for 15 minutes to melt cheese and serve.


Soak ½ cup each of basmati brown or white rice and split or whole mung dahl beans overnight. Drain in the morning. In a pan, put a small amount of oil (sunflower, coconut, etc.) and heat about ½ tsp of cumin, fennel, coriander and ginger with a medium tomato and a small onion diced. Dice a medium potato and cook it in the oil and herb combination for 10 minutes until browned, add ¼ cup diced cauliflower, the drained rice and mung dahl and 2.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and chopped some fresh coriander on top and squeeze some lemon juice on the kitcheree and serve. Add a little flax oil over the rice for an extra treat.

Lentil Stew

Soak ½ cup of lentils in hot water and leave overnight. Drain the lentils, fully and place in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until soft and add vegetables and spice and cook for an additional 20 minutes and serve or use. Some good diced vegetables to add are: yams (sweet potato jewel), celery, onions, tomatoes, and carrots; be creative and try different combinations. I like a mild yellow curry mix or use (cumin, fennel, coriander, ginger) with garlic and a little salt if you want.

Shepards Pie

Take cooked potatoes and mash with a little of the Hippocrates soup, add crushed garlic, sage or dill to your preference. Layer vegetables like onions, butternut squash slices, tomatoes in a casserole dish. Add a ½ to 1 inch (12-25 mm) layer of lentil stew over the vegetables. Spread the mashed potatoes over the vegetables and place in the oven at a low temperature and bake until the vegetables are soft. Serve immediately with a nice salad. Sprinkle paprika on top before serving for a color and taste accent.

  1. Healthy Real Food Recipes: Salads


Shred cabbage, granny smith apples and carrots finely with a mandolin or food processor. Add a little braggs liquid aminos (from health food store), caraway seeds or mustard seeds and lemon juice. Let it marinate for a few hours and enjoy.

Beet Salad with Feta

Shred beets and mix with rocket, sliced radish, yellow cherry tomatoes and top with crumbled feta. Dribble a little flax oil and lemon on top and enjoy.

Quinoa Salad

Make 1 cup of red quinoa by bringing 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to boil and simmer until water absorbed (about 15 minutes). Dice finely 1 bunch parsley, 2-3 tomatoes, 1 small red onion, 2 stalks of celery, and 3-4 radishes. Combine and add juice of one large lemon, braggs liguid aminos or salt to taste (go light) and ¼ cup flax seed oil. Add chopped mint for extra flavour and enjoy.

  1. Be Creative

Try changing things around in these healthy real food recipes and make them your own. For example add some butternut to the Hippocrates soup to make butternut soup or add sweet potato.  Try using cottage cheese or feta in the eggplant melazano.  Layer potatoes on the bottom as the first layer of the melazano. Try using braggs instead of salt, try no salt and be more inventive with herbs. Just have fun.

Until the next time. Have you read Dr. Zaida’s informative and important blog earlier this week on “emotional alignment” (read it here)? Also check out our blog  and free resources. Enjoy and Great (healthy) Dining! Bon Appétit, Jim

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From the N2 (Cape Town towards George) Take the first Swellendam exit (left). This is the R60. Proceed (1km+) through the 4 way stop and continue approximately 2-3 km and look for a sign for the Hermitage. Make a hard right (270 degrees). After the turn continue about 200 meters and turn left at first road (dirt). Proceed 300 meters and turn left into Red Roan Ranch and go to bottom of hill (the main house).

(Coming from George to Cape Town) Take the third exit (R60) right. Proceed (1km+) through the 4 way stop and continue approximately 2-3 km and look for a sign for the Hermitage. Make a hard right (270 degrees). After the turn continue about 200 meters and turn left at first road (dirt).  Proceed 300 meters and turn left into Red Roan Ranch and go to bottom of hill (the main house).

GPS:  S34 degrees 01.367 minutes, E020 degrees 25.193 minutes. Note most GPS units (Garmin, etc.) have the wrong coordinates for Red Roan Ranch.

Call if you have trouble 071 959 0786 or 083 290 1283