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Recipes from the Ranch


Jim Montrose Ayurvedic Specialist            December 2020

When you come to the Ranch for a weeklong retreat we offer healthy detoxifying food that is intended to help you lose some of the acid of the modern lifestyle and nourish. While most people once they get use to the reduced salt and oil find the food satisfying it is a departure from the over-spiced, salted and high fat content of most people’s standard diet and restaurant or prepared foods. For the many who learn to enjoy the lighter more nutritionally satisfying fare of the ranch here are some ideas for healthier foods and a little festival at the end. Most of these recipes will work for 2-4 people depending on their appetites and whatever else is available. At the ranch we always have Hippocrates soup, potatoes or rice and salad. Enjoy these recipes from the ranch as my gift to you for the holidays. Join us in February and March for Happy Foods and Ayurvedic Balance and Food to learn more great approaches and recipes.

1)    Asparagus on baby spinach with peas, and cauliflower

Emphasizing the tastes of spring this dish balances the body after a long winter. Asparagus are in season and fresh, the perfect accompaniment to baby spinach and cauliflower. Fresh picked sweet peas were an after-thought that I couldn’t resist – they were so fresh and they made this dish.

Ingredients:       a bunch of fresh asparagus

1 onion diced

1-2 tsp fennel

1-2 cloves of diced garlic

½ tsp rosemary

½-1 cauliflower head, diced 2-5 cm cubes (1-2 inch)

2-4 cups of baby spinach

1 cup fresh peas

Hippocrates soup to sauté and cook or oil

Directions:          1) Heat a little ghee or coconut oil or use (1/2 cup) Hippocrates soup to avoid oil in a large frying pan. Heat the onions, spices and cauliflower over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower starts to get soft. Cover the pan to trap the juices.

2) Once the cauliflower starts to get soft, add the asparagus full length and the fresh peas, add additional soup or oil if needed and cook for 5-8 minutes more until the asparagus and peas are lightly cooked and cauliflower becomes soft.

3) Add the washed baby spinach at the last minute and lightly cook for 2 minutes more keeping it intact but warming and softening. Alternatively lay the washed baby spinach on the plate uncooked and serve the asparagus, peas and cauliflower over the raw spinach. Serve at once over rice or quinoa if desired or as is with potatoes or whatever you wish.

Variations:          Explore other ingredients that are fresh, especially from the garden or the farmer’s market, choose vegetables are at the peak of tastes, color and flavor. Some ideas use broccoli, snow pea pods, fresh string beans, okra, Swiss chard, beet leaves, kale. Sprinkle sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts on top (omit for detoxification). Try grain bases to put the veggies on top of to produce a grain and vegetable bowl, etc.

2) Recipes from the Ranch: Broccoli Jubilee

A quick tribute to the broccoli dish incorporating vibrant colors and slow cooking.

Ingredients:       1 med-large onion thinly sliced

1 medium tomato thinly sliced

1 large head Broccoli cut into small florets and dice the stem pieces

1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped or slivered

Approximately 1 tsp of fennel seed, black pepper, thyme and coriander seed

Sliced yellow pepper spears

An additional small onion sliced and tomato sliced

Directions:          1) layer the large onion slices on the bottom of your cooking pot, then layer tomatoes over it to keep the broccoli from burning.  Next spread the broccoli on top. Sprinkle the spice on top of this and add the slice onion rings and tomatoes on top of that. Then top with the yellow pepper spears. Finally sprinkle with the garlic slivers or chopped garlic. Cover tightly and cook for 30-45 minutes at very low heat until done.

  • You can add a little Hippocrates soup to the broccoli to make a little more of a sauce if you prefer. In emergency, when you didn’t give enough time to cook, you can add the soup and turn the temperature up a little – but this accelerates the dynamics of cooking and you lose nutrients so attempt to cook it slowly and master this.
  • Serve and enjoy

Variations:  this is a basic recipe of the cooking style and can be used with any vegetable you wish. Try it with yams (sweet potato orange flesh), pumpkin, cauliflower, baby morrows, string beans, Swiss chard, eggplant, etc.

3)   Recipes from the Ranch: Rainy Day “Stir-fry”

Ingredients:       1 Onion Sliced

1 tomato in 1/8ths

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1tsp + Chinese 5 spice

1 TBS grated ginger

¼ tsp chili flakes

1 packet baby morrow (350 g)

12 dried shitake mushroom rehydrated by soaking in water overnight or 1 hour in hot

½ head chopped Broccoli

¼ head cabbage finely chopped (optional)

1 cup Hippocrates soup if needed for cooking or use mushroom soak water.

Directions:          1) Heat a little oil or use Hippocrates Soup to sauté the onions, tomato, garlic, 5 spice, ginger and chili for a few minutes until heated and flavor is absorbed.

2) Add the other ingredients, a dash of soy sauce if you desire and a cup of Hippocrates soup or the mushroom liquid to cook. Cover and cook until soft over medium heat (approximately 10-15 minutes). If there is too much liquid, take cover off and let it cook down a little.

3) Serve over rice or as is.

Variations:          Play with vegetables and freely substitute. I like asparagus, cauliflower, diamond cut carrot, snow pea pods, eggplant, corn, etc. Be inventive.

4)  Recipes from the Ranch:   Jim’s Scalloped Potatoes

Capture a creamed potato flavor without the dairy; this is a great option to get the alkalinizing effect of potatoes during the detoxification.

Ingredients:       5-10 medium to large cooked potatoes sliced in ¼ in (.6 cm) slices

Hippocrates soup to cover and cook

1-2 TBS sage

Parsley if desired

2 Garlic cloves chopped

Optional 1 cup fresh shelled Peas

Directions:          1) Heat 1 cup of Hippocrates soup with the spices until the flavor is absorbed.

  • Add the fresh peas if you are using them and cook a few minutes until tender.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients stir and thoroughly coat. Add more soup if needed, cover and cook until warm.
  • Serve and enjoy

Variations:          I enjoy creamed potatoes with other vegetables like spinach, kale, fresh fennel bulbs, and Swiss chard. Try whatever you fancy and see what you like. I also like the dish with dill instead of the sage, rosemary is a great taste also, and a mild curry is delightful.

5)   Recipes from the Ranch: Aloo Matar

A classic Indian dish made with potatoes and peas. Always a safe bet for guest if you hold back on the hot spices.

Ingredients:       A vagar of garlic, fennel seed, coriander seed, cumin seeds and dash of red chili

Grated ginger

1 medium Tomato

1 -2 TBS Basil

5-10 chopped cooked potatoes (1in or 2.5 cm cubes)

1 onion diced

Hippocrates soup to cook ½-1 cup, if too dry

1 cup fresh shelled peas

Directions:          1) blend the tomato, basil and kale in a mixer.

  • Place a little oil in the cooking pot and the vagar spices and heat to release the flavor.
  • Then add ginger, peas, and onion and cook until the peas and onions are cooked.
  • Add the blended kale, tomato and basil and Hippocrates soup if needed and the potatoes, coat thoroughly and cover. Cook till warm.
  • Serve when hot with rice.

6)   Recipes from the Ranch: Fab Friday Fry

A nice simple way you can prepare a quick vegetable dish.

Ingredients:       1 clove garlic

1 med. Onion sliced

1 med. Tomato diced

1 tsp of marjoram, thyme, and black pepper

1 head diced cauliflower

1 packet (350 g) courgette (baby marrow)

Ghee/Oil or Hippocrates soup to cook

Directions:         1) place a little oil/ghee or Hippocrates soup in the fry pan and add spices and cook to release flavor over medium heat.

  • Add the garlic, onion and tomato and cook for a couple more minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower and more soup if you are cooking it without oil. If needed a little dash of water to keep it from burning. Cook until soft about 5 minutes.
  • Add the courgettes and cook till soft about 2 minutes, add a little water or soup if needed.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Variations:         This cooking method works with most vegetables. The harder bigger pieces should be cut smaller to help cooking and the lighter more delicate can be cut larger and put in at the end so they don’t get to soggy. Enjoy trying different ingredients and vary the spices. Try a different spice every time and find what works for you.

7)   Recipes from the Ranch: Kitchiri (Basic one dish meal)

A favorite at the ranch, even meat eaters find this enjoyable and feel like they have had a substantial meal. It has a good protein combination from the mung beans and rice which is easy to digest and very healing.

Ingredients:       1 cup mung beans

1 cup rice (white basmati easiest to digest)

Ghee or Coconut Oil, 1-2 tsp

¼ tsp hing (asafetida)

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seed

1 tsp crushed coriander seed

1 tsp cumin seed

1 med. Tomato, chopped

1 med. Onion, diced

1 clove garlic chopped

½ to 1 cup of the following chopped vegetables: carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli,

and potato

Directions:          1)  Heat the ghee or coconut oil and add the hing, cook for 15 sec. then add the

remaining spices and cook for a couple of minutes.

  • Add the onions, potatoes and tomatoes and cook for about 5 minute, medium heat.
  • Add the remaining vegetables and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add the drained rice and mung beans and 2.5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20-30 minutes until water is absorbed and rice and beans are soft.
  • Serve with fresh cut coriander leaf and a sprinkle of lemon juice.

Variations: Freely mix and match vegetables and spices to make this royal dish to your liking. A very basic version can be made with mung bean, rice, turmeric, hing, and cumin. Another version is rice 1 measure with 2 measures mung bean, grated ginger and turmeric. Play and enjoy.

8)   Recipes from the Ranch: Lentil Stew

A nice substantial soup you’ll enjoy on those cooler days.

Ingredients:       1 tsp mustard

1 -2 tsp Curry mix or make with 1 tsp each of (turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel, and coriander)

1 tsp cinnamon if you like

1 tsp grated orange peel if you like for a little candied yam flavor

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Coconut oil, about 1 tsp

2 tomatoes, chopped roughly

1 onion roughly chopped

2 small potatoes, cubed

2-3 carrots diced

1 medium yam (sweet potato, orange flesh) diced

1 packet (500 grams brown lentils, soaked overnight – drain before using)

5-6 stalks soup celery diced

3 Kale leaves diced

½ tsp salt

Directions:          1) In a large soup pot add a little oil and fry the mustard seeds until they pop, then add the curry spices or mix and tomatoes, onions, and garlic and cook for a minute or two to release the flavors and brown the onions.

  • Add the remaining vegetables and stir in the sauces to coat and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the well drained lentils and enough water to cover and turn heat up to boil.
  • Then cover and turn it down to a simmer.
  • When the lentils are cooked about 30 minutes and the vegetables are soft, add a little salt if desired and serve.

Variations:         Experiment with the vegetables you add and the flavors. This soup can take a savory or sweet type of taste. The curry is a nice savory taste and if we emphasize the candied yam we have a sweet combination. Apples can be added as well for more sweet. Cabbage can work well as well. Experiment and enjoy.

10)  Recipes from the Ranch:                      Aloo Palak

My wife’s favorite Indian dish that can be made so many delicious ways, we just love it. This dish is potato cooked in a flavorful spinach sauce.

Ingredients:       1 bunch spinach or Swiss chard, chopped (about 10 large leaves or 300 gram of baby spinach)

Ghee or Hippocrates soup as needed

Spice combination about 1 tsp-1 tbs depending how you like the flavors of fennel, cumin, crushed coriander, ¼ tsp clove, fresh grated ginger 1 tbs, 1 clove of garlic, and opt. 1 tsp chili flakes.

1 medium onion diced

1 tsp to 1 tbs garam masala mix opt.

2 tomato and additional clove of garlic

2-3 med. To large potatoes cubed

1-2 cups white Basmati rice soaked overnight or 5-6 hours

A pinch of saffron (opt)

Directions:          1) prepare rice by draining rice and placing in a cooking pot with a pinch of saffron and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil.

2) When the rice boils, turn it down to the lowest simmer and let it cook until water is absorbed about 20-30 minutes.

3) Steam the chopped spinach until soft, drain

4) Heat the oil or a little Hippocrates soup in a large fry pan and add the spice     combination. Cook for a minute to release flavors.

5) Add the onions and potatoes and cook for 10 minutes until softer and browned.

6) Blend the steam spinach with 2 tomatoes, 1 clove garlic and add to the potatoes and onions let the mixtures cook for another 10 minutes until all soft.

7) Add 1 tsp Garam Masala and stir thoroughly, turn off heat.

8) Serve the Aloo Palak over the basmati rice and enjoy.

11) Recipes from the Ranch: Split Pea Soup

A nice filling soup you’ll enjoy on cold days.

Ingredients:       1 cup split peas

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp parsley

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 small onion diced

1 small-medium carrot diced finely

1 small yam, diced

Directions:          1) Cook the lentil in 2-3 cups water until mostly done, soft and starting to break up

(about 30-40 minutes).

2) In a little oil or Hippocrates soup heat the spices and garlic for a minute until flavors absorbed.

3) Then add onions, yams and carrots and sauté until browned and start to soften 5-10 minutes at medium heat.

4) Add to the split peas and cook until it becomes mix and the split peas fall apart another 5-10 minutes. Enjoy.

12)   Recipes from the Ranch: Beet Root Salad

A classic South African salad that tastes great with baked beet roots instead of the common boiled version.

Ingredients:       3-4 beet roots roasted on the stove top in a tight iron pot

1 medium onion grated

Lemon juice

Directions:          1) 2hen the beet root is cooked through, peel and grate

  • Add the grated onions, mix and squeeze fresh lemon on top.
  • Serve

Variations:          add sesame seeds sprinkle for variety or a light orange juice spritz for additional flavor.

13)   Recipes from the Ranch:  Yam or Sweet Potato on a kale bed

Ingredients:       1-2 medium Yams (orange sweet potato) or standard sweet potatoes cubed

1 medium green apple sliced thinly

1-2 tsp anise

1 tbs cinnamon

1 cup orange juice

1 bunch Kale, chopped.

1/2 cup Hippocrates Soup

1 tsp anise for the kale

1 tsp thyme for the kale

Little ghee or oil optional

Directions:  1)    Line a pot with green apple slices and then pour the cubed yam on top. Sprinkle the anise and cinnamon on top and add the orange juice. Cook at low heat for 30-45 minutes until cooked through and soft.

  • In a separate pan put the Hippocrates soup and the anise and thyme into the pan and heat.
  • Add the diced kale to the hot soup and spices and turn it over the kale for 1 minute to heat and soften (blanching it).
  • Place the blanched kale on the plate and dish the mixed apple and yam mixture on top. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Serve and enjoy.

14)  Recipes from the Ranch:Artichoke Festival

Artichokes are one of my favorites that I don’t always get. We lucked out in Sedgefield just before Thanksgiving  and bought two fresh artichokes for a special meal (we love this American holiday and still try to have a special meal on this day).

Ingredients:       a large artichoke for each guest (trim the spikes off if you want and cut in half along the vertical axis)


Olive oil

Balsamic Vinegar




Chopped Garlic

Butter or Ghee [alternative Hippocrates soup]

Directions:          1) In a large pot, fill with enough water to cover all the artichokes.  Bring the water to a boil, add a little salt if you want, vinegar (balsamic is my preference for this dish or lemon if you don’t have vinegar), and a tbs or two of Olive Oil.

2) Cook until tender and soft at the base of the leaves (depending on freshness 10-20 minutes).

3) In the mean time, heat some oil or butter/ghee or Hippocrates soup in a small pot (approximately 1-2 TBS per guest). Add crushed or chopped garlic, parsley and diced onion and cook until soft and fragrant.

4) Place the cooked artichokes on a plate and pour the sauce over each one or place the sauce in a small cup for dipping.

5) Eat the artichokes by pulling the leaves off the stem and eating the meat at the bottom of the leave (place the remainder of the leave on the plate or a bowl for disposal). The artichoke heart at the stem after the leaves are all gone is eaten by removing the fuzzy part and then enjoying the core with a little sauce. Bon Appetite!

15) Recipes from the Ranch: Potatoes Florentine

A nice accompaniment to the artichoke festival adding a little spinach to cut baby potatoes in a garlic sauce works well with the artichoke.

Ingredients:       several baby potatoes for each guest


Chopped Spinach

Butter or ghee [alternative Hippocrates Soup]

Directions:          1) Boil the baby potatoes until cooked through but still in one piece.

2) Remove from the water and place in a fry pan with the butter or ghee [Hippocrates soup] and the garlic cook until heated and garlic is absorbed in the oil or butter. Add the chopped spinach and cook until cooked.

3) Remove from heat and serve on a side plate or as an accompaniment on the artichoke plate.

16) Recipes from the Ranch: Simple Basic Kitchari (using lentils instead of mung bean)

This Kitchari is a very basic one that is great for detoxifying and for a simple mono-meal. When we get tired of fancy foods travelling I will often make this for us. I used lentils this time as I couldn’t find any mung beans which I usually use since they are a bit easier to digest.

Ingredients:       ½ cup lentils (soaked overnight)

½ cup brown rice (soaked overnight)

1 tsp Coriander

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Mild curry powder

1 clove garlic if desired, chopped

1 tsp-TBS oil

Directions:          1) Drain the lentils and rice.

  • Place the spices and a small amount of oil in a pot and fry the spices to release the flavor.
  • Add the rice and lentils and 2-2.5 cups of water, bring it to a boil.
  • Reduce it to a simmer and cook for about thirty minutes until the water is gone and the rice and lentils are cooked and soft. You may have to add a little more water if they are not cooked.

Variations:          You can make this fancier by adding vegetables like peas, potatoes, etc. Try adding spices, tomato, onions, etc.  See the earlier Kitchari for a complete meal. Note when you add more vegetables and other ingredients you may need to add more water to it.

Until next time, enjoy these recipes from the ranch. Stay connected to your Heart and Source in health and thriving,

Jim Montrose, Ayurvedic Specialist

071 959 0786

P.S. – Join us for the annual goal setting seminar Be the Dreamer: Harmonious Earth on January 16th, stay tuned for the announcement of this years theme and program. Join us for the Happy Foods program in January and February to expand your healthy cooking ideas and enjoy wonderful Real food that is nourishing, tasty, and health promoting.

Happy Foods — Email me now for details, coming in February.  Ayurvedic Balance and Food in March. Sign up for our newsletter and view our blogs at the website

P. P.S. Check out the website for other articles and resources on words, inspired living, health, chakra meditation, Ayurveda and other topics. Some of the programs we have planned include:

Copyright December 2020

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© Copyright - Dr Zaida Rivene

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