Warming Dishes for Winter, with Jim Montrose

Warming Dishes

Stay warm and cozy with hardy winter fare.

July 2019

Winter  is a great time for warming dishes such as soup, salads topped with warm roasted vegetables and substantial mains. Enjoy a few receipts from the kitchen at the Red Roan Ranch retreats.

  1. Soups

Soups are wonderful all the time but really come into their own in the winter as warming dishes. There natural warmth and heating aspect is particularly welcomed. A hardy root vegetable or bean soup can be quite substantial and fill in as a meal. Here are some great ideas for winter soup.

Cauliflower or cauliflower-mushroom soup

Cauliflower soup

Cauliflower soup

Enjoy this creamy cauliflower soup that is deliciously pleasing, substantial enough but light at the same time. The straight cauliflower soup can be used for Gerson patients.

Ingredients:       1 head Cauliflower

½ to full packet Mushrooms (optional)

1 medium Potato

1 medium Onion

1 medium Tomato

1 tsp each Tarragon and Marjoram

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

Preparation:       Cut ingredients into bite sized pieces and cover with water in a pan. Bring to a boil, turn down to light simmer and cook for 30 minutes until all vegetables are soft. Take 3/4s of the soup and blend and mix it back with the unblended chunks and serve. Top with fresh parsley and perhaps a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with rye bread for a light meal.

Bean soup

A thick rich bean stew that fills and satisfy the need for more substance in the winter. Not Gerson friendly until maintenance.

Red Bean Stew

Red Bean Stew

Red Bean Stew

Ingredients-1 cup Red Beans, soaked overnight, drain and boil until soft.

1 Sweet potato

1-2 stalks Celery (diced)

1 medium Potato diced

4-5 leaves Spinach, chopped

1-2 carrots diced Carrot

1 medium Onion

2 cloves Garlic

Cumin, thyme 1 tsp each, salt to taste

Preparation: Fry onions, garlic, potatoes, and carrot in a little oil with the spices (or for gerson just add to next step without frying). Combine ingredients in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer for 45 minutes. Cook till all vegetables are soft. Serve.

Variation: Butternut w/ red bean stew – cut roasted butternut cups in half and fill with red bean stew, top with parsley, feta and avocado for a nice main.

Lentil Soup

Ingredients: 1 cup Lentil soak overnight and drain liquid. and place in pot, cover with water and bring to boil. Turn to simmer until soft.

1-2 carrots diced

1 med to large sweet potato diced

4-5 leaves spinach chopped

1 medium onion diced onion

2 cloves garlic

Season with 1 tsp curry, black pepper, salt to taste (leave off for gerson)

Preparation: fry in a little oil the spices and diced carrots, potato, onion and garlic with the spices (or just add to lentil for gerson compatible. Combine all ingredients in a pot and add water to cover bring to boil, turn down to simmer and cook 30-45 minute till all ingredients are soft and cooked.

Roasted tomato and pepper soup,

A nice soup that is gerson compatible unless you want to add salt or black pepper


roasted tomatoes and red peppers (about 2 each)

potatoes 1-2 medium

1 medium onion or two leaks

1-2 cloves garlic

rosemary and thyme to taste (about 1 tsp each)


Bake or pan roast the tomatoes and peppers until done. Cut up the other ingredients a little to cook, cover with water and bring to boil and simmer until done about 45 minutes. Place all the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend. Serve and decorate with parsley, fresh garlic as desired.

Carrot Ginger

A simple, yet tasty, soup that is warming and helpful for digestion.


                4-6 carrots

                1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger

1 medium potato (optional give a little more substance)

Preparation: Boil carrot and ginger and potato if you are using them. Blend and serve (top with dab of yogurt for additional flavor) and sprinkle paprika (opt. not for gerson).

Gerson soup variations

A nice gerson compatible variation (limit to use occasionally) is to follow the Hippocrates soup recipe (repeated below) that produces a great base and add one of the following butternut, sweet potato, spinach, etc. in the cooking process as you bring to boil and simmer. Blend as normal and enjoy.

Hippocrates Soup


450g Potatoes

680g Tomatoes

Several cloves of Garlic

1 Medium stick Celery Knob (if not available use 3-4 stalks of Branch Celery)

1 Large/2 Small Leeks (if not in season, 2 x medium Onions)

Little Parsley (2-3 sprigs or more)

2 x Medium Onions


Cut finely, to avoid strings in soup, the following celery, leeks, parsley and onions.   Cover with water and cook for 1 ½ -2 hours. Blend fine for a thick creamy soup. Add fresh crushed garlic and parsley for flavor.

  1. Salad with Roast Vegetables

Wintertime we often don’t think of salad due to its cooling aspects, but a light salad of fresh ingredients and raw vegetables topped with a creamy spicy dressing and a hot bean stew, root vegetables, fried tofu or other ingredients can be quite satisfying and warming dishes.

Rocket salad with roasted vegetables and creamy pesto dressing.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Ingredients:       Salad makings (lettuce, grated carrot, shredded red cabbage, red onion, tomato, etc.)

Fresh Rocket 2 tbsp chopped for each serving

Vegetables for roasting (squash, eggplant, sweet potato, beet, etc.)

Preparation:  Make a salad with lettuce, grated carrot, shredded red cabbage, red onion, tomato, pear, cranberries, cucumber (not gerson compatible) and whatever else you like. Add feta (not gerson compatible) if you like (leave non compatible ingredients out to make a Gerson compatible salad).  Add fresh rocket (2 tbsp chopped for each serving) sprinkled on top.

Prior to assembling the salad, roast your vegetables in an oven or in an iron pot for 45 minutes-1 hour until well done and soft. Keep warm or hot until assembly and serve as soon as possible to keep warm.

Make a dressing by combining ½ cup yogurt, 1 tsp chili garlic sauce, ½ avocado, ¼ cup basil leaves (fresh if possible, use 1/8 cup dried if you have to use dried), salt to taste, ¼ cup pine nuts or cashew), 1/8 cup lemon juice, and blend until smooth. Add a little water to make it pourable.

Assemble by placing the salad on a plate in a cone shape, top with chopped rocket, layer some roasted vegetable around the salad cone and pour some dressing on each salad cone. Sprinkle black pepper and chopped parsley on top as desired.

  1. Mains

In addition to the red bean in butternut variation above, we can stuff squash and butternut with rice, lentils and cashews for a wonderful main. A stack or pile of roasted vegetables topped with a sauce or as is makes an exciting main that is sure to please. One of my favorites is thick sliced cauliflower steaks (cut vertically ¾ inch or 30 mm thick) sautéed in turmeric spice dribbled with sauce or a creamy soup (see recipe below). Serve these dishes nice and hot to keep that warming dishes feeling.

Butternut spinach pile

Roasted VegetablePiles

Butternut Spinach Pile

Delightful warming dishes that are colorful and welcoming.

Ingredients:       Cooked potatoes

Swiss chard

Cottage Cheese

Sliced Tomatoes

¼ inch (7mm) thick slices of cooked butternut

Gerson soup for casserole pan to provide moisture.

Preparation:  Assemble a pile or stack in an oven proof casserole pan as follows: Slice cooked potatoes as crust/bottom, Place Swiss chard and cottage cheese on next layer, sliced tomatoes, and Top with ¼ inch (6mm) slices of butternut. Place a little Hippocrates soup or water on the bottom and cover with a glass cover or aluminum foil and bake (set oven for 240) for 30-40 minutes. Remove cover for last 10 minutes to brown, remove from the oven. Gently lift and place on plates to serve.

Variations: for piles and stacks (be innovative and try sauces on top as well) mix up cooked vegetables sliced and easily cooked raw vegetables like tomato, spinach, etc.  Consider options such as cashew sauce, cauliflower steaks, pumpkin, squash, spinach, potato, brinjal, tomato, zucchini (baby marrow), carrot, sweet potato, Kale, etc.

Make a cashew sauce by blending ¼ cup cashews with enough water for a creamy sauce, with garlic, onion, seasonings (salt, chili, or for gerson consider tarragon and marjoram – add your favorites, the dosha churna’s available at the office taste great in the sauce).

Butternut, spinach, brinjal, mushroom pile with spiced yogurt sauce yogurt


Baking the Butternut, Brinjal, Mushroom Piles

Ingredients:       cooked sliced butternut


Fried brinjal

Fried mushrooms

Fried onion

Preparation: As above (Butternut spinach pile) recipe but add cooked layers starting from the bottom of potato, spinach and/or kale, cottage cheese (optional), cooked onion, mushroom, fried brinjal, roasted butternut, and top with mushroom. Cook as above and when you uncover to brown liberally pour the sauce over the piles and cook till brown.

Sauce: Blend ½ cup yogurt, little rocket, 1 tsp chili garlic, 2 tbsp oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp of Pitta churna, ½ cooked potato and water as needed should be pourable once blended.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Slicing a head of cauliflower into large “steaks” creates unique warming Dishes and a tasty way to enjoy this cruciferous vegetable. Season and roast until tender, then serve with a flavorful sauce like the spiced yoghurt above or a mushroom soup/sauce


1 large head cauliflower cut vertically into ¾ inch (20-30 mm) thick steaks (remove and save pieces)

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon Pitta churna or use ½ tsp cumin, fennel, and a little clove

Salt and ground pepper, to taste

1 small onion diced

1 clove garlic diced

Gerson soup

1/8 cup raisins

1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans (optional not gerson compatible)

1/4 cup chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.

Cut cauliflower vertically into 1/2-inch thick steaks. You should end up with 2-3 steaks and some extra pieces. Rinse lightly with water and season on both sides with turmeric, churna and pepper. Place steaks and small pieces on a lightly-oiled baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned and tender, turning after 15 minutes. Remove small pieces of cauliflower and return steaks to the oven with the heat turned off to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, sauté onions and garlic in a little soup with left over cauliflower pieces, blend with high speed bender with raisins to smooth puree. Add cooked chickpeas after blending (optional) and pour over steaks arranged on plate top with cut parsley.

Eat Well and Thrive with these wonderful warming dishes. In Loving Service,

Jim Montrose, Ayurvedic counselor


071 959 0786

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:

Youth and Young at Heart Empowerment  June or July or private sessions

Balance your Body Type  September 11-13 and October 11-13, save R200 by regsitering before September 1st.

Ayurvedic Cooking October

Copyright July 2019

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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