Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well by Maria SpeckThe recipes inside this colorful hardback book give readers a fresh and flavorful whole grain recipes for eating and living well. I appreciated the introduction to ancient grains A to Z. Many of these grains I’ve seen in the health food section of the store but knew nothing about. I enjoyed reading about where the grain originated and how it was originally used. I also appreciated that the author described the texture, flavor and nutrition bonus of eating each grain.
There’s a section on how to cook each grain with a grain cooking time table. There was a section on baking with grains. Many you can grind up to flour. She tells you the equipment needed to get started cooking grains; all found in your kitchen. I like how the author broke down each recipe in the book and labeled them in reference to gluten in and gluten free.
I enjoyed the section titled Pick Your Grain. If you have a favorite grain or would like to try something new she has a list of grains on the left and then on the right some menu choices for you to try. This author does a good job in showing you how easy it is to cook up ancient grains for your busy life. There were several recipes I’d like to try.
In the BREAKFAST section – warming bowls for busy mornings – I’d like to try the Farro Scones with Almonds, Apples and Thyme – Lemon Pancakes with Millet and Amaranth – Overnight Waffles with Teff, Coriander and Caramelized Pineapples – Frittata Muffins for any grains. SALAD and SIDES – Kamuth Salad with Oranges, leeks, and Blue Cheese – Freekeh Soup with Spicy Harissa Shrimp and dates – Chicken Stew with Honey – Balsamic Squash and Farro. PASTA – From Ancient Grains to Modern Heirlooms – Spelt Spaghetti with Lemony Parships and Olives – My Mac and Cheese with Greek Yogurt and leeks – SIMPLY MAINS – Proscutto-Wrapped Roasted Bass with Teff Polenta – Roasted One-Pan Chicken with Leeks and Barley – Vegetarian Wild Rice Paella with Sweet Potatoes, Tart Cherries and Gorgonzola. SIMPLE and SWEET DESSERTS for Every day and Holidays – Simple Maple pudding with Farro Piccolo, Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse – Lemony Millet Pudding with Caramelized Grapes and Kamut Shortbread with Hazelnuts.
I like what the author says about the recipes which makes me excited to try them, “My own passion for cooking is rooted in bringing good food to the table. In my mind, a meal has to be thoroughly enjoyable and mightily delicious! That doesn’t mean good food has to be complicated or time consuming.”
Most of the recipes in the book are vegetarian to begin with the author states, “If meat or fish are used, I offer a meatless variation wherever possible.”
I liked the fact that the author has several variations for each recipe. If you or a family member is not fond of a grain or something in the recipe she helps you substitute. The author states, “two thirds of the recipes in this book are gluten-free or have at least one, sometimes several, gluten-free options. All of these versions have been tested in my own kitchen and by my recipe tester.”
I look forward to digging into this cook book discovering the ancient grains and their health benefits. I also appreciated the color pictures sprinkled throughout the book. I’m excited that there were several I know my family will love.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest opinion from Blogging for books. All opinions expressed are my own.
Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
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This is What Flour Made From Ancient Grains Looks Like - Staples, Ep. 24
My week with Simply Ancient Grains by Maria Speck
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The award-winning author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, Maria Speck makes cooking with ancient grains faster, more intuitive, and easier than ever.
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Her work has received multiple awards, including a Julia Child award and an M. Fisher cookbook award. Raised in Germany and Greece, Maria is a veteran food writer with a lifelong passion for whole grains. I was very lucky. I was raised in Germany and Greece, two cultures with centuries-old whole grain traditions. I cherish whole grains because they bring rich textures, flavors, and colors to our table. Think naturally sweet oats, slightly tangy whole rye, earthy buckwheat, or nutty bulgur.