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Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well Hardcover – April 14, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well
  • +
  • Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More
  • +
  • Whole Grains for a New Generation: Light Dishes, Hearty Meals, Sweet Treats, and Sundry Snacks for the Everyday Cook
Total price: $59.14
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Maria Speck is my whole grain guru. She conjures the appeal and sumptuousness of these wondrous staple foods in a way that makes me want to run to the kitchen immediately and start cooking. Her passion, knowledge, and good taste are reflected on every page in this beautiful book that makes eating whole grains more approachable and inspiring than ever.” 
–Ellie Krieger, RD, host of The Food Network’s Healthy Appetite and author of Weeknight Wonders

Simply Ancient Grains is an ode to bringing whole grains into the modern kitchen, not simply as ‘health food,’ but as nourishing and delicious additions to the home cook’s pantry. The artful recipes make use of unique flavors and textures, weaving together the exotic and the familiar. For the whole grain lover, this book is a trustworthy reference and an inspiration.”
–John Becker and Megan Scott, authors of Joy of Cooking

“Maria Speck brings a wealth of surprise to grains with her vivid sense of color, and her attention to texture and, of course, to taste. All of these elements come into view in an utterly fresh way. What an innovative book!” 
–Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy and The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

"Speck simplifies cooking with grains without sacrificing flavor. Her recipes—including minted barley and fennel stew with marinated feta, New England cider mussels with fresh cranberries and bulgur, and walnut spelt biscotti with olive oil—are deliciously nourishing and not to be missed."
Library Journal, starred review

"...the ultimate grain decoder." 
Real Simple

Other praise for Simply Ancient Grains:

One of Bon Appétit's favorite new cookbooks
Named a best new cookbook by Tasting Table 
Per Publisher's Weekly, one of the most anticipated new cookbooks by food bloggers
One of the Washington Post's highly recommended cookbooks of 2015
A pick in Huffington Post's holiday gift guide for the food lover
One of Sweet Paul's 24 favorite cookbooks of 2015
Here & Now's (WBUR-FM) favorite cookbook of 2015
One of Fresh New England's top New England cookbooks
One of Take Part's sustainable food gifts you want to buy

About the Author

MARIA SPECK is a food journalist and the author of the award-winning cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. She is currently an instructor in the professional program of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and has contributed to Gourmet, Saveur, Gastronomica, the Vegetarian Times, and Cooking Pleasures.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (April 14, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607745887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607745884
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After Maria Speck came on the cookbook scene a few years ago with Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, I couldn't wait to see what her next book would hold. Simply Ancient Grains is a perfect continuation of her first book. In her first book, we received an excellent introduction to cooking and baking with whole grains and whole grain flours. Her second book takes us farther down that road and branches out. Maria is especially talented with combining textures and flavor profiles that aren't too far fetched, but just enough to keep you intrigued. Her Greek and German background combine to bring fresh flavors and inventive ways to using whole grains and whole grain flours.

As a pastry chef and chef instructor, I appreciate Maria's detailed recipes that help you cook or bake, even if you don't have much experience. In today's world of home cooks/bakers, many do not have the skills our mothers had in the kitchen, so home cooks need a little more guidance. Maria does an excellent job of giving plenty of information to help cooks and bakers recreate her recipes. This is because Maria's recipes are well-tested. She is one of our current cookbook authors who is extremely reliable. I know when I cook from her books or recommend them to my students, I feel confident the recipe will turn out the way she has described - and it does every time!
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Format: Hardcover
In our fast paced age of information it is refreshing to engage in the practice of eating slow foods like ancient grains. In fact, the only thing fast about ancient grains are how fast they are catching on right now. They are so popular that Cheerios is actually putting out a cereal with a scant amount of ancient grains in them in hopes to revive their market. (Isn’t that a contradictory? Fast cereal with old slow grains??)

I have been eyeing this ancient grain movement with interest and curiosity. I mean I was cooking these grains back in my hippy momma days where I whipped out millet seed loafs with tomato gravy and handed out spelt cookies to all the neighborhood children in hopes of rescuing them from their Oreos. So this movement isn’t new to all of us, but Maria Speck’s book “Simply Ancient Grains” re-introduces us to these old friends (or new) in an easy and engaging way.

I think the reason I stopped cooking them so much was two fold, they are slow to cook and I have shied away from the highly processed and tainted grains that are low in nutrition and high in carbs. In this book, Maria introduced easy ways of cooking these old slow grains so that you can have them more often and offers fun delicious recipes to get you in the spirit of trying them.

She has offered me a new conversation with some old friends and I’m looking forward to making a pot of tea and getting reacquainted by making “barley thumbprints” and “kamut shortbread with hazelnuts”. Or waking up in the morning and enjoying a bowl of “burgundy bulgur with blueberries and orange blossom water” or “coconut buckwheat porridge with cinnamon and buttered dates”. Seriously, after reading this cookbook, it is hard to not want to take out stock in “Bob’s Red Mill” ancient grains.
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Format: Hardcover
The 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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jackpot!!! It's been a long time since I was thrilled with a cookbook. Speck is a wizard with grains and surprising ingredients juxtaposed with the familiar items in my pantry. The photography in her book is stunning, the recipes easy to read and follow and the outcomes are so wonderful that eating out in a restaurant has suddenly lost all its panache. I just want to be in my own kitchen cooking simple, elegant, surprising meals. Speck offers breakfast options that have never been seen before, as healthy and tasty as I could wish for, chewy, brightly colored, intriguing combinations and she goes on from there with sides, entrees, desserts. This is sure to be a well-worn cookbook that sits in my lap more than on the bookshelf. What a treat.
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