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Simply Armenian: Naturally Healthy Ethnic Cooking Made Easy Paperback – August 1, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ghazarian draws on personal history and her ancestors’ culinary traditions to present a basic, solid overview of Armenian cuisine. The author, who is half Armenian and is married to an Armenian man, presents a number of recipes that will be familiar to lovers of Greek, Turkish and other Middle Eastern foods, such as Parsley Salad (Tabouli), Rice-Stuffed Grape Leaves, Lamb Shish-Kebab, Rice Pilaf, and Eggplant with Tahini (Baba Ghanoush). Armenian cuisine, she explains, relies heavily on bulgur (cracked wheat) and lentils, as well as vegetables (especially eggplant) and flatbread, and while this is not a vegetarian cookbook, many dishes are meat-free (when Ghazarian does include meat, it’s often lamb). Written for the novice and spiked with yarns about Ghazarian’s childhood and family traditions, this book should make Armenian cooking accessible to any home cook. Helpful notes and introductions accompany each recipe, explaining foods that may be unfamiliar to American cooks, such as quince, Baharat spice and purslane.
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Review

The simple recipes presented here are mostly classics, with a few of the author's own creations. -- Library Journal, August 2004<br /><br />Vegetarian dishes are a staple. They shine in this book. --96.5 KOIT - San Francisco
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Mayreni Publishing (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931834067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931834063
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Orlando on September 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Barbara Ghazarian's book is a wonderful collection of recipes that originated in an ancient culture. I enjoyed reading about her family and how Armenian food remains a large part of the communal family experience. These foods from the Mediterranean region are exciting, flavorful, and easy to make. Barbara's emphasis on bulgur wheat -- a staple in the Armenian diet -- is particularly important, as this whole grain product has stood the test of time. It might even be considered the gold standard of healthy, easy-to-prepare grains.

³Simply Armenian² gives Americans a way to incorporate whole grains, meats, and vegetables into a healthy meal that a family can share. While I read the book, a line kept running through my head: "our grandmothers were right." They cooked with simple, whole foods that provided excellent nutrition and variety from recipes that were handed down from mother to daughter. ³Simply Armenian² allows us to cook like our grandmothers and provide the same healthy choices for our modern families.
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Format: Paperback
Barbara Ghazarian draws upon her years of experience writing a weekly culinary column and teaching culinary writing to adults to author Simply Armenian: Naturally Healthy Ethnic Cooking Made Easy, a superbly presented anthology of more than 150 ethnic Armenian recipes that range from inexpensive peasant fare to gourmet palate pleasing specials. Of special note to vegetarians is that more than half of these "kitchen cook friendly" recipes are meat-free. From Toasted Pumpkin Seeds; Fried Zucchini Pancakes; Zahtar-Spiced Pasta Salad; and Barley Mash with Chicken; to Lamb-Stuffed Grape Leaves; Flapjack Skillet Bread; Chilled Yogurt Drink; and Quinces Stuffed with Walnuts in Syrup, Simply Armenian would be a welcome and confidently recommended addition to any kitchen cookbook collection.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book and it becomes my constant resource for most of my home cooking. I too like Barbara Ghazarian am a Non-Armenian wife. But even more so, I come from German decent and sadly didn't know where Armenia was let alone what they cooked when I first met my husband! Her story, shared pictures and added details within each recipe makes me smile with understanding as I now too compare these recipes with my mother-in-law in our broken English, broken Armenian to communicate. Each recipe is easy to follow even for the novice in cooking anything Mediterranean to Armenian. I also suggest using Lebanese Cooking by Dawn, Elaine & Selwa Anthony which has some useful photos for the basics of these cuisines. With every meal I prepare from Simply Armenian my husband happily tells me how each reminds him of home, and even our two small children quickly munch up any recipe I've made over and over. Thank you Barbara Ghazarian you've made this Non-Armenian wifey very pleased!!!
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Format: Paperback
Simply Armenian makes cooking things like spinach pie (spinach/ feta phyllo pie) easy with Ghazarian's recipes that help the cook get all the prep work done first. The numbered recipe steps become simple acts of assembling ingredients that have already been chopped, crumbled, peeled, and seeded.

Cooks familiar with Middle Eastern dishes will find many similar foods in Simply Armenian. Pork figures in several recipes as Armenia is a Christian country.

Family anecdotes put the foods in context and a glossary helps novice cooks keep the ingredients straight.

This cookbook makes me want to cook! It was a joy to read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a word, this cookbook is FABULOUS!!! Recipes are easy to follow, use easy to find ingredients and always turn out great. Particularly useful are the graphic notations that denote 'vegetarian' dishes! How wonderful is that? And, I've figured out that many are also VEGAN - which is fantastic, since they actually taste good, no matter how many times you make the dish. One in particular, Nivik, is sooooo good that I'm always serving to guests at dinner parties - to rave reviews. In fact, most of these dishes get high marks when made for company whether they're vegetarians or not. Another (lentil patties - vospov kufteh) is superb and superbly easy to make, very low-cal and again, very delicious. What's best about these recipes is that they all have wonderful, unusual flavors that you want to repeat. Not true with many other, lesser cookbooks! It seems that Ghazarian has tested these recipes repeatedly to get the best and most consistent results. If you like Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisine, you really must have this cookbook! I have many on the shelf, but this is a clear winner.
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Format: Paperback
I was involved in the production of this book, and, in order to maintain professional distance, did not try the recipes. However, in the years since, I've had reason to sample new cuisine, or else to whip together something outside daily fare for visitors, so have turned to the collection and found it ideal. The recipes are easy to follow -- and most of them just plain easy. All of them are healthy, flavorful, and adaptable to special diets or individual preference. The historical anecdotes put everything in context (as well as are interesting and informative). And the book makes a great gift for foodies of diverse tastes. Since I am *not* much of a foodie, this cookbook is one of the few in my kitchen, because it caters to cooks of all levels with equal satisfaction.
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