The Splendid Grain
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The Splendid Grain [Paperback]

Rebecca Wood
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews Review

Rebecca Wood grew up on a family farm near Ogden, Utah. As a college graduate in the '60s, she landed in San Francisco and studied cooking with macrobiotic masters Michio and Aveline Kushi. The Splendid Grain proves that Wood's continuing holistic passion for being on intimate terms with what we eat has appeal for mainstream cooks. Philosophical, eclectic, homey, hokey, stuffed with old-fashioned values, and strewn with appealing new ideas, this is a lovingly written, thoroughly researched work. An enchanting storyteller, Wood sweeps you through interesting cultural anthropology and agricultural history, then presents an inspired collection of whole grain dishes. Recipes range from simple variations on the familiar oat pilaf, risotto, and tabouleh to tempting and imaginative barley-stuffed meatless dolmadakia. (The book is not vegetarian; meat, poultry and seafood dishes are included.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This generous volume expands on other grains cookbooks by embracing such unusual grains as sorghum and mesquite and by offering an exhaustive collection of recipes for the grains it covers. Wood (Quinoa: The Supergrain) organizes the grains by origin (e.g., rye and oats fall under "Native European Grains"). Each grain discussed comes with a history and basic cooking and storage instructions. The section on wheat includes an impressive list of unusual and lesser-known flours (including Kamut and bolted flours) and a riff on pasta. Recipes like Yellow and Purple Bean Tabbouleh (with hazelnuts), Barley Poppy Bagels and Vietnamese Spring Rolls offer new takes on ethnic favorites. Others, such as Chinese Greens with Quinoa and Peanuts, Mango and Wild Rice Salad and Greens and Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce combine flavors in unusual ways. Breakfast choices are particularly strong, encompassing Buckwheat Waffles with Peach Butter and Oat Groat Pancakes. Short notes give tips on techniques (for example, how to french cut string beans) and commonsense substitutions for exotica like buffalo meat.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

There have been a number of recent titles on grains, but none as ambitious as this one. Wood, a cooking teacher in Colorado and the author of several other cookbooks, offers more than 200 recipes featuring grains as familiar as corn and rice and as unusual as mesquite and Job's tears. The grains are categorized by "bio-region," from native American wild rice and quince to native African teff; each section opens with a history, including folklore and other esoteric facts, along with information on availability, selection, and storage. Wood has taught macrobiotic cooking, and some recipes are vegetarian or vegan, but she does use fish, some meat and poultry, butter, and other such ingredients in her creative recipes?Strawberry and Blue Corn Waffles, Basmati Rice with Sour Cherries, Salad of Quinoa, Duck, and Greens?which are inspired by cuisines from around the world. Valuable as a reference as well as a cookbook, this is highly recommended.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Health-conscious eaters value grains in their diets for their low-fat, high-fiber merits. In the quest for new flavors, grains once unknown or obscure have begun appearing on restaurant menus and in gourmet cooking. Wood's latest cookbook sums up the current state of grain cookery and presents dozens of recipes featuring grain as a principal component. Wood includes familiar corn, wheat, rice, and barley, as well as newly available ancient grains, such as amaranth, kamut, and quinoa. Those who normally bypass cookbooks such as this one, assuming that they are for vegetarians only, will be pleasantly surprised to find that Wood readily uses meats in conjunction with grains to create dishes attractive to palates not exclusively vegetarian. Wood sorts recipes by the grains' continent of origin, and she records both historical and cultural backgrounds for each grain. Cooks without access to a natural foods store can use Wood's catalog of mail-order sources. Mark Knoblauch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'The Splendid Grain' is a much-needed encyclopedia of innovative grain recipes and lore -- practical, useful, and stimulating. -- Dean Fearing, chef, The Mansion of Turtle Creek, Dallas

"'The Splendid Grain' is a much-needed encyclopedia of innovative grain recipes and lore -- practical, useful, andstimulating." -- -- Dean Fearing, chef, The Mansion of Turtle Creek, Dallas

Rebecca Wood's "The Splendid Grain" will inspire all cooks to explore the wide world of grains -- it is an absolutely splendid book. -- Charlie Palmer, chef/owner, Aureole; chef/co-owner, The Lenox Room and Alva, New York

About the Author

Rebecca Wood, teacher, lecturer, student of Oriental medicine, author of five cookbooks, including "The Whole Foods Encyclopedia," and educational consultant to the natural food industry, runs the Naturally Grand Cooking School. She lives in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Buckwheat Pumpkin Muffins

As I watch my pumpkins oranging on the vine, this is one of the recipes that I anticipate using as harvest nears. It has just enough buckwheat flour to enhance the sweet, earthy tones of the squash. These muffins are reminiscent of carrot cake only--in a word--better.

2 cups coarsely grated pie pumpkin, winter squash, or sweet potato
1 cup chopped pecans
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk or soy milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Sucanat or packed ligbt brown sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease two 12-cup muffin tins.Combine the pumpkin, pecans, eggs, milk, butter, and orange zest in a medium mixing bowl. Put the buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, Sucanat, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl. Stir to combine and sift into the pumpkin mixture, a bit at a time, stirring to blend after each addition. When all the dry ingredients are incorporated, fill the muffin cups about two thirds full. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tins and serve warm or cool thoroughly on the rack. Makes 24.

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