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Ancient Grains for Modern Meals
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1580083546 1580083544

Maria Speck's cookbook teaches you about cooking whole grains, so you can add more whole grain foods to your diet.

It features breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes for kamut, buckwheat (kasha), quinoa, spelt, wheat berries, couscous, farro, barley, millet, amaranth, bulgur, brown rice and other alternative grains. For anyone who has never cooked with whole grains, these easy recipes are a revelation of delicious flavors and textures.

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals includes information about the benefits of whole grains, as well as practical tips on how to buy, store, cook, freeze and serve them.

Whole grain cooking times

Ancient Grains is organized by type of meal, from breakfast to dessert. The introduction to the 231-page cookbook provides the definition of whole grains. (Whole grain means that only the outer husk is removed, leaving the nutritious germ and bran.)

The whole grains cookbook includes charts with soaking and cooking times for quick-cooking whole grains, like couscous, quinoa and buckwheat groats, as well as slow-cooking whole grains, including kamut berries, spelt berries and wild rice.

Whole grain recipes range from wheat berry bread and oatmeal breakfast recipes to whole grain cookies recipes.

Sara Remington's photos depict whole grains, like kamut, and whole grain dishes prepared from delicious Ancient Grains recipes.

Which grains have no gluten?

Speck's cookbook includes tips on cooking whole grains. For example, to help rye bread rise, sourdough produces better results than yeast. You will also learn which grains are gluten-free, e.g., millet and quinoa, and how to thicken soup with ground rolled oats.

Sidebars provide information on Ancient Grains recipe ingredients, e.g., pearl barley is processed whole grain (hulled) barley, and spinach stems and root crowns are edible.

Other sidebars explain how to make recipes vegetarian. For example, in her olive bread with bacon and thyme recipe, Maria Speck substitutes sautéed red onions for the bacon to make the whole grain bread vegetarian.

Sample whole grain recipes

Dark chocolate muesli with hazelnuts. Chewy almond butter bars. Date apricot muffins with anise and brandied apricot butter. Orange-scented scones with dark chocolate. Pine nut bread with fennel and sun-dried tomatoes. Decadent chocolate hazelnut butter (homemade Nutella recipe). Herbed feta in olive oil. Kamut salad with carrots and pomegranate. Bulgur with butter-roasted almonds and cinnamon. Parmesan polenta with rosemary oil drizzle. Orange and lemon couscous. Lamb stew with wheat berries in red wine sauce. Brie cakes with sun-dried tomatoes. Quinoa cakes with smoked trout and lime mayonnaise. Homemade spelt fettuccine. Easy whole wheat and olive oil tart shell. Lamb chops with walnut sage crust. Greek yogurt ice cream. Dark chocolate cake with Amaretto. Amaranth walnut cookies with brandy. Dark chocolate truffle tart with walnuts.

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck


Introduction: The Glamour of Whole Grains
  • Chapter 1: Breakfast, Brunch & Breads
  • Chapter 2: Salads & Sides
  • Chapter 3: Soups & Stews
  • Chapter 4: Burgers, Savory Cakes & More
  • Chapter 5: Pasta
  • Chapter 6: Modern Mains
  • Chapter 7: Sweet Endings


Maria Speck teaches cooking classes on how to prepare whole grain meals.

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