Healthy Living on August 30, 2011 by

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals {Giveaway}

This book has been kicking around our offices for a long while, yet I didn’t lay eyes on it until I saw a great tweet from Maria Speck (@MariaSpeck) about some fabulous recipe or another that was contained in this beautiful book. Ancient Grains for Modern Meals should be billed as a Bob’s Red Mill companion piece. After all, we sell most of these grains and folks are always looking for recipes.

Ancient grains have seen a revival over the last few years- with quinoa blazing the trail. Some of these grains can be pretty challenging to use if you’re not sure where you’re going with them. Thankfully, this book is full to the brim with delicious recipes for all sorts of ancient grains. In fact, the cover photo is so luscious that Bob took our single copy and never brought it back. That’s always a good sign around here.

Maria was kind enough to share a recipe with you and has offered to let us giveaway a single copy of her book (details to follow the recipe). When I post the winner, we’ll have another recipe to share. The book is available in most book stores and online at We’ll also begin selling this book on our website this fall.

We recommend “liking” this book on Facebook for updates and recipes from Maria.

Lemon Quinoa with Currants, Dill and Zucchini

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions 
(about 6)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained*
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1 lemon

to finish

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini 
(about 2 small)
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (see page 37)
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 To make the quinoa, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onions (the oil might splatter!) and 
1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the dark green parts wilt but do not turn brown, about 2 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grains start to crackle and turn dry, about 3 minutes. Add the water, the currants, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of the lemon until you have 1 teaspoonful, and then squeeze the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons juice.

3 To finish, remove the pan from the heat. Stir the zucchini, lemon juice and zest, 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons of the dill, and the pepper into the quinoa. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes.

4 Transfer the quinoa to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 
2 tablespoons each of sesame seeds and dill, and serve.

to vary it: For an Italian-inspired side, replace the sesame seeds with 
toasted pine nuts, use chopped fresh basil instead of dill, and omit the lemon juice.

*If you use Bob’s Red Mill quinoa, you do not need to rinse.

Reprinted with permission from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Want to win a copy??

Here’s what you have to do. It’s not hard, but it’s required. Leave a comment here on the blog telling me which ancient grain intrigues you the most. A quick google search can tell you which grains are considered ancient.

I’ll pick a random winner from all who enter by  11:59 pm  on 09/06/11.


Meaghan B says:

Sorghum is the one that intrigues me the most. I went to high school practically in the middle of fields of it and was always told it was for cattle feed only.

Julie says:

My favorite is quinoa because of it’s high protein and quick preparation.

Kristin says:

I like to experiment with Spelt.

I love quinoa! Love the texture! I used it in several recipes in my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well with IBS, including a quinoa pudding recipe! Quinoa is FODMAPs friendly so I recommend it to many of my clients I see that follow this diet approach for IBS!

The one that intrigues me the most is Amaranth… I’ve never tried it and hope to soon!

Kristine says:

Just read about teff in gluten free girl’s book…very high iron content & added it to my shopping list!

Sophia says:

So many. Since becoming gluten free I tend to collect them to use in cooking. Love quinoa and teff right now.

Maria Lahoud says:

I would like to know more about amaranth

Rella says:

I keep wanting to try sorghum, teff, and amaranth, but don’t really know what I’d do with them!

Lisa says:

I think out of all the grains (already being a quinoa fan), I’m most interested in getting to know barley better.

I mean, the extent of my knowledge is that its great in beef stew. That’s just one dish (albeit a very yummy one), but I’d like to learn how to use it in other ways too.

Nazli says:

Quinoa intrigues me the most; because it’s very tasty and high protein as well as having a very distict texture – and relatively new to me.

Jessica says:

I would have to say sorghum. It’s the grain that Jacob grows in Sarah Plain and Tall…I love that movie.:)

Christy says:

Teff and sorghum. Sorry I couldn’t chose just one. I like variety. 🙂

I love quinoa because of the protein/carb mix. It’s so versatile, and I can even get my family to eat it by combining it with lean ground bison and homemade tomato sauce.

Don says:

Quinoa intrigues me the most but I’d love to experiment with the others people have mentioned as well. I love trying new (new to me anyway!) grains.

Karen says:

It would have to be Quinoa, as I’ve had a Glass canister full of it, sitting on my kitchen counter for years( at least 7 ). It has been hard to find recipie’s until the past year or so. I would really like to know what to do with it!! It does look pretty in the jar though!

Jen says:

I love quinoa. I like the taste and the texture and the versatility.

Arlene Dallmann says:

I don’t have a favorite ancient grain, but want to try some quinoa or teff!

Lorri Allen says:

I recently tried Freekeh and its probably my all time favorite grain. I’ve used in my tabouli salads and also served it topped with ratatouille. My kids love it!

Donna Beatty says:

I love to use Quinoa whenever possible. It is sometimes my only source of protein. I make my morning breakfast with it. I also use the flour.

Shea says:

We love Teff as a hot breakfast cereal. It is SO good! I’m intrigued by it because of how small it is, yet how nutritious. I would LOVE to learn what else I can do with it. It is by far the tastiest grain to make porridge out of in my opinion!

Karen Lyles says:

I really like Teff. It’s hearty and wholesome and unusual. I want to learn more about it. Thanks. I hope I win!!!

Victoria says:

l love quinoia and often sprout it. l want to do more with chia, so high in antioxidants.

Definitely quinoa – it’s awesome!

We use it all year round, and it’s unique shape always perks up a meal.

Plus, since it’s technically a grass, not a grain, I can eat it during passover – take that, pasta!!!!!!!!!!

Alex says:

I am so intrigued with teff. Being recently diagnosed with celiac, I am trying to explore the different grains available. Teff is high in protein, something that a lot of gluten-free grains are low in. I would love to learn more about it and how to use it in recipes!

Lindsey says:

Farro- I had it at some point when I was living in Italy, but I’ve never tried cooking with it myself.

Diane M. says:

Millet is the grain I’m most intrigued by, but I’ve only had it as a puffed cereal so far. I’d like to learn other ways of preparing it since it’s so delicious!

Jess G. says:

I love quinoa. it’s versatility and nutty flavor make it a staple in our house.

Jessica K says:

I am probably most familiar with quinoa, but amaranth intrigued me the most. I’ve never cooked with it, but I’d like to try.

Sevan says:

Whole grain dishes are healthy and can be quite tasty! One of my favorite dishes is made with barley!

Jen Y says:

Quinoa rocks!! As a new vegan, with a busy squedule, this is my go to for any night of the week!

greta says:

I’m interested in learning more about barley. Barley currently only exists in my soups and no where else.

nancy johnson says:


jill says:


Marg Z says:

I have just started to use whole grains in my cooking. I am most interested in millet and quinoa.

Sara P. says:

I would love to try cooking and baking with Amaranth!

I love quinoa and have used it as a side dish as a hot breakfast cereal and ground as an ingredient for baking!

I’me very interested in finding more ways to experiment with millet. Does Bob’s Red Mill offer millet?

Marusja says:

It has to be Spelt…I have a book which lists recipes by St Hildegard von Bingen, a German Abbess who lived in Germany during the 12th century and this is where I first came across it. Spelt, according to her is a source of health with amazing properties, which not only strengthen blood, help the body to be healthy, but also makes one feel better and therefore happier… wonderful is that!

jenni says:

I recently went gluten free and discovered how versatile quinoa is. It’s tasty, makes a great pasta, and its a fun texture! It’s also good in hot or cold recipes, and as a meal, side dish, or even dessert!

andrew says:

They’re all good but I’m a fan of quinoa, probably because ive had ot the most.

Jane says:

I read an article on ancient grains in LA times a few months back and since then I’ve wanted to try out quinoa and amaranth.

I bought Bob’s Red Mill quinoa sometime back, but haven’t used it much so far (for lack of recipes).
Its great to know there’s a recipe book specifically for ancient grains – it’ll be so much easier to actually use these nutrition powerhouses now.

Thila Oblack says:

Polenta/grits are my comfort food. I love to make Cheese Grits from a cookbook that I picked up in Santa Fe, NM quite a few years ago. The cookbook is called “Santa Fe Recipe” first published in 1989. Of course, I always purchase my polenta/grits at Bob’s Red Mill. I would love to know more about corn and how it became so important in our diet and well-being.

Connie L Weatherford Hale says:

Amaranth is a grain I am interested in – I remember back in bible school it was a grain mentioned in the bible many times – I want to know if this grain is available today.

Cindy Ecklund says:

I am buying my first millet today from Bob’s Red Mill website. I looked in Seward and in Anchorage for it to no avail. I will pay the shipping to see what it is like. Just getting started on eating new grains.

Carole says:

I’m new to your site and found you searching for millet. I am thrilled to discover that you are also close enough to attend a future classes. I feel like I have hit the mother lode! Keep up the good work!

Gregg Shanefelt says:

Quinoa is one of my favorites. I just have been struggling to find good ways to use it that don’t taste all the same.

Melinda says:

I love quinoa, but it’s no longer so intriguing since it is a staple in our home. I would say kamut is the most intriguing to me. I will have to look for some.

Linda Stapleton says:

Fascinated by Pulse. It’s mentioned in the Bible.

Tom says:

My best friend introduced me to quinoa a couple of years ago and now I can’t get enough. Last weekend I made some egg-free quinoa waffles. They came out surprisingly fluffy and delicious.

Lisa says:

I love working with Quinoa and would love to learn more to do with it and Amaranth, I haven’t cooked with that one much.

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