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.


Erika says:

I have to pick just one?
Well, in that case wheat berries, though farro and quinoa come in a close second…

Chris says:

It seems like quinoa is getting all the attention these days, and for good reason; it’s mighty tasty!

But I’d have to say the one that catches my eye the most is millet. Up until earlier this year I always thought it was just that treat stuff we gave to birds. I had no idea that there were things we could do with it, too. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of recipes or uses for it. I’ll keep looking, though.

Deanna says:

Teff is the one that I’ve been meaning to do more with but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Not a fan of quinoa’s flavor, but love the way teff tastes in injera.

I have two favorites: Kamut and Spelt. They are both biblical and pre-biblical grains with roots in my ethnic history. We enjoy the flavor, too, but it’s nice to have a little bit of history with it.

Genny says:

I love quinoa, but am currently intrigued by Amaranth. I saw two versions last week at Cornell’s botanical garden. One was a beautiful shade of red, and used by native Americans to create dye for textiles. The other was yellow, and used for food.

Kimberly says:

I’d love to learn more about teff. It’s so much more nutritious and it gives lovely texture to baked goods, but I don’t know anything about the whole grain. This cookbook looks amazing!

Ruth Shear says:

I cook with quinoa, barley, millet and would love to try amaranth, teff, farro and more!

Melonie K says:

Quinoa here! We recently got a GrainMaker mill and used it to grind Bob’s Red Mill quinoa into flour. In my excitement I ignored the fact that I am not accomplished with quinoa, let alone as a flour. *sheepish look*

andy says:

definitely kamut. never heard of it so its the most far out for me. spell check doesn’t recognize it so it must be old.

Rae Higgins says:

I’d like to try quinoa.

Cindy says:

Quinoa, my Nutritionalist tells me that is one of the grains I can have. My problem I don’t know what it is or how to cook with it.

Alan B. says:

I have always been interested in Ancient Egypt, and I believe they cultivated Kamut.
If it was good enough for King Tut…

Alice says:

I love wheat berries! They make a wonderful salad with fresh veggies and lemon juice. I nibble on uncooked berries while the others are cooking!

Darcy B says:

I would like to try teff–thanks for asking.

Amber says:

I’m going with quinoa. Tried it about a year ago and I love it.

Lily Gonzales-Creed says:

I’m going to go with Wheatberries because they are super hearty and nutty!

Jeanette says:

I’ve never tried kamut, so I would love to find a good recipe using it.

Greg B says:

Farrow. I’d use it more, but it takes so long to cook – and it’s much stickier than quinoa.

Audrey says:

I’m intrigued by amaranth, just because it sounds interesting, and Job’s Tears, because an elderly Cherokee woman gave me a bagfull when I was a teenager.

Sandie says:

Definitely polenta! I’m 1/2 Italian and in addition to attempting to learn the language (buon appetito!!), I’m on a quest to become an incredible Italian cook. The only snag is that recently I’ve been embracing vegetarianism, so polenta is high on my list of “Italian dishes that are vegetarian friendly”! Wish me luck – and keep the wonderful grains coming. You package them…I’ll cook them. I hope to share some of my experimental recipes on your site!

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