2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I picked this cookbook up at a used bookstore a couple years ago and have found it to be quite useful. I've made about 15 to 20 of the dishes included here, a few of which I now make on a regular basis. The book is divided up into chapters devoted to individual grains. Wheat, corn, rice, wild rice, amaranth, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, millet, oats, rye, kamut, spelt, triticale, and teff are all covered, some more than others. Each chapter begins with some basic, helpful introductory material on the history and usage of each grain, followed by several recipes incorporating that grain.
Each recipe is accompanied by basic nutritional information--calories, fat content, fiber, etc.--but I will confess that I don't pay much attention to that. You know these recipes are healthy because the ingredients that go into them are healthy. This is not a vegetarian cookbook. There are a lot of meat dishes, but very few contain red meat. In general, however, the recipes are very vegetable intensive. I have frequently enjoyed the Kentucky Burgoo (a chicken and vegetable stew in tomato sauce with cornmeal dumplings), the Quick Root Vegetable and Barley Soup, the Cornmeal Mush with Sautéed Peppers and Sausage, and the Spiced Quinoa with Root Vegetables.
The only aspect of this cookbook I found disappointing was that I was hoping for more recipes with the grains in their complete form--rye berries, pearled barley, or buckwheat groats, for example. The Rye Berry Stir-Fry and the Millet, Cabbage, and Beef Stir Fry are good examples of this. About three quarters of the recipes in the book, however, focus on the use of whole grain flours for the making of breads, muffins, pancakes, crepes, pizza crusts, and more.
For the most part, I would not consider the dishes in this book to be quick and easy meals. There are exceptions; the Millet Berry Muffins are very easy to prepare and quite delicious. In general, though, these dishes do require some time and energy to prepare, but the recipes are not difficult to follow and they don't require exotic, hard-to-find ingredients. I'm no kitchen wizard, but I can follow directions, and I've had no problems preparing any of these meals. I've even managed to get good results from the yeast breads, which can be notoriously hard to make. The Whole Wheat Molasses Raisin Bread, Whole Wheat Bread with Cracked Wheat, and Lower East Side Pumpernickel all turned out well. This book is not illustrated, but I haven't found that to be a handicap. If you're interested in whole grain cooking, this is a very good manual to have on your shelf.