Ancient Grains for Modern Meals

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Ancient Grains for Modern Meals



Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck

“Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries and More”

click to see on Amazon

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck is one of my favorite cookbooks. I purchased my copy nearly 4 years ago. I was so excited to get my copy. The reviews were fantastic and Maria had won so many awards for her best-of-the-best cookbooks. It was a 10 year in the making cookbook!

The time Maria dedicated her cookbook shows. Each recipe is a tried and true, labor of love development of hard work. Each recipe is a flavor layered masterpiece. It is almost 4 years later, and this is still my “go to” cookbook for cooking with a variety of whole grains.

The book is beautifully presented. It is a nice hard-cover, larger, visually appealing cookbook jam-packed with over 70 pages of valuable grain information, recipes and photo perfection. You learn about Maria’s Mediterranean background and how her family has always cooked with ancient grains. Her mother was Greek, and while the term “ancient grains” is a relatively newer term for most of us, it was not for her. She was raised on these grains, and Maria’s main goal is to show us not only the nutritional value of ancient grains, but most of all that they can taste really good. They do. Her recipes are full of flavor that I thought was not attainable through simple grains. The trick is that Maria uses a variety of whole grains to layer in flavors. Flavor layering is key. I did not realize just how much so until I started learning from Ms. Speck.

At the beginning of the cookbook, Maria gives a list of kitchen items that will come in handy: cast iron skillet, cast iron pot, a kitchen scale, pastry scraper, fine mesh strainer, dough whisk, zest grater, small sauce pan with lid and a vegetable brush

With this list, you can cook cover to cover with Maria’s book easily.

Maria Speck 1

Image credit – A photo of Maria Speck with her ancient grains by Meal Makeover Moms


Listen to an interview about her book and ancient grains or watch her on What’s Cooking. She’s lovely:

You may also learn more about Ms. Speck or see where she’s speaking at her personal website, If you are in the New England area, you may be able to catch an upcoming lecture, book signing or cooking class.



Melanie Wilcox is also known online as melaniekaren. Her educational background is in biology and environmental science; she loves our natural world. She writes about various nature topics, ancient symbolism, sustainability and self-sufficiency and most things spiritually esoteric. Visit Melanie’s website.


Author: Jackie Jackson

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1 Comment

  1. Great review of this book. It’s on my list now of books to get. I’m looking forward to getting it in the mail.

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