I first met the fabulous Catherine Saxelby via twitter (she is @foodwatch) a few years ago and we instantly bonded over our love for wholesome and healthy food. Not surprising really as Catherine is an accredited nutritionist and dietitian. She has also written a slew of cookbooks and educational books on nutrition.
Her latest book, Ancient Grains: Whole-food recipes for the Modern Table, looks at how we can incorporate eating more grains in everyday meals. And not just the usual wheat and rice. The grains included are amaranth, oats, quinoa, teff, buckwheat, barley, rice, millet, rye, chia, sorghum, ancient wheat, wheat products, corn (maize) and wild rice.
I was excited!
The first recipe I tried was the quinoa, zucchini, dill and ricotta pie with hot smoked salmon. I knew I would love it, but was surprised by how much. The pie was quite small so I was skeptical that it would feed four, but it did. I served it with a simple salad for lunch and was quite full after eating my quarter. The leftovers were even better the next day.
I’ve made quite a few recipes out of this now, including the couscous with black beans, chicken, lime and avocado salsa, which is quickly becoming my favourite way to use up leftover roast chicken; the corn fritters (using millet flour) with lemon thyme and smoked salmon; and a slightly morphed version of the brown rice, chicken and vegetable soup with chipotle chilli and lime. This last dish is a weekly menu staple and just divine!
Next on my list to make are the beef burgers with oats and balsamic onions; the totally fabulous sounding coconut and chia granola bars filled with coconut, oats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit; and the skillet cornbread with jalapeño peppers and cheese. YUM!
The author – Catherine Saxelby
The publisher – Arbon, May 2013, rrp $34.95 (AUD)
The recipes – about 100, including cooking instructions for each grain
Highlights – a detailed description of 15 ancient grains, including amaranth, quinoa, chia, teff, sorghum and millet, that gives the nutritional information, the culinary uses and how to cook it.
Who this book is for – people who love wholesome food and who aren’t afraid to experiment with new-to-them ingredients. The few recipes I’ve made so far were fairly quick and easy to make, even for more novice cooks, as the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
Thanks to Arbon Publishing for providing me with a copy of Ancient Grains.