I asked for a copy of Cooking with Ancient Grains: 75 Delicious Recipes Quinoa, Amaranth, Chia, and Kaniwa because I thought it would be interesting to see recipes using less-common gluten-free grains. This is a great book for vegetarians because she focuses on the highest-protein grains. Most recipes are not vegan, but many could be converted. As these grains are not cereals, they are loaded with protein and complete amino acid profiles. Think of them as more seeds than grains. So some people include them in low-carb / low-grain diets as well. All these seeds are cleared for the migraine diet (although some recipes contain triggers like cheese, lemon, or figs.)
Layout and design:
The author introduces each of the four grains native to the ancient Americas: quinoa, amaranth, kañiwa (also called baby quinoa), and chia. She covers some key ingredients, then gets right into the recipes: Breakfast & Brunch, Appetizers & Sides, Soups & Salads, Entreés, and Desserts. The design of the book includes several fonts and type in black, brown, and tan. While attractive, the type combined with the smaller size of the book overall makes some aspects less readable.
Most recipes feature a full-color photograph by talented food blogger and photographer Kelly Jaggers. The photos give an excellent representation of how the dishes should look at home.
The recipes provide a broad range of options, such as quinoa pancakes with pecans, chia fresca drink, deviled eggs with kaniwa, cheddar cheese and quinoa soup with leeks and chia, quinoa with chicken sausage and hearts of palm, and coconut tapioca and kañiwa cake with chocolate hazelnut sauce.
What I liked about the book:
For people who are already gluten-free, this book gives you some wonderful new recipes to expand your gluten-free grain horizons.
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes were not coded for special diets; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
Anyone looking for different gluten-free recipes, vegetarians, celiacs
Not recommended for:
Migraine diet, low-sodium diet, dairy-free, vegans
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (extremely-low-sodium for my Meniere’s Disease and trigger-free foods for migraine relief), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.