Against the Grain: 150 Good Carb Mediterranean Recipes

Against the Grain: 150 Good Carb Mediterranean Recipes

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by Diane Kochilas

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Healthy food doesn't have to be boring and bland. Look to the Mediterranean for innovative, fresh, and nutritious ideas. In Against the Grain, award-winning cookbook author Diane Kochilas offers up a collection of satisfying, good-for-you recipes inspired by the exotic dishes of the Mediterranean.

Whether you're trying to lose weight or simply

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Healthy food doesn't have to be boring and bland. Look to the Mediterranean for innovative, fresh, and nutritious ideas. In Against the Grain, award-winning cookbook author Diane Kochilas offers up a collection of satisfying, good-for-you recipes inspired by the exotic dishes of the Mediterranean.

Whether you're trying to lose weight or simply improve you're eating habits, sticking to a good carb diet is a great idea. The Mediterranean diet isn't all breads, grains, and pasta — it includes plenty of fish, chicken, lamb, vegetables, and fruits. Against the Grain includes recipes for everything from light bites, such as tapas, soups, and salads, to hearty entrees and sides. The ingredient lists are supermarket-friendly and prep time is minimal, so busy home cooks can whip up healthy meals in minutes, every night of the week.

In addition to classics like Fresh Tomato Soup with Moroccan Spices, Chicken Cacciatore, and Pan-Seared Shrimp with Romesco Sauce, there are innovative, exotic new dishes like Grilled Skewered Lamb with Mint and Garlic Pesto, Pork Medallions Marinated with Olives and Orange, and Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Soufflé.

One of the basic principles of the Mediterranean lifestyle is that everything should be enjoyed in moderation. In Against the Grain, no foods are forbidden or totally off limits. Instead, you'll find formerly "sinful" ingredients like rich cheeses, potatoes, rice, fragrant nuts and oils, and wine incorporated into savory meals. Yes, the recipes are healthy and nutritious, but, more important, the dishes in Against the Grain are hearty, satisfying, and flavorful.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
By combining weight-loss tenets of the South Beach Diet with the touted health benefits of the Mediterranean way of eating, Kochilas (Meze; The Glorious Foods of Greece) brings flavorful, nourishing, low-calorie foods to the dieter's home kitchen. The success of the collection's dishes lies in the use of whole grains rather than processed white flour, copious use of vegetables and a sensible "nothing-in-excess" approach. Kochilas advocates easygoing meals made with fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients, and encourages use of herbs and spices to add flavor without calories. She recommends generous use of heart-friendly and delicious olive oil, the "liquid gold" of the Mediterranean. Home cooks will easily master Kochilas's easy, precise recipes, which include Asparagus, Basil, and Tomato Frittata; Roasted Red Pepper Hummus; Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken Breasts; and Spicy Lamb Kebabs. Her combination of good-carb dieting with the richness of the Mediterranean table is bound to bring some much needed joie de vivre to low-carb dining. Agent, Doe Coover. (On sale Aug. 2) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Kochilas's last cookbook, Meze, covered the small dishes of Greece. Her latest was inspired by her experience on the Atkins and South Beach diets and draws on recipes from all over the Mediterranean, not just Greece. With recipes like Spanakopita Souffle, Andalusian Monkfish Soup, and Lamb Baked in Parchment Paper, this is certainly an inventive low-carb collection. Some of the author's fans, however, may find the concept somewhat gimmicky. Nevertheless, there is sure to be demand; for most libraries. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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7.37(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.97(d)

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Against the Grain

150 Good Carb Mediterranean Recipes
By Diane Kochilas

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Diane Kochilas
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060726792

Green Bean Salad with Onions and Ham

Use young, tender greens for this salad, and trim them well.

6 servings
1 pound green beans, trimmed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large white onion, minced
2 roasted red peppers in brine, drained and diced
2 ounces Spanish ham or prosciutto di Parma, chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Steam the green beans for about 8 minutes, until tender but al dente, or blanch them in salted water (it helps retain their color) for 6 to 7 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold running water. Pat dry.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Place the green beans in a serving bowl. Top with the minced onion, peppers, ham, egg, and parsley. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss, and serve.

per serving: Calories 152; Fat 11g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 44mg; Sodium 401mg; Carbohydrates 9g; Fiber 3g (Digestible Carbohydrates 6g); Protein 5g.

Roast Chicken Stuffed with Spinach,
Wild Rice, Walnuts, and Feta

My Greek roots come through in this dish. One of the classics of Greek peasant cooking is the spinach-rice pilaf that is often served with feta cheese. I have reworked it, using wild rice and walnuts, and instead of serving it as an accompaniment outside the bird, I cook it on the inside as a stuffing. There is a similar, traditional stuffed turkey dish, filled with spinach and a slew of herbs, from Naxos.

6 servings
One 4 ½-pound roasting chicken
¼ cup wild rice
½ pound fresh spinach, trimmed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons ground walnuts
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup crumbled Greek feta
1 tablespoon seedless golden raisins
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine

Wash and pat dry the chicken. Set aside.

Rinse the wild rice and bring it to a boil in a medium pot of ample salted water over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, until al dente. Remove from the heat and drain into a colander.

Steam the spinach. Remove from the heat, cool, and coarsely chop. Drain the spinach very well in a colander for 1 hour, squeezing to get as much of the liquid out as possible. You should have about ½ cup spinach.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat add the onion and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes.

Combine the spinach, onion, wild rice, walnuts, nutmeg, feta, and raisins in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix well. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Wash and pat dry the chicken. Rub it with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the spinach mixture. Place the chicken on a rack in a shallow baking pan and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, pour the wine over the chicken, and add ½ water to the pan. Continue roasting the chicken for about 45 minutes, until browned and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced in the thigh. Baste 2 or 3 times with the drippings as the chicken roasts. Remove, cool slightly, spoon out the filling, and serve the chicken with the vegetables on the side. Remove skin from the chicken before serving.

per serving: Calories 390; Fat 20g (Saturated 5g); Cholesterol 123mg; Sodium 427mg; Carbohydrates 10g; Fiber 2g (Digestible Carbohydrates 8g); Protein 42g.


Excerpted from Against the Grain by Diane Kochilas Copyright © 2005 by Diane Kochilas. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

The author of five cookbooks, including Meze and the IACP Award-winning The Glorious Foods of Greece, Diane Kochilas writes for Saveur, Gourmet, and the New York Times; runs the Glorious Greek Kitchen Cooking School on the Greek island of Ikaria; is the consulting chef at Pylos, an acclaimed Greek restaurant in New York City; and is the food columnist and restaurant critic for Ta Nea, the largest-circulation daily newspaper in Greece. She divides her time between New York City, Athens, and Ikaria.

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Against the Grain: 150 Good Carb Mediterranean Recipes 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
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