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Crazy Sexy Kitchen

Crazy Sexy KitchenChad Sarno is R&D Chef and Culinary Educator for Whole Foods Market®’s Health Starts Here program. Through the intersection of clean food and culinary education, Chad shares his passion for helping others achieve their health goals, starting in the kitchen, one bite at a time. His new cookbook, Crazy Sexy Kitchen, co-authored with Kris Carr, is available now. Read on for a recipe from the book and a chance to win a copy.

I’ve always been fascinated by food. As a child, I adored being my mom’s sous-chef, manning my station on a stool pulled up to the stove. My mom and my Italian grandma, Nana, loved to create elaborate meals highlighting the freshest ingredients. When I recall my fondest memories of Nana, I remember family gatherings filled with delicious, rustic, real food. These meals shaped the foodie I am today. Just like most kids though, despite the fresh food put on the table at home, I had a love affair with processed dairy and sugar.

During my childhood, I was asthmatic. I was the kid who had severe asthma attacks at school and on the sports field. Slightly traumatizing? Ah, yeah, definitely. Little did I know that my diet was the culprit. After years of paralyzing attacks and pockets full of inhalers, I finally connected the dots between my health and my diet. In my late teens, I started hearing about how dairy products can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Determined to kick asthma out of my life, I broke off the romance and eliminated dairy products from my diet. Within six months, my asthma disappeared. This was my experience and while it may not be the answer for everyone with asthma it was my personal wake-up call, my “a-ha! moment,” the reset button that made me hungry for more answers and led me to a diet that revolved around plant foods.

As a young adult, I started exploring the world, traveling far and wide to work, study, and seek the guidance of leaders in plant-based medicine and culinary arts. My vagabond tour of duty took me zigzagging across the country and to different parts of the globe. From the mystical redwood forests of California to the rural villages of the Philippines, I experienced life and culture through real, honest food. As a result of my extensive travel, life-schooling, cooking, and now teaching, I have learned that you don’t need to sacrifice outstanding taste for health.

By eating animal-free, whole foods, I’ve experienced a level of vitality, energy, and health that continues to humble me today. I’ve seen firsthand the remarkable results that my friends, family, and fellow team members at Whole Foods Market® have experienced with the plant-based lifestyle. As we all can begin to discover through conscious food choices, our forks are our greatest tool for activism and there’s no better way to take a stance than to learn how to triumph in the kitchen, one bite at a time.

Today, you can go on your own journey to vibrant health with Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution. Over the past year, I’ve been working with Kris Carr, best-selling author, wellness activist and cancer thriver, to create this phenomenal cookbook.

Take a look at the behind-the-scenes “making of” Crazy Sexy Kitchen mini-documentary and experience the wild ride we took together (and the delicious food we ate!) while writing, cooking, and tasting the year away. Here’s one of those recipes for you to try now:

For a taste of what’s between those pages, here’s a sweet, comfort-food recipe from the book:

 

French ToastFrench Toast with Amaretto Crème

Serves 6

Amaretto Crème

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours to overnight in water (to soften)

1 can coconut milk (for raw version, blend 1⁄2 cup coconut meat with 1 cup coconut water)

1⁄2 cup nondairy milk of choice

1⁄2 cup amaretto liquor

1⁄2 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped

1⁄4 cup agave

Pinch of sea salt

French Toast

1⁄2 cup raw almond butter or cashew butter

11⁄2 cups vanilla almond milk

1⁄4 cup whole spelt flour

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

1 tablespoon cinnamon
1⁄4 cup maple syrup or date paste
1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg powder

1⁄2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Sea salt, to taste

Whole-grain baguette or your favorite whole-grain bread (whole-grain cinnamon raisin bread is superb as well)

3 tablespoons Earth Balance or any vegan butter

Garnish

Fresh berries

Toasted pecans (optional)

 

1. Prepare Amaretto Crème: In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.

2. Prepare French Toast: In a medium bowl, whisk the almond butter, almond milk, flour, yeast, cinnamon, maple syrup, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt to make the batter, or blend ingredients in blender until smooth. Set aside.

3. Slice the baguette or other bread in thick slices. Dip bread slices into batter. Allow each slice to sit in the batter for a minute, which helps it absorb more.

4. Add tablespoon vegan butter to a flat pan, flat grill, or large sauté pan on medium heat. Once melted, add battered bread slice. Add additional tablespoon of vegan butter for each bread slice. (It’s okay if the slices are wet with lots of batter—this is what creates the delicious crust.)

5. Cook on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with spatula, and cook other side until lightly golden.

6. Serve: Drizzle Amaretto Crème on while French Toast is still warm and top with a generous handful of fresh berries and pecans.

 

If you’d like to sample more Crazy Sexy Kitchen recipes, sign up for a digital sneak peek right now!

You can also join Kris and I in the kitchen through our online Crazy Sexy Cooking Classes, which were filmed at Whole Foods Market Culinary Center at the Bowery store in NYC. And don’t miss out on all the outstanding offers we’ve put together for those who purchase Crazy Sexy Kitchen! (Get your copy soon, these offers are available for a limited time.)

I’d love to know what inspires you and gets you cooking? Tell me in the comments below by November 14 and we’ll pick five readers at random to receive a copy of Crazy Sexy Kitchen.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends November 14, 2012, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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506 comments

Comments

Julie says …

My children & family inspire me to cook the best that I can. I get a lot of satisfaction knowing my children are learning about and eating healthy meals.

Nicole Gould says …

Sounds delicious!

Donna says …

My best friend has multiple food allergies - beef, wheat, eggs, dairy, lettuce, melon and others. She's inspired me to be creative in making meals she can eat. I'd love to win the cookbook to give to her.

Scott says …

What inspires me to cook is my family. They are open to trying almost anything, so it is very liberating to try new recipes and improvise where needed.

Shannon says …

I'm a huge Kris Carr fan and I actually pre-ordered her book, but I would love another copy to give to my mom who would really appreciate it. Thanks for the opportunity.

Meagan says …

I love cooking wholesome, healthy, delicious meals. So many times when I go to a restaurant I think to myself I can cook what I am eating just as good, but a lot healthier... it's a challenge I make with myself! I also love to cook new things and find out what my husband like and doesn't like (we are newlyweds!). It's my daily challenge :)

Jenn B says …

I've been a vegetarian for the last 3 years and just recently made the jump into veganism. I love cooking and I'm really motivated to try new foods that I'd been previously ignoring because of all the dairy and eggs I was eating. I'd love to have this book to discover new tastes!

Lorien S. says …

What inspires me are the herbs I recently planted in my garden. They add a fresh flavor to our vegan dinners!

Kimberly says …

These recipes are inspiring to be more focused on plant based recipes and meals for my family!

Liz S says …

Beautiful food photography and food blogs inspire me to run to my kitchen and take down my pots! Your book looks delicious.

Karin Russell says …

Is this where you fill out for the contest? I am confused.

Laura Aragon says …

Feeling so great when I eat great vegan cooking inspires me to do it for others and get them on board too!

Melissa says …

I am inspired and get motivated to cook to fuel my body with good healthy food because I operate better that way!

Jean says …

My inspiration for cooking are my grandmothers... German/Polish descent. Oh the love of food and the traditional recipes. Grandma Wanda was known for her "bowtie cookies" aka Chruschiki and Grandma Agatha made soups and suffed cabbage. I think cooking, baking, and canning spoke a "Love Language" to our family and to many other recipients of their kitchen endeavors.

Stephen Gimmi says …

Ok sexy cookbooks, alcohol infused whipped creme and breakfast, this is a no brainer... Da,, yummmm

Shelly says …

I love the creative aspect of cooking. I love to try new things as well as to adapt old recipes to make them healthier.

Sarah Leslie says …

I'm inspired by the seasons; I love to cook certain dishes depending on the weather!

Amber says …

My health inspires me to cook my meals at home. I can control allergens and calories much better when I'm at the helm!

Melly Joy says …

My fiancé has Crohns disease. We have tried every drug until I finally discovered plant based diets are the way to go. Though I've been used to salads, my fiancé gets bored and we just started this diet for him. I'd love to have this book to get better menu plans for him so he can see that it is easy to be healthy and never get bored on salads. This will also allow him to help make delicious plant based foods on his own. His health has improved this past week and I'd love him to be able to continue this new way of life.

Erika says …

Ooooh! What a fun book! This looks like just the kind of cookbook I need to keep myself in check, expand my culinary (albeit limited) repertoire, and over all health!

Erica says …

I'm inspired by seeing new recipes or innovative creations! That makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook! Its great to do, and the reward of tasting it afterwards is amazing!

Kristen says …

I'm inspired by great photos of new recipes!

hillary says …

I love slowing down and cooking with real food. Cooking gives me a chance to unwind and give someone else something good in return. I am always looking for new recipes to use the beautiful local and organic foods I am lucky to have available!

Erika says …

Ooooh! What a fun book! This looks like just the kind of cookbook I need to keep myself in check, expand my culinary (albeit limited) repertoire, and over all health!

christina orso says …

Having a blog and reading other blog inspires me to cook. I'm always finding and trying new recipes!

Elisa Pepe says …

I love traveling around the world, but now that I have a child and full time job in Cambridge, MA, those desires are on hold. The way I "travel" is sensory now: I love cooking different ethnic dishes to get out of my comfort zone and experience the thrill of discovery once again.

anne says …

Making a delectable meal for my family and feeling their goodness.

RH says …

I'm most inspired by the weather, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Right now in Seattle it's rainy and cold, so I've got chili and roasted veggies on my mind.

Rachel says …

Plant-based eating is the way of the future! Do it for you, the animals, and the planet! I would love to try all the delicious recipes in this cookbook!

Janis S says …

I'm trying to add more whole foods and plant based meals to my diet. This book would certainly help me on my journey to a healthier me.

Anne says …

I love trying new ingredients and cooking for others.

FRANCES RYAN says …

ONE OF MY FAVORITE RECEIPIES IS A FRENCH TYPE TOAST. I USE ITALIAN BREAD CUT IN 1" SLICES, SIX EGGS, 1 CUP OF BROWN SUGAR, ABOUT 3 ox OF GRAN MANGE. PLACE THE SUGAR IN BOTTOM OF PIREX 9 X 16 DISH, PLACE BREAD OVER AND THEN POUR THE MIXTURE OF (beaten) EGGS-LIQUOR-1/2 CUP OF HALF-HALF OVER BREAD. REFRIGERATE OVER NIGHT. HEAT OVEN 350 COOK IN OVEN FOR 35-40 MINUTES. ENJOY!!

Amy says …

I'm fascinated by the concept that we can move away from Western traditional ideas of "curing" ourselves by looking at what we consume every day. That's why I've been moving more towards organic, sustainable, non-processed foods. Besides being more satisfying than a lot of foods that are packaged and processed they are better for us. My challenge is what to make, how to mix up the ingredients to keep from being bored? What to do with items I like but don't have a lot of recipes for (hello Kale!). i think your book sounds like a great reference for looking at food in a new way! Thank you!

Brenda says …

Nothing better to inspire me than to recreate recipes and see the joy on my freinds & family's faces as they enjpy eating them as much as I do recreating them.

Mary Anne says …

Love the sneek peek at the types of recipes that are included in this wonderful cookbook. My mouth is watering over the ingredients and the photo!

Helen says …

I'm incredibly inspired by learning to make plant-based recipes as the joy of making food that will truly nourish people, taste fantastic and of course help animals to experience life as they were intended to, will hopefully inspire others to do the same. I want to be an example of how wonderful a compassionate lifestyle is.

Melissa says …

My friends inspire me to cook. I want them to enjoy my food!

Patrycja says …

The fresh sights and smells of cooking from scratch inspire me every time. Cutting a purple cabbage in half reveals a beautiful, bright patter of leavers. Chopping the parsley, mint and onions for tabbouleh salad is a rollercoaster of fresh scents!

Rachel says …

Helping myself and the world around be live a healthier lifestyle.

Ann-Laurie Hyman says …

Sharing a meal with friends and family inspires me. Being snowed in inspires me to cook. Seasonal fresh ingredients inspire me to cook. Reading cookbooks inspire me to cook.

Victoria says …

Energy inspires me. Feeling energetic throughout the day, every day is my goal. Just recently I had to stop eating gluten and dairy products. I'm slowly adjusting to that. It's been a couple of weeks and I can feel a difference in my energy levels. Yes! I love to cook, because I love to eat good food. It's that simple.

Stacy says …

Seeing my formerly meat and cheese lovin' Wisconsin-native husband absolutely LOVE our plant-based meals inspires me to keep cooking! And as a result, we are able to enjoy so many other things in life together - health, outdoor adventures, and much more!

Kara B says …

hosting get togethers are what inspire me to cook because my kids don't appreciate it when I do it for them.

Elizabeth says …

Fresh ingredients without wheat flour are top of my list right now. I love shared recipes to try out before buying a book.

Mary Pettiford says …

I love to cook when I get an unexpected day off. Then I don't have all the other responsbilities and cooking becomes fun again.

Erin says …

I get inspired to cook when I pick up my CSA share from a neighbor. I like how it narrows down my ingredient choices (much less than standing in the produce dept., and then I have to be creative with those more limited options in the bag.

Lisa says …

I am inspired to eat better - therefore I need to start cooking from scratch from basic ingredients. My whole famly feels better if eat less processed food.

Mario says …

I am inspired to cook a plant based diet by the love of my wife and children. It is one way to express your love for your family as well as your concern for their health and for the environment.

Doug says …

I love to cook, and what really inspires me is finding recipes that not only taste amazing - but contribute to a healthy body and lifestyle. Although I have been a vegetarian since 1994, I have never quite been able to go 'full vegan', so this cookbook sounds ideal to get me started on the right track. .

Stephanie says …

I am new to plant based eating. (2 months) Looking for new recipes.

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