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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

Jennifer Cosby says …

Reading cookbooks inspires me!

Lydia Villescas says …

I am excited to check out this cookbook as it sounds fun and if the recipe shown is any indication of other recipes in the book it also sounds delicious!

Raytchell Cosentino says …

Hmmmm crazy sexy kitchen guide.. sounds intriguing :)

Keith says …

There is nothing that gets me more inspired to cook than seeing a new cookbook with fresh new ideas. And a new vegan cookbook provides twice as much inspiration!

Amanda says …

I'm inspired by my mom because she taught me the love of baking. The joy on the faces (and stomachs!) of family and friends is what keeps me baking.

Theresa says …

Feeling good inspires me to get cooking and to eat well. I can tell such a difference in how my body feels when I'm eating wholesome foods rather than processed ones, which is the best motivation of all!

Christin says …

(as an aside, I followed your Crazy, Sexy Diet and really enjoyed not only the diet, but the meditations and daily mantras - really changed my life) What motivates me to cook is the challenge of using locally available vegetables. I also love the challenge of doing something I haven't done before.

Sue S. says …

I am inspired to cook with foods that are in season and local for my area. The flavors are so much more intense!!!

William Rigby says …

The prospect of sex following it makes cooking dinner a joy.

Jessica says …

We've recently switched from meat-eaters to vegan and it's been a lot of fun discovering new recipes! Baked goods with eggs have been the hardest for me to find decent replacements for.

Stephen says …

I found myself unemployed 3 years ago with few prospects in sight. My wife was still working so I took over all kitchen duties. I focus on organic and vegan and have a great time baking breads, preparing lunches, cooking dinner, and all the fun stuff of desserts and treats. I learned a lot along the way and I'm always looking for new inspiration. With shops like Whole Foods Market,Trader Joe's, our local Boston area health food stores, not to mention all the great online resources,buying good food at good prices couldn't be easier. I'd love a copy of your book. Thanks.

annette eland says …

What gets me cooking for my 2 young daughter. I want toform healthy eating habits, where healthy choices are the norm. Anytime I feel lazy and just want to go out to eat, I remember that I'm forming my kids habits and they need to experience healthy cooking at home.

annette eland says …

What gets me cooking for my 2 young daughter. I want toform healthy eating habits, where healthy choices are the norm. Anytime I feel lazy and just want to go out to eat, I remember that I'm forming my kids habits and they need to experience healthy cooking at home.

Lori McLester says …

Looks yummy! Can't wait to make this recipe!

DeAnna says …

I love to feed people! And I love it even more when they love the food I prepare. :) That's what enspires me.

Ava Paracsi says …

My family heritage is Hungarian and watching my mother create great meals with the recipes in her head was fascinating - she always took time to explain why she did such and such and how to make certain meals so much better. Especially when she used very little ingredients and still managed a great meal and/or dessert. Holidays were a great time at our home with lots of good things and best of all memories. I learned from my mother how to cook those family meals and have enjoyed it immensely - cooking and baking can be a relaxing time where you can take simple foods and make something delicious - and at the same time stay calm and enjoy the process and feeling great about an accomplishment especially when it is tasteful and delicious-almost like being back at home. Now I would like to take it a step further and learn to make healthy meals that are just as delicious and can be enjoyed so much and keep me on my goal to staying healthy and fir. Thank you, Ava

Debra says …

I enjoy cooking at home because I know for sure what's going into my food. I usually adjust recipes to bring the calorie and fat count down.

Yas N. says …

Ingredients that are in season inspire me. For example, I love utilizing freshly cooked squash and pumpkin in both savory and sweet meals in the fall. In addition, I like trying unique combinations of food (such as pumpkin and cocoa?).

Linda says …

Fresh vegetables and friends gets my inspired to cook.

Marie says …

In addition to great recipes of course, in the midst of all the political negative health news, reading the comments of other like-minded people here inspires me to cook healthy!

Jayne Boyer says …

I love it when my family compliments me on a meal. I'm not a great cook, but a great cookbook helps me look that way!

Anne says …

Educators like Kris Carr and Chad Sarno inspire me and get me excited about cooking healthy wholesome foods for myself and others !!! Only recently, when a Whole Foods opened in my area, did I literally "open" to a whole new way of eating and living. And I have discovered wonderful websites as Kris Carr's. I am thrilled about my new journey and even more so about sharing all these fun and festive healthy recipes with others. Who knew ???

Shaunna Bryant says …

The mini documentary looks like you had a blast. That is what cooking is all about. As we strive to feed our bodies healthy foods - they in turn give us the best life possible. Thanks for sharing the French Toast recipe! Can't wait to try more of the recipies from your new cookbook!!

Terri says …

Reading blogs, stories, etc about healthy living & eating inspires me to want to take better care of my health. Learning how changing your diet can make a world of difference for your health is very inspiring.

Kathleen says …

I have been looking forward to this book since initially reading Crazy Sexy Diet. I can NOT wait! I need this book so desperately. Thank you, Whole Foods, for getting behind Kris!

Gina K says …

It is not hard to be inspired by the recipes and photographs. Just the thought of a new recipe that would bring a smile to the families face is enough for me.

Carrie says …

The fragrance and texture of herbs and spices, the colors of ripe fruits and vegetables are very enticing... eating is a very sensual experience and the prep should be the foreplay. The combination of the right sweet to spicy or salty and moist paired with the right wine is a moment of delight. We all remember those memorable meals that we wish we could have again and again. Creating a plate of beautifully prepared eatables is a mood enhancer. The opportunity to cook for the love of it, is my happy zone.

Jane says …

Fresh, seasonal ingredients inspire me!

Rachel says …

Ever since I started a plant-based diet (wow, almost 4 years ago!), I've been inspired to cook foods that taste delicious AND make my body feel good. What a difference it has made! Would love to win the book--new cookbooks are invaluable for staying inspired in the kitchen at our house. :)

Juliann says …

I am exploring the vegan lifestyle and would love to see this cookbook on my shelf!

Belle Reve says …

What ever turns up in the CSA box!

Carl Mead says …

I am inspired by the thought of creating a dish that makes the tastebuds tingle that the whole family will enjoy when we have our family meals.

Lori Villarreal says …

I love Kris Carr I follow her on twitter and I am on her mailing list. I love her recipes and cannot wait to get her new cookbook

Shannan says …

I've been trying to eat fresh, local, and organic whenever possible. Now I'm debating whether to go vegetarian so I'm on the lookout for good vegetarian cookbooks and this one looks great!!

Vicky says …

I really like cooking for my parents, and I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I can manage to make something that tastes sinfully delicious but is actually pretty healthy.

lisa says …

I am inspired by all the people who have led the way into a healthier choice when it comes to raw and cooked foods. Watching my husbands health improve by changing his diet and thought patterns about food have been an even bigger inspiration in my life!

Greg Allbee says …

I got interested in cooking as a teenager, if not sooner. After I went to college and had more opportunities to cook for myself, I started to learn more and branch out more on what I tried in the kitchen. For a couple years now I've been vegetarian, and vegan for almost a year. It's been a great opportunity to explore another way to cook and eat, and I'm so glad I did!

Sandy says …

A number of health problems inspire me to maximize what is in my control, and what I eat is more in my control than many other factors. But, I love, love, love eating, so reinventing what I eat and having many options to cook will make sure that I am doing what I can for my health as well as my enjoyment.

Linda B says …

EVERYTHING inspires me when it comes to cooking. I can get inspired during cooking and often don't know exactly what the finished product will be until I'm done. Cooking shows fire me up. Cookbooks definitely inspire me with mouth-watering recipes. I even read cookbooks in bed, but it makes me hungry!

Barb says …

I am inspired to feel my family healthy food to keep them healthy and I'm inspired to teach them how to eat well so that they carry it forward to their families when they are grown.

Michelle K says …

Making beautiful, healthy tasty meals inspires me. I particularly love Mexican food and love to create new dishes that take inspiration from this amazing cuisine.

Kelly Klepfer says …

Taste and control inspire me to cook. I love that I can make something delicious that is not tainted with GMOs and chemicals.

kat says …

eating healthy while still keeping things delicious inspires me!

Stephanie Patterson says …

Local ingredients and trying new recipes get me excited to cook.

Amy says …

Really, just the smiles on my husband and daughter's faces when they are eating a meal inspires me! I love it when my daughter makes all of those little "mmmm" sounds as she eats!!

SK says …

What inspires me is that the imagination and preparation in making a dish that is lovely, touchy and tasty. I love to cook more and more with the support from my wife and friends.

Lindsay says …

I cook because I want delicious AND nourishing food! When I cook things myself, I know exactly what's in my food and how it's made. It's empowering to take that into my own hands!

Tigerlily0605 says …

What inspires me and gets me cooking is the need to create, to feel comforted by the aromas of really good food that is kind to animals and the planet. I love to cook for friends and family and to show them that delicious food doesn't have to be meat, dairy or egg-based. Vegan dishes are a constant source of surprise and delight and I am always searching recipes to supplement my creative repetoire of Vegan dishes.

Jasmine Waite says …

Healthy, local, fresh foods inspire me! I love exploring the farmer's market, and using my fresh picks as inspiration for unique new meals throughout the week :)

Judy Stuebe says …

I get inspired to cook by cooking shows, magazines, in-store samples, and beautiful recipe pictures.

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