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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

betty wojnar says …

I love watching cooking shows they inspire me to create new things

Yvonne says …

Would Love to get your cookbook, but am unemployed at the moment and I also have Asthma, so your cookbook sounds great hope to get it. Keep up the Good work.

Yvonne says …

Would Love to get your cookbook, but am unemployed at the moment and I also have Asthma, so your cookbook sounds great hope to get it. Keep up the Good work.

sarah lillie says …

Using fresh ingrediants inspires me. I love going to whole foods and picking out all the fresh produce and grains. We have learned not to rely on pre-package foods and now cook quick and fresh meals at home!

Sarah K. says …

Fall weather! The change in seasons stokes my desire to start up the oven and break out the soup pot so that I can make delicious seasonal meals for my family.

Susan says …

I am always visually inspired by beautiful photos in cookbooks. I love to see how the recipe should look.

Linda Slocum says …

This book looks fantastic... I'd love to win it!

HUI-YI HSU says …

The book looks so fun and the recipe posted looks so delicious and pretty. Cooking at home can be easy, healthy and sexy!! Whenever I cook, I am thinking about my grandmom's recipe and that makes me love her more!

Dianna says …

I ordered the cookbook..it is wonderful! beautifully designed, great photos and inspiring stories from both authors...looking forward to trying all the recipes. Great work Chad!!! love your style of education, sharing and hearing your love of good, healthy food!

Melissa Cordova says …

Anytime I have friends or family gathering together, be it at someone else's home or mine, I am inspired to create something that is not only delicious but something that is actually good for them. I love to impress the ones I love with my animal-free, whole foods creations and watch them enjoy good food! The animal-free, whole foods concept is fairly new to me, so I would love to expand my knowledge.

JT says …

My palate inspires me to get cooking! I fall into the habit of eating the same meals most days of the week, so I try to cook or bake at least 2 new meals from one of my cookbooks or blogs that I follow to keep it interesting!

Debra says …

I've turned many friends and family members on to healthy, and yummy vegan recipes. It's amazing to feel light and energetic even after a big sexy meal!

Dana says …

Cooking a creative process for me, and sharing the delicious results with people I love at a nice, long dinner makes cooking all day completely worth it!

Kelly says …

I'm inspired by a variety of things, a great recipe, great produce at the market, the weather. I think my biggest inspiration is the weather and how it effects my moods.

barbara grace says …

Have all Kris's other books. Would love to add this to my collection!

Nancy Orosz says …

I personally am a carnivore, but my daughter and son-in-law are working their way toward vegetarianism. The French toast recipe is right up their alley! Plus, it sounds delicious! They are working with tight finances, the cookbook sounds perfect for them, and I think it would make a great Christmas gift!

Alice says …

The CSA box I receive every other week gives me tons of inspiration to be creative and cook with the freshest ingredients harvested at peak season.

Cathy Little says …

I never cooked anything until my Mom passed away in1968. On my days off from work my sister-in-law would help me to make several different dishes for my Dad & myself. Then I was hooked. I couldn't get enough of trying new recipes. In 2007 I had a quadruple bypass & I'm now into more heart healthy foods, & still enjoying the cooking!

Freda says …

I get inspired to cook by people's act of kindness or by looking at what other people are cooking up on their food blogs!

Grace Lee says …

My husband and my children inspire me to cook. If it was up to me alone, I would probably not cook very much. I enjoy letting others do it. :) But when I think about my husband's need for sustenance on long work days and my children's need for good nutrition in their growing bodies, I'm motivated to shop for wholesome ingredients and cook from scratch on a daily basis. I am a vegetarian, so most of my cooking is plant based. I love that the kids are learning over the years how good a plant based diet can taste and feel in one's body. My husband still loves his meat, but he too is beginning to see the light. :) Seeing them enjoy the food I made and staying healthy as a result more than makes up for my desire to skip the work and eat from the Whole Foods prepared foods section on a daily basis. :)

Grace says …

Fodd that not only tastes good, but is good for me!! Now, if only I can get my kids on board!!

p t says …

The smells of the season, visuals of fresh produce, and pictures of prepared dishes, all inspire me to get cooking. so in the summer that means things like blackberry and peach and ginger, or tomatoes and basil and cucumbers. in the fall it's pumpkin, apples, butternut squash, bok choy, yummm.

Kat says …

What keeps me trying and testing out new recipes is the feeling of accomplishment -- I made that! I know how to make that now! I'll never forget how I felt the first time I made a whole roasted chicken in my little apartment oven. It was incredibly plain and simple (just some broth and lemon juice squeezed over it) but I felt like Julia Child pulling it out of the oven!

Miranda says …

I just took an unprocessed challenge that inspired me to cook

wiz says …

We run an Animal Rescue Charity, and we find that giving away cookies and goodies at our booth brings in more people AND brings in more ADOPTIONS! If not for that, I wouldnt cook at all!

Natalie says …

I'm inspired to cook because I see EVERY ingredient that goes in and I know it will both nourish the body and be delicious, both for myself and for loved ones I cook for. I also cook because it's a stress-reliever. There's nothing that winds me down from a hectic day like putting on my favorite music and making a new concoction in the kitchen!

MMS says …

I get inspired by interesting recipes with unusual ingredients. I never pass up the chance to cook for a large crowd. Just found a recipe for Thanksgiving Stuffing than includes chorizo sausage...can't wait

Stacia R. says …

What inspires me in the kitchen is while perusing all the delicious and seasonal offerings at my local farmer's markets, coming up with new and fresh ways to make meals for me and my fiance'. We are foodies, and can get really bored with the same old chicken and fish. So finding ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into each meal not only gives us what our bodies need, but gives us that flavorful and exciting addition that our palates crave...now that is sexy! ;)

Lynn M. says …

Everything inspires me - I love food. The key for me is to keep it healthy and flavorful so that even if it's "good for me", I still feel joy and satisfaction in each bite. I think what inspires me most is the farmer's market. I bought the most gigantic pears that were so sweet and crunchy. I was so satsified.

Madeleine Kagy says …

I am inspired by great cookbooks and by magazines, I love to try new healthy dishes!

Aaron says …

When I get a whiff of a new smell that sets my taste buds off, it gets me think of what the dish could possibly be and how to create it at home. I'll go home and start whipping up something that is very similar to what I smelled earlier and see how close it comes.

Pauline says …

Reading your story about childhood asthma inspires me to eat clean. I love healthy food, but I love desserts a lot, too, and they don't always love me back.

Sarah Robinson says …

Preparing new delicious recipes for my friends and family is my inspiration for cooking and this wonderful cookbook will certainly help me inspire my non-vegetarian friends that they can have a satisfying meal without the harmful effects on the environment as well as our feathered or furry friends.

Diane says …

I would love to win a new cookbook especially one with healthy recipes.

Sara says …

I love the process of gathering the ingredients, working on putting them together and seeing the results all come together. And hopefully I'm able to share the meal/food with family and friends, putting smiles on their faces or fill their bellies in the process.

leigh says …

Seeing food prep as an art form gets me out of the studio & into the kitchen!

Nicolette Thomas says …

What inspires me and gets me cooking is my new found love of clean eating! 8 months ago I found a documentary online at www.meat.org which lead me to the movie Earthlings. After watching everything I took the 30-day meat free pledge. Well let's just say that 30-day meat free pledge has never ended! I haven't had a single bite of meat in 8 months and I couldn't be happier. Adopting a clean eating / whole foods lifestyle has taken my passion for cooking to another level. I Love that I have to think out of the box to re-create some of my meat/processed filled favorites on a veggie friendly diet. What makes me even happier, is when my husband enjoys what I cook. He is still a huge carnivore but I love that his consumption of meat has gone down and he is no longer eating processed foods thanks to my new cooking styles! I would LOVE to recieve a copy of the Crazy Sexy Kitchen to help me expand my knoweldge on veggie cooking and keep my passion thriving!

Amy says …

Trying to be the healthiest I can be inspires me to cook. Still relatively new to the world of cooking, I generally need a base recipe to follow, but am learning to make my own modifications. Your cookbook would help tremendously!

Arlene says …

I am addicted to looking up different recipes, suually via foodgawker.com. I also watch food network for the majority of my hours in front of the television. Both inspire me to get into the kitchen and try new recipes! Cooking is just an amazing field; there are an infinite number of recipes out there, all so different but so good. I also enjoy cooking most if I'm stressed or am creating something for someone else. It's a great stress reliever and it feels good to give to others in the form of homemade food!

Jennifer says …

When I see a plant based recipe that makes my mouth water just reading it...I have to make it, so I can really taste it!

helenlam says …

Cooking for others who appreciate the food is always a delight! Especially if they've helped harvest any part of the ingredients for the meal.

Kimberly Chalco says …

The lack of many ingredients and a rainy day get me inspired to create something fun and unique in the kitchen!

Jill D. says …

The change of seasons and the availability of new fruits and vegetables inspires me to get cooking. I love trying new seasonal dishes.

mary says …

What inspires me is seeing all those fresh vegetables at the farmers' market.

Kris O says …

I am definitely going to make this for a special breakfast; maybe Christmas morning. I am going to try with gluten free bread; I am sure it will be great!

Orly Katz says …

Looking forward to reading and following recipes from this book. My son has been a vegan for the last 17 years. It is so exciting to try new healthy recipes!!! I know he'll be happy!!

Andrea says …

With our 7th baby on the way, our family will grow to 9. We are vegan and I love to cook, get my kids involved, and make amazingly delicious and healthy foods from scratch. I'm inspired to prove that you can shop for groceries on a super tight budget and still eat organic, good-for-the-body, good-for-the-earth foods! I love trying new recipes and would love to try all those Crazy Sexy Kitchen recipes!

Julia says …

I must say, ever since making an effort to go organic whenever possible, I can't help but smile whenever foods with good "Qi" are layed on my cutting board.

Meredith says …

I love working with a variety of seasonal produce. I'm kind of a Zen cook -- whatever feels right that day, is what I make.

Deborah Dunn says …

I grew up on processed foods. We of course opted for the chips, soda, candy, cookies, etc. We NEVER ate fresh fruits, and vegetables. As a result, when I got married at 18, not only did I already have many ailments, from headaches to stomach problems, was overweight, and had trouble with pregnancy, but I thought good wholesome food, was nasty. Our first baby, I miscarried. My second pregnancy, I had diabetes, and really wanted to be healthy for my baby. Thus began my research into healthy foods. I began to learn about organic, whole, raw foods, when our 1st child was a few years old, and it really began to change my life. Then, my third pregnancy. I went right back to eating all that crap I grew up on, still not really knowing how horrible it is for your health, and wound up having diabetes so bad that it required diet, exercise, prescription drugs, and insulin shots. I have, since that pregnancy, struggled with obesity, and one ailment after another. Now, in the last few months, I have looked back into organic foods, but more than that, because I have developed gluten sensitivity. I've learned as much as I possibly could in the time I've had, about the foods we eat, where they come from, what they do to our bodies, what we should be eating instead, and I am on a quest for good health, for me, and my children! I would love some cookbooks to help in that venture, as I re-learn how to cook the foods we should be eating! Thanks for your consideration! :)

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