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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

Sharon Wong says …

The visuals from reading food magazines, watching cooking shows or traveling and eating makes me want to cook (and eat!).

Cory says …

My love of food and desire to eat healthy and be fit inspire me to cook. I am constantly looking for new recipes to try which continue to fuel my desire to cook!

Britt says …

The thing that inspires me most to start cooking is knowing that the food I am preparing is cruelty-free, healthy, and of course- vegan!

Barbara Franklin says …

I'm having problems with digestion. Would love to be able to cook delicious and easy plant based meals. I need protein in my diet and I hope the cookbook will show me how!

Anel Perez says …

My interest in food began during my sophomore year in college. Being undecided in what I should major in, I took it upon my self to give a few different classes a chance to open my horizons. During that same time I began taking an interest in eating healthier, so I combined both interests and took a nutrition class. I fell in love! Between the science, biology, and numerous cooking classes , I had found my calling; I wanted to become a Registered Dietitian. I loved the idea of combining foods and experimenting with ingredients in order to produce healthy and nutrient dense dishes. Now, what inspires me is health and curiosity to mix up a healthy dish for my family. What gets me cooking is the joy of food and seeing the satisfied looks on whomever I prepare food for. But mostly, I get a bigger kick knowing its healthy!

Heather Dunfey says …

I'm inspired by my cravings...my new love is Portabello mushrooms. Making them steak like or Italian style. Delicious!

Angela.rotondi@gmail.com says …

I planted my first garden last year and love grabbing fresh ingredients and creating new dishes with them. From Italian descent so I make a lot of different sauces with fresh veggies and herbs.

Liz Craciun says …

I have an adopted daughter from Russia (now 22) , who is showing the signs of early malnutrition as well as 6 years of chronic fatigue syndrome. We switched to only organic food 6 months ago, and went vegan 3 months later. She is now feeling better, both physically and emotionally. From going out for a few hours just 2-3 days a month, she just had 9 good long days in a row - we are both so happy about the change. We are cooking really delicious meals and always looking for new recipes. We not stopping now!

Jason Predick says …

What inspires me, is doing something new and creative, and then finding out its outstanding!

Laura bilanovic says …

Walking around. Seeing ingredients and tasting them with my mind.

Emily Grace says …

I love that there is a type of cooking that inspires or soothes me no matter what my mood. When I want to comfort a friend, I bake my famous vegan chocolate chip cookies. When I am feeling lonely, I make carrot ginger soup. When I'm happy I bake cupcakes. When I'm introspective I make really elaborate dishes, focusing on each ingredient and relating it somehow to the thoughts I have on the back burner. When I'm angry, I bake bread. Preparing food has become a form of therapy for me, allowing for a release of energy and a moment of reflection before eating my creation to pause and remember to be gracious with myself. And then to honor my body with whatever delightful dish I've given myself over to.

j.reasonover says …

my grandchildren inspire me to not only cook but also to try new recipes on them because those vegans love to eat

bonnie says …

What? A sexy kitchen! Works for me, as I would rather whip up some recipes than whip....oh well that's another book..... Thanks for this beautiful recipes/pic. I will keep my oven mitts crossed hoping I win and can't start cooking some sexy amazing food and toss out the boring same old same old recipes....

jeff200 says …

My husband of 35 years, our health, and the desire to know exactly what we are eating and how it was prepared :)

Charlie says …

The ingredients! In the garden, at the market, wherever! whenever I see something my imagination goes into overdrive.

Lou James says …

My husband had melanoma and has been "clean" for about seven years. I have several of Kris' books and am trying to educate myself to provide a higher raw diet/juicing, etc... I believe 100% that what we eat makes a huge difference. I need to know how to get from point A to Point B~

Paula Hurley says …

As strict Vegans, my husband and I love to cook and know what we are eating is enhancing our life, so we are pleased to have this recipe and can't wait to read to book and find new "favorites" Thanks!

Andrea Wolf says …

How great to have a plant-based cookbook for inspiration. This is the way to go in the future. Better for us and better for the planet.

shea says …

usually boredom gets me cooking.

Karen says …

French Toast is a standard in our home on Sundays! Usually made with a bread from Whole Foods. Anxious to try this recipe! Thanks!

Jen says …

Cravings inspire me to cook!

STEVEN DESTEFANO says …

WHEN I SEE I PICTURE IN A MAGAZINE OF A RECIPE THAT LOOKS SO GOOD YOU CAN ALMOST TASTE IT AND WANT TO TRY IT FOR YOURSELF!

Kerri says …

I have always loved cooking, but I have been inspired to cook more vegan dishes lately because of the intense flavor that springs from vegan food. I can't believe how much more flavorful raw vegan lasagne is than the cheese and pasta variety, and I used to love cheese! But now I am having so much fun experimenting with vegan dishes and knowing that I am making a positive impact on my health and the environment in doing so!

Lauren Anderson says …

I feel in love with cooking during my early teens. I took some culinary classes in high school and thought I might go to Johnson and Wales University to pursue pastry arts. After much thought, I decided to go a different route in my career path, but continued to cook as much as possible. To this day it remains my favorite and cherished hobby! During my early days of cooking, sugar was my inspiration.. mastering cheesecakes, cookies, and any other sweet concoction was my goal.. but now my inspiration has taken a turn down the path to healthier alternatives and quality nutrition. I now focus on choosing local, seasonal foods, avoiding pesticides and GMO's, and experimenting every weekend on a new vegan meal. The more I dive into the vegetarian/vegan Lifestyle, the more intrigued and dedicated I become to learn more and try more, and my motivation and benefit is the energy, strength, and clean feeling my body experiences the longer I stay living out this diet.

Clarice Burns says …

During my cancer treatment, I was inspired by Kris's video, "My Crazy Sexy Cancer" which my son, a survivor, gave me. Now six years later, I am cancer free. What inspires me to cook is knowing the food I prepare is wholesome, the ingredients are fresh and exactly how everything is cooked. I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes and foods.

Tuesday Trippier says …

I have fallen in love with cooking with seasonal, local foods. I have only just began preparing vegan and sometimes raw food dishes, which have made me feel SO much better (not that I was feeling bad, just tired). It has made a HUGE difference. Can't wait to try this cookbook.

Cara Dailey says …

Color inspires me. The fresh produce section always has an abundance of colorful and interesting fruits and vegetables. (^_^)

Rick says …

Eating well can be difficult for some. I've heard the comments from those that i try to help... " it's inconvenient, It's too hard, it's too expensive." Well, i could say the same thing about bypass surgery or chemo. Eating well will not guarantee one a disease free life however, i strongly believe if one eats really well and exercises, their odds increase dramatically toward a disease free life. Cooking healthy foods can be fun as well as nutritious. Believe me, it takes some trial and error to find what you and your family will like (I had had many unsuccessful meals that no one liked) so don't give up! Blogs like this are a great place to get some wonderful recipes as well as the whole foods site. Happy cooking!

jamie allen says …

I have considered going Vegetarian and could use this cookbook as a transitional guide. With my illnesses it would be a great help

Brenda says …

My inspiration for cooking comes from having diabetes. The hardest thing for me to do has been to learn to cook differently and eat differently while still enjoying what I eat. It is a journey every day.

Kim says …

I love to try new recipes, especially if they are nutritious and healthy for you. I have a coworker who is vegan so I have been inspired to test out new vegan recipes not only to bring into work to share, but also just for myself at home. It would be great to have more resources to make finding vegan recipes easier

Mary Elaine says …

The seasons inspire me to cook and of course my family. This time of year is the best, I love creating and making new soups and baked goods. Its comfort food time with so many opportunities to lure my kids home with a good home cooked meal, it's very good for the soul.

Marie says …

My kids insire me to get cooking. I'm always trying to prepare healthy meals for them.

Jennifer Hall says …

This is a wonderful giveaway! Kris' Crazy Sexy Diet book and surviving cancer has changed my diet and inspired me to treat my body like the temple that it is. I'm so much more conscience of what I put in my body and I'm constantly looking for delicious, satisfying recipes. I love to cook just for the pure satisfaction of having a home cooked meal in my belly and also to see the smiles on someone's face when they've tasted my creations. Inspiration to cook comes from everywhere: what looks good in the supermarket that day, an interesting pin on pintrest, or a recipe posted on my favourite foodie blogs! :)

Cate says …

I love to read cookbooks and try new recipes (especially healthy ones)!! Love the title of this cookbook.

Debi DeMaria says …

I just finished watching Hungry For Change. Kris Carr was inspirational. My best friend, Claudia and my Brother-in-law, Brent have just both been diagnosed with cancers last week. It has made my husband and I feeling powerless to help. But, with these healthy and deliciously exciting recipes it could help bring them to a change in their diets and in the process FEEL BETTER!

Hilary Dupre says …

Glad to see so much originality and real taste! I would never purchase a cookbook that promoted cruelty to animals or factory farming. Your cookbook looks gourmet, without 100 ingredients and hours of time. Thank you, compassionate, cruelty free is the only way to go.

Jennifer Hall says …

This is a wonderful giveaway! Kris' Crazy Sexy Diet book and surviving cancer has changed my diet and inspired me to treat my body like the temple that it is. I'm so much more conscience of what I put in my body and I'm constantly looking for delicious, satisfying recipes. I love to cook just for the pure satisfaction of having a home cooked meal in my belly and also to see the smiles on someone's face when they've tasted my creations. Inspiration to cook comes from everywhere: what looks good in the supermarket that day, an interesting pin on pintrest, or a recipe posted on my favourite foodie blogs! :)

linda says …

sounds delightful!

Susan Adams says …

I'm really inspired by things that have tons of flavor, and also make me feel good! I'm about halfway through Kris Carr's book Crazy Sexy Diet and I have been so motivated to change the way we eat. I used to think it was pretty healthy but I can already feel a difference by the small changes I've already made. Would love to have the cook book!

Susan Adams says …

I'm really inspired by things that have tons of flavor, and also make me feel good! I'm about halfway through Kris Carr's book Crazy Sexy Diet and I have been so motivated to change the way we eat. I used to think it was pretty healthy but I can already feel a difference by the small changes I've already made. Would love to have the cook book!

Beth says …

No question...I feel better when I eat better. Can't say I love the taste of the green juice Kris recommends but I certainly love how I feel when I start my day with it. I have no doubt this recipe book includes many delicious tasting, as well as health making recipes.

Piper says …

I'm inspired by my 12 year old niece who has decided to follow her aunt's footsteps and become vegetarian. I would love to cook some of the yummy looking recipes from this book with her!

Piper says …

I'm inspired by my 12 year old niece who has decided to follow her aunt's footsteps and become vegetarian. I would love to cook some of the yummy looking recipes from this book with her!

Val says …

I recently became a vegetarian and love the way that I feel eating wholesome, healthy meals. The vegetable colors are so beautiful and not only healthy but esthetically appealing to the eye. How can you not love cooking and eating such beautiful foods?

Evelyne Brinkley says …

Most of all, I am inspired by vegetables and fruits that suddenly reappear on the stalls because they are back in season. I don't eat produce out-of-season so they are like something which I have missed for a few months and which I truly look forward to tasting again. With each new cycle I somehow come up with different ways to accommodate those produce. I call it "guinea pigging" and though the term sounds scary I have a high success rate! For example, lately I have been eating a compote of cactus fruits, apples and persimmons with a little coconut oil and xylitol. Yum!

Stephanie says …

My husband is an amazing cook and wants to be more knowledgeable about vegetarian cooking for me!

Martha Lord says …

Recipe sounds delicious

amy says …

creating in the kitchen is one of my passions, I love trying new flavors and gathering local ingredients to whip up some seasonal treat. The above listed recipe looks mouth watering delish and aside from the prepared baguette is nearly raw(kudos kids). I will definately have to seek out your cool collection offered in crazy sexy kitchen. love

Saskia Angel says …

I can't wait to purchase this book whip up new recipes for friends and family! Love the give a ways!!!

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