Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

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.

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.

506 comments

Comments

Maresa says …

Trying new foods and learning about new flavor combinations inspires me to get cooking.

DENNIS JONES says …

I LIKE NEW RECIPES & WOULD LIKE TO MAKE MORE ORGANIC & HEALTHY DISHES.

Miranda Garcia says …

This book sounds AMAZING!!! I have terrible allergies and no one can determine what kind I have. If changing my diet can help or get rid of them, I would be more than willing to try. Please help me and pick me!!!!

Mary says …

I LOVE to cook - I love tryig new recipes and new ingredients! Cooking in my kitchen means healthier eating and a helthier lifestyle! Crazy Sexy Kitchen looks like a fabulous new addition to my cookbook collection!

Robin says …

Would love to try more recipes like this one! I make french toast for my kids all the time but this sounds like it has a bigger nutrional bite. Thanks!

Edith Gilgen-Maass says …

i have to have this cookbook ! the books name is already promising and when i read the recipe above it's definitely my book! this french toast recipe sounds like an explosion in your mouth, fantastic! i will try it out soon! we will leave canada next wednesday for our winter trip south. every year we spend our last month (april) of the trip in austin, texas, it's almost our "third home" after switzerland and canada! i'm also a h u g e fan of WFM so i'm really looking forward to next spring ....... and don't worry, if i do not win a copy of this wonderful book i w i l l b u y it! see you soon! edith gilgen-maass, port elgin, ontario/canada

Vann says …

Sounds delicious! I can't wait to try it.

Nicole says …

What inspires me is knowing that I am in complete control of everything that goes onto my plate and into my mouth. If I want to add it, it goes in. If I don't want it, it's out. And there's nothing like looking at a nearly empty refrigerator and pantry and being able to put surprising ingredients together to make something great!

Marie Z says …

I'm inspired to cook when my husband brings in huge amounts of fruit or eggs from our garden. I recently made batches of fig jam and pomegranate jelly. Extra eggs are made into creme brulee or hot custards.

K. Bevin Ayers says …

My boyfriend got me cooking (he is a ravenous eater with an insatiable appetite) but my health got me cooking well. I stopped cooking just for him and started cooking for us using recipes that were healthy made from simple fresh ingredients but that tasted amazing!

Tara says …

What inspires me and gets me cooking are the flavors and aromas of food and spices and how they meld together in the cooking process, finally resulting in an amazing dish you could eat for days.

Jennifer Martin says …

My 11 year old daughter is striving to follow a vegan lifestyle. She is my inspiration.

Patty Buskuehl says …

Wow! I'm excited! Crazy Sexy Diet cookbook would be awesome right now!

Laura Folliard says …

I am trying to prevent a cancer recurrence and bring my husband's cholesterol level down by adopting a plant based diet. I have participated in the Health Starts Here program at my local Whole Foods store and appreciate the new ideas I picked up!

Carol Schmoker says …

I'm trying to use diet & lifestyle changes to keep Stage 4 Colon Cancer in remission. So I'm cooking more and more vegan foods.

Elisabeth says …

What inspires me is all of the pretty food pictures on Pinterest!

Kathy says …

I've recently discovered raw foods and have devouring literature on good nutrition. I love sprouting, making raw nut milks, chia seed pudding, etc. The cookbook looks great!

Eve says …

The food channel and cookbooks inspire me

Eve says …

The food channel and cookbooks inspire me

beth w. says …

I like cooking for others, that inspires me.

Susan says …

My vegan nephew is now living with me and my meatless repertoire is sadly lacking. I'd love to have your book, to be able to prepare and share wonderful meals with my wonderful nephew.

Joy says …

Love the reciepies you have posted on your site. I am excited to try them out.

Joy says …

Love the reciepies you have posted on your site. I am excited to try them out.

Zoraida Faust says …

What gets me inspired to cook? Family and friends! Love getting together with family and friends and trying new recipes.

Julie Davison says …

Well, I'm already going to try this recipe for french toast. Sounds and looks yummy. We love watching cooking. I'm going to check this one our for sure. Sounds fun! What inspires me to cook is just the comfort and joy of eating. I am on a very restricted diet do to my autoimmune disorder and it's so amazing what you can make with healthy foods. I have to say I dont' miss a lot of what I used to eat because there are now so many choices and substitions out there. Whole Foods always has great ideas and such a huge variety of foods. Food and cooking makes most of us happy. It's endless what can be created. Julie

Amy Olson says …

My son's future and health of my family, inspires me!

Sheila says …

Cooking for me is an art and a way for me to show my love and gratitude for my loved ones. I am inspired by beautiful creations and strive to make healthy and delicious meals daily. If I could spend all day and night in my kitchen, my life would be complete!

Phyllis Adelle Sherer says …

What inspires me is when my son (15) has cool ideas about food recipes. For example, he came up with a recipe about a month ago for a turkey 'tenderloin' with paprika, ginger, & cilantro marinade, broil it, and it was fantastic! :) So if he's willing to experiment, that is a huge plus for his eating habits. He also loves things like asparagus broiled in the oven a few minutes with olive oil and garlic... and Quinoa.

Heather H says …

Fresh, healthy clean food inspires me!! I love to know exactly what I'm eating, know where it came from and what's in it. I would love to win a copy of this cookbook :)

Elizabeth Carey says …

I like trying at least 1 new recipe each week. My husband likes routine, and when I ask him what he wants for dinner, it's always one of our old tried-and-true recipes. But when I whip out something new and different, he always loves it!

Amanda J. says …

Feeding my family healthy, home-made, preservative free foods motivates and inspires me to cook. Plus it always tastes so much better!

Tracy says …

If this recipe is any indication of the rest of the recipes in this book, oh my! I love to cook and having to go gluten free for my health, has stifled my creativity in the kitchen. It sounds like this cookbook would be able to turn that around and let me bring yummy creations back to my kitchen.

Elizabeth says …

Hunger...

deb says …

The rich deep colors in the fresh fruit and veg aisles inspire me to cook.

Lisa says …

I hated to cook. If I opened a box of packaged rice and made it, I thought I made a nutritious home cooked meal. The easier is was for me to cook and eat - the better. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. In an attempt to save my own life, I took cooking classes for living on a plant-based diet. I was so inspired by my instructor. She too had cancer and was healthier than ever. Her dishes were delicious! There was nothing missing. I look forward to your new book and becoming the crazy wellness lady ready to inspire others. God bless you on your commitment to helping others. I wish you continued success.

Khara Lau-Kai says …

Currently a vegetarian, more than willing to go "all the way" and practice "vegan-ism"! What a fantastic concept, not to mention flashy cookbook title! The recipes in this book would entice me to keep full flavors while deleting dairy and derivatives.

Madeline says …

What inspires me to cook? Well, I like to cook when I know everyone will enjoy the meal. I like trying new things with my foods and hope that I can come up with something everyone will like.

Steve says …

Girls inspire me.

Stefanie says …

My friends inspire me to get cooking because I love to try new recipes and serve great food to friends and family. I also cook to eat healthy and love to relax in the kitchen.

Brenda Thompson says …

sounds wonderful. We cook a plant based diet

Katrina says …

What inspires me to cook? You're going to laugh, but it's our record player. A few years ago, my husband bought a refurbished one and we started scouting yard sales, goodwill stores, and even occasionally ebay for our old favorite records. Listening to records is so different than listening to CDs or music from iTunes. With iTunes, you can bounce around from album to album. With a record and its comforting little ticking noises, you commit to the experience of listening to all the songs in the same order. It brings me back to my childhood and teenage years, listening to my Disney records and then later The Beatles and Queen. So I put one of my favorite albums on the record player, get my spices out, and start cooking! There's nothing like it. The smells and the sounds combine in a way that transport me back to long ago kitchen memories with lost loved ones, and I am happy as a clam. :)

Jill says …

Kowing that I can control what goes into my body by using clean ingredients when I cook is what inspires me. The yummy end result is also what inspires me to cook.

Judy Goodwin says …

I grow my own garden, my little .25 acre is very busy in spring, summer and fall. I see the benefits of this in the improved health of my family. I get excited to get new recipes to cook that I can incorporate my homegrown treasures.

Alesha says …

My roommates inspire me to cook! As pact to help ourselves get away from processed foods, we each cook one night a week. Choosing a meal based on our theme that week (pumpkin, paleo, green, soup). It has been wonderful and we are on our way to eating better :)

Nick says …

Trying outstanding recipes like the one above inspires and motivates me to cook!

Takia D Washington says …

OMG!!! I am soooo hungry now. Thanks for the recipe the book will be in my collection soon. I am very pleased with the number of cookbooks for those of us with health problems that actually make food for foodies. Thank you! thank you!

Carol Hall says …

My inspiration is food that is flavorful, approachable and healthful, filled with texture and taste. Your recipes reflect my passion for food.

Rebecca says …

Fresh fruits and veggies inspire me to cook. My garden, farmers markets, cool photos of veggies... anywhere they catch my eye!

LisaT says …

I have recently become far more aware of how many chemicals/non-nutritious ingredients are in processes foods. As a result I am far more invested in preparing meals myself so that our family eats more nutrient-dense food

Mary Weed says …

I just love cooking:) My husband travels alot and he still thinks I make better meals than he gets out.

Pages