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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

Tiffany says …

What inspires me to cook is my passionate for health and wellness. I believe in eating fresh, local and organic ingredients. I love cooking homemade meals and baking sweets from scratch. I like to put a fresh twist to the original recipe or coming up with new reipces but also making it as healthy as possible using the best and most fresh ingredients I can get my hands on. One of my favorite moment is when my family and friends taste and eat my food and end up with a smile on their faces. Sometimes they can't even tell if it's healthy!

Joanne Horenstein says …

Far away flavors inspire me to cook; I tried going vegan decades ago & was miserable: 1) I was a lousy cook and 2) the variety of produce, spices & info was tiny compared w/ today. This time around, I'm making it & cooking a lot. And loving it! Also loved Kris's Crazy, Sexy Canser book! You go girl!

Joy Cottrill says …

The sky's the limit when it comes to cooking. Most importantly, knowing what is in the food you are eating. We have choices! So long processed, salty foods, foods that create havoc to our immune systems. I have so many healthy foods that I love, I find when I combine them, for example, into a crock pot, the results are amazingly delicious! No recipe needed, just your own creation of favorite ingredients! A glass of wine, some fun music and I'm in the kitchen cookin up a storm!

Lisa Ruth says …

Bringing a smile to someone else through food is the best feeling. Knowing that you are nourishing another human, especially your family is a great responsibility and honor.

Dr.Ssarah says …

I am a physician and I am inspired by my patients. One of my favorite things is being able to share healthy living tips ith my patients and focus on WELLNESS instead of illness. They motivate me to become my healthiest self so that I can be motivation to others. I am sure that I will LOVE this book.

Heather says …

I get inspiration from all of the wonderful food bloggers out there.

Sandra Pozzobon says …

What inspires me to get cooking.....? Hmmmm..... An Attitude of Gratitude! That's the best way I can sum my LUV up. The Attitude of Gratitude for rich and deep coloured foods gets my heart pumping and excited for the nourishment and DeliCiouSity of food that gives me an extra ZING in my step, clear skin and just a RAD overall feeling of ABUNDANT health. After not being much of a cook for many years (I RESISTED cooking as I USED to think growing up that women who were in the kitchen were victims of a male-dominated society that put them in there!) I learned through Ms. Kris Carr and her documentary, that food is a huge source of GIRL POWER for so many reasons and in SO many wayzzzz. THANK YOU FOOD! Now THAT got me making love in the kitchen... errrrr I mean got me cooking.

Debbie says …

Blood pressure concerns keep me going back to plant based food decisions! I do tend to gravitate towards the same foods/recipes, so this would be a big help!

Stephanie says …

Recipes and seasonal ingredients inspire me to see if I can create wonderful meals for my husband, family, and friends. I find a soothing comfort while cooking in my kitchen. My happiness doubles when I see joy on people's faces when they eat food I prepared.

Lisa Schultz says …

What a delicious recipe. Sounds like a great book.

frankie says …

i was blessed to have heard kris speak at a seminar and have chad cook for us. tkris is a powerhouse of life and love and positivity. chad creates awesome healthy food where it seems impossible. i try to keep them both in mind as i creat healthier meals for my family.

Margie Kozich says …

I'd like to start growing my own food / herbs. I've started with a basil and rosemary plant, which has prompted me to get excited about making receipes with these 2 herbs. I want it to continue to other plants!

Lisa Mas says …

I have had a love affair with food and cooking since I was little. At 10 years old I began making meals for my family. It started with a chicken, bacon, avocado salad with a mustard vinaigrette that is still a family favorite today. I developed some very unhealthy habits with compulsive eating as my love of food grew though. When I began my own family I became inspired to live as healthy as we could. I started trying to incorporate as many super foods into our diet as possible and over a period of 6 years eventually moved to a mostly vegan diet myself. I just love the way whole foods taste and make me feel. In this fast paced, busy life I find I am having a harder time getting my husband and children to follow in that path because I can't find as many delicious, easy vegan recipes that excite them. I feel like I'm stuck on this vegan plateau and need some inspiration to take us all to the next level.

taryn says …

i am continually trying to find new flavors that surprise and satisfy while still maintaining some good nutritional value.

Susan Geist says …

Going vegan was the best decision I have ever made, and the more I can learn the easier it is to stay the course.

Kimberly says …

Cooking is one of the few things that really gets me focused. I can be in the kitchen, with a friend, on my own, or accompanied by some tunes, and just meditatively prepare a meal. I love to see the end results of my work, and to know where each ingredient came from. I really believe that the better energy I have when I start a meal, the happier my meal will make me once it's nourishing the rest of me!

Jenn says …

I have seen how genetics can play a role in heart disease and high cholesterol in my family who is generally healthy and very active. But I have also seen how remarkable a plant based, animal free diet can reverse/decrease the damage and the need for medicine. My mom has kicked her heart disease to the curb and I am so proud of her! She has inspired me to look into my own kitchen as I think about my future and my family's health.

Kelley H says …

My kids and husband inspire me to cook and try new things in the kitchen. I try to introduce something new at east once a month.

Kathie Proulx says …

I made a drastic change just over a year ago to completely remove animals from my diet. I had been feeling lethargic and bloated and had issues after getting my gallbladder removed. As a veterinarian I felt that removing animals from my diet was a very logical step. Since that change, along with a renewed passion for running, my whole body has changed and I have never felt better. Having said that, I was forced to change my cooking and explore a whole new world of all veggie options. This past year has been a fun experiment figuring out what things work together and finding new creations. I look forward to using your book for inspiration :)

stacey a says …

Fresh, local food or a compelling picture inspire me to get in the kitchen and really treat myself & family!

karen pennington says …

i read cookbooks like some people read the news paper--- enjoy seeing all the different ways there are to make that simple ingredients become something different and special i find new spices listed that i would never think to combine--- would like to win this one sounds very interesting!!!

Rhea Angle says …

What inspires me is the aromas of fresh herbs, like basil and cilantro. That makes me want to create something new. I also draw inspiration from "found" plants in my environment. This year I harvested prickly pears and froze the juice. It makes awesome pancake syrup, and flavoring for lemonade and iced tea. I'm still trying new things with it. Next year I plan to harvest mesquite pods and have it ground into flour for baked goods. The desert is very generous with edible plants, pods and seeds.

sylvia Gamonet says …

I would love to get that book, I hope it will teach that cooking is fun and healthy. Thanks, Sylvia

penni says …

I find most of my cooking inspiration in my backyard garden. If I use whatever's growing and thriving there -- vegetables, herbs, even edible flowers -- in my cooking, I thrive, too!

Debbie Mathieu says …

What inspires me to cook is to keep the man of the house delighted with lucious foods that are not only healthier, but very pleasing to the tastebuds, so that he wants to hug the cook even more!!!! :)

j.J. says …

I just like to cook. I like that I'm deciding what to put in to the dish, even if I can't get the precise textures that processed food can turn out.

natalie russell says …

Being able to eat something fresh without any weird ingredients keeps me cooking.

Sharon McNeill says …

Love Kris Carr.... and this recipe looks so delicious!

Kristi says …

Flavor, flavor, flavor and of course healthy at the same time. Ideally gluten free and no or low sugar. Yumm!

Kim K. says …

Cookbooks always inspire me to get cooking! I love all the ideas, especially when they involve thinking outside the box!

s.kiwi hickey says …

food is sexy and the right combinations can be an explosion of flavor in your mouth.

Erin Hicks says …

My one year old daughter inspires me to work every day to prepare whole food meals that she will enjoy. I am hoping to raise her to appreciate many types of foods that will give her health and vitality all of her life.

Amy says …

I love finding and reading food bloggers who promote recipes that I've never tried before. Ingredients I've never heard of before. Or simply something that showcases the season's best ingredients. Now that's inspiring!

Ben says …

Most of my life i have been intrigued by all the combinations of foods that have been made and it excites me to see what chefs come with next...I am always seeking something new to make and taste.

Charlotte says …

Love the Vegan idea and all the healthy food. Makes me feel like a million.

Nichole Hall says …

I'm inspired to get cooking for the health of my family and myself as well as those around me. I look around and see so much sickness. When people see that I eat different than they do, they take notice. Slowly over time they start to implement some of what I do into their own diets. It's heartwarming for me to be part of their change.

Cheryl says …

Cooking is alchemy. I love the way ingredients can be transformed by combining them in unique ways, adding heat, stirring them up, etc. Preparing food for people you love (and for strangers) is also an intimate way to connect. Food expresses culture in a unique way, too. Most of all, what gets me cooking is the taste. I cook almost every day because I want food that's healthy, that I know the source of, and that above all is scrumptious! (Those are the goals, anyway.)

Robbin says …

This book checked out of library...would love my own copy!

Melissa H. says …

New recipes and photos always inspire me!

Christine says …

Healthy, interesting recipes always seem to inspire me and get me cooking. Reading the recipe and or seeing a picture of the finished item, makes me want to see how it tastes. So cooking is a great way to

GretchenP says …

creating whole food meals is new to me so very inspring.. thanks for the giveaway!! :)

cw says …

Getting my child involved and interested in foods is what inspires me.

Julie Reuter says …

What inspires me and gets me cooking is the true desire to improve my health. As I've gotten older I've definitely started connecting the dots between certain foods and my health. For instance, as much as I love it, I have also determined that dairy is not good for me. I've eliminated most of it, although I do allow myself one greek yogurt a day. So trying to work around these dietary restrictions I've now put in place is what motivates me to seek out 'alternative' recipes and to get cooking!

Amy Zanlungo says …

I get inspired by the desire to try new things. There's nothing like a multi-sensorial experience of smell, taste, texture when indulging in new dishes. I heart food!

camille alfrejd says …

My family inspires me to cook! I love teaching my teens to widen thier palate and try new things...watching thier interest in cooking is a great thing! We have collectively learned how to use healthy ingredients instead of the tried and true processed ones...although we are not perfect! Between our family garden and Whole foods, we are making better choices everyday!

K Reimers says …

I'm inspired by the seasons -- from fresh produce that's organic & locally farmed.to the actual weather & time of the year. I don't really even think about baking until around November b/c it's too hot where I live to consider turning on the oven for hours at a time. And I'm not too enthusiastic about grilling when it's cold & damp during our brief winter months either.

Renee Rousseau says …

Visual inspires me to be creative in the kitchen. I have to see a picture along with the recipe which makes online cooking classes the best inspiration of all.

Marcie Quintana says …

I am looking forward to cleansing my eating habits and lifestyle

Carrie says …

My inspiration is bringing my family together for wonderful food and memories, and teaching my nieces and nephews the joys of cooking fresh,healthy and sometimes indulgent food.

Belinda Gross says …

What inspires me is my lifestyle, I use a coupon for almost everything I buy. I also have a medical condition that makes me careful about what I eat. What gets me cooking is my husband - I cook for and with him, I love to eat and I love the taste of different foods.

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