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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

Amy B says …

I love learning from others! I also read lots of healthy cooking blogs. Using new ingredients really inspires me. Going to my farmers market and getting in season vegetables is so fun! My friends and I also do recipe swaps sometimes. We all get together and bring our recipe boxes, sip wine, and share food we love! It's really fun.

Crystal says …

Traditions, Changing of the Seasons and Farmers Markets all inspire me and gets me cooking! :)

Niki says …

My daughter doesn't like to many foods so I take what she does like, then try to make variations of traditional recipes with what she likes.

Rosalie Iapalucci says …

The deliciousness of fresh fruits and vegetables is what gets me excited about cooking. Knowing that what has been provided for us in nature is not only what's right for our bodies but also the best tasting, gets me excited to try new things in the kitchen. You can't open a box and taste the flavors of Mother Earth. Eating real, unadulterated food requires some time and preparation. I love finding new and creative ways to prepare fresh and healthy meals for everyone to enjoy, making eating right, feel so wrong! Feeding others and myself nature's most tasty delights inspires me to get cooking!

bitt says …

what inspires me to get cooking are fresh local ingredients, and beautiful new cookbooks and blogs with fun recipe ideas.

V says …

Family and friends inspire me to get cooking and get creative! I love that in the end the healthy food I share puts a smile on people's faces!

Emily says …

I'm inspired by the fresh ingredients at the farmers market or special spices and seasonings that I find when traveling.

Jarin Wadiwalla says …

Cooking with ingredients that I've grown myself inspires me to cook!!! If I know that I have something yummy growing outside, I'll find a recipe where I can use it. :)

Bryan says …

The easy but honest answer is.... good food. Good food always gets me inspired to cook something great myself. I try to glean something from even the simplest food experiences to see how it might impact or affect my own kitchen. There are so many great ingredients, techniques and ideas out there, you always have something new to try and master.

Cindy Shipe says …

I am cleaning my body for the last six months and this book look amazing!!! I can't wait to watch the online classes

LA says …

Once the temperature drops, my mind immediately goes to cooking all those wonderful fall soups. Especially love those ones incorporating root vegetables!

iBikeuBike says …

I am inspired by my husband and children to cook beautiful, healthful, animal-free foods! We no longer indulge in the salt, oil and fat of out-to-eat options so creating indulgent and satisfying foods in our own kitchen has become a passion of our family! Food should be sexy, it should turn people on and I am grateful for fabulous books like this to share that passion! Looking so forward to reading your work! iBikeubike.com

Jonathan Garcia says …

I had a similar childhood experience as a young culinarian: I was the prep cook for my parents when I was younger, and am now the chef :). I'm inspired by everything I see: in magazines; television; restaurants; and even what my family does within our own kitchen. As to what gets me cooking...well I just love being in the kitchen from the second I mise en place to the end of clean-up itself. I just simply love cooking!

arlene says …

just walking into whole foods inspires me to cook, everything fresh, seasonal....a true inspiration!

Haley S says …

Shopping at Whole Foods and the wonderful recipe cards, displays, and samples! (:

Nicole Mason says …

My cooking is inspired by the smiles on the faces of my family when I cook for them. Actually, when I cook for anyone. Providing people with nutrition and satisfaction is incredibly rewarding. It is frustrating right now, with the damage from Hurricane Sandy, that I have to feed my family whatever we can find and I can't make sure that they are eating the best I can give them. When things are back to normal I can't wait to feed them some of these amazing recipes.

Leanne says …

I love taking classic comfort food recipes and making them meatless and even more delicious! - - mom's tomato sauce with eggplant balls; no-chicken soup; roasted poblano Mac n "cheese"!

Patricia says …

I grew up helping my grandmother in the kitchen daily. My parents moved us from Poland to Canada and the lifestyle just got really busy. Both of my parents worked and the only time we got to cook together was on the weekends. It wasn't till I was in my 20s and moved out on my own when I started to cook for myself. What inspires me? Any cookbook, any picture of food, any new food I try - I re-create in my own kitchen.

Melissa says …

The farmers market is always an inspiration to me! We recently moved to a different part of the country and it has been so fun to see what I can create with the weekly offerings!!

margaret christine @notes from maggie's farm says …

Food culture inspires me--the connections made between family and friends, as well as complete strangers, and their stories about food.

margaret christine @notes from maggie's farm says …

Food culture inspires me--the connections made between family and friends, as well as complete strangers, and their stories about food.

Chandra says …

I too have a love for dairy & sweets, and have noticed health complications amongst myself and my family when we eat processed foods. Over the years I have modified the way I cook and eat to a mostly vegitarian menu and 90% of my produce, eggs, and honey are bought from the local farmers in my area. Slowly, my boyfriend and other family members are becoming more interested in healthier foods after noticing how much better they feel from eating local, organic vegitarian meals. I would like to take my healthy eating to te next level and bring my family and friends along with me so we can all feel great and eat delicious food!

brian britton says …

Farm fresh produce inspires me. My grandma started teaching me to cook when i was four, and i remember every weekend we would drive to a farm or produce stand then rush home and make a huge meal, or spend the day canning/preserving everything we got. Now i do the same with my boys. Nothing tastes like farm fresh foods

Fred Cuzner says …

Friends coming over is my inspiration. There is nothing nicer than smiles from friends when they see the food they are about to enjoy. It's a wonderful response to a little effort.

Vanessa Pratt says …

Congratulations Chad. This book is great!

Shannon O. says …

Can't wait to get my hands on this! I'm so inspired by fresh twists on old favorites, and I'm always looking for fun ways to use up my CSA bounty.

Mary Kate Bell says …

What inspires me is finding new and fun ways to fuel my body and power me through my day. I love finding new ways to use vegan food in a creative way to give me tons of energy! Kris Carr's book sounds awesome!

Sally Krenger says …

Yay I want to win!

Allen says …

I've always loved cooking for others. Makes it easy to get inspired and get in the kitchen

Vijaya says …

Cooking and eating vegetarian/vegan food and adopting a plant based lifestyle always been my way of life as my family is culturally vegetarian from birth. I gravitate towards books like Crazy Sexy Kitchen naturally as the recipes are innovative, inspirational and give more positive energy.

Bonnie Cunningham says …

I've always loved baking and cooking, coming up with my own creations. For the past year and half my family has been totally plant-based. Creating lovely, delicious, beautiful meals has become almost an art form for me. The fact that these meals keep my family healthy and vibrant just inspires me more.

Natalie says …

I am inspired by what's around me. In the summer, I get inspired to light up the BBQ and cook up meat and veggies with watermelon on the side. In the cooler months, I start roasting root vegetables and fire up my crockpot for all day cooking soups. I love to cook according to what is local and seasonal and also I love cooking for my family to keep them healthy and happy. I absolutely love the concept of your new book! It fits perfectly into my cooking and health interests and I'd be sure to let my friends and family benefit from these new recipes! :)

Melissa says …

Learning about new and interesting ways to make new foods inspires me. I love learning what people change for healthier options and curing medical ailments with better food.

sandra says …

i get inspired to cook or bake when i go out to eat and i think to myself, i can make this!

Raeanne says …

What get's me motivated to cook/bake are amazing and fresh seasonal ingredients! In fact, I think I'm going to go bake something with pumpkin right now!

Sharon Brown says …

My inspiration comes from visiting the farmer's market or local Whole Foods and finding a food I've never tried before. Often, especially at Whole Foods, there'll be some nearby ready to answer questions or offer suggestions on ways to make a fantastic meal with my new find.

Cailin says …

I have been vegetarian for a few years and recently went vegan after being unable to ignore all of the health problems associated with eating animal-based products I read about. The health of my family inspires me to get in the kitchen and cook everyday, using whole, plant-based foods. I received a copy of CSK in the mail today and am so inspired to expand my cooking abilities and recipes!! Beautiful cookbook!

Meg says …

This looks amazing, I would love to have a copy!

Amanda says …

I'm inspired by the beautiful colors of plant based foods. Making dinner is like painting, composing a work of edible art even! But rather than something distant and outside yourself, it nourishes you and is the best way I know of to connect people and let them know you care.

Blair Atkins says …

I have fallen in love with cooking as I have become passionate about health and wellness! I love to make healthy meals for my boyfriend and I as I know they will keep us trim, energized, and feeling our best. We both live very active lives so it is important that we fuel our bodies with the best plant-based foods possible.

Cherie Unsworth says …

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kris Carr, she is such an inspiration to us breast cancer patients. Being a stage 4 fighter I have taken so much away from her book.

Kelli Doussan says …

I am SO excited about this book!! I have been a long time follower/fan of Kris Carr and now Chad Sarno! She played a large part in my transition from vegetarian to whole foods plant based vegan. Her energy and love I know will show through her recipes and whether I win this or not, I cannot wait to cook and share that love using their recipes!! Thank you for the opportunity!!

Elynor L. Walcott says …

The cold weather and my eleven year's of age grandson, Sam "gets me cooking". The cold weather inspires me to cook comfort food which brings warmth to Sam and myself. So, in other words, "soup is on". I think up yummy soup recipies like different types of lentil soups, with an array of fresh vegetables or cauliflower soup with broccoli. Well, the list is endless. Sam and I like gourmet ( as Sam calls them) herbs and spices in the soups as well. The real joy comes when Sam comes home from school and we sit down at the table together to enjoy the soup in our little glass bowls with our place setting size soup spoons. Thank you for reading this and bye for now, Elynor

marie says …

Yummy-sounding recipes featuring seasonal, healthful ingredients always inspire from me to get in the kitchen and get to work.

Carla says …

In my family, food equals love. Anytime there is an event or a new recipe to try we gather around the table. Three years ago I challenged myself to try one new recipe per week for a year; I'm still doing it! My inspiration comes from the healing power of foods I see everyday in my own family.

Chelsea Soebbing says …

Lately, Pinterest and healthy living blogs have inspired my menu at home. I love to take ideas and make adjustments based on what I have at home.

Suzannah Schneider says …

Chilly fall weather and a need for true nourishment makes me want to cook!

LARK says …

A near-empty kitchen inspires me to (a) cook creatively with what's left and (b) meal plan and select recipes for a great grocery shopping list.

Jennifer Price says …

I am inspired by local, seasonal veggies. The possibilities are endless and I love creating healthy vegetarian meals for the people I love.

Marla says …

Recreating family recipes with a focus on whole foods inspires me, as does cooking plant-centered, delicious natural food for my family.

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