Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cooking with: Crazy Sexy Kitchen

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I worship Kris Carr.  She's my hero.  Cancer thriver, wellness warrior, goodness goddess.  There really is so much to love about her.  I read her book, Crazy Sexy Diet early on in my vegan transition.  She has been an inspiration and source of information and resources ever since.  I wouldn't be as confident, comfortable or glowing on my vegan journey if it wasn't for Kris' wisdom and pep talks.

My second Kris purchase was her e-book, Crazy Sexy Juices and Succulent Smoothies.  I met her shortly after the book's launch at a Hay House conference last year and got it signed by her.  Have you ever met your hero?  It's incredible and amazing wrapped up in life changing.  

Me and Kris Carr - March 2012 at the Hay House Ignite! Conference in San Jose

I love this book, the bible of juicing, but craved for more.  Finally, her new book launched, Crazy Sexy Kitchen.  She and Chef Chad Sarno present vegan food in all its glory.  As usual, Kris' wit and charm come across in the first sections of the book where she introduces the Crazy Sexy Diet lifestyle and philosophy.  She then goes into enjoyable detail on the low down of pantry and fridge staples for a plant based diet, as well as kitchen tools and equipment.  Her third chapter breaks down kitchen lingo, and demystifies basic cooking methods for beans, grains and legumes.  No one should feel intimidated about cooking after reading this book.

And then, she gets into the recipes!  The 150 plant-based recipes are photographed beautifully and are outlined in easy steps.  They have included everything - juices and smoothies, breakfast, soups and stews, sandwiches and wraps, apps, salads, mains, sides, snacks and desserts.  I also love the section on marinades, dressings, and condiments.  They've got no fuss food, quickie recipes, gluten free, kid friendly and elegant fare.  I really like symbols she includes at the top of each recipe, clearly identifying gluten-free, raw, soy free, and kid friendly.  She also has symbols for difficulty level and quick recipes.  I am literally cooking and eating my way through this book.  I just got started this month, but here is what I have tried so far, as well as what I am dying to try.

Crazy Sexy Bean Chili - Loved, loved, loved this!  This was a crowd pleaser among non vegans too.
Save the Tuna Salad on Rye - I served it on wheat sourdough, but delicious nonetheless.
Cabbage Hemp Salad and the Cucumber Sesame Salad - Great side salads with Asian meals.
Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad - I made this for lunch and my body was thankful for the comforting midday superhero charge.
Simply Green Salad - Love the Lemon Oil on this salad.  This was easy, refreshing and light.
Bok Choy with Lemon Tahini Sauce - Made this for Shabbat last week and served with grilled tofu.

Dying to try...
Everything in the breakfast section!
Tofu Country Scramble
French Toast with Amaretto Creme
Cornmeal Banana Walnut Pancakes
Chickpea Crepe with Mushrooms and Artichokes
Avo Toasts
Caesar Pleaser Salad - Always looking for Caesar Salad recipes
Madeira Peppercorn Tempeh - My next Friday night meal
Curried Nada-Egg with Watercress Wraps
Truffled Edamame Dumplings with Shallot Broth

This is a must buy on your cookbook list this year.  If you are not yet convinced, try the book's recipe for Pumpkin Bisque Soup, posted on Kris Car's site.

Pumpkin Bisque
Yield: 4 servings
2 cups pumpkin, butternut squash or sweet potato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cup white onions, diced
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
5 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 cup sherry wine
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
Pumpkin seed oil for garnish (optional)
1. Steam or boil the pumpkin or squash until tender.
2. Sauté onions over medium heat in olive oil until translucent.
3. Using a high-speed blender, combine pumpkin, onions, stock, garlic, wine, maple syrup and spices and blend until smooth.
4. Warm soup in saucepan. Serve hot, garnished with pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil, if desired.