Several years ago, there were only a handful of vegan cookbooks. Today, there are dozens, and I recently learned that there are 200 new vegan cookbooks on the way!
Good news, unless you’re deciding which cookbook to add to your library. Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to choose as I received a printed version of Crazy Sexy Kitchen as a gift. With the subtitle “150 plant-powered recipes to start a delicious revolution”, and avoiding the word “vegan”, Crazy Sexy Kitchen informs us about the many benefits of plant-based diets (for animals, the environment and the health) and declares that any move toward a “plant-loving diet” and away from the standard American diet is a positive.
While some may believe that giving away exciting cookbook titles is a marketing gimmick, the approach of co-authors Kris Carr (of “Crazy Sexy Cancer”) and chef Chad Sarno is sure to appeal to anyone seeking increased vitality and fitness.
What I like best about CSK is that it places a great emphasis on healing recipes that use fresh local vegetables and features a variety of cuisines and cooking techniques, from the most basic to the most advanced. CSK has a wide variety of raw recipes (16 pages dedicated to juices and smoothies, 23 pages to salads and some entrees) and techniques, as well as cooked recipes, with prominent vegan chefs such as Tal Ronnen, Sarma Melngailis and Fran Costigan.
Before you delve into the recipes, the book gives you the basics of Crazy Sexy Diet (Carr’s previous book), information on how to prepare your kitchen, and cooking tools and tips. Carr sums up the Crazy Sexy Diet (CSD) as “a nutrient-rich, happy eating and living that harmonizes your beautiful body at the cellular level.” She explains that inflammation leads to disease, mentions the dangers of dairy, meats, and sugar, and also talks about acid / alkaline (pH) balance:
“As part of your inflammatory wellness plan, I encourage you to reduce or eliminate all disgusting foods that irritate your body. Most of the vitamins commonly found in the Standard American Diet (SAD): meat and dairy, refined carbohydrates , wheat, processed foods made with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and trans fats. And let’s not forget chemicals, drugs, and whatever else you can’t fathom. “
Carr, diagnosed with cancer at age 31, addresses the controversial issue of soy products saying that “many of the same doctors who tell patients to avoid soy never mention the abundant amounts of estrogen and other growth hormones that They are found in dairy products. As a result of a cancer diagnosis, please seriously consider getting rid of dairy as well. “
All recipes are marked with symbols that label the recipes according to dietary preferences (soy-free, gluten-free, raw, kid-friendly), as well as difficulty level (“eazy suction cup” or “cheffy”) and “saver. of time”. There are also a few pages (p. 274) of suggested menus with promising names like “Zero Stress in 30 Minutes or Less,” “The Simple Life,” “For Your Valentine,” and “Office Lunch Party.”
I first heard the name Chad Sarno when he was preparing his cashew cheese recipe in Tal Ronnen’s “The Mindful Cook” three years ago. It was my first exposure to raw food and I am glad to see that Crazy Sexy Kitchen contains a good sample of raw recipes. In addition to juices and smoothies, there are old-school raw entrees such as raw noodles and “rawvioli” (ravioli made with wrappers made from sliced beets). Carr says that he encourages people to “increase their intake of raw foods” and that a combination of mostly raw and some cooked foods is ideal in the long run.
Although CSK has dozens of tempting recipes, some of my favorites are:
French toast with amaretto cream (p. 105)
Palm Heart Crab Cakes with Remoulade (151)
Chickpea tagine with root vegetables (185)
Beet Ravioli with Cashew Cream Cheese (193)
Madeira peppercorns tempeh (203)
Rosemary Popcorn (245)
Raw Apple Spiced Rum Pie with Vanilla Maple Frosting (273)
Is Crazy Sexy Kitchen a good option for you?
A cookbook is a very personal choice, especially if it means a change in diet and lifestyle, but here are some CSK features you can consider:
Recipes from a wide variety of chefs that will impress your friends and family and give you a broad perspective on all the possibilities of a plant-based diet.
Some raw recipes call for a high-speed blender and dehydrator, and this can be a roadblock for some. Don’t be discouraged because you don’t have or can’t afford some equipment. A Spirooli slicer is an affordable way to start. You can always put the other items on your “Wish List”.
Provides tips on how to save money that you can spend on buying local and organic ingredients.
Some recipes call for butter or shortening or other vegan convenience foods (which I don’t like), but they are helpful for transitioning to a more plant-based diet.
In general, Crazy Sexy Kitchen is appropriate for aspiring chefs, curious vegans, or simply those who want to prepare healthier meals. For longtime vegans and seasoned cooks, you can complete your collection and broaden your horizon. With dozens of beautiful photographs and an attractive design, it also makes a great coffee table book and gift idea.