Meatless Monday with Whole Foods and Crazy, Sexy Kitchen

Mar 2013
Earlier this week I was invited to a cooking demonstration called Entertaining with A Twist. Since I love to entertain, and am always looking for new ways to introduce my meat eating friends to delicious plant based recipes, this was pretty much an offer I couldn’t refuse. Sponsored by Whole Foods, and held in their beautiful demo kitchen in Wellesley, the event is a perfect feature for this Meatless Monday.
Best selling author Kris Carr, herself a cancer thriver, has teamed up with chef and Whole Foods Market lead culinary educator Chad Sarno to create a plant based powerhouse of a cookbook, Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen.
If you’ve ever wanted to introduce more plant based recipes into your diet, this is a great cookbook for you. You know I’m a huge proponent of You are What You Eat. The backstory in Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen of nutrition and wellness was of particular interest to me. Especially the correlation between food, allergies and inflammation   It’s GOOD STUFF!  Covering ingredients, tools and a range of recipes from Sensual Starters, to Sexy Sides and Sweet Seduction.  Chad and Kris have your sexy covered!

But back to the main event.  I knew a few minutes into the demonstration that Chef Chad was going to be my kind of cook.  Not a measuring cup or spoon in sight, he proceeded to give us takeaway tips that will be put to good use in my kitchen:
  • You don’t need oil to caramelize vegetables.  Start with a hot pan {sizzle hot when water is dropped in}, and keep the veggies moving.  When they start to get the good color, add some vegetable broth to finish off the process.
  • Develop flavor profiles.  The right combinations of herbs and spices can take you around the world and satisfy your ethnic food cravings.
  • Experiment.  A combination of fat, acid, sweet and spice is the basic formula-play with different ingredients that appeal to you.
  • Use the edge of a spoon to peel ginger-you won’t loose half the root in the process.
  • Date paste is an excellent sugar substitute.  Blend dates with water to form a paste and you have a terrific whole foods sweetener that you can keep on hand in the fridge.
  • For those of us having a hard time kicking the dairy habit, cashew cheese will do the trick!

The appetizers created by the Whole Foods team were amazing, and I can’t imagine someone wouldn’t want to know more after having a taste.  Top of my list was the Jackfuit Carnitas with avocado and Pico {top left}. The texture of the jackfuit was so similar to pulled pork, it left the entire crowd shaking their head in amazement.

Finally, getting together with the on line community is always a pleasure because you meet the like minds you’ve been communicating with in real life.  Lori Alper from Groovy Green Livin’ and I have been twitter friends for some time, and it was great to finally meet.
Thanks Whole Foods for a really relevant and tasty event. I’ll let you know how I make out trying to kick the cheese habit and if I can get the Jackfruit past the resident carnivores…

Update-I’m not sure why I didn’t post this in the first place, but after all the emails I received-yikes! Here’s a link to the recipe for the Jackfruit Carnitas on Chad Sarno’s web site. Enjoy and let me know how you make out.