Whether you’re looking for better health, worried about the global food market’s impact on the environment or have issues about the welfare of animals, there’s a lovely new cookbook embracing the plant-based diet. “Crazy, Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution” by Kris Carr with Chef Chad Sarno (Hay House) and other guest chefs offers 150 nutrient-dense recipes, including using beans, whole grains, smoothies, vegetables and fruits.
There’s lots of great advice here, from limited dairy, meats, wheat (glutin) and sugars to understanding the acid/alkaline balance in your body, eating more raw produce and getting enough protein.
If you’re wondering about the title, “crazy” refers to forward thinking, “sexy” to being empowered and “kitchen” as the household pharmacy. Carr is also the author of “Crazy, Sexy Diet,” which “digs deep into the philosophy and science of my diet and lifestyle, with a sample recipe near the end.” She calls her latest book “the perfect sequel.”
“These recipes will teach you how to turn your newfound knowledge, commitment and desires into a beautiful (and healthy) reality on your plate, meal after meal,” she writes in the “Crazy, Sexy Kitchen’s” introduction.
By the way, the cookbook won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award for Cookbooks.
Here’s a Louisiana-style dish that’s made entirely by plants.
Heart of Pam Style Crab Cakes with Remoulade
From “Crazy, Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution”
By Guest Chef Tal Ronnen
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons minced capers
2 teaspoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoon minced red bell pepper
2 teaspoons nori flakes
½ cup canola oil, more if needed
Two 14-ounce cans hearts of palm
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons Vegenaise or other vegan mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Directions: Place all remoulade ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend on high for 1 minute. Set aside or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Toast nori sheet by holding it with tongs and fanning it over a low gas flame or electric burner. Be careful not to let it burn. Turn the sheet frequently so that it toasts evenly.
Grind the nori using a spice grinder or a coffee grinder that you use exclusively for spices. Break the nori into pieces, place it in the grinder, and pulse until powdered. Alternatively, crumble it as finely as you can with your hands or pulverize it with a mortar and pestle.
Drain the hearts of palm and press in a towel to dry them. In a food processor, pulse gently until it looks like the consistency of crabmeat. Place a small sauté pan on medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. Sauté the onion and bell pepper until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the hearts of palm, onion, bell pepper, Vegenaise, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, nori flakes, nutritional yeast flakes, arrowroot or cornstarch, and salt and pepper. Mix until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Scoop with an ice cream scoop or a large tablespoon to portion into small cakes. Combine breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. Coat the small cakes with breadcrumbs. Form and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until firm.
To cook the crab cakes, place a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add some canola oil and heat for 2 minutes. Working in batches, sauté the cakes (make certain that the oil comes about halfway up the sides of the cakes) until browned on both sides and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove the cakes to a baking shet lined with parchment paper and place in a warm oven until you finish all of the cakes. Place the cakes on a plate and garnish with remoulade.