Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr (Hay House) BOOK REVIEW

kriscarrbookIT’S PROBABLY FAIR to say that the words ‘crazy’ and ‘sexy’ don’t normally grace the covers of your beloved vegan recipe reads.

In fact, no-one could blame you if the very first image that came to mind was one of Nigella Lawson making goo-goo eyes at your food processor.

Sorry to disappoint, though the actual mastermind behind this book is someone that really should make you scoot a little closer to your web devices and take note.

Authored by none other than Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Kitchen (subtitled 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes To Ignite A Mouthwatering Revolution) is her first cookbook based on the notion that a vegan lifestyle is indeed the healthiest. Now, if you’re not quite familiar with her name, allow me to share a bit of background info on this wellness activist.

In 2003, Kris made her first public legacy of many in this world with the creation of the documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer on her own journey, just weeks after being diagnosed with stage IV sarcoma on Valentine’s Day. Horrible right?

Wrong. Kris didn’t see it that way, and soon after its release, her story was swiftly picked up by Oprah and several other giants of the media world.

What started out as a speed bump in her life’s journey that day, has instead become the trip of a lifetime as she thrives with cancer.

Curried Tofu SaladYep, you heard me. Kris and cancer have been having a stable relationship for 10 years now and she boasts that thanks in part to a healthy and active plant-based lifestyle that she actually feels better with the disease than she ever did without it. She’s now not only an inspiration to the four corners of the globe but she is also a multiple New York Times and Amazon #1 bestseller who has published five books to date.

With her latest book and very first cookbook, what you’re really getting is a lingo-packed health bible, and while its wording may not appeal to all, it’s hard not to be charmed by Kris and her seemingly endless enthusiasm that just leaps right off the pages.

Partnering up with friend and renowned chef Chad Sarno (almost a dead ringer for Michael Van de Elzen from The Foodtruck) and with a bunch of other familiar chef names doing guest spots, the duo play off their strengths with messages and recipes that your body deserves to hear with one major key point: one should not wait for your body’s warning bell system to sound, because by then it might just be the final call – prevention is the key. Hallelujah to that.

The first section of the book is jampacked with tips & tricks, with everything from finding the right sort of knives for your future mouth watering culinary delights, to what you need to know about your fruit and three veg, and everything else in between.

“Living a PH-balanced diet with veggies, some fruits, dark leafies, sprouts, green juices, green smoothies and certain unprocessed grains, beans and nuts helps make your blood & tissues more alkaline. On the other hand meat, dairy, eggs, sugar, highly processed foods, coffee & alcohol make your blood and tissues more acidic. “Load up on the alkaline foods the majority of the time and your body will thank you!” Kris knows what’s up.

She also encourages readers to get acquainted with raw foods for a lifelong friendship, even if it’s not necessarily an exclusive one. Finding your balance and what feels good to you is the good stuff.

“Our future is being written with every meal”. The second section of the book has those recipes you’re waiting for. You’ve got your obligatory juices and smoothies, your sensual starters, your main events and a heap of a lot more. I like my picture books as much as the next pre-school kid, so I did wish that there were photos for every single recipe for an extra inspiration boost. While the quality of the recipes does seem to have taken a back seat to let Kris’s journey shine through, I still have no doubt you’ll make something pretty special out of the pages. There’s a really good section on sauces and condiments (which some cookbooks skip out completely) that’s pretty exciting as well – a quickfire way to spruce up your favourites while making you look pretty good in the kitchen. I like that.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

Lastly, at the end of this cookbook there is a variety of menu planners for different occasions which I could see as being very helpful.

Overall, this cookbook is worth reading, but more-so for the information and resources provided than the recipes themselves. I like my food to be delicious and simple, and I did find that a few too many of the recipes didn’t fit in with my day to day lifestyle, but they might be right for you. Actually, the free recipes on her website look a lot more my style! If anything, being encouraged to look at what we put into our bodies makes it worth getting the book alone.

Check out for more goodness. RACHEL WALKER

* Crazy Sexy Kitchen is distributed in NZ by Penguin, and retails for $50.

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