West Hartford chef and culinary instructor Steve Kantrowitz shares a recipe!
By Steve Kantrowitz
The weather has warmed up and spring is definitely in the air. And spring equals grill. With relatively little planning almost anything can be cooked on the grill. Less clean up, deeper flavors, and big platters of food. What else is there?
This dish has a familiar Mediterranean feel. Substitute any vegetables that you prefer. I like the peppery overtones of the arugula, while others may enjoy mild spinach. The quantities are up to you. I like to start with “one” unit of each. Take notes and adjust amounts the next time.
Grilled Salad with Chick Peas, Slow Roasted Garlic, Grape Tomatoes, and Baby Arugula
- 1 cup whole cloves of peeled garlic
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium size zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced in 1/2” thick rounds
- 1 sweet yellow (or orange) bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeds and membrane removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small can (14oz) of chick peas, drained and dried well
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 large handful of baby arugula
- 6-8 leaves large basil leaves, sliced thinly crosswise
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 375ºF. Put garlic cloves in the center of a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil and seal tightly. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until soft. Open foil and cool, reserving oil.
Lightly toss zucchini, onion, and yellow pepper with olive oil. Place on preheated grill until scored with grill marks, 6-8 minutes. Flip and grill for another 6-8 minutes.
Cut zucchini to 1 inch lengths, separate onion into rings and cut peppers into 1 inch pieces.
In a large bowl place cut vegetables, chick peas, tomatoes, roasted garlic, and reserved oil. Toss well to combine.
Add arugula, basil and sherry vinegar. Gently toss together and season with salt and pepper.
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Steven Kantrowitz is a an experienced chef and culinary instructor who lives in West Hartford. His belief is: When you start with quality ingredients, it’s not what you do to them that makes you a good cook, it’s what you don’t do to them. He follows a whole food plant-based diet, and here’s a bit of his story:
With a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, and hypertension, Steve began to realize things needed to change for him as he approached his 50th birthday. He completed a sprint triathlon, ran a marathon, and then ate his last corned beef, pastrami and turkey triple decker (with a side of fries and a couple of sour tomatoes) before cutting out all animal products, highly processed foods, white sugar and white flour. Once he’d made up his mind, there was no looking back. Maybe a little looking back.
While never counting calories or keeping track of grams of fat, carbs, or proteins, over a period of 12 weeks, he lost 18 pounds, got rid of acid reflux, (antacid tablets were no longer considered a food group), experienced renewed energy and saw a level of improvement in his blood work that his physician said he’d never seen without the use of prescribed statins.
It wasn’t easy, but the results spoke for themselves. And for Steve, the turnaround redirected his culinary career to become a public speaker, mentor and instructor, introducing others to the benefits of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle, and empowering them to be part of the solution. Becoming proactive rather than reactive regarding their health and well being.
For more about Steve Kantrowitz, visit his website.