I am super excited about a new (to me) blog group. If you remember my Strawberry Persimmon salsa post, you may remember the Food Matters project. The Food Matters project is a group of bloggers who are cooking their way through Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.

I got a little off track, but I think I have the hang of the group now. You can expect to see more Food Matters recipes on Mondays. I am really passionate about Bittman’s message to eat a vegan, plant-based diet 90% of the time. For me, that other 10% is all about eating lean proteins, preferable from local farmers. 

This week’s recipe, Mixed Grill with Chimichurri, included a grilled meat of your choice, grilled veggies, and an Argentien herb sauce called chimichurri. For my meat, I used a pork tenderloin from Jordendahl farms. I have interviewed Carrie for the Lombardino’s cookbook and I love her products.

The recipe taught me two great new skills: how to grill vegetables directly on the grill and how to make a kick-butt chimichurri sauce. 

Chimichurri Sauce

Bittman suggests using cilantro, parsley, or basil for the sauce. I had planned on using just cilantro, but my plant was a little skimpy. I ended up combining all three and I was so glad that I did.

There was a ton of flavor in the sauce and all of the herbs made their presence known.

I originally tried to make the sauce in the food processor but as soon as the herbs got chopped, I realized that my food processor was way too big.

As you can see, you use two garlic cloves as well as an acid (I used lemon juice), red pepper flakes, and olive oil. My Magic Bullet was much more suited to the challenge.

I loved the bright green color of the sauce. To me, it just looks like it has to be good for you.

Grilled Veggies

I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but I have never grilled veggies directly on the grill. I was a little nervous about this. Grilling is not my forte, nor is it Manatee’s (though I am sure he would beg to differ).

For my veggies, I used tomatoes, portabella mushrooms, eggplant, and zucchini. 

As you can see, I cored the tomatoes and sliced the eggplant and zucchini in thick slices. For the mushrooms, I just removed the stems.

To prep them for grilling, I brushed olive oil on both sides of the veggies and oiled the grill with oil dipped paper towels.

Manatee handed the tongs over to me, and I handed my camera to one of our dinner guests (thanks Luke!).

 We had the grill on medium high heat and they only took a few minutes. It was important to keep an eye on them to make sure the grill marks didn’t turn into burned vegetables.

Mixed Grill with Chimichurri

As directed by Bittman, I grilled the veggies first minus the tomatoes. After the veggies were done, I added the tomatoes and the meat.

To serve, I filled a platter with spinach so that our salad would be built into the meal.

The veggies got added first.

As you can see, the veggies could have been a meal by themselves.

That being said, the meat was pretty darn good too.

This was an awesome summer meal and I will definitely be making elements of this meal throughout the summer.

To check out more interpretations of this recipe, check out the Food Matters project. 

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What types of veggies do you like to grill?

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