I’m feeling like a broken record but one of my favorite things about summer is grilling. It’s the best! I barely even think about turning on my oven for dinner anymore, and have been grilling all. the. things. Chicken, steak, salmon, veggies, bread, you name it – I’m grilling it. Out of all the things to grill, I really love grilled veggies. It’s amazing what a little olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and time on the grill can do!
We had a some friends over for dinner a few weeks ago (remember our Dogs Gone Wild debacle?) and before we devoured that Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp, I served up some grilled veggie and halloumi sandwiches. Have you ever heard of halloumi cheese? Apparently it has a high melting point and is grillable, unless you’re me and somehow melt the cheese on the grill. Oops. Luckily the cheese was able to be saved and dinner was not ruined. In fact, it was delicious and inspired this chimichurri cream cheese spread.
I used GOVeggie! Dairy Free Cream Cheese Alternative and simply mixed it with some chimichurri sauce for the ‘spread’ on these sandwiches. You might be wondering why I would use a dairy free cream cheese if I’m not lactose intolerant or vegan. When I tried GOVeggie! cream cheese last winter, I was surprised at how good it was and how much it tasted like real cream cheese. I’ve also tried a lot of their other dairy-free and lactose-free cheese products and have been equally impressed. So even though my ‘diet’ doesn’t necessitate that I eat dairy-free, I love having the option for a healthy meal or even dessert (the strawberry cream cheese is divine!). I’ve also partnered up with GOVeggie! and will be posting recipes using their products regularly. Of course, you can always substitute a regular dairy version of the GOVeggie! cheese that I suggest.
Usually chimichurri is made with parsley, but I decided to jazz it up a bit and add some cilantro and basil, too. The combination of the green herbed chimchurri with the creamy GOVeggie! Cream Cheese was the perfect complement to the grilled veggies. While I used red peppers, red onions, asparagus, and zucchini, you could use any of your favorite veggies to grill. I’m thinking eggplant, summer squash, and mushrooms would work well too. You could even throw some grilled chicken on there if you’re craving some meat. Once again, another grilled summer meal for the win!
grilled veggie sandwich with chimichurri cream cheese spread
for the chimichurri:
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup basil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 oz. GO Veggie! Dairy Free Plain Cream Cheese
for the veggies:
- 1 red bell pepper seeds removed and sliced into strips
- 1 lb asparagus ends cut
- 1 red onion sliced
- 1 zucchini cut in half and sliced into strips the long way
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ciabatta buns cut in half
To make the chimichurri cream cheese spread:
- Combine all ingredients except cream cheese in food processor or blender and pulse until herbs are finely chopped and pureed.
- Combine with cream cheese in medium bowl and whisk well to combine.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make grilled veggies:
- Combine all veggies in large bowl.
- Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then add garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and coat veggies.
- Heat grill to medium-high.
- Add veggies to grill pan and place on grill.
- Cover and let cook 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until veggies are cooked. If you want your veggies a bit more charred, cook longer.
- During the last few minutes of cooking the veggies, place ciabatta buns cut side down on grill and grill 2 minutes, until there are grill marks and bread is warm.
- Spread buns with chimichurri cream cheese, then top with grilled veggies.