With Memorial Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about how to celebrate the unofficial kickoff of BBQ season. After all, nothing says “summertime” quite like a day spent outside with family and friends around the grill.
But a “Standard American Barbecue” is far from gut healthy…
- Sauces and marinades full of sugar, gluten, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors
- Inflammatory oils like canola and soybean
- Low-quality meats like hot dogs and pre-made burgers
That doesn’t mean you need to spend your summer alone and inside. (We already know that following a leaky gut diet doesn’t mean you can’t be a Social Butterfly.)
Instead of the usual hot dogs, my favorite thing to grill are kabobs. I love how versatile they are – you can take any veggies, any type of meat, and combine them with fresh herbs and seasonings to make a really delicious, really simple meal.
One variation I make all the time are beef kabobs with chimichurri sauce.
Chimichurri is a South American sauce made of parsley, garlic and olive oil. If you haven’t had it before, it is similar to pesto but with a very bright flavor. You can use it as a marinade or a sauce for meat, eggs, salad, etc.
This recipe is easy (just a few ingredients), fun (there’s nothing like food on a stick) and really flavorful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
A couple notes on this recipe:
- I use metal kabob sticks like these. You can also use wooden skewers, but make sure you soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before threading and cooking, or they will burn on the grill!
- Choosing a high-quality, grass-fed meat is very important. I like to order from U.S. Wellness Meats, Butcher Box, or from a local farmer (find a farm near you).
- The chimichurri sauce calls for red pepper flakes. You can omit them if you’re avoiding nightshades. I also include bell peppers on my kabobs, but you can either omit the peppers or replace with a veggie of your choice – zucchini works really well here, cut into ½ inch thick slices.
- Finally, for kids, I serve the cooked kebabs with homemade BBQ sauce or ketchup for dipping, rather than extra chimichurri sauce. Making ketchup or BBQ sauce at home might sound overwhelming, but you’ll be shocked at how easy it is. Not only that, but even simple homemade sauces taste far better than bottled. Make a double-batch at Memorial Day and you can enjoy it all summer long.
Beef Kabobs with Chimichurri Sauce
For the chimichurri sauce
- 2 cups fresh parsley
- 1 sprig fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
For the kabobs
- 1 lb grass-fed flank steak
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 medium bell peppers
For the chimichurri sauce:
In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the unpeeled garlic cloves until the peel chars and begins to wrinkle, and garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat, let cool, and peel.
In a food processor or blender, combine peeled garlic cloves and all other chimichurri ingredients. Pulse until herbs and garlic are chopped and blended with other ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide sauce – half will be used as a marinade, reserve half to serve as a sauce.
For the kabobs:
Slice flank steak into thin strips, cutting against the grain of the meat. Place sliced steak and half the chimichurri sauce in a glass or ceramic bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
Meanwhile, slice onion and peppers into one-inch pieces.
Thread meat and vegetables onto metal skewers or soaked wooden skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with remaining marinade. After brushing kabobs, discard remaining marinade.
Cook on a preheated and greased grill or grill pan until the beef is cooked to your preference, about 5 minutes.
Serve with reserved chimichurri sauce.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Feel free to experiment with different meats and veggies to customize these kabobs to your liking.
What’s your favorite summertime grilling recipe? Please share it with us in the comments!