The Vegetarian’s Philly Cheesesteak


per zucchini estimate*: 247 cals / 10g carbs / 11g fat / 28g protein / 2g fiber / 5g sugar

…looks a little different.

Maybe you noticed?

Hoagies are typically green and made of scooped out zucchini boats, right?
Thought so.

There’s something about making something famously very not-vegetarian into something very vegetarian that gets me ridiculously stoked.

This is one of those moments where I am stoked.

Can you tell yet that this is the Vegetarian Cheesesteak of my eye?
It’s less painful than it sounds.

The first and only time I’ve been to Philadelphia was for a science competition when I was 10 for a project that I had completely fabricated with 3 other girls. Then I went to a Nats game a few days before moving to Brooklyn from DC. And they played the Phillies. So what I’m trying to say is I’m an expert of Philly Cheesesteaks and my opinion is important.

(I’m also trying to say Phillies fans are great people.)

per wrap estimate*: 237 cals / 7g carbs / 11g fat / 27g protein / 1g fiber / 3g sugar

So you can trust me when I say The Vegetarian’s Philly Cheesesteak takes a lot of what’s good about a regular cheesesteaks and makes it great – and meat-free. And skinny. The Vegetarian’s Philly Cheesesteak understands beach season is more than just an influx of reality dating tv shows.

So eat up and tell me I’m ridiculous for replacing a hoagie bun with a zucchini boat. If I had a nickel…

I see you giving me that side eye, Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteak. You so sassy.
(I’m going to destroy you.)

I’d throw it at a Phillies’s fan.

A Vegetarian’s Philly Cheesesteak
makes enough to fill 5-6 zucchinis or radicchio leaves, I think
*adapted from myrecipes.com 

Yall see that movie Philadelphia? That was sad. Let’s grab these ingredients now:

  • 6 zucchinis or radicchio leaves
  • 2 packages (16 oz) of seitan strips , sliced even thinner
  • 50g shallots, sliced into thin strips
  • 85g red bell pepper (half a pepper or so), sliced into thin strips
  • 1 oz hen of the woods mushrooms
  • 3 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • cheese sauce (recipe below)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut a slice off the length of the bottom of your zucchinis to create a flat bottom for your “buns” so they’ll sit still. Cut a wedge out of the top of the zucchini and scoop out the seeds to make your little zucchini boat. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and place on the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

Saute your shallots in 1 teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat until they soften and turn more translucent. Add the mushrooms and red bell peppers and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the peppers are good and soft. Add the remaning two teaspoons of oil along with the sliced seitan and cook away. Toss in the onion and garlic powders and some salt and pepper to taste. Keep cooking at least 5 minutes, stirring often, as the seitan takes on the flavors of the shallots, peppers, and mushrooms. Remove from heat and stuff evenly into your baked zucchini boats. Prepare your cheese sauce.

Philly Cheese Sauce
heavily covers 4 cheesesteaks or a little lighter over 5

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy flour (or whatever you have flour)
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmigiano reggiano
  • 2 slices provolone cheese

Make dat cheese

In a small saucepan, bring your whisked milk and flour to a simmer. Whisk continuously for 2 minutes or so or until it begins to thicken a little. Take off the heat and stir in your cheese. I put a dab of dijon mustard in mine. Not sure it made any difference.

Top your Vegetarian’s Philly Cheesesteaks with cheese sauce. Devour.

You know, in case you were unclear about that saucing step.
Maybe you don’t deserve The Vegetarian’s Philly Cheesesteak…

Oh Vegetarian’s Philly Cheesesteak. Oh you. You. So good. I don’t want to say surprisingly good because of course I want things to taste good and try to make them taste good but omigod-you-taste-so-good-in-my-mouth.  The cheese is gooey, the seitan takes on the flavors of the shallots, mushrooms, and red peppers delightfully, and it’s all so so good in my tummy.

Baked zucchinis make wonderful hoagie replacements. They’re about the right size, hold up when handled like a sub, and green is a pretty color. If you’re in the mood for an even carb-lighter and more portable Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteak, try the radicchio leaf wrap. Pretty tasty too (crunch makes everything even better, if you didn’t already know that) but the leaf will affect the overall flavor of the “meat” and cheese so make sure you like radicchio first!

You’re so pretty it’s a shame to eat you…
…I’d say if I had a heart.

If I wasn’t an expert on Philly Cheesesteaks before (why are you doubting me? I’m pretty sure we concluded I was an expert? Do we have to do some trust exercises or something? I feel so inadequate in your arms.) I am an esteemed visionary in the Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteak field now. I’ve even started wearing glasses. That visionary.

My tummy is so happy. Now go make your tummy happy too.

Other things I would eat this cheese”steak” and cheese sauce filling in:
a shoe, an actual boat, a doll sized bathtub, a human sized bathtub, a trough.

*Nutrition facts here are good estimates but not exact. I based mine on the 1/5th the filling, 1/4 serving of sauce, and 100g of zucchini.

2 comments

  1. This looks delicious! Do you have any suggestions on substitutions for seitan? I live in the UK and it’s impossible to find here.

    1. Can you find vital wheat gluten or order some from amazon? That’s all you need really to make your own seitan and it’s super easy to do.

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