For dinner tonight, I wanted to do a different take on the traditional “Sandwich, Milk Shake, Ice Cream” diner dish, so I made Vegetarian Chipotle Cheesesteaks, Coconut Coffee Smoothies and Peach Coconut Freeze. It was one of most fun meals that I’ve made recently!
Vegetarian Chipotle Cheesesteaks — The Recipe Card
- 3 packages Lightlife Steak Style Strips
- 3 cups bell peppers and onions
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoon2 all-purpose flour
- 2 cups warm milk
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 pounds sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers in abodo sauce
- 1 tablespoon abodo sauce
- Artisan bread
- Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Thinly slice peppers and onions cook until peppers are softening, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, and cook the steak strips, following the directions on the package. When finished, set aside and keep warm
- For cheese sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, whisking constantly until bubbly, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in black pepper, cheese, chipotle peppers, and adobo sauce.
- Divide steaks and pepper-and-onion mixture among slices of artisan bread. Top with cheese sauce.
- Makes about 12 to 16 servings.
I originally picked up this non-vegetarian recipe from delish.com, but the great thing about vegetarian meat substitutes is that you can still make some of these “meat dishes”. In the 12+ years since I’ve been a vegetarian, my family and I have tried just about every soy substitute under the sun – from the delicious (like Boca’s Flame Grilled American Burger or Morning Star’s Bacon) to the mediocre (Soy Ice Cream) to the terrible (Never eat soy cheese). I think we can safely say the trial and error is over now, and we’ve settled on what substitutes are the best. (Maybe I’ll do a blog post on that someday!) The steak strips are some of my favorite – they have a FANTASTIC flavor and I love their chewy texture.
I started with multi-colored bell peppers from the garden. After you wash them, slice them in half and scoop out the stem and seeds. Rinse them again, to remove any seed residue, then slice them thinly.
Peel and slice the onions thinly, then toss the peppers and onions in the pre-heated skillet with a bit of oil:
Add your steak strips to a separate skillet (pre-heated with oil):
While everything is cooking, take the time to start the cheese sauce! First in a medium sauce pan, melt the butter, then add in the flour, whisking until the mixture bubbles.
Add in the milk – now the recipe says to stir the milk until the mixture thickened, but mine never did. Since family was awaiting dinner, I didn’t really want to take the time to wait for it, so I went ahead to the next step. To the best of my knowledge, it didn’t change the taste or consistency any.
Next, add in pepper, cheese, chipotle and sauce.
Let cook (stirring occasionally) until the cheese is melted. The sauce might have a light froth on top. It will thicken and darken in color once you have removed it from heat.
While everything is cooking, slice and prepare your bread! If you can get your hands on it, definitely use artisan bread for this recipe. (HEHE!!) A local bakery or health food grocery store might have it. Fortunately for me, not only does my favorite coffee shop sell artisan bread, but my mom makes it herself. She generously baked me two loaves for this recipe.
^ Isn’t it beautiful? With the most perfect crackly crust imaginable, I assure you! For this recipe, I took advantage of my dads grilling skills and put him to work slicing the bread, drizzling it with oil and grilling the slices:
Dang, my parents are talented.
Once everything is cooked, you’re ready to serve! I wanted everyone to be able to construct their own sandwich, so I served everything on platters and let the family “build their own”.
These things were DELICIOUS! (They even scored a rare 10 from my Dad! Gives out 10’s very judiciously, that one) The spicy cheese sauce was a nice balance to the savory meat and the bell peppers added just the right amount of sweetness. The only downside was that they were a little difficult to eat neatly. Of course it could be argued that messy food = delicious food.
I thought this was a great quick and tasty take on the classic steak sandwich – it’d be great to serve if you’re having a friend over for lunch.
Served with: Coconut Coffee Smoothie & Peach Coconut Freeze
Overall Rating: 10 out of 10 from all 3 of my present family members.
Music: Delta Spirit, Deerhunter and a bit of Bon Iver