Philly Cheesesteak

I’ve never had a real Philly Cheesesteak before, the sad part is that I actually have been to Philidelphia. Granted, I was 15 and wandering around with the rest of the Lions Band geeky kids, all of us dressed in our red, white, and blue polos. Don’t judge, we were pretty awesome. We didn’t really have the opportunity to go discover any Philly restaurants.

But a few years ago, Josh and I wanted to recreate one. We did a fair bit of googling. Do you realize how many different types of philly cheesesteaks there are? Seriously. Sliced cheese, liquid cheese, cheesewhiz. Hoagie bun, sub bun, toast. No veggies, lots of veggies, ONLY veggies. It goes on and on and on.

We make ours with peppers, onions, and mushrooms. And fennel, lots of fennel!

Peppers and Mushrooms fixed
Plus, we had all these pretty veggies sitting in the fridge!

So we just pretty much went with our gut and gave it a shot. We’d always went the sliced cheese route, until we decided to use the same cheese sauce we use for mac and cheese (when we actually make it at home). So, of course, I grabbed my phone and snapped away thinking this would be a good “first recipe welcome back!”

Without further ado…

finished fixed

Philly Cheesesteak Subs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Bake Time 5 minutes optional

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 medium sized red pepper (sliced)
1 medium sized green pepper (sliced)
1 medium sized red onion (sliced)
4 oz (1/2 container) Portabella Mushrooms (sliced)
1 TBS EVOO
3 TBS fennel seed
***1 pkg (6 slices) Beef Sizzlers ***
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
***1 cup shredded cheese ***
2 cups milk
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Salt, pepper to taste

***Ok, you don’t have to use the Beef Sizzlers. That just happens to be what we have always grabbed… plus ribeye (which is what’s typically used) is super expensive around here. If you are using ribeye, just start with this thinly sliced. Nearly as thin as you can get.

Also subsitute whatever cheese you would like. We used a mix of shredded cheddar and colby jack.***

Start with the cheese sauce

Cheesesauce fixed

1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium low heat. Once it’s all melted add the flour. This is making a roux (“roo” not “roo-xkssss. My bad)
2. Stir this around until it’s started to turn a light shade of brown.
3. Slowly add 1/2 the milk that you have. The pan will hiss like crazy, but you’re ok.
4. Increase the heat on the stove to about medium. (You can go ahead and start at medium, but this way I’m not worried about scalding the milk.)
5. Add the cheese slowly. Add a bit, stir until melted, add a bit more, stir until melted. Continue this until all the cheese is melted.
6. At this point, your sauce will start getting thicker. Add the last bit of you milk along with the chopped parsely. Whisk to incorperate.
7. Once it starts bubbling return to medium low heat. Stirring occasionally, while you begin your veggies and beef.

And now the meat

Meat fixed 2
Give you and idea of what I mean by “shredding”

1. Heat the EVOO in a saute’ pan at medium heat. Add your peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until just about tender.
2. Add your sizzlers (or ribeye) to the veggies. While this is cooking make sure you are shredding the beef. Be careful not to completely destroy your veggies in the process (guilty). The easiest way I’ve found for this is to hold the beef with the spatula and attack it with a fork. Or tongs. Or wooden spoon. Ok, ok, whatever utensil is close by. But I still manage to mangle it…so I do them separately. Josh is the meat pro here.
3. Add your fennel and cook until the meat is no longer pink, this is quick. Only about 3-4 minutes.

There you have it, bon appitete

So now, all you need to do is stuff your filling into just about anything (sub buns, pitas, hoagie rolls, etc) and top with the cheese sauce. If you want, and I really suggest, throw your buns in the oven for about 5 minutes at 250 degrees so they’re nice and warm and crispy at the edges.

Seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to sliced cheese. Gotta be the cheese sauce. All the way.

And the veggies are pretty much amazing. I’m a sucker for peppers and fennel. It reminds me of the the fair. In my perfect world, all fair food would be covered in saute’d peppers and fennel. Seriously, I adore it. Every once in a while I’ll just skip over the beef and go straight vegetable.

Now, the meat is fairly greasy. I’m pretty sure that using a different meat, like ribeye, would be A) healthier and B) less sloppy. If you’re worried about how greasy this is, you can defintely go ahead and make the meat first and pull it off to drain. Just lay it on a plate with napkins on it, throw it back in with the veggies for the last minute to warm it back up. Entirely your choice.

But all-in-all, this is defintely a go-to dinner for us especially when we’ve had a super busy day.

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If you tried this recipe did you add anything? Change anything? Let me know in the comments!

I love you, Avocado

Avocado is an amazing thing. I absolutely love avocado. Although, I used to despise it. Couldn’t stand the texture, the taste, even the brownish skin weird-ed me out. But I had been having a problem getting healthy fats into my diet, I was relying on nuts which was getting incredibly boring. So I essentially forced myself to eat avocados…and thankfully I did. Because in all the spine shuddering attempts I found out that I love you, avocado. I really really do.

So in the glory of avocados (and a really good reason to literally have dreams about growing an avocado tree) I have been going a little nuts on the avocado front. To the point where I have pinned how to plant an avocado plant. Yes, I have. Proof in the picture…well screen shot.

how to grow an avocado

I’m not an avocado expert… but I know that it has tons of nutrients in it. Plus it’s a really good source of fat, which our bodies do need. I believe (don’t quote me on this…) it has Omega 3 fats in it.

The avocado got a bad rap in the weight loss world because it’s high in calories, it’s around 300 calories for the entire fruit. Most people immediately shun the poor avocado for this reason. Tons of healthy things have quite a bit of calories in it, but many people tend to equate high calories with being unhealthy. But I’d rather chow down on 300 calories of avocado than 300 calories of bacon, espeically since I have a really (read: REALLY) hard time not mowing down on the entire darn thing. Let’s face it…we don’t want that little beauty becoming brown and inedible do we? The only option? EAT ALL THE AVOCADO!

Yesterday I made a completely scrumptious avocado chicken salad.

The recipe has been floating around on Pinterest, and of course I snagged it up fairly quick. It came from Jocelyn Diebolt Blogs I ended up tweaking it just a tad because I’m weird, but I must say it’s has already become a lunch staple for me (the four times I’ve had it in the last 10 days should explain as such). So without further ado…

Avocado Chicken Salad

1.5 oz shredded chicken
3 TBS mashed avocado
1/2 TBS Hellman’s Light Mayo
2 TBS fresh cilantro finely chopped
1/5 tsp lime juice
1 stalk green onion finely chopped
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

1. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and mix, mix, mix.

avocado chicken salad nearly use

Done.

Granted it’s the prep work that takes up most the time. Shredding the chicken, mashing the avocado, and chopping everything else. But it only took me about 10 minutes for everything, and that included pausing to snap pictures.

I threw mine on some toast with spinach and a few slices of tomato. Delicious!!!! Seriously I adore this.

avocado chicken salad sandwich use

The original recipe I found called for Greek yogurt, but I find that Greek yogurt tends to add an acidic taste to recipes. I’ll still use it once in a while, but for something like this I passed and went along with the light mayo. And the recipe also calls for chilling it for at least 30 minutes for eating it. All of my stuff has been chilling in the fridge for a while, so I skipped this step and just mowed down.

The recipe I have is enough for one sandwich… or if you are on of those people who have a 1000:1 ratio of bread to innards, then possibly two. But I was only looking to make myself on sandwich. If it’s in there… I’m gonna eat it. That’s how much I love this.

And for those of you who are curious… it comes out to about 140 calories. Of course this doesn’t include whatever you are sticking it on… whether that’s on bread, pitas, or a wrap. I went with some whole wheat toast. But whatever floats your boat.

But seriously, if you like avocado…try this recipe. I love it!

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