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An Ode to Cheesesteaks Past



When I started college a few years ago, here was a spot around the way from my dorm that was famous for its "New York style" cheesesteaks.  Now, before you Philly folks protest, know that it’s pointless here.  I’m a New York girl at heart, always have been.  We know; you guys have the cheesesteak, Chicago’s got the deep dish and…we’ve got everything else. ;-) 

Seriously though, our version of the sandwich (which I didn’t discover until college, incidentally) boasts a great deal more veggies than the original, and comes as either beef or chicken.

Anyway, the place where I had my first encountered that ridiculous monstrosity [they were huge!] was so well-known for two reasons:

1.  The sandwiches were good…damn good.
2.  The smell.  Those of us in the know caught on quickly. You didn’t go to Mr. Everything in "good clothes."  The smell of the place clung to you like a bad suit.

Funky, but delicious. 

I guess, since I returned to the neighborhood this winter, memories of Mr. Everything resurfaced in my mind.  Today, I did my best to recreate that memory.  The only things missing were the Kaiser roll & green bell peppers. (I used Ezekiel bread instead, and I’m not the world’s biggest bell pepper fan.)

That said, I guess I can’t say I recreated the "World Famous Mr. Everything" sandwich exactly, but I think I came up with a pretty good approximation.  And, though I never opted for the chicken version, I used Quorn here because there were no "beefless tips" in sight. 

For the cheese, I mixed up a quick herb cheese sauce.  This version was okay, but it’s not great yet, so try it if you choose & adjust to your tastes. Feel free to add in the peppers & use a Kaiser/Amoroso roll. I hope you enjoy!

The "Ode to Mr. Everything" Cheesesteak-esque Sandwich

Chick’n Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
1 8oz pack of mushrooms, sliced
1.5c broccoli, chopped
3c fresh spinach, chopped

1 pkg Quorn chick’n nuggets
1/2-3/4c vegetable or chicken-style stock (in a squirt bottle)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Red chili flakes, to taste (I like really spicy food, so leave this out if you’re spice shy.)


Creamy Philly Cheesesteak Sauce


    * 4 oz soy sour cream
    * 1/2 tsp garlic salt
    * 1/4 tsp dried parsley
    * 1/4 tsp dried oregano
    * Pinch dried basil
    * 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (taste & adjust as needed)
    * Pinch salt
    * 1/4 tsp fresh lime juice (optional)
    * 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (approximately)


   Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk the sour cream into the milk to thoroughly incorporate. Simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove from heat & set aside until ready to use.


What to Do:

1.  If you’re making your own cheese sauce, start now.

2.  Add the olive oil & garlic to a sauté pan over very high heat.  [Be careful!  To saute the veggies the way we want, you’re going to need heat as high as you can get it.]  Add in the onion & cook until translucent.  Whenever your pan’s cooking too hot, give it a squirt of vegetable stock.  Add in the mushrooms, followed by the broccoli & spinach. 

3.  As the veggies cook down, add in your spices.  Sauté another minute & set aside.

4.  In the same pan, toss in your chick’n & squeeze some stock into the pan (for flavor & to keep it from sticking). Add in spices that you like. Sauté over medium-high heat until thoroughly warmed through.  Add the veggies back into the pan over low heat while you prep your roll.

5.  Top the bread with your cheesesteak-esque fixin’s (cheese sauce on top, of course) & have a huge bite! 

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I’ve had a long-standing love affair with vegetables, so I try to add them to everything I can.  Even though it’s not true to tradition, I added avocado & tomatoes to my sammie. (Yes, I know tomatoes are a fruit, people.) 

Did you like cheesesteaks before you went veg?  Have you veganized any of your favorite recipes?  Tell us about it!

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