Guilt-Free Philly Cheesesteak

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Find me a red blooded (carnivorous) man that doesn’t enjoy a good Philly cheesesteak. Go ahead, I dare you! Case in point: cheesesteaks rank in the top 3 of Hewitt’s all time favorite foods (and definitely #1 in his late night cravings). But one of these bad boys can cost you a upwards of 1000 calories!!!! Calorie counting aside, you’re consuming a butt whooping of fat and sodium. So in an effort to the avoid moral hangover of a 1,000+ calorie dinner, I thought I would try my hand a much healthier version of this meaty sandwich sans (without) any type of cheese whiz or mayo (sorry Philly cheesesteak purists). In full disclosure: post friendsgiving, actual Thankgiving, and left-overs, I found myself quite over poultry and in the mood for some beef.  Kind of like my friend Dwight here…

Anywho! Here is my attempt at guilt free philly cheesesteaks. You’ll need:

  • 1 pound top round steak
  • ½ green bell pepper and ½ red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1-ounce slices provolone cheese
  • French baguette, scooped out
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Fresh ground pepper

*Makes 4 servings

Before you begin, place your steak in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This is just enough time for the meat to solidify a bit which will make it much easier to cut into those thin slices necessary for a Philly cheesesteak. While your meat rests in the freezer, you can start preparing your vegetables and garlic.

Mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and garlic pack quite the punch of health benefits. Portobello mushrooms contain good amounts of fiber and vitamin B,. in addition to hard-to-get minerals such as selenium, copper, and potassium. Nutrient dense bell peppers deliver phytochemicals and vitamins A, C, and K. I could go on and on about the benefits of onions and garlic but I’ll just leave you with two words: antioxidant flavonoids. Look them up!

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Set those aside for the moment and begin preparing your meat. You want to cut your steak across the grain into very thin slices. As thin as you can go here, people!

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Toss your sliced meat with about two tablespoons of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Add a sprinkle of garlic powder as well if you’re feeling frisky. Set the meat to the side. To caramelize your vegetables, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, add your vegetables. I also added a small shake of cayenne pepper to amp up the flavor. Stir frequently for about 7 or 8 minutes.

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You want to pay close attention so that your vegetables end up slightly caramelized but not mushy. Once you complete your vegetables turn off that burner and move on to your steak. In a different pan, throw in your meat and follow with a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce. No need to add more olive oil. Stir until the meat is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.

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Add your cooked steak to the pan of vegetables and turn up the heat.

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Follow with 3 slices of provolone.

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Allow your cheese to melt over this goodness. As your cheese melts, you can prepare your bread. I chose to use a European style baguette because I love the flavor and the great crunch it has. You can many different types of bread for your cheesesteak just remember to scoop out the middle, reducing calories but not flavor. I cut my bread into about 4 inch segments, scooped out the middle, and them into the oven for a minute to warm.

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Place a generous scoop of cheesesteak on your bread, accompany with a side salad, pair with a glass of full bodied cab, and you’re ready to enjoy a decadent Philly classic without inflicting any harm on your arteries or waistline.

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