The Ultimate Vegan Cheesesteak Sandwich

Recipe testing and development makes me feel a bit like a mad scientist. This one definitely stretched my creativity! After playing with several different meaty vegan ingredients for the steak, including tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, and yuba (similar to a super-thin pudding skin that's created when soymilk is made), the winner was yuba, for its chewy texture. Alas, its limited availability led me to settle on an equally delicious, yet more accessible tempeh version. If you're lucky enough to find yuba in your health food store, Asian- or specialty-market, use it in place of the tempeh. My favorite brand is made by Hodo Soy Beanery in San Francisco.


The Ultimate Vegan Cheesesteak Sandwich
By Allison Rivers Samson

Serves 4

Ingredients
'shroomy Steak 'n Onions
1 teaspoon unflavored/refined coconut oil
3 large onions, halved and thinly sliced, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion, divided
10 cremini mushrooms, stems removed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce package tempeh, sliced in half vertically, then each half sliced into 4 thin sheets
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons tamari
2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce

Cheese Sauce
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup water
1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours or longer and drained
2 tablespoons diced carrots
1 tablespoon unflavored/refined coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Rolls, for Assembling
4 soft hoagie rolls

Directions
1. 'shroomy Steak 'n Onions: In a large skillet over low-medium heat, sauté 1 tablespoon coconut oil and sliced onion for 15 minutes, stirring frequently until onion is browned. Transfer to a medium bowl. In a food processor, mince mushrooms. Into large skillet over medium heat, add mushrooms and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a small bowl. Return skillet to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons coconut oil and tempeh, browning each side. Add mushrooms, garlic, water, tamari, and Worcestershire. Stir gently and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until water has evaporated.

2. Cheese Sauce: In a high-speed blender, puree all ingredients for 3 to 5 minutes or until completely smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan over low heat and cook for 5-7 minutes, whisking occasionally.

3. Assemble: Warm rolls and spread liberally with cheese sauce, layer with two sheets of tempeh, and top with caramelized onions. If desired, drizzle top of sandwich filling with additional cheese sauce. Serve hot.

 
© Recipe by Allison Rivers Samson, Self-care Coach, award-winning vegan chef and author of 
Quick + Easy DIY Salad BarThe Dairy-Freedom Cookbook, Comfortably Yum, and Co-Founder of The Dairy Detox.
Photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky

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