Vegetarian (or not) Cheese Steak Pizza

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Sometimes it feels odd posting recipes for pizza.  I mean, everyone knows what pizza is & the toppings are a matter of personal taste.  Still, sometimes someone comes up with a combination I hadn’t thought of – or the contents of my refrigerator inspire me.  The only news about this pizza is the use of Trader Joe’s vegan beef strips rather than real steak.

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This brand of faux meat (and their fake ground beef & fake chicken strips) is the best I have ever found.  But – if you don’t have Trader Joe’s near you, another brand will do.  Alternatively, if you eat meat, real steak works, too.

I haven’t had a real cheese steak sub since – probably – 1980 or so.  All I really remember about them was apologizing to sub shop guys for the additional toppings I required: mayonnaise & pickles.  Yup.  Mayonnaise & pickles. Ordered with a wince of “I know it’s gross but…”

This pizza came out pretty great – even though I ate most of the meat/pepper mixture I’d made by stealing some every time I walked past the pan.  But this baby was a revelation when I smeared it with mayo & dropped chopped pickles on it.  I know – that sounds like pregnancy food but I do not have that excuse to hide behind.  I just like it that way.  So be it.

This is a pretty dense pizza so be prepared to get very full – even if you make the veggie version.  Traditionally, cheese steaks use either provolone (too much like Swiss cheese for me) or Cheese Whiz (seriously) but a Cheese Whiz (or even a Velveeta) pizza seemed just pushing it too far.  So – I used a bag of shredded pizza cheese (mozzarella & cheddar combo).  It was delightful.  But you go where your heart takes you.

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Vegetarian (or not) Cheese Steak Pizza

INGREDIENTS

(Pizza topping quantity is a personal preference thing – so I will just make suggestions)

Pizza dough (I have been using THIS one)

8 oz vegan beef (or real beef – cooked)

1-2 green bell peppers – sliced

1 onion – sliced

2 jalapenos – seeded & diced (optional)

8 oz mushrooms – sliced

1 tsp (or to taste) onion powder

1 tsp (or to taste) garlic powder (I used 2 tsp)

olive oil

S&P

Cheese – either provolone or any pizza blend you like – even Cheeze Whiz or Velveeta (if you are ghetto crazy!)

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DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the oven to 450.

If using real meat – pan saute it in a tiny bit of olive oil until done.  Set aside.

I already had some sauteed mushrooms – so no pictures of that process.  To saute mushrooms, heat 1 TBS of olive oil over high heat.  Pan sear the mushrooms by leaving them unmolested for a minute or two before stirring them around.  Cook them over high heat until they begin to brown.  Add salt & set aside.

Add a TBS or two of olive oil to the same pan & saute the onions & green peppers (leaving a handful of green peppers aside, raw, for later) and jalapenos (if using) until tender.  Add the mushrooms & vegan meat (or cooked real meat) – combine & set aside off the heat.  Add the onion & garlic powder and S&P to taste.

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Roll out the pizza dough (I only used 1/4 of the recipe I used for prepared dough) to the size of your pan.  Prepare the pan with cooking spray & put the rolled out dough on it.  Top with a layer of cheese (provolone or pizza cheese).  Add the peppers & meat mix.  Add another layer of cheese (whatever kind you choose to use) & top with the reserved raw green peppers.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until crust is brown & crispy & the cheese is melted & beginning to brown.

Serve it up!  Get mental & smear it with mayonnaise & chopped pickles.  Or – add whatever you might add to a Philly cheese steak.  Get your eat on.  Apologize to no one!

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