Bunless Philly Cheesesteaks
On Christmas Day, I was just 5 days in to a sudden Gluten-Free way of life with zero warning or time to plan. The Friday evening before Christmas 2013, my doctor said I needed to go GF. I won’t divulge everything we were juggling that weekend before Christmas, but having to change the way I ate with no warning was nearly too overwhelming to handle with everything else going on.
A few months before needing to go GF, I had seen a recipe on Pinterest for “Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers” and pinned it because it looked delicious, and my husband Dale likes to eat Paleo when he can. This recipe fit the bill if you allow cheese consumption in your Paleo diet. We call this “Daleo” when it’s not perfect Paleo. So, on Christmas Day we planned to try this recipe and boy, did we love it!! We each ate a pepper and a half and were really pleased with how delicious they were.
My recipe is adapted from the original one we tried. I’ve made this recipe twice, and my husband has made a few one-off peppers for his lunches. When we share pictures of this dinner on Facebook, we get a lot of friends asking for the recipe and like my Daleo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese recipe, many of our friends have made this meal a staple in their homes and that makes me happy.
We like to make big batches of this because they really do taste even better as reheated leftovers the next day. The flavors meld beautifully together.
Bunless Philly Cheesesteaks
5-6 large bell peppers (I like green for this; he likes any color BUT green)
10-12 slices Provolone cheese, cut or torn in half (2 slices per whole pepper)
1 lb. Italian style deli roast beef (get original if you can’t find this – we found it at Winco)
1 medium sweet onion
1 pound white mushrooms (optional)
3 T. butter
3 T. cooking oil (we like to use avocado oil, but olive oil works fine, too!)
4 tsp. minced garlic (fresh or jarred)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Slice or dice onions and optional mushroom, then saute them in the butter, oil, salt and pepper in a large pan on medium heat. Cook them long enough to caramelize – about 20 minutes.
While the onion mixture is sautéing, prepare the peppers. Wash, dry and slice each pepper in half, lengthwise. Carefully remove and discard the stem, ribs and seeds. Set the peppers cut side up on sheet pans for baking and line each open-face pepper with half a slice of cheese and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Chop the deli meat to your liking. My husband likes to use a sharp knife to cut them into rough, skinny strips.
Remove the onion and mushrooms from the pan and set them in a bowl. Add the roast beef to the warm pan, adding a little more cooking oil, if needed. Sauté for about five minutes or just long enough to remove any pink coloring from the meat, but don’t over-cook it. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. I like to add garlic at this stage because I don’t want it to get too dark by cooking it with the vegetables. Add your garlic when you add the meat, then after the meat is cooked through, pour in the onion mixture and stir to combine, then remove from the pan from the heat.
Heap spoonfuls of the meat mixture into each pepper until you reach the brim. It’s okay to overfill these babies if you have extra meat! Top each pepper with the other half of your Provolone slices.
Bake them for 18-20 minutes, then finish off with a nice broil to make the cheese brown to your liking.
We can easily eat two or three of these in one sitting because they’re so good. As mentioned above, they make savory, delicious leftovers for lunch the next day.