Grilled mushrooms and grilled onions with a light cheese sauce makes for the ultimate vegetarian cheesesteak.
Update and Disclosure: Back in 2015, l participated in a farm tour sponsored by The Mushroom Council but I was not compensated to write this post. Opinions and thoughts are my own but I think I formed my love for mushrooms in the womb. And this recipe is now the second most popular recipe on our blog (here’s hthe most popular.)
I have professed my love for mushrooms here many times.
And even though I’ve lived a mere 25 miles away from The Mushroom Capitol of the World: Kennet Square, PA (due west from Philadelphia) for most of my life, I’ve never visited a mushroom farm.
But let’s get to the recipe first (scroll down to learn more about mushroom farming and my Mushroom Council Tour):
Today, we’re talking cheesesteaks (since I’m a Philly girl after all.)#vegetarian Grilled Mushroom Cheesesteaks from a Philly gal @tspbasil #sponsoredtravel Click To Tweet
If you’re a local, you order like so: “One whiz with” which translates to “one cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz and with grilled onions.” (Typically, your only other cheese choice is provolone.)
Confession: So, I’m actually not a huge cheesesteak fan. Sometimes I go for a chicken cheesesteak or a vegetarian cheesesteak – which is practically blasphemous among cheesesteak purists.
But why not combine one Pennsylvania food treasure into another and this grilled mushroom cheesesteak also fits right into #MeatlessMonday.
My rendition of Cheez Whiz is made with just flour, a pat of butter and some really good cheddar. And if you are mushroom lover like me, I don’t think you’re going to miss the steak with this baby.[Affliated Link] –> my favorite grill pan that I use for these cheesesteaks and anytime we’re not using the outdoor grill—>Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 11-Inch SquareGrill Pan. Print
Grilled Mushroom Cheesesteaks
Grilled mushrooms and grilled onions with a light cheese sauce makes for the ultimate veggie cheesesteak.
- Yield: 4 servings.
For the mushrooms:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 20 ounces baby bella or white button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the “cheese whiz” sauce:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup low-fat milk (warmed for 1 minute in microwave)
- 4 ounces Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar
- 4 (6-inch) whole-wheat rolls
- In a grill pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add mushrooms and grill for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add soy sauce and black pepper, stir and grill for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.
- Place rolls, cut side down on pan and grill for a few minutes until toasted.
- While mushrooms are grilling, make cheese sauce by placing a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add butter and once melted, whisk in flour.
- Slowly pour in warm milk, whisking constantly. Whisk frequently until sauce thickens (about 2 – 3 minutes.)
- Slowly whisk in cheese and whisk until melted. Remove from stove.
- To assemble sandwiches, divide mushrooms evenly among 4 rolls. Pour cheese sauce over mushrooms and serve immediately.
And onto the Mushroom Tour….
Back in June 2015, The Mushroom Council hosted eight of us registered dietitians – half of us bloggers and the other half supermarket RDs for the day learning about the latest in nutrition research, hearing about The Blend promotion and touring two mushroom farms (and of course, eating lots of local mushrooms.)
Some interesting facts and cool tidbits I picked up during the day:
- 65% of the world’s mushrooms are grown in this region of Pennsylvania
- Mushroom farmers are the ultimate recyclers – a typical compost used is a mix of straw, hay, horse manure, cocoa shells (from Hershey’s chocolate) and corn cobs.
- The most popular mushrooms, white button, take 11 weeks to grow.
- Exotic mushrooms grow the range from oyster mushrooms (about 18 days) to shiitakes (up to 5 months.
One of our swag gifts was an oyster mushroom growing kit from Back To The Roots. And this black thumb gardener grew mushrooms in less than 2 weeks on the kitchen counter – so cool!
Emerging Mushroom Nutrition Research
- Shiittake mushrooms —> may boost immunity. A study out of University of Florida looked at how dried shiitakes helped to reduce inflammation by activating t-cells in healthy adults.
- White button mushrooms —> may help slow prostate cancer growth. A recent study published in The Cancer Journal looked at how white button mushroom powder helped slow the rise in PSA levels of prostate cancer patients.
- Next steps —> The Mushroom Council is looking to fund more studies in cancer prevention and improving gut health and immunity.
Mushroom Cooking Tips
- The Blend: Swap in diced mushrooms for about 30% of ground meat to make healthier burgers, tacos, meatballs, meatloaf (the list goes on.) The benefits:
- Less calories and fat
- Reduced sodium by 25%
- Increased Vitamin D
- Enhanced flavor
- Use diced white button mushrooms when mixing with ground chicken/turkey/pork
- Use diced portabellos when mixing with ground beef
- For some burger inspiration, check out the James Beard Foundation’s Better Burger Project and see if there’s a restaurant near you with a customized mushroom blended burger on the menu.
Ever had a Philly cheeesteak? What’s your favorite way to cook or eat mushrooms?