This is an amazing dish for kids and adults alike! I mean who doesn’t like a sloppy joe?! And now I have a vegan form without any cruelty involved?!?! You can’t top that!
As a kid, my dad would take me to Arby’s pretty often. It’s one of the only fast food roast beef places, and my dad loved these cheap sandwiches. I don’t eat meat anymore, but I do drive by Arby’s and remember my dad, so I decided I wanted to remember him by eating one of these sandwiches. So I set out to replicate this sandwich.
Since today is the day we lost mister bukowski, I decided to make a very simple easy dish in honor of him. He liked things simple and easy, and he titled one of his books after this dish, What I’m going to make is a simple Ham on Rye. It’s a great dish for lunch, and it’s a great sandwich to have as a snack. Obviously Bukowski dined upon this meal over crappy, heavily poured alcoholic cocktails while writing amazing books, poetry, and stories, and I’m sure he also served this dish to many classless, lovely ladies he entertained for the hours, nights, days, or weeks.
Any way, to make a good Ham on Rye that Bukowski would approve of, you’re going to need Rye Bread (most are vegan), Vegan Mayo, Mustard, Pepper, Lettuce, Tomato, Vegan Swiss Cheese, and Vegan Ham Slices (I use smart deli). Now you can toast the bread, but for this sandwich I don’t. In my opinion, this dish is better with untoasted bread. Spread your vegan mayo and mustard on both pieces of bread and then sprinkle pepper on each slice. Then lay your vegan ham on one slice of bread; use as much ham as you can handle. I usually use a whole package myself. Now top your ham with 2 slices of your vegan Swiss cheese (you can use any other vegan cheese you prefer). Top that with iceberg lettuce and lastly put on your tomato slices and cover it all with your last piece of rye bread. Cut in half and enjoy. Maybe have a beer, a whisky with a splash of coke, or a leftover bottle of red wine. Either way, it’s the way Bukowski would have wanted it. So let us remember him with this sandwich! Peace, Love, Grub!
So, I decided to replicate a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. There are many ways you can do this, and I’ll explain the options, but I’m going to give the recipe for the way I like it and what I was brought up believing is a traditional Philly Cheesesteak.
The vegan meat substitute I used was non-flavored, regular seitan. You can also make your own, which I’ve done before, but it is a big process which I’ll cover in another blog. For now, the basic store bought seitan works just fine. You’ll also need a vegan friendly hogie roll, I use good old Van de Kamps French roll. You’ll need an onions chopped and diced so you can grill them, and you’ll also need vegan mayo and a vegan cheese of your choice (I use Diaya Swiss slices, but use whichever you’d like. If you prefer a cheez-whiz type vegan cheese, you can always melt down the Diaya cheddar block and that creates a decent cheese whiz substitute). Also, what I don’t use, but you’re more than welcome to, is mushrooms and bell peppers. I’m not a fan of them on my cheesesteak, but some people love them; if that’s you, then load them up!
I then start with putting my French roll in a microwave for 20 seconds; this makes the roll nice and soft. Then I put my vegan mayo on each side of the roll. I then begin oiling my pan with EVOO and I grill up my diced onions to a nice golden brown (if you’re grilling mushrooms and bell peppers now would be the time to do that as well).
Once the onions are cooked, I put them on the side and start to waiter and season my seitan. I used seasoned salt and pepper and a little blackening seasoning, but feel free to use what you’d like. Once that’s all sautéed,I combine the onions and mix really well with the seitan in the sauté pan. Once mixed, line up the mixture to “sandwich shape,” then I put on a low flame and immediately put my slice of cheese on top of the seitan and onion mixture. I then cover my pan and let the heat melt the cheese to my preference; you do the same. I then take a spatula and scoop up the seitan onions and cheese trying my best to keep it together and place it in the opening of my Hogie roll. Once that’s all set and ready, this thing is ready to stuff in your face, because that’s the only way to eat this thing. You’ll understand after that first bite, you only need your hands now, so go dig in!! Peace, Love, Grub!
1 slice of vegan cheese
Onions for grilling (mushrooms and peppers optional)
French hogie roll
Salt, pepper, seasonings
Extra virgin olive oil