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It’s an incredible thing, isn’t it? All these amazing Instagrams and blogs with some of the most beautiful content in the world is readily available for our entertainment and consumption. I’m twenty-nine. I remember life without the internet and cell phones. Life was simpler back then, wasn’t it? My parents, however, were early technology adopters and by the time I was in the sixth grade, I had a computer in my own room with cable internet. I spent my days making journal icons and learning the ins and outs of Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7 and Animation Shop 3. I adopted social media as it rolled out and grew with the times.
I recently attended a conference in Nashville called Story. While I were there, I caught a screening of a documentary called Social Animals, which follows three Gen-Zers and social media habits on Instagram. For me, there was always a time before Insta where I saw the world through my own eyes. Publications like National Geographic enhanced it, showing the highest standard possible for wildlife, culture, and more. Then Instagram came along and content creators created a version of National Geographic on crack.
As a “recipe blogger” who is just starting out, I feel that pressure felt by many Gen-Z kids. What if my content is just like everyone else’s content? Will I be perceived as a loser for putting myself out there? Even though I’m not a photographer, will my novice efforts deliver a product that justifies the recipe?
The best part about all of this is that I already know the answer to all of these questions. My content IS like everyone else’s. If you’re reading this and think your own content is unique, I invite you to follow the account @insta_repeat for a humbling experience. I am already a loser and it’s the best! Losing creates learning opportunities and I’m all about that. And I know my photos are passable, but I hope to get a tiny bit better as I get more experience. Consistency and perfection aren’t key – it’s progression.
Here are a few things I can promise you. 1. I will never post a recipe to a smoothie bowl. Smoothies were created to be a “meal on the go” and eating one like cereal defeats the purpose. 2. I will never edit a photo of berries to look “frosty” and I will continue to shake my head at the content creators who do. I want to be genuine. I want this to be real. I want to have a connection, and I can’t do that without being me and I’m not those things.
Okay back to food! I was raised in a meat and potato family. I love meals that have that deep savory, creamy vibe and Philly Cheesesteak Pasta is no exception. The best part about this Philly Cheesesteak Pasta are those flavors minus the heavy sleepy food coma. I have to be honest that even vegan mac and cheese makes me feel like I need a nap, but the sauce in this is much lighter and the veggies help offset the carbs from the pasta.
This Philly Cheese Steak Pasta serves four, doesn’t take very long to make, and the ingredients are mostly affordable making it great for a weeknight meal for the family served with a side salad or roasted veggies. Seitan, an old school meat substitute, is the “steak” element in this dish. I used to be a little thrown off by the texture of seitan and found it to be a little to gummy, but baking it in the oven for 10-15 minutes to let it dehydrate and brown overcomes those issues.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or tag me at #hellyesitsvegan on Instagram. Cheers!
Philly Cheesesteak Pasta
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- Large pot
- sauce pan
- 1 package seitan, (I used Westsoy Cubed Seitan)
- ½ lb cavatappi noodles
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
- 5 slices Follow Your Heart provolone cheese
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh parsley, (optional)
- red pepper flakes, (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tear seitan into bite-sized pieces, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake 10 – 13 minutes until you see some browning on top.
- While the seitan bakes, cook the noodles according to the directions on the package in a large pot.
- Add the olive oil, peppers and onion to a skillet. Sauté on med-high about 5 minutes until you see some brown and drop to med-low for an additional 5 flipping occasionally until cooked.
- In a small saucepan on med-low, combine the almond milk, vegan cheese slices, nutritional yeast, granulated garlic, & salt. Whisk the ingredients every few minutes until the vegan cheese melts then crank up the heat and boil for 2-3 minutes whisking continuously to keep the mixture from burning. When the mixture cools, it should be a little thinner than traditional cheese sauce and have a gravy-like consistency.
- Add the seitan, peppers and onions, and cheese sauce to the noodles and stir to combine. Top with salt, pepper, chili flakes, fresh parsley and enjoy!