Oh, you were expecting Thanksgiving foods so close to Thanksgiving? Ehhh, I gave you two kinds of gravy and an appetizer, what more could I possible have came up with? Truth is, I have a hard time making holiday foods several weeks before the holiday. I’ll be making a full Thanksgiving meal (minus the turkey, obvs) next week, eating left overs for a solid 8 days after, and that’s all enough for me.
This post was inspired by this month’s Recipe Redux which prompted me to write about a food memory I’m thankful for. Are chicken phillies a weird food to remember that fondly? Lemme take it back a few steps. When I first met Josh, his proclaimed favorite food was chicken Alfredo. As we shared many, many meals together, I realized that he was wrong. I very, VERY rarely ever saw him order it and he didn’t crave it like I crave my favs (pancakes, tacos, grilled cheese, lettuce). What he did order a lot of were club sandwiches and philly cheesesteaks (but usually swapped out for chicken). After I had the wonderous eating experience of ordering a vegan philly for brunch at Stella’s (<– if you’re in Grand Rapids, go there. They call the vegetarian/vegan philly “No Bull Steak”), I could understand their appeal. In fact, I dreamed about eating my left overs the entire 2 hour drive home that afternoon.
If it wasn’t the next day, it was very soon after when I needed to recreate that philly at home. The result was the first meal that Josh ever raved about. Now, I consider myself a pretty good cook and I’d like to think most of my friends think the same. Josh, on the other hand, would be happier if I let him eat Burger King and Taco Bell every night. It’s like pulling teeth to get him to offer an opinion on any meal I ever make, so for him to voluntarily rave about a sandwich I made really meant something. Several years later, I still go back to making that philly and while it’s pretty impressively sad that I’ve never shared it here, it’s because it’s so easy to make. Heck, I don’t even make the same way every time. Feeling garlicky? Throw on extra garlic. Have leftover lentils? Stir those in (do it!). This is sort of my catch-all meal I make when I have a green pepper without a purpose. It’s a little higher in calories than I’d normally like for a sandwich, but it’s a massive, packed full sandwich with lots of fiber and protein. Plus, I feel way better about giving this to Josh than him ordering it as take out.