Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Vegan Beefless Tips & Rice

One of my favorite dishes to order at Memphis' Imagine Vegan Cafe is the "beef" tips and rice meal. It's a hearty main made of sauteed Gardein Beefless Tips and caramelized onions and served over brown rice. It comes with two sides, and I typically opt for veggies, like garlic kale or brown-sugared carrots or sauteed spinach. But, of course, Imagine has much more indulgent sides too (vegan mac & cheese, buttery garlic toast, hush puppies, fluffy biscuits).

Imagine uses Gardein for a lot of their dishes, and even though I can buy Gardein at Kroger and cook with it at home, it always tastes better when prepared with love in Imagine's kitchen. Also, they're not afraid to use lots of oil. It's a restaurant, and oil makes things taste good!

I don't mind indulging in greasy meals when I'm eating out. In fact, I typically prefer my restaurant meals to be quite decadent. But at home, I like to keep oil to a minimum, using just a teaspoon or tablespoon for an entire recipe (unless I'm deep-frying, and that's another story!). I grabbed some Gardein Beefless Tips on clearance at Kroger and decided to try and recreate Imagine's beef tips dish at home with a little less oil. The results were delicious! I served my tips with roasted beets and asparagus (yes, I turned my oven on when it was 100 degrees outside, and it was totally worth it).

I want to share this super-simple recipe! It has just six ingredients, but it tastes far more complex. And the whole recipe only has a half-tablespoon of oil. The tender tips and caramelized onions pair perfectly with plain brown rice. So satisfying!

Vegan Beefless Tips & Rice
Yields 2 servings

1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 white onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pkg. frozen Gardein Beefless Tips
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup cooked brown rice

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir to coat with oil. Leave the onions alone for about 4-5 minutes, and then stir. Leave them alone again for another couple minutes and stir again. Repeat this process for about 10-12 minutes or until onions are very soft and caramelized. A little browning is ideal.

Add the garlic and cook and stir for one minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add the frozen beefless tips and stir to coat with with oil and onions. Cook and stir the tips for 5-7 minutes or until heated through and browned. This can take a little longer depending on how high your heat is. Add soy sauce and stir to coat. Cook for about 2 more minutes.

Divide the brown rice onto 2 plates. Spoon half of the tips over each plate.

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