vegetarian philly cheese steak sandwiches

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Julie was over again on Monday night, and as usual we were chatting (gossiping) and sipping gin & tonics (with lemon, not lime - thanks Uncle Roger!) as this has become our new ritual.  The kids sat happily on the sofa nearby, transfixed by the latest installment of WordGirl.  Their little bodies exhausted from playing at the splash park all day and boycotting their naps. 

Our CSA share from Small City Farm last week included a ton of delicious sweet peppers and onions, in addition to the most amazing tomatoes, okra, herbs, apples, and eggplant we've ever had.  So with the abundance of peppers and onions in my fridge, what better to make than vegetarian Philly cheese steak sandwiches?! 

While Julie and Josh got the kiddos in bed I caramelized the onions, which doesn't take but 15 minutes, and then finished up the rest.  This was such an easy dish to make - such a great go-to weeknight dish, and not nearly as fatty as the real deal version.  Definitely will be making this again soon!

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Vegetarian Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

  • 2 small yellow onions, sliced
  • about a cup of sliced sweet peppers (we used red, orange, and yellow)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced  
  • Gardein brand meatless "beef" tips, one bag/package (really you could use any brand you like) 
  • 4 thick slices of provolone cheese
  • 4 sandwich rolls (we used rolls from Nova's bakery here in Charlotte, and they were AH-MAH-ZIng!)  
  • 1 1/2 TBS of vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • butter and extra virgin olive oil for cooking the veggies and grilling the bread
  • crunchy, zesty greens for garnish - we used pea shoots, but watercress would be great too

Preheat the oven to broil on high.  Move the oven rack down to the lowest slot. 

In a medium saute pan caramelize the onions in about a teaspoon or two of olive oil.  This takes about 15 of cooking over medium high heat, frequently stirring so the onions don't burn.  When they become translucent and a light brown color you'll know they're about perfect.  Once the onions are slightly browned, add the minced garlic and the sliced peppers.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so.  Then add the package of "beef" tips, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce and cook 7 minutes (or as long as your package directions suggest).

On a cookie sheet greased with a little butter or olive oil spray, put 4 separate piles of the onion/pepper/beef tip mixture.  Top each pile with a slice of provolone cheese.  Place in the preheated oven for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melted and bubbly-looking.   

On a greased up grill pan, place the sliced sandwich rolls or buns face down to warm them up and give them a slightly crispy edge.  This should only take a couple of minutes.  Then fill each bun with one of the sections of provolone topped Philly cheese steak goodness, topping each with greens.  Enjoy!