Thursday, February 5, 2015

Vegan "Meatball" Subs

First of all.. I just want to say that as soon as my brother sees this post (providing he ever reads my blog, wink wink) he will send me a text that says, "those are not meatballs. They cannot be called meatballs." Semantics. Anywho, these came about because I had an abundance of leftover marinara that I had pulled from the freezer. I didn't think it would be wise to freeze it... again. I asked P what he could think of to use it for. This is a bit funny because usually he looks at me and says something like, "can't you find something on Pinterest?"Ahaha. This time he said (without hesitation) "Meatball Subs". Well, ok then.  Excellent idea, except that I don't think I have ever had a meatball sub... in any form. Hmmmm. Despite this fact as well as the extra toasty buns, I thought these were quite good.

Meatball Sandwich

For the tomato sauce
  •  1 medium onions, peeled and minced 
  •  vegetable broth for sauteing
  • 1 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
  •  2 cups canned crushed or diced tomatoes, along with their juice
  • 3/4 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons dried oregano 
  •  1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • one bay leaf 
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar 

For the Lentil "Meatballs"
        This made enough for 5 sandwiches and then freezing an entire second meals worth

  • 2 cups cooked lentils (I used one package of Melissa's brand precooked because I had them in the fridge
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Vegetable Broth for sauteing
  • 1/3 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Minced Garlic (or one clove)
  • 1/2 Zucchini, finely chopped
  • 12 Baby carrots finely chopped
  • 1 Celery Stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 T Ground Flax Seed
  • 2 T Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp each Paprika, garlic powder, Italian Seasoning
  • 1 T Garbanzo flour (or regular if not gluten free) plus 1 T water

Additional Ingredients
Daiya Cheese
Gluten Free Vegan Hoagie Buns

For the tomato sauce
- Sauté the onions in vegetable broth in large saucepan. Season them with salt and black pepper, stir frequently, until the onions start to become translucent. Add the garlic and cook until the onions are completely soft
- Add the canned tomatoes, the tomato paste, salt, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, the bay leaf and the sugar, and let simmer for 10 to 12 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Heat the sauce with the meatballs in it until everything is warmed through. If the sauce is very thick, it can be thinned with a bit of warm water.

For the Lentil “Meatballs”
- Place the lentils to a large mixing bowl. Mash them with a fork, potato masher or your hands until they are completely mashed.
- Heat a large skillet and add the vegetable broth. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes until translucent.
- Add the rest of the vegetables and the garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté about 6 minutes until the veggies are soft.
- Add the veggies to the mixing bowl with the lentils.
- Add the parsley, bread crumbs, flaxseed, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.
- In a small bowl, put garbanzo flour. Add 1 Tbs. of water and mix into a loose paste. This will help to hold the mixture together. Add to the bowl.
- Mix everything well. I used clean hands, which seemed to be the best option. If the texture seems too wet, add more bread crumbs. If it feels too dry add water.
- Wet your hands, scoop up about 2 Tbs. worth of the mixture (more or less depending what size you like your meatballs) and shape into a ball.
- Place them in a casserole dish or on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cook for 20 minutes at 375 degrees watching closely and turning halfway through.
- Turn on broiler after 20 minutes and broil for a minute or two to get a bit more browned. WATCH CLOSELY.
- Pull from the oven and cut one open to check for doneness. Meatballs should be well heated all the way through.

To make sandwiches, take hoagie buns, cut open almost all the way through. Slice some of the meatballs in half and put them between the bread, pressing down with a fork a bit. Top with a small amount of  shredded Daiya and heat in 400º oven or under the broiler, until the cheese melts. WATCH CLOSELY (I only know this from experience. See photo.)

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