I’ve eaten my fair share of Subway sandwiches over the years and although I’ve transition from the Deli Supreme (or whatever the hell it’s called) to the Veggie Delight, never have I ventured into the meatball sub territory. That’s right, I’ve never eaten a meatball sub. Being as I’m a total self-confessed klutz, the thought of eating a sub filled with drippy red sauce just seemed like a disaster waiting to happen, it’s kind of like the inevitable spill whenever you just so happen to be wearing a new white shirt; it’s gonna happen no matter what, so you best be getting over it. Well, to hell with it I say, I want in on the messy action!
I haven’t made any meatballs since the Reuben Meatball Sandwiches (which are awesome by the way), so I decided to take the same recipe and just put a more Italiany spin on them. They’re just as firm, fork-tender and delicious as I remember, plus they can hold their own in a pan of sauce, because nobody likes sad vegan meatballs that are mushy and fall apart, nobody. These take some time to make since you’ve got to fry them and then bake them for maximum texture awesomeness, but hey, you can always make a big ass batch of them when you’ve got some free time and then freeze them for whenever that craving for a hot and messy meatball sub kicks in. Or you could be boring and eat them with pasta, that’s cool too. For an even faster and easier throw together lunch you can also just run out and pick up of bag of pre-made ones, I know Yves brand sells meatless meatballs, and I know this because I’ve had a bag of them in the freezer for over 3 months…and I’ve never opened them…yes they were another new product I had to have, sigh.
Man do I wish I had discovered how rad these subs are earlier, they’re crazy stick to your ribs filling! All you need are some firm balls (he he, yes I’m a 12 year old), a hotdog bun or Italian sandwich roll, spinach, vegan cheese and sauce. Ya can’t forget the sauce. Use whatever marinara sauce you have on hand, thanks to Costco, we always have a ridiculous supply of the Newman’s Own stuff, what? It’s good! This makes for a great lunch but if you happen to be one of those lucky people who has access to an oven or toaster oven during lunchtime, remove the spinach and stick that bad girl under the boiler for a few minutes and wait for the magic to happen. This is why they invented vegan cheese people! For ooey gooey melty messes to consume.
Along with my sub I also packed a small side salad with some tomatoes and dressing, a plum and a big ass chunky peanut butter cookie for dessert. As it turns out, I can’t stand plums, but the salad and cookie were happily consumed 🙂
Lunch Lady Tips:
- Pack your meatballs/sauce in a separate container so that you don’t wind up with a soggy mess by lunchtime. The bun, cheese and spinach can be all wrapped up together for easy assembly.
- Prep a batch of meatballs, or double the recipe on one of your days off. You can freeze them after they’ve baked and store them in a freezer safe bag for whenever you’d like to use them. Just thaw and reheat.
- Don’t forget to pack a spoon to help with assembly, unless you like grabbing hot saucey balls with your bare hands (god I’m dirty :P).
Cooked in a flavorful marinara sauce, these italian meat-less meatballs make for a hearty sandwich filling.
- 3 to 4 Italian Meat(less)balls (recipe below) or store bought
- Homemade or store bought marinara sauce
- 1 whole wheat hotdog bun, Italian sandwich roll or baguette
- 2 slices of vegan provolone or mozzarella
- Handful of spinach
- In a small pot or microwave safe bowl, mix together the meatballs and marinara sauce, cook over a stovetop or in a microwave until heated through. Make sure you stir from time to time so that they don’t stick.
- Take your bun and layer with provolone slices, top with spinach and warm meatballs, spoon some additional sauce on top for extra sauciness. If you have access to an oven, place the sub under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts and the bun is nice and crispy.
- 1 8-oz pkg tempeh
- 2 teaspoons no-beef bouillon
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon instant tapioca
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons basil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 small onion, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons hp sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable broth or water
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut tempeh into 4 pieces and place in a sauce pan. Add enough water to cover the tempeh, along with the “beef” broth powder. Bring to bubbling then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from water, drain and let cool.
- Grate tempeh and mix with onion, garlic, and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with your fingers and knead for 1 minute.
- With wet hands, form mixture into 17 or 18 balls about 1.15 ounces each. Let rest for 5 minutes to firm up.
- Heat a thin layer of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add tempeh balls and cook, turning regularly, until browned all over. Remove from pan. Place in oven and continue baking for 15 minutes.