i can safely say before going vegan that i have ever had a meatball sub.
meatball pizza - yes! (the best one around was from the old corner deli)
i was introduced to the world of "meatball" subs by Justin. we use to make them fairly often on Saturday nights at the beginning of our relationship.
efforts are being made to avoid "mock meats", they just don't seem to agree with me any longer.
the other day, after seeing a pin for a meatball sub a little craving started to form, then it was all i could think about. my mission this weekend: to create my own tasty "meatball" sub. i consider this the grown up version of an all American favorite.
the ingredients for the walnut bella 'meatballs" may seem a little strange - but trust me on this, these will be the best balls you ever tasted. hmm that doesn't sound right...moving on.
walnuts, baby bella's, dates, savory spice & parsley are mixed with fresh bread crumbs and a flax egg
then formed into balls a heaping tablespoon at a time.
gluten free option: replace the bread crumbs with a gluten free bread or leave out completely with the flax egg - minus these two ingredients will yield about 6 balls or 2 servings.
while your "meatballs" are cooking, yellow bell pepper, shallot and grape tomatoes are sauteed and finished with a splash of balsamic, resulting in a very grown up alternative to the basic tomato sauce
toast a few sub rolls
the subs come together in about 30 minutes. you could easily bake up a batch over the weekend and reheat throughout the week. they would be perfect with pasta or on a pizza.
served with a side of BBQ sweet potato chips and a beer -
this was the perfect Saturday afternoon lunch.
hands down the best "meatball" sub i've ever had - i can't wait for leftovers tomorrow!
Walnut Bella "meatball" Subs
makes 12 "meatballs" & veggie filling for 2 subs
you will need:
for the walnut bella "meatballs"
1 cup walnuts
4oz baby bella mushrooms - cut in half
1tsp all purpose savory seasoning
4 sprigs fresh parsley
4 medjool dates- pitted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (1 slice of bread)
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax & 3tbsp warm water, mixed and set aside for 5 minutes)
for the veggie filling
1/2 orange bell pepper sliced into strips
1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
1/2 large shallot sliced
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 sub rolls toasted
parsley for garnish
preheat oven to 400*
finely grind the slice of bread into crumbs in a food processor - transfer crumbs to a small bowl & set aside.
in the food processor, finely ground 1 cup walnuts, half of the mushrooms, seasoning & parsley until well mixed. the mixture should be a bit moist from the walnuts. transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
add dates and remaining mushrooms to the processor until well ground. with a rubber spatula transfer date/mushroom mixture to the bowl with the walnut mixture. add bread crumbs, olive oil, salt and flax egg - mix well.
a heaping tablespoon at a time form a ball with the mixture - place on a parchment lined baking sheet. continue 12 times until all the mixture has been formed into balls.
bake for 15-20 minutes until brown.
while the "meatballs" are baking - prep your veggies.
in a medium saute pan over medium/high heat - add oil, once oil is heated add veggies and saute. caramelized bits are good. towards the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add the balsamic to de glaze the pan. continue to cook until balsamic is reduced to 1/2 - you are looking to create a glaze of balsamic on the veggies. remove from heat and set aside.
when you have about 2-3 minutes of cooking time left on the "meatballs" place 2 sub rolls cut side down on the upper rack of the oven.
once the "meatballs" are done cooking, remove from the oven along with the sub rolls. allow the "meatballs" to cool for about 3 minutes.
assemble the subs by placing half the veggie mixture into the roll, top with walnut bella "meatballs" and garnish with parsley
leftover "meatballs" can be stored in an airtight container for up to week and reheated as needed or frozen on a cookie sheet and stored in a freezer bag for later use.