When you crave a Meatball Hoagie, this is how you do it

A while ago I was having a huge craving for a fat meatball sub. So like anytime I am craving something, I sat down and started researching great methods to make the best meal for my craving. This is what I came up with: Sun-Dried Tomato “Meatballs” with vegan mozzarella, homemade marinara sauce and a side of vegan pretzel bites. It came out great and definitely satisfied my craving. This is the first time I ventured into mozzarella and pretzels. Anytime I experiment with something new it’s always exciting. I hope you enjoy and I urge you to try this. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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Sun-Dried Tomato Vegan Meatballs

Ingredients:
  • 1 Flax Egg (1 Tbsp flax seed meal + 2.5 Tbsp water)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for sautéing
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not in oil)
  • 1/3 cup vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • pinch each sea salt and red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
FOR COATING
  • 2 Tbsp vegan parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp (12 g) panko bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare flax egg in your food processor or high speed blender.
  2. Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté until slightly browned, stirring often – about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then add to food processor or blender with flax egg.
  3. Next add panko bread crumbs, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan parmesan cheese, salt + red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Pulse/blend until small bits remain, scraping down sides as needed.
  4. Next add rinsed/dried chickpeas and blend/pulse until a moldable “dough” is formed, scraping down sides as needed. You don’t want the chickpeas to turn into a paste, but you also don’t want any left whole.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Scoop out rounded 1 Tbsp amounts of dough and gently form/roll into balls – about 15 total. Then roll in additional vegan parmesan cheese-panko bread crumb mixture to coat.
  7. Heat the same skillet you used earlier over medium heat. Once hot, add enough olive oil to form a thin layer on the bottom of the skillet, then add meatballs in two batches, as to not crowd the pan. Add more oil as needed.
  8. Brown for about 5 minutes total, shaking the pan to roll them around to brown all sides. Turn down heat slightly if browning too quickly.
  9. Add sautéed meatballs to a bare baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.

 

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 3 Tbsp (9nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix/pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Lasts for several weeks.

Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Yellow Or White Onion, Diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 whole Large Carrots, Peeled And Finely Diced
  • 2 cans (28 Ounces Each) Whole Tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar (more To Taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

Instructions

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and carrots and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour the tomatoes and juice in a large bowl and use your hands to gently squish/smush the tomatoes so that the juices are released and they are all broken up. Add the contents of the bowl to the pot and stir. Add tomato paste. Add the salt, pepper, sugar, and oregano (or other dried or fresh herbs). Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add minced fresh parsley at the end and taste/adjust the sauce for seasonings.

 

Gooey Vegan Mozzarella

Ingredients

  • ¼ to ½ Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons Tapioca Starch (also known as Tapioca Flour)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder

Instructions

  1. If you do not have a high-powered blender, you will first need to boil or soak the cashews to soften them. To Soak the Cashews: cover with water and soak for 4 hours or overnight. To Boil the Cashews: Cover with water and bring to a boil for 10 to 15 minutes until they are tender and can be easily broken between your fingers.
  2. Drain the cashews and add them along with the 1 cup of water and all the remaining ingredients to a blender. Blend until completely smooth. It will be very watery.
  3. Pour into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, and continually stir as it cooks. As you stir it will start forming clumps, and then all of a sudden it will become a cheesy gooey mass of yumminess. This takes about 5 minutes. Continue to cook and stir for an additional 2 minutes to make sure it has firmed up completely.

Vegan Pretzel Bites

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses, or brown sugar
  • coarse salt
  • For the baking soda wash:
    1/2 cup boiling water
    1 tbsp baking soda
  • For the cornstarch (vegan egg) wash:
    1/2 cup water
    1 tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Start the pretzel dough: put the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until yeast is foamy, then add the flour and salt. Pulse to combine, then process for about 30 seconds or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out into an oiled bowl and let rise for about one hour.
  2. * After the first rise, the dough can be refrigerated (or frozen) in a gallon size zip top bag and used later. Cold dough must sit at room temperature for at least two hours before moving on to the next step.
  3. Divide the dough into four pieces. Using your hands and a lightly floured surface, roll each dough piece into a long snake shape, about one inch thick. With a dough cutter or knife, cut the dough snake into bite size pieces, and set aside, keeping the cut pieces covered with plastic while you work and dusted with a little flour to prevent sticking. Continue with the other three pieces of dough.
  4. Let dough bites sit under plastic for about 20 to 30 minutes to puff up.
  5. Meanwhile, fill a large stock pot with about eight cups of water. Set over high heat to bring to a boil.
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Once pretzel water is boiling, add ¼ cup baking soda and molasses.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, drop the dough bites in a few at a time and scoop out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet once they float to the top of the water – about a minute. Continue with all the bites, scooping onto the baking sheet.
  10. Make the baking soda wash: Add baking soda to boiling 1/2 cup of water. mix and keep aside.
  11. Brush the pretzels liberally with warm baking soda wash. Let them sit for 2 minutes.
  12. Meanwhile Make the cornstarch wash: Mix the cornstarch in 1/2 cup of water, heat the water over medium heat until it thickens into a sludge. Brush the pretzels with the warm cornstarch wash. Sprinkle granulated salt on the pretzels.
  13. Bake the pretzels for 13 to 15 minutes, or until golden.

Now you are ready to serve and enjoy

Bon Appetite!

-Chef Drew