Sunday, January 30, 2011

NFL Sandwich

Yesterday, Adam did the impossible.

The man created vegetarian "meat"ball subs. We're talking the REAL deal. Homemade hoagie buns, fresh marinara sauce, a healthy dose of bean-ball action, and a sprinkling of Mozzarella. Basically, it was an NFL-Football-Player-Turned-Vegetarian kind of sandwich.

And after waking up from my food coma, all googly-eyed and giddy, I knew I had to share this brilliant blip on the culinary radar with you.

I know what you're thinking: I'm a walking contradiction. I'm a vegetarian...creating and eating a mock-up of a meatball sub. Ah, but I subscribe to the vege-head lifestyle for many reasons...none of which include a loss of cravings for sloppy, gooey, NFL-gameday-type sandwiches that cause my heart to skip a beat.

Perhaps the best part of this sandwich was the homemade bread. As you know, Adam is quite the bread-making man in our house. While his weekly loaves may come out of the bread machine, today he kneaded and pounded his way by hand to fresh whole wheat hoagie buns. Holy moly, were they ever perfect! My bread expectations have definitely gone up a notch.

With that being said, go make yourself a honkin' big sandwich for dinner tonight. Personally, I recommend this one.

Vege-Head Bean-Ball Subs
(drawing on recipes from Veganomicon and Veggie Burgers Every Which Way)

  • 1 recipe for Bean-Balls
  • Marinara sauce of your choice
  • Shredded Mozzarella
  • Hoagie buns (recipe below)
Hoagie Bun Ingredients:
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 TBSP warm milk
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 - 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 - 1/2 to 2- 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 - 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Eggwash (1 beaten egg plus 1 TBSP milk)
  • Sesame seeds for topping
Directions for Hoagie Buns:

1) Whisk the warm water, milk, molasses, and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in the yeast and allow to stand for about 5 minutes, until yeast begins to foam. In a separate large bowl, mix together 1 cup of the bread flour, all of the whole wheat flour, and the salt. Add the yeast mixture, oil, and egg.

2) Stir with a wooden spoon until well-combined, adding more flour as needed until it shapes into a ball. On a floured surface knead the dough until it's smooth--about 10 minutes--adding more flour as needed. Shape the dough into a ball.

3) Drizzle a little olive oil into the mixing bowl, place the dough in it and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to sit in a warm place until doubled in size--about 1 - 2 hours.

4) After it has risen, separate the dough into 6 balls. Place them a few inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 - 2 hours until doubled in size.

5) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the buns with the eggwash and sprinkle with sesame seeds for garnish. Bake for about 16 - 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

Assemble Your Sandwich:
Split open a big, beautiful hoagie bun. Stuff with bean-balls, warmed marinara, and top with shredded Mozzarella. Grab a fork and a knife, and dig in.


  1. wow, those look amazing! NICE WORK!!!

  2. I made the Veganomicon beanballs last night! Buuut, in my impatience, I underbaked them, so they were gummy inside...but I could tell they would've been awesome :P
    I am IMPRESSED with Adam's homemade hoagie rolls!

  3. YUM! I should make these next Sunday and see if anyone notices. I bet they wouldn't!

  4. This is such good timing. My sister and I are both vegetarians and were just talking about how we miss meatball subs!

  5. Meatball Subs fall into the category of Saucy, Messy Goodness That Should Be Available To All.

  6. I am 100% going to make bean balls. We always talk about how we feel like we want meatball subs, but don't want the meat....and we just haven't gotten around to making a non-meat version yet!
    Love this idea--thanks :)

  7. these buns look so good. you're so lucky you have Adam to make them for you, he's a real baker

    have a wonderful week you two

  8. These sound fantastic! I love turkey meatball sandwiches, but could easily be convinced to go veggie with them, especially if homemade bread is involved :) Looks like a winner of a Super Bowl meal!

  9. I really want one of these! Those hoagie rolls look fabulous on their own, but with the bean balls and sauce they're irresistible. I'm making these for sure. :)

  10. I may have to rearrange plans tomorrow and make Adam's hoagie rolls. My sweet Ryan would be in heaven if he got to make his tempah sandwiches on one of those beauties. Thank you for sharing your "Meaty" goodness with me. I hope you have a joyful week full of continued good eating!

  11. Mmm those hoagie buns look SOOO good. And I love the idea of stuffing them with bean balls. I must make these asap. :) Thank you for the recipes!

  12. Oh yea.. my kinda gal, who knows what a hoagie is.. I thought I was the only one who called them that.. my goodness, the bread looks superb!!! You may laugh.. but I thought football was soccer? haha

  13. This sandwich looks yum.I am gonna try this for my hubby and see if he finds out if its meat or beans.Your homemade buns looks awesome.

  14. I love that you make your own hoagie buns... I"m sure they taste infinitely better than deli-bought kinds! That sandwich also looks amazing... I'm sure both the ladies AND gents in my family would love that one!

  15. that is one gorgeous looking bread. it's so cool how you made your own hoagie bun.. thanks for sharing this recipe with us. have a great week ahead.

  16. These look and sound amazing! I'm impressed that Adam made homemade hoagie buns for this, but I bet they put them over the top. I still need to try those bean balls!