Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Beetball Marinara Sub
We’ve completely renovated the traditional diner meatball sub, creating it from ingredients packed with protein and nutrition. The red from the springtime beets even bears a remarkable resemblance to ground beef. The balls are also great in spaghetti or even as an appetizer.
Makes: 4 subs
Free of: gluten and all top allergens
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 1 cup yellow onions, finely diced
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup red beets, shredded
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal (see Recipe Note)
- 6 tbsp lukewarm water
- 1 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups prepared marinara sauce, such as Rao’s
- 4 allergy-friendly hoagies or mini baguettes
- 1 cup mozzarella-style “cheeze” shreds, such as Daiya
If egg allergy is not an issue, use 2 eggs in place of the flaxseed meal and lukewarm water.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and pinch of salt, and cook 5 minutes.
- Add beets and carrots and cook 5 minutes, while stirring. If mixture is too dry, add a tablespoon of water.
- Stir in garlic, chili flakes, cumin and paprika, and cook 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a food processor.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flaxseed meal and water. Let stand a few minutes and whisk again; it will be gelatinous. Set aside.
- Pour garbanzo beans into mixture in food processor and pulse several times. Do not over-process; the beans should be chunky. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
- Stir in rice, flaxseed mixture, teaspoon of salt, black pepper, and bread crumbs. Mix well. (Mixture should stick together when squeezed.)
- Scoop up a scant 1/4 cup of beet mixture and roll into a ball. Continue until all beetballs are formed. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F.
- Heat remaining vegetable oil in a medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat. Add beetballs and brown for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking dish. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, heat your favorite store-bought marinara sauce over medium heat.
- To finish dish: Preheat broiler. Slice allergy-friendly bun or roll in half lengthwise and place on baking sheet. Depending on the size of your bread, place 3-4 beetballs on bottom half of bun. Ladle 1/2 cup of marinara sauce over beetballs. Top with 1/4 cup of mozzarella or parmesan cheese alternative. Place baking pan with subs under broiler just until “cheeze” is melted. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe first published in Allergic Living magazine. Subscribe today for more great allergy-friendly and gluten free recipes