I love beans and beanballs are even better. This sandwich was so good. You can use homemade tomato sauce or store-bought. For store-bought sauce we love Victoria's All Natural Marinara Sauce, which you can find at Costco.
I heated a few artichoke hearts that I had chopped up and added them to the sandwich. They gave the sandwich a nice savory/brine-y flavour that cut the sweetness of the beanballs and the tomato sauce.
You could, of course, add lots of toppings to this sandwich to make it pretty deluxe. Sauteed rapini or spinach, romaine leaves, chopped olives, sweet peppers... whatever you like!
I substituted chickpea flour for the vital wheat gluten that the original recipe calls for, this made for softer beanballs. Using vital wheat gluten is ideal for a more or less true meatball texture but using chickpea flour (or even regular flour for that matter) doesn't affect the flavour by any means. Additionally, if you don't use vital wheat gluten these can easily become gluten-free beanballs!
Adapted from Veganomicon
1 20 oz can of red kidney beans
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
½ cup breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs
¼ cup chickpea flour or vital wheat gluten
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375° and grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
Mash the beans with a potato masher, make sure you break down any whole beans but don’t leave yourself with complete mush, keep some texture. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix through so that everything is incorporated well. Roll the bean mixture into walnut-size balls.
Place the beanballs on the baking sheet and drizzle or spray a little olive oil on top. Bake for 15 mins, they should be lightly browned. Flip them and place them in the oven again for 10 mins. Pour ½ cup of marinara sauce on top of the beanballs and make sure they’re coated. Bake for another 5 mins.
Warm some extra sauce in a saucepan and slice a couple of submarine buns in half. When the beanballs are ready remove them from the oven, spread some sauce on the buns, and add the beanballs plus any toppings.