Blast From The Past, Part II

by HEAB on March 27, 2010

Growing up, my friends and I loved going to Subway for sandwiches. Our local Subway was located right next to the local movie theater, and so we would get dinner and then go see a movie. What was my sub of choice? Well, it’s a little embarrassing, but I used to order a footlong meatball with extra mayo and pickles. I did! Of course, I asked for whole wheat bread to make it “healthy”. 😉

Fast forward to 2010…CD has been requesting meatballs for over a week now, and I finally got around to making him some yesterday. Boy loves his meatballs! I used my Lazy Girl Meatloaf recipe, rolled it into bite sized balls, and cooked the balls in the crock-pot on high for about 5 and 1/2 hours with a cup of vegetable broth. Although I don’t eat meatballs very often, I still love my pickles. My favorite are the Trader Joe’s brand dill sandwich slices. We always keep a jar in the fridge, and I usually snack on them in-between meals. So, at the last minute, I decided to join CD in some meatball lovin and had the brilliant idea of re-creating my beloved Subway sandwich.


I toasted a whole wheat pita pocket and added a smear of cream cheese, dill pickle slices, and 2 big meatballs. Ha ha, I know it sounds like a bizarre combo, but it was actually really good, not to mention much better for me than those footlongs I used to order.

Have you ever recreated a healthier version of one of your favorite dishes from years past?


carolinebee March 31, 2010 at 5:23 am

Soo, i have this theory of why subway is so awesome: B/c no matter where u are, some podunk town…middle of nowhere-ville…you walk into subway, and it’s the SAME everywhere!! Ahhhh, fresh smell of “subway” bread, u can always count on it! 😀 Haha i love it but they always skimp on the cheese right?? Hope u are doing well Heabs!! xxo

Marissa March 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I used to love the tuna salad at Blimpie, it came on a pita. But My fave sub was an Antone’s sub (Houston place). They had the best Tuna salad ever. At Subway I always got the veggie sub.

I have re-done many of my favorite recipes, and often they taste just as good, and sometimes better! My favorite is my family recipe for spinach balls, which I have Marissafied 🙂

Chandra March 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

I’ve recreated a lot of old favorites to healthify them!! The “sandwich” looks yummy, BTW!!

fartygirl March 29, 2010 at 7:15 am

HEABs – my college boyfriend ALWAYS got the meatball with mayo from Subway. I was a huge fan of the meatball too, but could not see the mayo happenin’… How does that taste next to the tomato sauce? Probably delicious. Like the surprising deliciousness of cheddar cheese and maple pancake in a McGriddle. If I still ate meat, I’d totally rock that meatball and mayo in the name of HEABs.

Mayo is my no. 1 condiment of choice, next to nooch, of course. What is your no. 1 condiment? Mustard? Nooch? Mayo? Hummus? Or does it change on a weekly basis? 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 29, 2010 at 7:47 am

Farty, For some reason the mayo/tomato sauce combo is really good. Wouldn’t have thought so myself until a friend had me try her’s. Oh gosh, my favorite condiment? Changes all the time. Growing up, it was probably Bleu cheese or ranch dressing. Now, it’s mustard and hummus, and I love a good pesto! 🙂

Katherine: What About Summer? March 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm

No way- meat+pickles? I don’t think I could swing that way!

Brittany March 28, 2010 at 7:57 am

Your meatball sub order reminds me of my high school days when I would order Big Macs with fries and dip them both in honey or sweet and sour sauce. I also loved Chick-fli-a’s nuggets and their waffle fries!! Needless to say, things have changed. 🙂

CaSaundra March 28, 2010 at 7:22 am

Subway is still my top go-to fast food ever since I was younger–I love how you made over your fav. Good idea! I am always trying to “healthify” restaurant dishes.

Mimi (Damn the Freshman 15) March 28, 2010 at 12:11 am

Wow, that’s not a weird recipe–that’s a DELECTABLE recipe. Meatballs and pickles? Holy cow, that’s some serious crunchy, meaty gold! Thanks for the inspiring piece!

And for the record, it looks WAY better than Subway!

Hehe, I too used to order bigass decadent cheesy monsters…but they were like totally healthy because I used wheat bread and had a side of BAKED Lays. Totally!

Cat March 27, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I always think about this topic when I have a grilled cheese sammie and tomato soup! My childhood version: Campbells, white bread with some sort of cheddar. These days it’s sprouted grain bread w/ some sort of fancy cheese (or Jarlsberg Lite if I’m feeling calorie conscious) along with organic roasted red pepper tomato soup, often with some cayenne pepper for spice and often arugula for extra veggies.

Carolyn March 27, 2010 at 7:38 pm

After seeing this Paul has requested the L-Girl meatloaf be made tomorrow for dinner! Beef already thawed in the fridge… It really does look good and i am thinking it will be made into a sammy on the 9 grain Great Harvest bread! Yummy photo!

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 27, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Carolyn, I don’t think I ever blogged about the meatloaf. Just added it to my recipe. So easy, and one of our favorite recipes. Makes excellent meatballs too. 🙂

Abi March 27, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Subway now uses the “hinge” cut. I was a proud Subway employee in 2004… maybe they’re still using this cut. We were taught both methods though, in case a customer requested the top cut.

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 27, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Ha ha – good to know Abi. Thanks for the info!

Lauren @ Eater not a runner March 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I definitely healthified some of my baked goods, especially muffins! No more stick of butter for me 😉

janetha March 27, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Never be embarrassed about a meatball 🙂 love the re-creation!!

Jenn March 27, 2010 at 6:17 pm

You have NO IDEA how good your sandwich looks to me right now! 😀 Oh and I love those pickles from Trader Joe’s. Once I ate half a jar!!! I’ve been guilty of eating half a jar at once. A little extreme I know. I weighed 6 pounds heavier the next day from all the salt. :-/ They are so good.

christina March 27, 2010 at 5:51 pm

candicmccoy: What’s mooch? can i have your mac and cheese recipe?

Before I ever went vegetarian i’d get a footlong turkey breast and ham on wheat with the white cheese (provolone i think) and all the veggies, no onions, no sauce.

After being vegetarian I’d get the salad and a soup with baked chips and apple slices. I never really liked the meatball sub fortunately 🙂

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 27, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Christina, Nooch is nutritional yeast. I’ll forward your comment to Candice for her recipe.

Heather March 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm

meatballs are a HUGE favorite of mine! i’ve never had them with pickles though, but it sounds like a must-try. i don’t really keep pickles in the house though because i could eat a jar in one sitting. self control? NO. delicious? YES!

eatmovelove March 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Subway – love it. Love the smell :0…although I can imagine it “sticking with you” on your clothes…I used to work at a clinic that was one next door to one and it smelled heavenly to me every morning…like pizza 🙂

Katie March 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I used to get turkey on white with american cheese. Nothing else. I hated veggies and all condiments (including mustard!)…my, how things have changed.

candicemccoy March 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I used to love Subway, but then I found Pita Pit which has so many more options! Now I feel ripped off when I go to Subway – just veggies and olive oil. It’s still a great option as far as fast food if you’re in a bind.

I guess the one thing I recreate is mac and cheese by using nooch. Gotta love it!

BroccoliHut March 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I just remade a burger, shake, and fries meal last night–using an Okara patty, zucchini, and a strawberry smoothie:)

Daniel March 27, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I used to get a 6in roasted chicken breast with a few veggies and american cheese and then a 6 in taco sub with TONS of sour cream, tortilla chips and a couple of veggies here and there. I used to eat soooo horribly when I was younger hahaha.

My Mom makes a killer lasagna but it’s made with a ton of beef, cheese, and bottled sauces – so I took it upon myself to make some arrangements and everynow and then we have a healthier-but-still-delicious recreation of it.

missyrayn March 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm

My family makes this dish called welshman’s mess that is a pound of tomatoes, a pound of pasta, a pound of fatty bacon and a pound of vermont sharp cheddar. I have recreated it several times with a lot less cheese, WW pasta, and some turkey bacon.

Veggielady4life March 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Absolutely! One of my fav recreated meals is white pizza. I make the dough in my bread machine (whole wheat!) and then slather on part skim ricotta and light cream cheese… plus spinach and sauteed mushrooms. Taste divine every time. And much healthier than my white pizza slices from the corner shop in NYC. Great blog by the way! I’ve enjoyed reading it!

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Thanks for reading Veggielady4life. Your pizza sounds wonderful. 🙂

kyko March 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm

It’s a good thing you gave up those meatball subs! I had to print out the nutritional stats to get my dad to lay off of them – they clock in at over 550 calories – for a 6 inch!!
And the sodium is OFF THE CHARTS.


Ameena March 27, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I used to eat at Subway every day, sometimes twice a day! Veggie 6″ with mustard, cheese and all the veggies. Plus Doritos. I loved it…until I got horrible food poisoning and never went back!

Jessie @ thehappinessinhealth March 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Don’t feel bad for getting the meatball sub – I used to order a footlong Italian BMT with extra mayo every time we went, and boy, was it GOOD! I’ve never tried to recreate, but I imagine that I could make a sandwich on whole grain bread with tons of veggies and maye a slice or two of salami instead of the smorgesboard at Subway. And hold the mayo 🙂

Danielle March 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I remember a couple years ago I recreated the Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supreme. I’m not gonna lie, it was freakin’ good lol. Something about crunchiness in a sandwich or a wrap…

From Party To Hearty March 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm

You always have interesting combos! I love my healthy version of french toast with french toast oats!

Mara @ What's for Dinner? March 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm

OK, so do you remember at subway how they used to cut that strip out of the bread instead of cutting it in half?? I miss those days!!

I love trying to recreate childhood flavors… usually its a roast chicken!

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Mara, Yes, I remember that – do they not cut the bread that way anymore?!?

molly @FuelHerUp March 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

If I’m in need of good mood on the road, I’ll sometimes stop at Subway. I don’t trust their bread really (pretty sure there’s HFCS) but if the rest of my group wants Subway, I’ll get a salad or the veggie. I think they have hummus now, and guacamole!

Meghan March 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I still love Subway! I get the 9 grain wheat with alllll of the veggies, extra hots and pickles, and mustard. Its in my office building so its a tasty and quick option, and pretty healthy too!

Mae March 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I used to love subway too! Hhaha I slightly recreate chocolate soft serve every morning for breakfast…I hate mayo but I <3 cream cheese (of the coconut variety!) 😉

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) March 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm

In High school I went to Giamela’s sub joint and ordered a meatball every day. I still dream of it.

Might need to recreate it myself! 🙂

Janet (Pantry Bites) March 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Looks great. Meatballs, hamburgers, anything with ground meat is delicious. I think the Subway meatball sandwich has almost as many calories as a McDonalds Big Mac- scary thought.

Evan Thomas March 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Love it! In the Winter, we made american chopsuey using mostly spaghetti squash and nutritional yeast–it was so delicious

annecalista March 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I used to order the same thing at Subway! Foot long meatball sub, except with American cheese instead of mayo and no pickles 🙂 I don’t know how I ate so much when I was younger! Sometimes I still crave meatball subs but I would definitely have to make it homemade if I was going to eat it. 🙂

Chocolate-Covered Katie March 27, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Haha I have Lazy Girl Quiche and you have Lazy Girl Meatloaf. We’re two super-lazy mamacitas, HEAB :).

I guess all my weirdo oatmeal concoctions, like cookie dough or snickerdoodle can be seen as “health-i-fied” versions of old favorites. I love coming up with healthier versions of bad-for-you treats. It’s a fun challenge!

Denise Therese March 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Speaking of meatballs… that was always one of my favorite meals as a kid. However, when I discovered I had Crohn’s Disease and went on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (no grains, gluten, sugars, or starches), I had to give up the pasta that always went hand in hand with meatballs. And the meatballs couldn’t have breadcrumbs in them anymore. So we substituted the pasta for spaghetti squash and the breadcrumbs for almond flour. The meatballs didn’t taste any different, except perhaps a little drier, and the spaghetti squash tasted practically like the real thing when topped with the meatball sauce. YUM!

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