I have yet to find a truly tasty vegetarian hot dog. How about you? And most of what’s on the market is downright scary when you take a look at the ingredient lists and find “stuff” like this: chemical additives (i.e. disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate), added sweeteners (i.e. corn syrup solids), highly processed proteins (i.e. hydrolyzed soy protein and hydrolyzed corn protein), and artificial food coloring (i.e. red 40 and blue 1). Yikes! Who would actually want to put this into their body? And what food company would be proud to sell this?
So, here’s my take on a vegan hot dog. It’s made from carrots that you’ll hand-sculpt using an everyday paring knife and vegetable peeler! You simply need to try this recipe … now! Then be sure to serve them for family on Meatless Monday and grill ‘em up for friends at your next cookout.
Calories saved: 165
Why it’s better for you? It’s a real vegetable, not a manufactured formulation of pseudo-meat!
- 4 jumbo carrots
- 1 1/2 tablespoons natural ketchup
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon naturally-brewed tamari soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 whole grain hot dog buns
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut off the tips and stem ends of the carrots, forming 8-inch long carrots. Trim and sculpt the 8-inch carrots with a paring knife and vegetable peeler until about 7 inches in length with an even thickness, about 3/4-inch diameter. (Use the carrot scraps for another use, such as in a salad or stir-fry.)
- Whisk together the ketchup, olive oil, mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, paprika, salt, and pepper. Place carrot hot dogs onto an unbleached parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and brush with half of this sauce.
- Roast until well caramelized and fully cooked through, about 1 hour, rotating carrot hot dogs and brushing with the remaining sauce halfway through the roasting process. (It’s OK for these carrot hot dogs to have a slightly firm “al dente” texture.)
- Serve each in a hot dog bun with condiments of choice. One of my favorite topping combinations with these hot dogs is baby arugula + caramelized onion + Hass avocado!
(Hint: For a cookout, roast these hot dogs a day in advance and chill. Spritz the chilled roasted vegan hot dogs with organic cooking spray and grill over indirect heat until heated through.)
Per serving: 200 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 850mg sodium, 34g total carbohydrate, 6g dietary fiber, 9g sugars, 5g protein
The “Before” Version
Per serving: 365 calories, 23.5g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 1150mg sodium, 28g total carbohydrate, 0.5g dietary fiber, 8g sugars, 13g protein
- Skip the really fake franks; choose to eat real. Beyond the carrots, be sure all of your ingredient selections are “natural,” as well.
- What makes these carrots taste similar to hot dogs? Mainly the smoked paprika. Don’t skimp on it.
- Since you’ll have extra calories to play with, adorn these hot dogs with luxurious plant-based toppings, like Hass avocado and caramelized onion.
Hot-dog sculpted carrots