Back in my carnivorous days, I was a shameless chili dog lover, and I absolutely never questioned quality or nutrition at all, it was all based on how I knew it would taste, and I KNEW it would taste delicious.
Well... things have changed over the years. And now, right up there next to taste (because let's be honest, that's still always #1) is how the food will nourish my body. And unfortunately, a standard hot dog, the original "mystery meat," only offers questionable ingredients, probable carcinogens, and plenty of saturated fat.
Insert--> SOLUTION. Carrots, are the answer for satisfying texture, flavor, and shape for your hot dog replacement at this summer's barbeques! Give them a try!!! I have adapted this recipe from The Easy Vegan Cookbook and have always found success, whether or not they have a long time to marinade, or if I have to sub an ingredient out. Here it is!
6 carrots, cut to bun length
6 toasted hoagie or hot dog buns
1/4 C + 2 T rice vinegar
1/4 C + 2 T water
1.5 T sesame oil (toasted is fine)
3 T liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
1/4 t (heaping) garlic powder (or 1 fresh clove, minced)
scant 1/2 t liquid smoke
freshly ground pepper
For Serving (See end of Instructions for Topping combination Ideas)
Mustard of choice
1. Heat water in a pot large enough for all the carrots. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat and add the carrots. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until just tender enough to pierce them with a fork. (You want them to keep some crisp, so be sure to not overcook.)
2. While boiling, whisk marinade ingredients together in small dish.
3. Remove carrots from pot, and run under cold water to stop cooking. Add to a shallow dish, and pour marinade over top. Marinade for at least 2 hours, or up to 8, turning every so often, so that each part of the carrot gets equal exposure to the marinade. (Note: If the carrots are skinny, keep marinating time shorter.)
4. Heat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment, and place marinated carrots on it, just before serving. Roast for about 15 minutes, rotating once or twice (quarter turns) to brown just a bit and heat through. Alternately, these would work well on the grill! Just heat through and get some great grill lines.
5. For serving, lightly toast buns and place roasted carrots on them.
A-The Chili dawg: Add about 3/4 C chili (I usually make a batch of bean+lentil chili while carrots are marinating, but canned bean chili would work just as well and be super easy!), spicy brown mustard, and sauerkraut. (Pictured above)
B-The New Yorker: Vegenaise, yellow mustard, sauerkraut, and chopped white onions.
C-Your Faves: Add ketchup, BBQ sauce, relish, coleslaw or whatever your go-to's are! These are super versatile!