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Grilled Carrot Hot Dog

It's 100 percent root vegetable. And unlike its meaty counterpart, it's fat-free, low in sugar and full of beta carotene.

To prepare carrot dogs, you will need large, whole organic carrots, whole-wheat hoagies or hot dog buns and your favourite condiments. Wash, peel and trim the ends of the carrots, and then steam them just until they're tender. You want the carrots cooked but still able to hold their shape when lifted with tongs. Place them
on a plate, cover well and refrigerate overnight.

When you're ready to grill them, brush the cold carrots lightly with olive oil and cook until grill marks appear and they're heated all the way through. They should be cooked like pasta al dente with a tender but not mushy texture.

Grab a bun and your favourite toppings. I like sweet-and-sour coleslaw. It's a flavourful match for the carrot dog.

In my opinion, it's top dog compared with some of the alterna-franks, tofu or rubbery vegan/vegetarian hot dogs you find masquerading as hot dog substitutes.

Would a carrot dog pass a blindfolded taste test against the real deal? Probably not. But,  you would be surprised what a close facsimile it is hidden beneath all the condiments. Before passing judgment, you have to try it at least once.

Here's a slightly modified recipe for that sweet-sour coleslaw I mentioned. Submitted by my friend Nancy Perkins, it's a perfect companion for the carrot dog. Enjoy.

1 large head green cabbage, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed

In a large mixing bowl, stir together cabbage, onion and green pepper. Sprinkle with sugar. In a small saucepan, gently warm the oil, vinegar, salt, celery seed and mustard seed, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour over cabbage mixture. Refrigerate, covered, for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain off excess dressing in a colander before transferring to a serving bowl. This makes a large batch and keeps several days in the refrigerator.

(Extract from article dated 23/01/08 South Shore News & Tribune, written by Lynn Kessel)

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