Carrot Hot Dogs

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1. Grilled Carrot Dogs

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.

CARROT DOG CABBAGE SLAW
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)


2. Carrot Dogs

Carrot Hot Dog

Photo compliments of thinkstock.com

(based on a feature in Duluth News Tribune here)

 What's orange, helps you see at night and tastes great on a bun with mustard and ketchup? A carrot hot dog!

 Yes, a lightly cooked carrot, marinated with savory seasonings and served with hot dog fixings looks and tastes amazingly like a hot dog. "Why?" you may ask. Here are three reasons to add carrot hot dogs to your summer menu:

  Avoid what's bad for you. The World Health Organization and International Agency for Research on Cancer made headlines in 2015 when they publicly announced that processed meats, including conventional hot dogs, are carcinogenic. With carrot dogs, you also skip the cholesterol and saturated fat.

  Eat more of what's good for you. A 2015 USDA report on diet found that most Americans actually eat more than the recommended amount of meat and eggs, but fall far short when it comes to vegetables. NBC News confirmed that fewer than 14 percent of Americans eat the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables each day. Carrots are a gold mine of beta-carotene and other antioxidants, including lutein, which reduce free radical damage in the body and promote better vision. According to whfoods.com, a recent study also found that as little as one serving of beta-carotene-rich vegetables per day results in greater bone mass.

  Food should be fun. Carrot hot dogs are simple, inexpensive, cruelty-free and amusing.


Carrot Hot Dogs 

4 medium carrots, scrubbed or peeled, ends cut off 

Marinade ingredients: 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar; 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari; 2 tablespoons water; 1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons soya sauce;1 teaspoon treacle or honey; 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

 4 hot dog buns; Condiments to taste: ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, sauerkraut

 Method

Simmer carrots in a pan of water until just fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the carrots. Combine marinade ingredients in a baking dish that will hold the carrots in a single layer. Add the drained carrots and turn to coat all sides. Allow carrots to marinate covered in the refrigerator for at least two hours, or up to three days, turning the carrots occasionally.

To prepare: Remove carrots from marinade and heat them in a frying pan on the stovetop for about 3 minutes, turning them halfway through; or put the carrots on the grill. Serve in hot dog buns with your choice of condiments.

Sources: cancer.org, nbcnews.com, ers.usda.gov, whfoods.com


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