I hope you all had a fun Labor Day weekend! It’s still burning up in Austin, TX, so don’t put away your grill yet!
I know that most of us, regardless of what dietary restrictions or dietary freedoms we follow, are trying to eat fewer processed foods. I am trying to limit my soy intake to just tempeh, miso, and soy sauce and a little bit of tofu once or twice a week. So what can you do when those times come around when everyone assumes you will eat a processed soy veggie hot dog or burger?
Try a whole veggie replacement!
For a hot dog, why not try a carrot!
Here’s what I did:
Go to your favorite store and get organic carrots on the shelf labeled “Bulk”. You want to get a nice fat carrot. Most prepacked carrots are going to be thin. You want something that is going to hold up on the grill and not look wimpy in your bun.
If you plan on grilling your carrots, you are going to want to boil them until they are half cooked. I use my trusty pressure cooker and cooked them on high pressure for 2 minutes and then released the pressure. You can keep the water you boiled them in for cooking grains or soup with. We are in a drought!
If you don’t want to break out the grill, you can roast your carrots in the oven at 375 degrees until they are nice and caramelized.
So onto the grill! Get your coals nice and hot (or turn on the gas). You might as well grill some other veggies since you are taking the time to be outside in the 90+ degree heat. You can take a cast iron skillet and put it directly on the grill too (see those brussel sprouts!)
We also add some applewood chips in the smoker box. This added a lot more flavor depth to the carrot. Grill on both sides. Serve in your favorite bun. Not into grains or buns? These taste great by themselves! I suggest savory toppings as the carrot is already a bit sweet. A spicy horseradish mustard did the trick.
Another way you can use your carrot dogs is to make carrot corn dogs. I have a Twinkie pan that I use for this purpose. Use your favorite cornbread recipe and put some batter in to each section, then put a length of carrot and cover with batter until you are 1/2 an inch from the top. Bake for 25 minutes. I have made this for my personal chef clients and they are happy that this is a kid-friendly snack or main dish for a school lunch.