By Chef Linda
Shakespeare said it best when he wrote, “A vegan hot dog by any other name would taste as delicious, especially if it were a carrot.” You'll pardon the liberties taken, but it's merely to illustrate a game-changing point here; carrots make excellent hot dogs. Hard to believe? Perhaps, but I urge you to try this simple recipe for Compassionate Carrot Dogs and see if it doesn't make you appreciate this lovely, humble vegetable in a whole new way.
Whole carrots are trimmed and peeled, then simmered in a quick marinade for just a few minutes. Stored overnight in the marinade then grilled, fried, or roasted, these carrots take on a smoky tenderness that partner with your favorite hot dog toppings (try our Mushroom-Lentil Chili!). While the flavor improves when the carrot dogs are marinated overnight, you can simmer them as directed and then go right ahead and grill them. A healthy, gluten-free alternative to even the best vegan hot dog, put Compassionate Carrot Dogs on your BBQ menu before the opportunity for easy summer meals fades into fall.
Compassionate Carrot Dogs
8 medium carrots
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon paprika (regular or smoked)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, or use your favorite toppings
Peel and trim carrots so they are slightly longer than the buns; Save the extra carrot pieces for soup or for munching. In a straight-sided pan or large pot, whisk together the water, apple cider vinegar, tamari, paprika, syrup, liquid smoke, mustard, coriander, onion powder, and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer then add carrots and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until a sharp knife can be easily inserted: You want the carrots very tender, but not soft enough to break apart. Thick carrots will take longer; thin carrots may take less time. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool.
Place carrots along with cooking marinade in a sealed container or a zip-tight plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight. Drain marinade then cook on a lightly oiled grill for about 8 to 10 minutes or in pan on the stovetop for about the same amount of time. Serve in buns with your favorite hot dog toppings. Marinade may be used again within several days for another batch.