Just trust me on this one! Even my non-vegan, traditional hot dog loving daughter raved about these innovative carrot dogs! Inspired by a recipe I found here, these carrot dogs were like a revelation! Not only do they taste pretty darn close to traditional hot dogs once they’re grilled, they actually look like traditional hot dogs too!
There are endless toppings you can add to a perfectly grilled carrot dog, from the classic ketchup, mustard and relish to innovative and anti-oxidant rich cole slaws, diced and sliced fruits and vibrantly fresh herbs. The grilled carrot is a mere canvas for the most amazing condiments and toppings you can think of. For some heat, spice these up with kimchi or a poblano-cilantro relish. For kids or an unusual party finger food, cut the carrots to fit mini-hot dog buns and let your guests add their own selection of toppings.
My toppings included a tangy ginger cole slaw with fresh parsley, basil and cilantro from my garden, whole grain mustard, cooked beets and a drizzling of tahini. I wrapped the whole ensemble in a large collard green leaf. I call it the ultimate healthy “garden-dog”. My daughter paired hers with more classic toppings – ketchup, mustard, cheese, a few pickles and served it in a regular wheat bun. Thus, my daughter’s version was non-vegan in the end, but at least she avoided the processed meat which is almost always full of unnecessary additives. And she said it was delicious!
For the Marinade
- 1/4 cup Naked Coconuts (or soy sauce)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp chipotle pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp dried ginger
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp granulated onion powder
- 3-4 large carrots, scrubbed, ends trimmed
- GF whole wheat hot dog buns, or green leaf (collard greens, chard, etc.) to wrap “hot dogs”,
- Condiments, such as; tangy cole slaw, mustard, sugar-free ketchup, fresh herbs, sliced avocado, sliced jalapeños, beets. Just use your imagination!
Whisk together the Naked Coconuts, water, vinegars, garlic and seasonings and pour into a small saucepan. simmer until reduced by 1/2. Cool and pour into a large ziplock bag.
Meanwhile, steam carrots until fork tender (this can take up to 20 minutes if the carrots are thick). You want them quite soft – there should be little to no resistance from the tip of a knife inserted to the thickest part of the carrot. Place the carrots in the marinade – I usually poke several tiny slits in the carrots after they are cooked to allow them to absorb as much of the marinade as possible.
Remove as much air from the bag as you can and seal tightly. Refrigerate carrots in the marinade over night. Turn the bag over every so often if the carrots are not well submerged in the marinade.
To cook the carrots, preheat your grill. Remove the carrots from the marinade and place them on the grill. Baste with the residual marinade while cooking. Carrots are done when they are heated through and have visible grill markings.
You can cook these carrots in a shallow frying pan on your stove top as well. If you are using this method, don’t bother reducing the marinade – it will reduce naturally in the pan and the carrots will end up well-flavoured and nicely browned.
Place the carrots and a little of the marinade in a med-high preheated non-stick sauté pan. Leave the carrots undisturbed in the pan for a few minutes on each side, topping up the pan with marinade, a few tablespoons at a time, as it evaporates. Turn the carrots as they brown until evenly coloured on all sides, being careful not to burn them. When they are nicely browned and heated through they are ready to serve.