I used to joke with my husband that I was going make him carrot dogs, as if putting a carrot in a bun would be the saddest and most pitiful meat substitution in the vegan world. It was not until I received the latest PlantPure Nation newsletter, which praised the carrot dog, did I realize that carrot dogs are more than just placing a carrot in a bun and adding toppings.
The carrots are actually cooked, marinated in a smoky blend of liquids and spices, then sautéed, baked, or grilled to perfection. I was shocked by how good these were! My father-in-law took one bite, pointed to his carrot dog, and said, “That’s a hot dog!”
I topped my carrot dog with ketchup, stone-ground mustard, guacamole, and broccoli micro greens, and I didn’t miss the meat at all. The carrot was warm and salty with a smoky mesquite flavor that you’d find in the meat version. And the best part? It’s free of fat, strange chemicals, and mystery ingredients!
Carrot dogs are also very easy to make. If it’s a weekday, I recommend boiling the carrots and making the marinade in the morning before work (It just takes 10 minutes!), so they’ll be ready to cook by dinnertime. Serve these carrot dogs with your favorite bean salad (for protein) and oven-roasted potatoes.
Easy and delicious dinner!
I originally wasn’t going to share this recipe because I can’t take any of the credit for this genius idea. But since I loved carrot dogs so much that I will be adding them to my summer dinner rotation, I decided you guys need to have the recipe.
There are several versions of carrot dog marinades, but I altered the recipe from www.cleaneatingveggiegirl.com, and it hit the spot.
- 4 carrots, trimmed to the size of a bun and peeled, roughly the same width
- ¼ cup reduced-sodium tamari
- ¼ cup water
- 1 T. rice vinegar
- ½ T. apple cider vinegar
- ½ t. liquid smoke
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ t. smoked paprika
- ¼ t. black pepper
- ⅛ t. onion powder
- 4 whole wheat hot dog buns or cabbage leaves, collards, Romaine, etc.
- Hot dog toppings of your choice
- Boil carrots in a medium pot for 6-8 minutes, until the thicker ends can easily be pierced with a fork, but are not mushy.
- While the carrots are boiling, whisk together the liquids, garlic, and spices.
- Place the cooked carrots in a large bag or container with the marinade and place in the fridge to marinate all day or overnight.
- Prior to serving, cook carrots in a sauté pan with a splash of the marinade until the carrots are browned on the outside, 8-10 mins. Alternatively, bake the carrots at 400 degrees F 15-20 mins. or cook them on a grill like you would a normal hot dog.
- Place carrots in buns and top with whatever hot dog toppings you like!
This even looks like a hot dog, right???
These carrot dogs are so good, I wouldn’t hesitate to serve them to meat eaters. I doubt anyone would complain once they take a bite!
In the spirit of trying new things, I encourage you to try these carrot dogs and let me know what you think. You may even prefer them over the meat version!