In keeping with my cheap theme this week, these are the least expensive vegan hot dogs you may ever eat. Organic carrots are always affordable and you can even get some at your farmers market soon if not right now!
This may sound like one of my weirdest recipes, but trust me, it really works. I read about someone eating a carrot dog on a vacation and they raved about it. I was fairly skeptical, but I loved the idea of having carrots in place of the much processed veggie dog.
Obviously a carrot is the same shape and close enough in color to make a decent hot dog substitute. But the real question is about the taste. The marinade really takes it to the next level. I think the sesame oil does it, but the vinegar gives it that “cured” flavor too.
All Natural Carrot Dogs
serves 4 but can be easily doubled or even tripled.
- 4 carrots (cut into bun lengths)
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar and a dash of salt)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (can sub soy sauce but use unseasoned vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1/2 clove garlic minced)
- a dash or two liquid smoke
- pepper to taste
Fill a pot about half-way full of water, heat it on high until it boils. Turn down to medium heat and add the carrots. Cook until you can just pierce it through with a fork. You want it to still have a snap when you eat it. Run cold water over them to stop them from cooking more.
Combine the other ingredients to make the marinade. Use a container that has a tight lid so you can easily shake it without spraying it all over your kitchen. Marinate at least 3 to 4 hours, though they are fine for almost 2 days.
Put the carrots in the container and marinade for a few hours to up to a few days. If you marinate them longer they take on more of the vinegar flavor. If the carrots are very skinny I would not marinade them for more than 1 1/2 days so they don’t taste too sour.
To serve heat the carrots in a 350 degree oven or on in a grill pan on a hot grill until heated through. It should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve in a toasted hot dog bun with your favorite toppings. They’re great the southern way topped with chili and cole slaw! Prep these on a weekend and you’re ready for a quick weeknight treat.
You could also cook them in your slow cooker in the marinade. You will need to check on them so they do not get mushy, so it’s not an overnight or all day affair. If they get mushy when you re-heat them it will make a mess. Cook until a fork just goes through the carrot, but the carrot is still slightly firm.