Carrot dog recipe? What in the world? You vegan people have gone too damn far now!
Typical responses I’ve heard this week as I ran the concept of the carrot dog by a few folks. However, once they wrapped their lips around this tasty deliciousness, they became true believers. I’ve never been a big fan of hot dogs due to the fact that they are filled with Mystery Meat. Plus I read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in middle school, and have been leery of sausages and canned meat products ever since.
Luckily, issues with what goes on in the meat-packing industry aren’t part of the vegan daily experience like it is for meat eaters, and that alone should be motivation for you to try this recipe. I’m telling you, there is really nothing that exists in the animal flesh world of food that cannot be made just as tasty with plants, and this vegan carrot dog recipe proves it.
First, let me give you a little background.
I belong to several food groups on the web and on Facebook, which includes vegan groups. I first heard about carrot dogs from one of the posters, as she raved about how they taste. Umm hmmm, right. I’ve learned my lesson that the stuff most of those folks rave about is not exactly up to my standards as far as taste goes.
Additionally, when she posted the recipe it seemed far too complicated and required ingredients that my lazy ass was not ABOUT to get up and go hunt for. That was SOOOO not gonna happen, but I did want to try the carrot dogs on the omnivores in my household (remember, I’m the only vegan). So I got busy mixing and tasting and came up with a flavor combination I think works really well, from ingredients the vegan and non-vegan kitchen are likely to already have on hand.
With summer here and 4th of July/Labor Day barbecue events on the horizon, I feel it important that vegans have something to throw on the grill and eat right along with everyone else. This carrot hot dog recipe fits the bill in both taste, texture and appearance.
Though my carrot dog recipe is fabulous, it won’t fool anyone who is a meat eater into thinking they are eating a frankfurter. This recipe creates an extremely flavorful and surprisingly (almost shockingly) delicious, plant-based, gluten free, unprocessed hot dog replica that you can enjoy at summer barbecues without the expense of commercial products.
Every Sunday from May through September I hit somebody’s farmer’s market. Last week I got my usual potatoes/berries/peaches/green beans, etc., along with a big batch of organic carrots to use for the carrot dogs. I’d planned to serve them for Monday night dinner, so I got them into the marinade on Sunday evening.
Ideally you would use short fat carrots that are a uniform roundness from top to bottom. Since I got to the farmer’s market late, I had to pick from what was left. Doesn’t change the taste, but for the most realistic “hot dog” look, try to pick carrots that resemble the shape and circumference of a hot dog.
Peel the carrots, then cook them in simmering water for 8-10 minutes or until they are fork tender. The thicker your carrots, the longer they will have to cook of course. Watch them carefully so you don’t overcook the carrots and make them mushy. You want them kinda “al dente” like pasta – tender, but with some bite.
Pour cooked carrots into a colander to drain, then run cold water over them to immediately stop the cooking process.
Put carrots and marinade into an airtight plastic container or a zip style bag like I used which can lay flat in the fridge. Shake to coat with the marinade, then refrigerate and marinate for 6-24 hours, rotating a time or two. The longer you marinate them, the more vinegar taste the carrot dogs will absorb, so don’t leave them in the marinade for longer than one day.
When ready to cook your carrot dogs, brown them in a lightly oiled skillet right along with some of the marinade, OR bake them in the oven at 350 degrees about 12-15 minutes (also with the marinade), OR grill them over hot charcoals. I seared mine in the frying pan to a nice brown color because it was too hot to turn on the oven, and too hot to go outside to stand in the sun and grill anything!
Serve carrot dogs with toppings and sides of your choice and grub! I used chopped red onion, fresh tomato, pickle relish, and spicy brown mustard, served on sprouted wheat hot dog buns.
Give my carrot dog recipe a try and let me know what you think! We’d love to see a picture of your creation.
- 8-10 organic carrots (size and shape described above)
- 2 cups of water
- 2 Tablespoons liquid smoke
- ¼ cup Bragg's Aminos or Tamari sauce
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup low sodium vegetable, not-chicken broth, or water
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- Peel the carrots, shaping them with peeler to an even roundness. Trim the ends to fit your buns in length.
- Place about 2 cups of water in a skillet and heat to boiling; add carrots and cover, simmer along for 8-10 minutes or until carrots are fork tender. Do not overcook!
- While carrots are cooking, prepare your marinade by combining ingredients into a small bowl.
- When carrots have cooked sufficiently, immediately pour contents of pot into a colander and drain, then run cold water over carrots to stop the cooking process.
- Place carrots in an air-tight container large enough for all the carrots to lay flat (a zip style plastic freezer bag also works well). Place in refrigerator and allow carrots to marinate for 6-24 hours.
- Place carrots and a few tablespoons of marinade in a hot non-stick skillet, and cook, allowing marinade to caramelize the carrots and create a nice brown exterior coating.
- If you prefer, you can bake the carrot dogs in their marinade for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, turning halfway through to brown evenly. OR you can grill them over low coals.
- Serve with your favorite sides and toppings.
Category: Light Meals