The healthiest hot dog you’ll eat all summer

not dogs
Photo: Vincenzo Pistritto
yamchops book cover
Photo: Vincenzo Pistritto

It’s finally time to fire up the grill, and hot dogs are one of those quintessential American foods that even the most ardent health followers crave. A healthy food swap: These carrot “not dogs” from Yamchops, a vegan butcher in Toronto.

What’s a vegan butcher, you ask? “We create and sell center-of-plate, plant-based protein alternatives very similar to how you would see them at a traditional butcher shop,” says owner Michael Abramson, who’s new book From the Kitchens of YamChops is out this month. “Customers can choose from things like chick*n schnitzel, chick*n parm, Szechuan “beef,” General Tso’s chick*n, carrot lox, corned beets, tunaless tuna, eggless egg, chick*n cordon vert, beet wellington—and, of course, a variety of veggie burgers.”

Pro tip: Leave the skin on the carrots to get a crunchy charr on the outside and a soft, “meaty” interior.

Abramson was inspired to create this recipe after coming across some jumbo carrots that resembled the size and shape of hot dogs. “I’m not a big fan of processed vegan hot dogs so I wanted to create a very clean recipe,” he says. “It’s scarily close in how it mimics the taste and texture a hot dog.” The carrots get marinated in tamari, rice vinegar, oil, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, garlic, ginger powder, pepper, and onion powder before taking a turn on the grill. “The vinegars help break down some of the carrot’s natural fiber, and the liquid smoke and spices give it that classic Ball Park hot dog flavor,” says Abramson.

Pro tip: Leave the skin on the carrots to get a crunchy charr on the outside and a soft, “meaty” interior. Ready to try them for yourself? Scroll down for the recipe!

Carrot "Not Dogs"

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  • Prep Time
    10 minutes
  • Cook Time
    20 minutes
  • Servings
    people

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Wash and gently scrub the carrots. Trim off the tip and tail, but do not peel them. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots. Cook until the carrots are easily pierced with a skewer, approximately 15 to 17 minutes, depending on the thickness of the carrots. Drain and set aside.

  2. While the carrots are cooking, prepare the marinade. In a large flat bowl, whisk together the water, tamari, rice vinegar, oil, cider vinegar, liquid smoke, garlic, ginger powder, pepper, and onion powder.

  3. Add the carrots to the marinade, making sure all of the carrots are coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of four hours or ideally, overnight.

  4. Heat a grill to medium-high. Add the carrots and grill for 45 to 60 seconds, until they are nicely grill marked and slightly charred. Turn the carrots one-quarter turn and repeat until all sides are grill marked.

  5. Lightly toast the hot dog buns on the grill. Add a Not Dog and dress it with the condiments of your choice (mustard, relish, ketchup, pickle and sauerkraut).

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from From the Kitchen of YamChops by Michael Abramson, Page Street Publishing Co. 2018. Round out your cookout with one of these healthy side dishes. Plus, 15-minute picnic dishes that are super easy to make and transport.

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