I have a confession. I have a secret obsession with hot dogs. To be honest, I cannot remember the last time I actually had a real one. I often imagine the sensation of the snap when biting into a crispy juicy dog and piling it high with relish, onions, celery salt - all sandwiched between a perfectly griddled bun. I am all for living a balanced lifestyle and not feeling like you are constantly missing out. However, once I start thinking about forced meat loaded with sodium, nitrates, preservatives, and other not so health-supportive ingredients, my hot dog eating fantasies usually disappear. If you can find a butcher who uses high quality sustainable meat or brands utilizing clean ingredients, then go live out your hot dog eating dreams. If you are a die hard veghead, these carrot dogs will help make any 4th of July hot dog eating fantasies come true.
Roasting carrots can sometimes be problematic. The skin can get crispy while the inside remains too firm to the bite. To help combat this roasted carrot fail, I blanched my carrots for 5 minutes before roasting them in order to give the cooking process a head start.
When selecting the ideal carrots for the dog, go for large round ones that can easily emulate a hot dog shape and can happily fit into a bun.
I aimed to spice the carrots to achieve a smokey taste. I went along the lines of a merguez-flavored dog and leaned heavily on warm and spicy flavors.
Since its all about the toppings, I dressed my carrot dogs Chicago style with white onions, pickles, mustard, and sauerkraut and placed it in a poppy seed studded bun.
This recipe is 100% adaptable. Use different spices for the carrots, lose the bun and put the carrots in romaine lettuce leaves, augment the toppings to suit your preference. Regardless of how you swap things around, this is the perfect summer time recipe for you or any of your veghead friends.
Carrot Hot Dogs
- 6 medium to large carrots, peeled
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 whole grain or gluten-free hot dog buns
- 2 tbsps poppy seeds
- 3 tbsps coconut oil, melted
- Recommended toppings:
- Dill pickles, quartered
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Remove carrots from water, pat dry, and let cool slightly.
- In a small sauté pan, toast the cumin and fennel seeds until fragrant. Let cool and grind in a spice grinder. Alternatively, you can mince the seeds with a knife.
- In a bowl, combine 2 tbsps coconut oil, the ground seeds, coriander, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, pepper, and garlic.
- On a parchment paper-lined sheet tray, rub the spice blend over the carrots and roast for 30 minutes or until crispy and tender.
- While the carrots are cooking, brush the inside and outside of the hot dog buns with coconut oil and sprinkle the outsides evenly with poppy seeds. Bake for 5 minutes.
- To assemble, place one carrot into each bun. Trim the end of the carrot if it is too long. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!