A vegetarian hot dog that actually sounds tasty

Red meat is still part of my diet, albeit a much smaller part since my heart surgery in 2012. I have red meat once a week now, and only the leanest I can find, which means either fillet mignon or a cheek-meat sandwich at Naf Naf Grill.

Zucchini dogs, a meatless alternative to hot dogs.
Zucchini dogs, a meatless alternative to hot dogs.

I’ve stopped eating hot dogs and other processed meats altogether, except for the occasional splurge at my boyhood favorite, Nathan’s, when I’m in New York City. That said, I can’t bring myself to eat any of the fake vegetarian meat substitutes, several of which are high in sodium themselves.

So when I first saw the article, This Hot-Dog Alternative Is So Simple, You’re Going to Wonder Why You Didn’t Think of It Yourself, I assumed it would be something I wouldn’t want to eat.

Wrong. This piece talks about using zucchini as a hot dog substitute, covering it with mustard or whatever else you like in the process. I love grilling zucchini outside in the summers and even make it in the oven during the winter, so this struck me as a fun new way to serve it.

Here’s the basic recipe, with my substitutions noted. I’d use olive oil and find low-sodium bread or low-sodium hot dog buns to cut the fat and salt.

4 medium zucchini
3 tablespoons coconut oil [I’d substitute olive oil]
4 hot dog buns [the recipe suggests whole wheat, I’d find some low-salt ones or low-salt bread]
Your choice condiments [the recipe suggests relish, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, and mayo. If you want mayo, go fat-free. Most relish is high in sodium so I avoid that now too.]

I’m looking forward to spring so I can try these.




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