Healthy Summer Cookout
The weather is warming up and summer is just around the corner, which means summer barbecues and cookouts! One classic cookout food is hot dogs straight from the grill, but the high sodium and saturated fat content of these frankfurters can make them less than ideal to eat on a regular basis. Hot dogs are considered a processed meat, so they definitely on the list of foods to limit as much as possible. One way to get the same experience and a similar taste to a hot dog without all the questionable aspects of this summer food is to make your own. Below is a plant-based option, made from wheat gluten and soy with plenty of spices for flavor. Wheat gluten is the protein portion of wheat, and although it may sound like something you should avoid, if you don’t have a gluten allergy it is actually an excellent concentrated protein source and can give your food a meaty texture. This recipe also uses nutritional yeast, a type of inactive yeast that packs great savory flavor without a lot of salt. Even more protein is added with soy flour. You can usually find wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, and soy flour in the baking section of the grocery store. If you can’t find soy flour, you can also use textured vegetable protein, which is also found in the baking section. These veggie hot dogs give you the protein and experience of a hot dog without all the sodium and saturated fat. Eaten on a whole wheat bun and with a salad, you can achieve a well-balanced plate with protein, fiber, veggies, and healthy fat. If you would prefer a healthier store-bought alternative to your classic hot dog, you can look for turkey hot dogs. These will be lower in saturated fat than the red meat variety, but still may be quite high in sodium.
Plant-Based Hot Dog
Yield: 8 hot dogs
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp low sodium tomato paste
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 chopped garlic clove
1 tsp onion powder or ¼ cup diced onion
1 cup water
1 cup vital wheat gluten
¾ cup soy flour
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Add wet ingredients and mix until well combined. A soft, sticky dough should form.
Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces.
Form the pieces into 6-inch logs.
Roll the logs tightly in aluminum foil, twisting the ends to prevent the hot dogs from bursting out.
Steam the logs for 30 minutes.
Unroll hot dogs from the aluminum foil and enjoy with your favorite whole what hot dog bun, condiments, and veggies on the side!
Approximate nutrition information per serving (just the hot dog, without bun, condiments, or side salad):
Calories per serving: 126
Fat per serving: 4g
Protein per serving: 16g
Total Carbohydrate: 7g
This month's recipe comes from Louisa Paine, Registered Dietitian at The Mount Auburn Club. Click here to contact the MAC Nutrition team today.
The information presented here is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or health condition. As always, please speak with your registered dietitian regarding any dietary modifications or nutrition-related questions.