The Hot Dog. At any summer grill party, it is, ironically, the culinary underdog paling in comparison to its more popular counterpart, the American burger.
And that is why we have National Hot Dog Day. 😉
Did you celebrate this year? Neither did I. xD I don’t normally celebrate food holidays on the day of… unless it involves something like Ice Cream… which, by the way, July is National Ice Cream Month, and yeah, I’ve been doing my fair share of celebratin’. 😉
But anyways, I do enjoy a good summer hot dog during the weekend, so I thought I might as well share some tips on healthifying the hot dogs so y’all can enjoy some hot dogs too without feeling gross afterwards.
Most people associate hot dog as “unhealthy” because, well, most hot dogs aren’t healthy at all! That being said, hot dogs can easily be healthified while keeping that juicy, salty, carby experience that we all expect in a hot dog.
Here are some way to make your hot dogs both healthy and tasty:
If you look at the ingredient list of a typical Oscar Meyer hot dog, it’s not just meat and flavoring. It’s got stuff like phosphates, nitrates, corn syrup, and “flavor.” Doesn’t seem so flavorful to me.
In my opinion, the only ingredients hot dogs need are meat and some spices, like the ones Applegate Farms make. My favorite is their chicken or turkey hot dogs, but they also make great beef hot dogs too. Many other natural brands make great hot dogs too.
You can find whole wheat hot dog buns just about anywhere now, but be sure to read the ingredients. Often you’ll find a never-ending list of preservatives and corn syrup even in whole wheat buns!
To make sure my buns are all-natural, I like getting my hot dog buns from Whole Foods, but the day I went shopping for hot dog buns, my local Whole Foods ran out of whole-wheat hot dog buns, so I bought these all-natural but white hot dog buns. Not as healthy at least I can understand the ingredient list. I got the Rudi’s brand organic hot dog buns. They are so soft and sweet and goes perfectly with the salty ‘dogs.
Maybe a decade ago, the only ketchup I could find had high-fructose corn syrup along with some preservatives in it. Nowadays, due to market demand, even Heinz ketchup makes a natural variety. That is the one you want. Even better, get an organic ketchup, which is what I use.
Same goes with yellow mustard. The reason why yellow mustard is yellow isn’t from food dye! It should be yellow from turmeric, a powerful spice used often in Indian cooking. I use organic yellow mustard from Whole Foods 365 brand.
Along with the weiners and buns, I threw on the grill thin-sliced zucchini seasoned with paprika, S+P and sweet bell peppers that I lightly brushed with olive oil. I love it when they get that charred grill marks! So fresh and tasty.
I like homemade coleslaw made from just vinegar, chili oil, and a touch of organic sugar.
I made a salad with organic baby greens, organic tomatoes, avocado, and an easy vinaigrette of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil.
Now that you know how to make healthy hot dogs, throw some on the grill (along with some veggies 😉 ) and grill away while Summer 2015 lasts.
As always, if you take any of these healthy hot dog tips, share them with me over at Instagram @vivanttang.
Happy National Hot Dog Day and Happy Summer!