Hot Pink Hot Dog Topper

Spring is here! The snow is mostly melted, I can hear water trickling often, and sometimes it’s warm enough to run errands in only a sweater. The two best things: riding around on my bicycle, and starting up the barbecue again. While I’ve been too busy to make a batch of homemade hot dogs, we have been grilling store-bought ones a few times a week for a quick dinner.

Closeup of slaw

Meet the best hot dog topping: salty, a bit crunchy, and beautifully coloured. Move over, limp sauerkraut. A new favourite garnish is in town.

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I did base this on the quick-pickled cabbage I added to the Sunshine Bowl I posted about a few weeks ago, but with a few modifications, and the addition of sliced radishes for extra flavour. I also like this stuff added into garden salads and brightening up tacos. It will last at least a week in the refrigerator.

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Hot Pink Cabbage-Radish Slaw

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Makes about two cups of slaw

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 cups finely chopped or shredded red cabbage
  • 5 or 6 radishes, halved then finely sliced

Instructions:

  1. Combine maple syrup, vinegar, celery seeds, and salt in a large non-metal bowl.
  2. Stir in cabbage and radishes.
  3. Allow to sit at room temperature, stirring every half hour or so, for about two hours.
  4. Transfer to a resealable container for storage in the refrigerator. 

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Enjoy! Is it spring yet where you live?

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Barbecue

Mrs. Minty suggested we have a barbecue today because the weather feels almost spring-like. As we had already gone grocery shopping and had not the Yves Italian Sausage we usually like, I offered to make some veggie dogs from scratch.

Veggie dog and salad

A grilled veggie dog and salad is a great springtime dinner!

This recipe is via Vegan Dad, and we’ve made it a few times with success. Like many gluten-based recipes, it’s forgiving and flexible – change the beans, change the spices, change the liquid. I could see someone making “beer brats” by using a cube of mock beef bouillon in a cup of flat beer, instead of a cup of vegetable broth, plus appropriate spices.

These veggie dogs are durable enough to stay intact on a grill, and are significantly cheaper than store-bought ones: 88c for the beans (of which I only used 1/4), 50c for the V-8, and less than $2 for the gluten flour. Six wieners = about 60c each, as opposed to $1.20 each from the store!

And, since I mentioned that I’m trying to watch calories, each wiener is just under 100 calories each.

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup pinto beans, (or other beans with thin-ish skins… I used Fava, and navy or black-eyed would work as well)
– 1 cup cold vegetable broth (I used 2/3 c V-8 and 1/3 c Knorr veg broth)
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce

– 1 tsp salt
– 2 cloves garlic, grated (with a microplane, or very finely minced)
– 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
– 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
– 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed (I omitted because we didn’t have any)
– 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– Several dashes fresh black pepper

1. Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready, bring water to a full boil. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.
2. Have ready 6 sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into 6 even parts. Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll. Don’t worry too much about shaping it, it will snap into shape while it’s steaming because this recipe is awesome.

Uncooked dough on tinfoil

Yes, I know what it looks like….

And it gets wrapped up ready for steaming.

And it gets wrapped up ready for steaming.

Steaming

Steaming

Unwrapping the weiners after steaming

Unwrapping the wieners after they have cooled.

3. Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes.

Sausages can be frozen. To cook, grill for 10 minutes or slice and pan-fry.