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Carrot hot dogs?! Yup. My review of Kathy Hester's new book The Easy Vegan Cookbook

Disclosure: I received Kathy Hester's book the Easy Vegan Cookbook for my honest review. Easy Vegan
You guys know I'm not a vegan.  I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity food processing unit.  But I have to admit, I love me some vegetables.  And I love it even more when foods look like, smell like, and taste like other foods.  

Like, on April Fools Day, I like to trick my kids by putting little Cheerios on a plate and telling them I accidentally spilled some sort of shrinking potion on them.  They don't buy it at all, but it makes me laugh anyway.  (They are 7 and 11.  If they bought that, I might have to go back to parenting school.)


In Kathy Hester's new cookbook, The Easy Vegan Cookbook, she's got some really cool vegan recipes that are perfect for those times when you want to try something new, but not ALL the way new... like Cauliflower Po' Boy Sandwiches, and  Spiced Pumpkin-Cashew Cream Chez, and my favorite - All-Natural Carrot Hot Dogs.   Carrot hot dog

But the Easy Vegan Cookbook isn't all just swap-out-meat-for-vegetables recipes.  There are so many delicious looking plant-based recipes that are EASY to make.  I mean it.  So whether you are just starting a vegan lifestyle, just want to add some more great vegetable recipes into your diet, or have been a vegan for a million years, the Easy Vegan Cookbook is a refreshing take on healthy cooking.  There are sections on how to stock your pantry and your freezer to make everyday cooking easier.  Each recipe lists adaptations to make each one fit into restricted or special diets.  It also lists some items that non-vegans may be unaware of that when added to your kitchen will help make cooking a bit easier.  (Butler's Soy Curls..?  Never heard of them until reading this book!)

I'm sure you've been sitting on the edge of your seat ever since reading the words Carrot Hot Dog, so without further ado: Here is Kathy Hester's recipe for All Natural Carrot Hot Dogs from her awesome The Easy Vegan Cookbook.

•gluten-free •soy-free •oil-free option*
A carrot is the same shape as a hot dog and close enough in color to make a decent substitute. But what about the taste? I promise you, this marinade really takes it to the next level. I think the sesame oil helps, but the vinegar gives it that “cured” flavor, too.
  • 4 carrots, cut into bun lengths
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) seasoned rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar and a dash of salt)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sesame oil (*leave out)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut aminos (can substitute soy sauce; use unseasoned vinegar)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or ½ clove garlic, minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Toasted hot dog bun, lettuce or collard leaves, to serve.  
Heat water in a pot large enough for all the carrots. When it comes to a boil, turn down to medium heat and add the carrots. Cook until you can just pierce them through with a fork; you want them to have a snap when you bite into them.  Remove from pot and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking.
In a container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining ingredients to make the marinade. Tighten the lid and shake until well mixed.
Place the carrots in a container in which they can lie flat. Pour the marinade over them and marinate at least 3 to 4 hours, up to 24. The longer they marinate, the more vinegar flavor they take on. If you know you need to leave them longer than a day, cut the vinegar to ⅛ cup (30 ml). If the carrots are very skinny, keep the marinating time short.
To serve, heat the carrots in a 350°F (177°C) oven, or in a grill pan on a hot grill, until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve in a toasted hot dog bun or wrapped in a lettuce or collard leaf, and pile on your favorite toppings.
TIP from Kathy: You can cook these in your slow cooker in the marinade. You need to check on them so they do not get mushy, so it is not a set-it-and-walk-away affair. Cook until a fork just goes through the carrot but it is still slightly firm.  
Here's a pic of what mine looked like! 

PS: These are SERIOUSLY good.  I was skeptical.  I'm not going to lie.  I was afraid they would taste like I put a carrot on a hot dog bun.  But they honestly didn't!  They were great!  I am going to make them again and again.  My daughter loved them too and even asked for them for dinner tonight!

If you'd like to purchase the book using my affiliate link below, that would be awesome.  Of course, you don't have to use my link, but I would surely appreciate it.  Either way, I recommend getting the book.  It rocks!