Thursday, February 15, 2007

Vegan Hot Dog & Chili Fries

Today's lunch is one of those lunches that came about as a result of something that I had earlier in the week. I opened a package of Light Life Smart Dogs a few days ago to make those yummy Vegan Pigs in a Blanket, so there was this plastic container in the fridge last night that just had a single vegan frankfurter left in it. And what better use for that than a delicious Vegan Hot Dog, with chili and everything.

I just put the Light Life Smart Dog on a whole wheat hot dog bun and squirted a little bit of French's Spicy Brown Mustard on it. I didn't want to put the chili on it yet, since I was afraid that it might get too soggy before lunch, so I put the chili in a separate container. The last time I brought hot dogs for lunch, I put the chili in one of the little blue dressing containers that the lunchbox comes with. I wanted a little more than that this time, so I used one of the larger containers, which gives me more than enough chili for a hot dog. In fact, it leaves me enough so that I can pour it all over another item in the lunchbox...

Ore-Ida Curly Fries are delicious by themselves, or with chili poured all over them. And it's really not that bad for me because I always bake my fries in the oven, and the chili that I brought actually happens to be fat free. This is my favorite kind of chili for hot dogs, and it's actually another one of those storebought items that surprises some people when they find out that it's vegan. Texas Pete Hot Dog Chili Sauce can normally be found in the grocery store there beside of the canned tuna, vienna sausages, potted meat (gasp!) and all of that stuff. There are actually several different brands of hot dog chili sauce which don't contain meat (I think they've just got TVP in there), but all of the other ones that I have ever seen have beef fat added. But not Texas Pete. I even sent them an e-mail to make sure that it was vegan, and they confirmed that it was. It's one of those products that's so cheap it's vegan. Which works out good for me because I think it's yummy. It tastes just like regular old hot dog chili.

For dessert I brought along some delicious brownies that I made using a recipe from SusanV's Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. Her Fatfree and Fabulous Fudgy Brownies are really good. You won't believe how moist they are, and the recipe is super duper easy. I still haven't found my perfect vegan brownie recipe yet, because all of them that I have tried so far are a little more cakey than I like, but this one is probably my favorite one that I have tried so far.

So there's lunch for Thursday. I always like it when I bring hot dogs for lunch, and who doesn't like french fries with chili poured all over them? That, plus the fact that everything is vegan, and the hot dog chili and even the brownie are virtually fat free, makes this lunch a winner, in my opinion.

Thanks for stopping by. See everybody on Friday!


Tracy said...

Hey Ken! Looks tasty, but I was you eat your fries cold, or do you heat them up in the microwave? And if you heat them, are they still crispy or do they go mushy? I'm curious, 'cuz I never considered taking fries for lunch before!

raising_kahne said...

Lovely looking lunch, my favorite is the brownie(go figure!) Do you have Vive Le Vegan?? She specially created these because her first cookbook(The Everyday Vegan) had one that was really cake-like, and wanted different ones. I love these!

kennyboy said...

I want to get Vive Le Vegan soon. I have heard it's a good cookbook. I would love to have a vegan brownie recipe that makes nice dense brownies with that top on them that looks like, for lack of a better description, a dry cracked lake bed in a desert. Hey! I want a dessert that looks like a desert. HA! I'll probably order that soon.

Well tracy, I reheat my fries in the microwave and they do end up a little bit on the soggy side. I dumped chili all over these though so it really didn't matter.

There is a french fry recipe that I have seen over at that involves coating the fries with flour and frying them and they claim that they are crispy even when reheated. It's something I'd like to try sometime. Normally though, they're not crispy, so I usually try to bring chips or something else, unless I am planning on dumping chili all over them. :o)

kennyboy said...

These curly fries were quite a bit crispier than regular fries though on reheating.

I actually got some crunch out of them.

I guess that's because they do have a little bit of some kind of coating on them, I think...

Mikaela said...

What a FUN lunch! :)

Melanie said...

i'm trying to remember what it is that makes brownies fudgier rather than cake-ier....i think it's using enough oil and sugar, really, as well as not baking them too long. i'll have to look into that; haven't made any sort of brownies in forever, as my daughter seems to do all the baking around here. now, on to hot dogs: you figure Light Life is the best tasting? Once upon a time I found a brand that was absolutely perfect, the family didn't even know they were eating veggie dogs, but I failed to take note of the brand and everything I've tried since then has been insipid. I can get them tolerable by first boiling them, then dousing them with a little hickory smoke and then grilling them, but still you can tell they're a little weird and they don't "pass" with the kids. Have you tried several brands and found Light Life the most accurate replica? my older daughter is vegetarian (well...she's on and off the wagon, but as we find good replacements for the cravings she falls off the wagon less and less) but the rest of the family is rather reluctant to go along with us if they feel like they're missing out on something, you know?

kennyboy said...

I wouldn't say Light Life is the most accurate replica of a meat-based hot dog. I like them, but I know people who don't care for them too much. They're fine to me, but I never was too picky about hot dogs, even as an omnivore because I normally drown them in chili, mustard & onions. But I haven't found a favorite yet. When I was vegetarian, I thought that the Morningstar Farms veggie dogs were perfect, especially in the corn dogs, but of course they're not vegan so I don't eat them now.

I've heard of people having veggie burger tasting parties (there was a bit about one on the Vegan Freak podcast once, and that's where I discovered Sunshine Burgers). Maybe I should have a vegan hot dog tasting some time and try every brand I can find side by side.

YAY! Excuse to cram hot dogs in face! :o)

I guess if you wanted a REALLY good hotdog, you should probably use one of the vegan brats that are out there. I have heard that the Tofurkey ones are really good, but I haven't tried them yet.

Melanie said...

so far i've been really impressed with the Tofurkey products as a whole. they maybe don't all seem *exactly* meat-like, but they have just the right texture and plenty of flavor without any off, soybean-y issues going on. a hot dog tasting sounds like a good idea...everyone could bring a pack of a different brand (and maybe a different beer!), that would be pretty painless for everyone's pocketbook i'd think.

for burgers, i like Morningstar Farms Grillers a lot (don't know if they're vegan, haven't checked) but I'm also pretty crazy for good old Nature Burger from the bulk bins. Those make the *best* meatballs for spaghetti, especially if you add some nuts to them. Mmmm! They just have to be really well browned on all sides to prevent them from soaking up the sauce and falling apart.