One of the hardest parts of being a new vegan (or even an old seasoned vegan) is trying to keep up with all the new products out there. I must have spent over $50 looking for the "right" vegan cheese my first year being a vegan and I have over 50 vegan/vegetarian cookbooks in my arsenal but not all the recipes are the greatest. I’m the first born so I’m used to being a Guinea Pig and now I’m your Vegan Guinea Pig. So here are my recommendations and critiques. Let me know what you think!

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Summer BBQ in the Winter featuring Smart Dogs (Vegan Hot dogs)

With winter in full swing I can’t help but yearn for those days of summer. Summer BBQ's, grilled corn, homemade ice's so cruel to look outside at a beautiful sunny day only to realize it's 30 degrees outside. Thanks to an indoor grill (and most likely corn imported from Chile) I can turn on the space heater, throw on some shorts and pretend its summer for a day. The hallmark of any indoor winter BBQ is a good hot dog. But instead of the classic combination of animal lips and butts I turn to Lightlife’s Smart Dogs & Jumbo Dogs. They taste amazingly like the real thing except they are cruelty free, nitrite free, MSG Free and most importantly lips and butt free. 1 smart dog hot dog has only 45 calories and a generous 7 grams of protein per dog ( 13 grams of protein and 80 calories for the jumbo dogs). Not only are they low in calories and high in protein but they are the ultimate convenience food. You can wrap them in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls to make pups in a blanket, or even make homemade vegan corn dogs. But my all time favorite way is the classic grilled hot dog. Because these little dogs don’t have any fat and cook up fast I lightly oil my cast iron griddle or indoor grill and cook for about 30 seconds on all sides or until I have those great grill marks. Put it on a whole wheat hot dog bun with a little grilled corn on the side and you have yourself a summer treat in the winter. If you’re trying to stay a bit more seasonal try making sweet potato fries instead.

Note: to prepare these dogs completely fat free you can boil them for about 1-2 minutes or until warmed through or heat them in a toaster oven at 350-400 degrees for about 2 minutes.


  1. I remember tryin these many years ago and disliking them with a passion and then keeping them in my freezer for a very long time because I did not want to waste them and trying to feed them to my dogs - alas wasting thme because they would not touch it - no they are not vegetarians. They like meat!! Anyway.. so I will give them a shot again all because so far you and I are head to head except for the fakin' bacon :) Love the blog and following it. Thanks!

  2. LOL about the dogs. My dogs have been vegan for years and still don't like the taste of veggie hotdogs so I don't think its a matter of liking meat. My dogs prefer whole foods so give them a carrot, brocolli, edamame, anything they'll chomp it down but give them something processed and they will promptly spit it out!

    Thanks for giving these a shot again. Hopefully you'll like them this time around. I think when it comes to the fakin' bacon I just don't like any fake bacon, probably because i haven't eaten bacon in 22 years.

  3. I love smart dogs! Especially since they are so low cal, I can have two without feeling like a piggie :) And slicing up leftovers for beanie weenies is great too.

  4. I dunno what's happened with your dogs, but my two go hysterical as soon as they smell them. I have to cook extras just for them or I wouldn't be able to eat in peace.


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