With winter in full swing I can’t help but yearn for those days of summer. Summer BBQ's, grilled corn, homemade ice cream...it'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.