July 4, 2012

Happy 4th Y'all! Mac and Cheese Dogs & Beans in a Blanket

This time last year, I was sweltering at a barbeque in the Mississippi Delta. 

Literally. I didn't know humans could produce the amount of sweat I did at that cookout. Sick.

Luckily, there's a silver lining in every cloud. In this case, I used my excessive "glistening"  as an excuse to down beer after beer to hydrate myself. Yes, I realize this is not the actual effect that beer has on your body. You gotta do what you gotta do, people. 
Makes me want a shower just looking at it.  
Fast forward a year later: I've survived finished my first year of teaching and enjoying my first summer off, um, ever. (The verdict? A life of leisure is perfect for me.) I'm back at the beach with some of my favorite people in the world: 
Mama Missy, Elise, moi, Shannon
....and whipping up yummy 4th of July meals while the A/C is kickin'. (Thank you, Jesus.) 

Since summer is awesome, I've basically spent my days reading Better Homes and Gardens and watching The Food Network. Though it's nearly impossible to veganize Paula Deen's recipes, I figured I'd attempt her version of Pigs in a Blanket, which she calls Hogs in a Sleeping Bag. I'm not sure what to name the vegan version....Beans in a Blanket? Soy in a Sleeping Bag? Doesn't matter. I smothered them in BBQ sauce not long after this photo was taken:

Top: Lime & Peach Salsa Dogs. Bottom: Mac and Cheese Dogs.
Artfully scattered about: Beans in a Blanket.

..and promptly ate every last one. Delish. 

The hot dog recipe is modified from the July issue of Better Homes and Gardens, which contains lots of yummy Fourth recipes just begging to be veganized. Check out my version of their Lime and Beer-braised Dogs here. The vegan version is light, healthy, and ready to be smothered in ketchup and/or BBQ sauce as soon as you're done assembling it. 

Mac-n-Cheese Dogs
For the macaroni and cheese:

4 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 cups non-dairy milk
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/16 tsp tumeric
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup whole wheat flour

For the dogs:
8 animal-free hot dogs, like Smart Dogs
8 whole wheat hot dog buns

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, heat non-dairy milk.
3. Once warmed, stir in nutritional yeast, salt, mustard, pepper, paprika, tumeric, and garlic powder. Stir or whisk until blended and there are no lumps.
4. Slowly add flour, stirring as you go. Allow mixture to bubble and thicken, 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. When well blended, and there are no lumps, remove from heat.
5. Pour sauce over cooked noodles, stirring to coat.
6. Heat hot dogs according to package directions. Serve in buns, topping with 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of mac-n-cheese. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with BBQ sauce or ketchup.

Each Preppy Vegan serving: 308 cal, 3.8 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 566.6 mg sodium, 51 g carb, 9.9 g fiber, 22.2 g protein
Original recipe: 469 calories, 25 g fat, 58 mg cholesterol, 1,015 mg sodium, 40 g carb, 1 g fiber, 19 g protein

Hogs in a Sleeping Bag
1 12oz package Smart Dogs (8 hot dogs)
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and lightly rolled out
2 Tbsp olive oil
Barbeque sauce, ketchup, or mustard for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut each Smart Dog into 3 equal pieces (24 pieces total). Cut  each sheet of puff pastry into 12 strips. Roll each piece of Smart Dog in a strip of puff pastry and place on baking sheet.
3. Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Happy 4th of July, y'all!

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