We never really celebrated Fourth of July much when I was growing up.
Looking back, I think it was partly because we were usually traveling to far-flung locations that weren't celebrating ol' Independence Day, and partly because my parents would rather die than store a bunch of 4th of July
crap decorations in a closet for the other 364 days of the year. (The fact that they live on their sailboat compounds the storage issues.)
However, one thing we were adamant about year-round was grilling. Living on a sailboat in tropical climes will do that to you. (It's a tough life, really. But someone's got to do it.)
Now that I'm a grown-up (age-wise, anyways), I've inherited the repulsion of a craft closet, but I do still like to
have someone else grill. The Better Homes and Gardens 4th of July recipes gave me a way to celebrate the holiday without having to search Pinterest for red, white, and blue-themed trinkets to hot glue. (Hallelujah.)
|Top: Beer-Braised & Peach Salsa Dogs. Bottom: Mac-n-Cheese Dogs.|
Smart Dogs to the rescue! I've never tried these before, but I was super impressed with them. Not only are they vegan and therefore not made of disgusting ingredients, there was also no freaky texture or aftertaste. (I think we call that a win-win.) I guarantee they'd be a hit with the non-vegan crowd as well.
Here, I've used my wit and cunning intelligence to combine the Better Homes and Gardens recipes for Lime and Beer-Braised Dogs with their Pickled Peach Dogs, which, might I add, turned out fabulously. I'll be posting the recipe for the Mac-n-Cheese dogs (pictured above) tomorrow. See for yourself:
Beer-Braised & Peach Salsa Dogs
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or chopped
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and halved lengthwise (I kept the seeds for heat. Seed if you want a more mild salsa)
1 12 oz can or bottle beer (I used Bud Light Lime to go along with the whole "lime" theme. And because I'm awesome.)
2 peaches, pitted, halved, and diced
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (white vinegar works in a pinch)
8 animal-free hot dogs, like Smart Dogs
8 whole wheat hot dog buns
1. Place peaches in a resealable bag or shallow dish. Pour vinegar over peaches, stirring or rotating to coat. Let sit at least 20 minutes.
2. For the rest of the salsa, combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and half the jalapeno, diced.
3. To make the super-delicious beer cooking liquid, cut one lime in half and juice, retaining halves. In a large skillet combine beer (try not to drink it all before it goes into the pan), remaining 1/2 jalapeno, lime juice, and lime halves.
4. Cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes. (You are just heating them through since they are already "cooked" when you buy them.)
5. Remove hot dogs, discarding cooking liquids and solids. (If you're like me, press them in the George Foreman for a minute or so to get those awesome grill marks. I've never lit a charcoal grill in my life and I sure don't plan on starting now.)
6. Drain vinegar from peaches and stir them into the salsa.
7. Serve hot dogs in buns, spooning salsa onto the top. Serve with lime wedges. Makes 8 servings.
Each Preppy Vegan serving: 212 cal, 2.3 g fat, 0 g cholesterol, 522.6 mg sodium, 33.8 g carbs, 6.3 g fiber, 13.1 g protein*
Original recipe: 314 cal, 16 g fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 810 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 11 g protein.
*According to the LoseIt! recipe tracker.
Notice that my version has less calories, fat, no cholesterol, and a LOT more protein and fiber? Yes please.