Chef Wendell: Carrot Dogs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Uniquely American, the bun-wrapped, handheld bite of smoky summer deliciousness is a sacred tradition. Nobody wants to hear this, but you at least need to know. Over the recent years, a lot of negative attention has been drawn to the American Icon.  If you eat the more than one a week, here are some helpful facts.

1st segment: Discussing hot dogs. Good and bad Examples. Why should we be concerned about something so traditional? Prepping the ‘Hot dogs’ for the recipe.

2nd segment: Pulling the ‘hot dogs’ from the oven. Assembling the hot dog. What kind of bun is best? Why we must eat fresh vegetables along with hot dogs?

  • Hooray! Oscar Mayer is removing artificial preservatives and ditching added nitrates and nitrites.
  • This response to consumer demands implies there is a problem.
  • The problem: they’re processed, contain cancerous nitrates and high levels of salt.
  • Processed meats are consistently associated with adverse health effects. (Yale University Prevention Research Center. )
  • Diets high in processed meats preserved with N-Nitroso compounds have been linked with cancer, especially colorectal cancer.
  • Associated with increased risk for diabetes, higher mortality, more cardiovascular disease.
  • High levels of sodium aggravate high blood pressure and water retention.
    (Sodium should not exceed 450 milligrams)
  • USC epidemiologist found that children who eat more than 12 hot dogs per month have nine times the normal risk of developing childhood leukemia.
  • In another study, children who ate hot dogs one or more times per week were also at higher risk of brain cancer.
  • Studies show the effects of processed meats more harmful in people who don’t eat fresh produce. (Eat hot dogs with an antioxidant-rich food, like tomatoes, or vitamin C–packed orange juice.)
  • Vitamin C keeps nitrites from changing into nitrosamines, which may help reduce the risk of cancer associated with these chemicals.
  • Take home:  if you eat hot dogs, eat fresh fruits and veggies too.

What you’ll need for carrot hot dogs:

  • 4 large carrots, washed and unpeeled
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cups water
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp. liquid smoke
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 4 whole grain hot dog buns (Not white bread buns)

Remember to:

  • Trim carrot ends and cut them the length of your buns.
  • Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil. Add carrots and cook 5-8 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Drain carrots and put them under cold running water to stop the cooking.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, water, soy or tamari sauce, honey, liquid smoke, garlic and onion powder, and black pepper.
  • Transfer marinade to a large zip top bag and add the cooked carrots. Toss gently to coat and refrigerate overnight.
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper.
  • Remove carrots from the marinade and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until heated and slightly browned.


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