Adventures of Eating with dReJ: healthy, cheap, delicious

Remember when you were little and hot dogs were so delicious? If you are like me, that was the result of ignorant taste buds! Now I have a hard time eating a generic hot dog because I think of all the terrible things (read: ingredients) in them. Somehow, that childhood magic got lost.

But a few years ago, I started rethinking the hot dog situation (I don’t know why, too much free time I guess). Why couldn’t I just forget all those terrible things and enjoy one again? I ran across organic chicken hot dogs and after some research I decided to give hot dogs another chance.

The result has been a few years of childhood relived via my dinner plate – except now I’m grown up enough to want grilled or sauteed green peppers, mushrooms, and onions on top of it. Oh, and sauerkraut. Bring on the veggies.  And of course now, I’m a complete potato bun freak – anytime you put me in charge of bringing buns – just expect potato buns. Potato hot dog buns. Potato rolls. They are awesome, and for once in my life – they are actually pretty darn healthy for you compared to other options! How about that. This hot dog journey has been a total revelation for me.  You can take something you loved when you were little – and make it healthier and maybe even a little gourmet.

We’ve been through a few different versions of what I sometimes refer to as my “Find the dogs” (for those that haven’t experienced my hot dog meals – it’s hard to find the meat for all the vegetables) – the concept is the same. First off, I’m a chicken hot dog kind of gal.  I like the Applegate Farms version – but you can’t find them everywhere which makes this hot dog meal even more special:

Applegate Farms: http://www.applegatefarms.com/products/natural_chicken_dogs.aspx (60 calories per dog)

Yes, you read that right – 60 calories per dog compared to some pretty astronomical numbers from ordinary hot dogs.  I’ve also tried the much cheaper Turkey Dogs by Oscar Meyer. They aren’t as good as the Organic chicken hot dogs by any stretch of the imagination – but they are more affordable and not too terrible calorie wise either.

The third option is perfect for grilling out – look at your local grocery meat case. Look for fresh chicken sausage – our personal favorite is the Fresh Italian Spicy Chicken Sausage – they grill up perfectly and go great with all those grilled veggies.

But honestly – so easy – anyone can make these and who can turn down such a delicious classic that won’t make you feel so guilty later?

What you’ll need:

2 of your fav organic or chicken hot dogs
2 Martin’s brand Potato Hot Dog Buns
1/2 yellow onion sliced up into strips
1/2 green pepper (or red, yellow, etc) in strips
handful of your favorite mushrooms
2 tbsp sauerkraut (comes in can or you can get it packaged near the prepackaged meat section)
A little bit of olive oil

What you do:
Heat up the oil (I sometimes add a little cracked red pepper to the oil and if i’m feeling frisky – some minced garlic)
Add the veggies and let them saute for 5-10 minutes (depending on how cooked you like your veggies)
Meanwhile – get a pot boiling with water and drop 2 hot dogs in and let them boil for about 5 minutes (obviously if you are buying fresh sausage from the deli you need to grill them or pan cook them – boiling won’t work!)
In the last few minutes of the boil – throw the sauerkraut in with the hot dogs to heat it up.

Last – if you like your buns warmed up – pop them in the microwave for 15 seconds, or you can toast them. Drain the water from the dogs and sauerkraut and place lovingly in bun. Pile on the veggies.

Bring a fork.

Hard to capture a picture when you don't want to stop eating!

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