sA full moon — and with it, your tried-and-true routine. I’ve re-issued the annual open-door backyard policy for all of your friends and your Everything Roast menu is ready to go. But this summer, she’s hoping to ramp up creativity And Feed from your usual spread.
For a tasty, nutrient-rich addition to your traditional barbecue lineup, consider vegan hot dogs. Hear us out: There are plenty of reasons to feel good about adding plant-based protein to your plate once in a while (no lifestyle overhaul required).
Take it from registered dietitian Leah Johnston, RDN, who is all about finding creative and simple ways to load up on nutrient-dense ingredients. Flex beauty [or semi-vegetarian] The way of eating is that it is not all or nothing in terms of animal and plant proteins. It’s Monday!” You can reap the many health benefits of eating plant-based—including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, to name a few—without going cold turkey, she says.
Johnston’s biggest tip? Start small. “Start planning your meals with vegetables first, then protein, then carbs and healthy fats,” she says. “It just makes you feel better both physically and mentally.” When summer comes, make room on the grill for plant-based proteins like LightLife™ smart dogs®. This delicious sausage packs eight grams of protein (or 14 grams in the jumbo version!) per serving and is low in saturated fat — so you won’t have a post-meal hangover.
All of these health benefits (and taste) make LightLife the no-brainer for professional chef Carla Contreras’ plant-based base for summer. She tops her dog with powerful ingredients like miso, cabbage, and apple cider vinegar for a solid, hand-held meal that will keep you feeling nourished and energized so you can make the most of those long summer days.
The best part? You can add a LightLife vegan hot dog (or bacon) to your summer course without any extra skill or effort required. “Vegetarian cooking [meat] Easier than you might imagine,” Johnston says. In most cases, “this is a direct swap in recipes for animal protein that you may be used to, and can be cooked the same way (but generally for less time!).
To complete your backyard barbecue spread, Contreras loves a creative baking station (“I love visiting a local bakery or wrapping my own sausage in a crunchy lettuce leaf,” she says) and a bulk specialty drink. This season, it’s all about a hibiscus mocktail, drizzled with honey and topped with sprigs of fresh mint. Does summer get over it?
If you’re ready to elevate your next backyard hangout, invite your team and serve these flavor-packed LightLife dogs. (Note: keep an eye out for their new packaging in the fridge section.) After your friends clear out a few, don’t be surprised if they bring up this summer’s new MVP.
Smart hot dog with vegan tahini ranch slaw
Makes 4-6 servings
1 LightLife Smart Dogs® package
One package of your favorite cookies
One bag of your favorite potato chips
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup filtered water
1/4 cup soft, high-quality liquid tahini
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of white miso
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh dill, leaves only
1 small garlic clove
6 cups cabbage, thinly sliced (half a small head or 1 bag)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for dressing
3-4 cranks freshly ground pepper (divided)
1 teaspoon avocado oil or cooking spray/bbq oil
1. Place the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, tahini, miso, whole grain mustard, water, fresh dill, garlic, 1/16 teaspoon salt (the smallest pinch), and 1-2 cranks of freshly ground pepper into a mixing bowl and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
2. Massage 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2-3 cloves of freshly ground pepper into the cabbage and let stand for five minutes. Add about 3/4 of the sauce and mix, saving a little extra to drizzle over the hot dogs.
3. Using 1 teaspoon oil or cooking spray, grill the hot dogs for 3-4 minutes per side.
4. Put a layer of cabbage on the hot dog buns, add the cooked dogs, and put a few chips inside the bun. Drizzle over the excess sauce.
Don’t have a grill? No problem. For stovetop cooking, add 1-2 teaspoons of avocado oil to a skillet. Cook the hot dogs over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on one side, flip them, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Enjoy!