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The Cooking Cardiologist: Carrot Not Dogs

The Cooking Cardiologist, Dr. Richard Collins from South Denver Cardiology Associates shows us how to make Carrot Not Dogs.

The blackened grilled hot dog may be the deadliest torpedo eaten by millions in America, children in particular. These rockets are loaded with nitrites, fat and preservatives with chemicals you cannot pronounce. The America Cancer Society and the World Health Organization have recommended that we limit our consumption of processed meat, especially hot dogs.

Yet, what is more delicious and truly Americana than the hotdog at ballparks, picnics and barbeques? Consider that we ingest on most holidays (Labor Day being the most) over 1 million of these puppies. True there have been improvements from trying to omit the nitrites, reduce the fat and blend other healthier ingredients than just meat.

So how can we give our children a delightful healthy hot dog, yet maintain the soft easy to hold bun smothered with delicious condiments of mustard, pickle relish and ketchup? There is a solution.

Re-invent the doggie. Make your own without preservatives. These aren’t Hot Dogs, they’re Not Dogs with all of the taste and flavor of the original. Safe because they use organic ingredients, are plant based, pre-cooked to take along at a picnic. No need to worry about uncooked meat. Carrot Not Dogs are fun on a bun!


12 large organic carrots, peeled, trimmed and ends rounded to resemble a hot dog

1 cup Coconut Aminos© available at Whole Foods (Coconut Aminos taste similar to soy sauce without the salt or soy plus it is fat free and gluten free)

½ cup salt free Italian seasoning

1T smoked paprika

1t garlic powder

1t onion powder

1T vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce. If gluten intolerant, suggest Wan Ja Shan available at Whole Foods

1T sugar

3 cups water

12 whole wheat hot buns. If gluten intolerant, use Udi’s hot dog buns


Select 12 large organic carrots of uniform size, peel and cut off ends so they are approximately 6½-inches long, rounding the edges to create a “hot dog” shape. The more uniform the carrot, the better will be the consistency when cooked and grilled. In a 6-quart saucepan, mix all ingredients beginning with the Coconut Aminos and finishing with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add the carrots. Be sure all carrots are covered with water. If not, add more water. Note the carrots will float to the top of the herb bath which is fine. Simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are just barely fork tender. There should be some resistance to the carrot. Do not overcook as the “dog” will be mushy.


Transfer the carrots into an air-tight container and pour the liquid over the carrots. They may be stored for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Remove carrots and grill as though they were hot dogs. Grill until grill marks appear, turning frequently. Place inside fresh whole-wheat hot dog buns. Add the garnishes.


Serves twelve. Serving size: One carrot dog including whole wheat bun. Nutritional analysis does not include garnish.


Nutritional Info: Calories: 150, Total fat: 2 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 400 mg, Carbohydrate: 30 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 7 g, Protein: 4 g.

Diabetic Exchanges: 2 Starch


The Denver Bronco Dog


4 grilled Carrot Not Dogs

4 whole wheat buns or Udi’s Gluten free buns

4T chopped onions

1 chopped orange bell pepper

Blueberry ketchup, see below

Side of Blue Corn chips


Place the carrot dog into the buns. Top with onions. Garnish with the orange bell pepper and blueberry ketchup. Serve the Bronco Dog with blue corn chips.


For the blueberry jalapeño ketchup, makes ¾ cups.


2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and sorted

1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

1t olive oil

1 shallot finely chopped

2T Dijon mustard

2T brown sugar

1T rice vinegar

2T ketchup

1t crushed red pepper

Salt & pepper to preference


In a blender, combine the blueberries and the jalapeno. Blend until smooth. In a medium sauce pan, add the olive oil and shallots. Sauté until softened. Add the blended blueberries, mustard, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup and red pepper. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool. Place blueberry ketchup into a fine sieve. Using a spoon, force the ketchup through the sieve. Discard remaining fiber of blueberries and shallot. There should be approximately ¾ cup of ketchup, enough ketchup for 12 Not Dogs. The remainder can be covered in an air tight container and stored in the refrigerator for 1 week. The blueberry ketchup is great on halibut also.