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Roadside-Style Vegan Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs Stuffed With Cheese

You either love bacon-wrapped hot dogs, or you despise them. There’s no middle ground with these things. Almost exclusively made by road-side vendors who cook up the sizzling dogs with a crispy twist of pig fat, often with melted cheese filling a slit down the middle, usually late in the evening, near bars and clubs and places where  inebriated stomachs crave something quick and super-flavorful. I first saw them on my treks around Mexico, but nowadays you can find them in most major cities, if you know where to look.

Bottom line, these are about as un-vegan as food gets. I decided to give this classic another try, but with a meatless twist. Here’s how it turned out.

Ingredients and supplies:

  • Smart Dogs (1)
  • Lightlife organic smoky tempeh strips (2 per dog)
  • Daiya cheddar style shreds (about a tablespoon or so per dog)
  • Onion (1/8 onion per dog, chopped)
  • Tomato (two or three slices)
  • Bread (we used a slice of sour dough)
  • Oil for grilling
  • Skillet

Also useful: skinny toothpicks, ketchup, Vegenaise, avocado

First step, make a slit in down the length of the hot dog, without cutting it all the way through. Spread open and stuff with Daiya cheese

Then, wrap the bacon around the outside of the dog. It took us two of the tempeh strips to get full coverage. If you have toothpicks, insert them at the start and end of each piece of tempeh.

Heat the skillet with some oil — I put mine on a medium-high temperature and used olive oil, but remember that olive oil will start smoking at lower temperatures than some oils. Put the wrapped dog in it, with the ends of the wrap underneath to keep them from falling open.

Check to make sure the tempeh doesn’t start burning, and flip  as it gets brown and crispy. Your bacon might fall open (ours did) but you can flip it back into place as needed.

It takes longer than expected to get the Daiya cheese to melt. The wrapped dog’s cheese melted after about 10 minutes of cooking; the one that unwrapped melted a lot faster because most of it fell out.

To complete the meal, grill the diced onions and use the skillet to toast a piece of bread.

Finish it by putting the dog on the toasted bread, with grilled onions and tomatoes on top. Cover with your favorite condiment (the egg/dairy free mayo from Trader Joes tasted great on this).

All that’s left to make this feel authentic is to go outside and eat it on the sidewalk. Enjoy!

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