I’m not much of a baseball fan, but I can appreciate the idea of a ballpark Frank – well, except for the whole meat part. Unlike your local baseball stadium, most grocery stores thankfully carry vegan alternatives to the beef/pork/mystery meat hot dog.
There are a lot of veggie dogs out there. Next to the veggie burger, the veggie dog might be the most common form of meat alternative out there. My personal favorite is the Field Roast Frankfurter. These links taste nothing like a typical store bought frank (from what I remember), and taste more like their proper German counterpart (or so I assume).
However, I have a vegetarian daughter, and she’s a bit pickier about her meat alternatives. So when we have veggie dogs, we generally go the more traditional route. Along those lines, you can find satisfying links from Tofurky, LightLife, and even Whole Foods.
LightLife makes two varieties – Smart Dogs, and Tofu Pups. Tofu Pups, LightLife boasts, is the “original vegetarian hot dog.” These pups are tasty, but I prefer the Smart Dogs for texture, and because Smart Dogs also come in a “Jumbo” option.
Even at the larger size, the Jumbo dog is nearly half the calories of my preferred Field Roast option. Both regular sized Smart Dogs, and Tofu Pups weigh in at only 50 calories a link, with 7g of protein. That’s a pretty modest intake. The jumbo option is twice that, which is still quite reasonable for when you want to amp up your dog with some toppings beyond standard condiments.
I don’t recall ever having a meat based chili dog, but it’s definitely become one of my guilty pleasures as a plant eater. It’s a pretty simple addition to an already simple meal, and adds some big flavors.
We’ve established the base – a whole wheat veggie dog bun, and a Jumbo Smart Dog. For the chili, I cheat and use Tofurky’s amazing Chorizo. These crumbles are already perfectly seasoned, and fully of flavor. For my chili, I just heat a serving (about 1/3 of a cup), with a couple tablespoons of diced onions.
I like my onions crispy on a veggie dog, so I don’t cook the mixture too long. Once the crumbles are warm, they’re ready to top the link. If you don’t have the chorizo links handy, any veggie beef crumble can be made ready by mixing it with three-to-one mixture of ketchup, and mustard, with a bit of hot sauce.
I top my dogs with dill relish, and German mustard. Some Daiya shreds also make a nice addition – preferably cheddar, or Pepper jack. If you have some melted vegan cheese, that also makes a nice add on. Jalapeños are also a welcome touch.