I absolutely love a delicious, grilled hot dog, and hallelujah, it’s that time of year again! Yep, people are back outside grilling, and eating outdoors. Given that June 18th is International Picnic Day, this meal couldn’t be more timely! And, trust me, Pigs in a Heavenly Blanket like these, you’ve never had before. (Are you drooling yet?)
You may think that healthy eating excludes a summertime favorite like the frankfurter. Well, think again. It’s entirely possible to enjoy a frank here and there with the gusto it deserves. (And, when we eat a food that brings us authentic delight, healing, pleasure hormones are released by our bodies.) Add to that delicious, healing scenario the selection of healthy and quality hot dogs and accompaniments and we've now got a dog that's Best in Show!
Recipe – (Serves 2-4 people)
• 4 beef hot dogs – (I use Applegate brand, ‘The Great Organic Beef Hot Dog’ which is organic, uses grass-fed beef, and is gluten, casein, dairy, and sugar-free! Are you kidding me? Chow down time!)
• 4 slices of bacon – (I get my sugar-free bacon made from pasture-raised pigs on-line at US Wellness. Oh my, everything tastes better with bacon and this sublimely healthy version rocks!)
• 1 cup of chilled sauerkraut – (I use Bubbies naturally fermented kraut and pickles which have no sugar, vinegar, or preservatives. Their products are also gluten-free and full with live cultures. Repeat after me: This is an awesome health food!)
• Several squirts of brown, yellow, or Dijon mustard – (I use Woodstock brand Organic Stoneground Mustard which is both non-GMO and packaged in a BpA-free container.
* Note: Yellow mustard has the distinct advantage of having turmeric as an ingredient. Turmeric is manganese and iron-rich and helps to relieve systemic inflammation.)
• Virgin coconut oil, (I use Tropical Traditions, Green-Label), or grass-fed butter, (Kerrygold is easy to find and high quality) – enough to lightly coat the grill.
• Paleo Wraps by Julian Bakery, (if you like to eat your dog in a wrap these are gluten-free and truly delicious!)
If your grill is electric, pre-heat for 10 minutes on medium.
Version #1: Down-to-Earth
Make a long slice length-wise down the center of each “dog”.
Wrap 1 slice of bacon around the hot dog securely but not overly tight. (You don’t want the bacon to tear when the hot dog expands during the cooking process.)
Version #2: Gourmet
Slice open hot dogs, length-wise, down the center, forming a deep pocket but not cutting through.
Coat the inside of each hot dog with mustard. Fill with sauerkraut.
Wrap a strip of bacon around each stuffed hot dog securing with toothpicks at either end. Make sure the bacon is secure but not overly tight around the hotdog for the same reason noted above in Version #1.
Optional: Coat the grill lightly with coconut oil or grass-fed butter.
Place the bacon-wrapped, hot dogs on the grill. Cover the grill for more uniform cooking.
Grill for 2 minutes until the bacon on that side is cooked. Make a quarter turn for each hot dog and grill for 2 more minutes. Repeat this turning and cooking process until the bacon is completely cooked.
For Version #1:
Prior to hotdogs being done, plate 2-3 tablespoons of sauerkraut on each dish.
Place the hotdogs, aka Pigs in a Heavenly Blanket, (PHB), directly on top of the sauerkraut. Add mustard of your choice liberally.
Optional (for either version):
• Place cooked PHB in 1 Paleo Wrap.
Now, dig in and enjoy either style PHB with a very generous helping of clean, healthy, and colorful salad. You’re set for your International Picnic Day and the whole summer long.
If you enjoyed this healthy summer picnic treat, please share it with your friends, family, and colleagues!