Chili Dogs. Seriously.

There are fake meats, and there are meat substitutes. The line between the two is very fine. I enjoy eating not-meat things instead of meat most of the time, but I don’t like eating things that pretend like they’re meat and maliciously want to trick you so when you bite into them you get totally freaked out and then it’s just sitting there laughing at you with it’s weird spongy face.

So I’ve always been wary of fake hot dogs. On the other hand, does anybody really know what a hot dog is? Therefore eating fake hot dogs is not that much different than eating “real” hot dogs. (mmmmmm hot dogs)
As I was heating up some frozen bean, beer and quinoa chili for dinner tonight (I’d post the recipe but the spice blend or something was a little off–let me work on it and get back to you) I found myself REALLY craving a chili dog. I remembered that the sausage recipe I am planning to make for Mother’s Day can be adjusted to mimic a hot dog, so I went with it. Here’s my adaptation of Isa Chandra’s amazing recipe plus  my adaptation of a spice blend I found on this comment forum (I can’t wait to make Andouille and bratwurst!). 
These chili dogs seriously hit the spot. I’ll work on figuring out how to make them a little “juicier” as weird as it sounds saying that. They were a tad on the dry side, though. Maybe more olive oil, or less steaming? Try it out and let me know how it goes. Also, I know it looks like a million ingredients. I randomly had little bits of all these spices leftover from other recipes. I highly recommend buying spices in very small quantities in the bulk aisle. Not only is this INSANELY affordable (like under 25-cents) but it also feels much less horrible to throw away half a teaspoon of a 2 year old spice than a whole bottle of it. 
Other delicious toppings, if you wanted: cheese, onions, sour cream, smashed up Fritos. 
Chili “Dogs”
Makes 4 normal bun sized hot dogs
Time commitment: 10 minutes hands on, 40 minutes hands off
Hot dog ingredients:
1/2 c. canned pinto beans, drained
3/4 c. reconstituted No Beef flavor Better than Bouillon (a little less than a teaspoon)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. yellow mustard
1 T. sugar
1 t. paprika
1 t. garlic powder or granules
1 t. celery salt (or just dried celery seeds, in which case add some soy sauce or salt)
1/2 t. white pepper
1/2 t. onion powder or granules
1/4 t. ground coriander
1/4 c. ground nutmeg
1 1/4 c. vital wheat gluten
2 T. nutritional yeast
2 T chickpea flour
For serving: some kind of bread or bun (chips would probably be good too; I used toasted sandwich bread that was going stale), chili (heat up while the dogs are steaming) and sliced avocado (if you want). 
Directions: 
Get your steamer filled with water and ready to go. Tear off four squares of aluminum foil. 
In a bowl or stick blender cup, smash/blend pintos and veggie broth. (I used my stick blender because I wanted a smoother consistency and I’m lazy; I’ve read that a food processor works too.) 
Mix in olive oil, soy sauce, mustard, sugar and spices, moving everything to a medium sized mixing bowl if you’re working with a stick blender. In a separate bowl, mix flours and yeast together with a fork and then add to wet ingredients (again, so that everything is evenly distributed through the dough) and mix together with a fork. 
Note: The recipe I used said to throw in everything together, but I found that the spices were far from evenly distributed and because the dough gets really solid really fast it was hard to even it out. I think an easy fix would be to mix all the wet ingredients and spices together separate from the dry ingredients and then combine at the last minute.
Divide dough ball in half and then each half in half. Roll into logs (or, sausages…) and place in the hot steamy steamer. Steam sausages for 40 minutes, checking to make sure that all your water hasn’t evaporated occasionally and adding more if it has. (I had to do this 2 or 3 times.) 
You can eat your sausages now or split and fry (like I did) or grill them or whatever. Mmmmmmmmmm sausage. If you have leftovers, freeze or refrigerate. I’d recommend thawing or bringing to room temp for a bit before reheating on the stove or a grill for more even heating without burning, since they don’t have as much fat as meat hot dogs.
Not the most photogenic food ever…
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