Better-Than-Street-Vendor Hot Dogs Recipe

Better-Than-Street-Vendor Hot Dogs

In most parts of Los Angeles, you can often find street vendors selling some amazing bacon wrapped hot dogs. We never see any in the part of the city where we live, so I decided to make my own version of this greasy yummy mess. Plus, by making it myself, I can make sure it is actually free of my long list of food allergens. I was even able to find some hot dog buns from Ener-G that have no wheat gluten, dairy, soy, or egg! They were surprisingly tasty!

Ingredients:
1 diced green bell pepper
1/2 diced red onion
1 diced tomato
2 very finely chopped cloves of garlic
butter or margarine (I used the dairy-free, soy-free Earth Balance margarine)
juice of two limes
dash each of salt & pepper
bacon
hot dog
hot dog bun

I started by adding some margarine to a pan and cooking the bell pepper, onion, tomato & garlic over medium heat. After a couple of minutes cooking, I added in the juice from two limes, and the salt & pepper. I continued cooking until the onions were cooked through.

Next, I removed the vegetable mixture from the pan and set it aside in a dish. Then I wrapped the hot dogs with the bacon, and cooked them in the pan until the bacon was cooked to my liking.

I heated up the Ener-G buns in the microwave, which helps soften them up a little, then assembled everything together. They tasted even better than how I remember the street dog versions! The recipe above made enough topping for 6 hot dogs. Perfect for summer entertaining!

Balsamic Scallops & Gnocchi

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I absolutely love gnocchi, and was so excited to find some frozen gnocchi recently that are both egg-free and gluten-free. I decided to do something a little different with the gnocchi than what I usually do and paired them with scallops. If you have never had gnocchi before, they are delicious little Italian potato dumplings, and a great substitute for pasta. They are very filling so you don’t need as much as you would with pasta.

Ingredients:

frozen scallops (I used 6 scallops per person)
frozen gnocchi
cherry tomatoes
fresh basil
balsamic vinegar
lemon
3 cloves of garlic
olive oil
salt & pepper

I started by lightly browning the garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil. While that heated up, I started boiling the water for the gnocchi. Once the garlic is lightly golden, I crushed the garlic and reduced the heat to low. Then I added about 5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, the juice from one lemon, salt & pepper. I put in the scallops, and covered while they cooked. Once the scallops were about halfway cooked, I turned them over in the pan. When the scallops were closed to being finished cooking, I added in a bunch of cherry tomatoes with the scallops to lightly cook. I also added the gnocchi into the boiling water.

Gnocchi cooks very quickly, so once they were all floating at the top, I strained out the water and rinsed the gnocchi. I combined the gnocchi, scallops and tomatoes and topped with the balsamic mixture left in the pan. To finish the dish, I topped it with a few leaves of julienned fresh basil. So easy and so delicious!

Pesto Sausage Spaghetti Recipe

Another way I love to use pesto (recipe here) is with some spaghetti and sausage!

I start with about a 1/4 cup of pesto, and add about 1 1/2 cups of pasta water in a large saute pan.  Mix the pesto and the water together well, and cook the sliced sausage in the watered down pesto mixture.  Pesto on its own is a little too strong to use as a pasta sauce, but when I combine it with a little pasta water, it makes a great sauce!  Serve over spaghetti and top with a little additional grated Parmesan cheese. 🙂

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Vegetarian Cous Cous Casserole Recipe

If you remember my New Year’s post, you know that I have been making a lot of batches of frozen casseroles for easy, healthy dinner options.  I haven’t done any posts yet on what exactly I have been putting into these casseroles, since I usually pull them out when I am really busy or tired.  I am going to try to make an effort to blog some of my casserole recipes since some of them have been really amazing.  I rarely cook from recipes, so everything is just an approximation on how much I have on hand, or what feels right.

For this casserole, I started with some cous cous cooked in vegetable broth for extra flavor.  I added some cooked peas, carrots, chopped broccoli, sliced mushrooms, and garbanzo beans.  I topped it with a little enchilada sauce and a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella cheese.  We ate this casserole with a side of baked sweet potato fries, which I love.  I love making vegetarian meals whenever I can, and while my husband did like this one, he did make a “where’s the beef” comment.  🙂

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