We sat at the Dreamy Weenie restaurant on the outskirts of the French Quarter anxiously awaiting our meal to arrive. It’s not every day we get to order a Vegan Hotdog with Veggie Black Bean Canjun Chili, Vegan Cheese, and a Sweet Pepper Relish. This was going to be good and we knew it. After it arrived the only thing we could say was thank goodness we agreed ahead of time to split one, because it was a large meal, especially when accompanied with curly fries. It was all worth the wait. Delicious from the first bite. I don’t want to have to wait to go back to New Orleans for another one of these so that left me trying to recreate my own. And that’s exactly what I did.
The good news? It wasn’t all that hard to do. I put together a Vegan Cajun Chili with black beans. Super easy.
Rather than take the time to put together a sweet pepper relish, I created a Sweet Red Pepper Aioli. It was perfect!
Since hotdogs are something you typically eat at the ball park, then let’s just say this one is a grand slam.
I’ll be honest. I never have been what I consider to be a picky eater. When you’re poor, you really can’t be that picky. You either eat what you’re given, or you go hungry. Sometimes I think we miss out on this concept with kids today and they lose the opportunity to eat things they might not try otherwise.
So, yes, we were poor when I was a kid. And that means we ate a lot of hotdogs. And they probably were the extra unhealthy, super cheap kind. Gross.
I ate hotdogs boiled. I ate them sliced down the middle and fried. I even ate them cold; the slimy surface leaving behind a coating in my mouth.
Now as an adult I think about the kinds of things I ate as a child. And I think about what ingredients we now know are in those cheap hotdogs. And I cringe.
Today I eat hotdogs made from soy. My hubby and I laugh about what parts of the tofu bean is used to create these veggie hotdogs. Could it be soy lips? Soy intestines? Who knows what else?
And we laugh. There’s no part of a soybean that we are particularly disgusted at eating. So today I can eat my veggie hotdog boiled. Or I can fry it in a pan. Or I can even eat it cold, straight from the fridge. It doesn’t leave that fatty coating in my mouth and I’m ok with that. Completely.
Vegan Cajun Chili Cheese Hotdogs
- 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 veggie hotdogs (I used Lightlife Veggie Hotdogs)
- 4 hotdog buns (I used brat buns since we had a hard time finding dairy-free hot dog buns…go figure!)
- Cajun Chili (see recipe below…or store-bought veggie chili will work too)
- Vegan Cheese (I used Daiya’s Pepperjack Style Spreads)
- Sweet Pepper Aioli (see recipe below)
- Place a tablespoon of oil in a skillet and warm up to medium heat. Place the hotdogs in the skillet and cook until the sides are browned, turning so each side is cooked. Place in an oven on low to stay warm.
- While the skillet is still hot, pour another tablespoon of olive oil and place hotdog buns (or brat buns) face down to brown the insides of the buns. Rub the buns around in the oil and cook each one for a few minutes until toasted. Set aside.
- Place a warmed hotdog in each toasted bun. Top with Cajun Chili and vegan cheese. I like using Daiya for this recipe because it melts much more quickly than some. Place the hotdogs back in the skillet, making sure the heat is set to low. Place a lid over the skillet and leave them there for about 5 minutes to allow the steam to melt the cheese. If you’re in a hurry (like I usually am), go ahead and put them on a plate and microwave for a minute or so.
- Top with some Sweet Pepper Aioli and serve warm.
- See? That was easy!
Vegan Cajun Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- Cajun Seasonings:
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 – 2 tablespoons agave nectar (optional)
- Place the oil and chopped onions in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, stir well, and cook over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Give it another stir and then allow it to cook until some of the liquid has cooked out and you’re left with a nice, thick chili.
- Voila! Cajun Chili!
Sweet Pepper Aioli
- 1/2 cup sweet red peppers, cored and chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayo
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar (more or less to taste)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. It will be runny at first, but give it a minute or two and the flax seed will do its magic. This is delicious stuff!
By the way, if you didn’t want to make your own Vegan Cajun Chili, you could simply add some of those cajun spices to a can of store-bought vegetarian chili. We can find those right at our local grocery store and although most of them aren’t gluten-free, they are typically vegan. There’s all kinds of fun ways to cut corners on time when you’re fixing Good Vegan Eats…especially in the summer. Enjoy!